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A senior Muslim Brotherhood official claimed on Tuesday that America and the West “used foreign money, thugs, and criminals” to bring down ousted Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi and thwart his so-called statewide “Islamic project.”
America “gave the green light to the [Egyptian military] officers to undertake their coup; isolate, kidnap, and hide the first freely elected civilian president; and suspend the constitution and dissolve the Shura Council,” Muslim Brotherhood adviser and spokesman Mahmoud Ghozlan wrote in a Tuesday article originally published in Arabic on Ikhwan Online.
Ghozlan promoted multiple anti-American conspiracy theories, claiming that the United States secretly opposed Morsi for failing to embrace “its subsidiary Israel,” as well as for enacting Islamic law in Egypt.
“America was keen to keep Egypt a weak country vis-à-vis Israel and protect it from any change in Arab policy towards it,” Ghozlan wrote, according to a translation of his article performed for the Washington Free Beacon by the Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD).
“America was not happy about the establishment of a regime that adopts the Islamic civilization project for the state at the expense of the secular Western model,” Ghozlan wrote. “[America] was keen on the continuation of Egypt as a weak country dependent on America for food, medicine, and weapons.”
Western opposition to Morsi ultimately led it to support “terrorist acts that reached the point of killing in mosques, after they blockaded, destroyed, and set on fire to the headquarters of the Muslim Brotherhood and the Freedom and Justice Party,” Ghozlan claimed.
The Brotherhood leader further alleges that the United States secretly “paid $105 million over several months to Egyptian and foreign organizations” to foment chaos in Egypt ahead of the January 2011 protests that brought down former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak.
The goal of this clandestine campaign was to prevent Morsi and the Brotherhood from rising to power in Egypt, Ghozlan claimed.
Egypt expert Eric Trager said that Ghozlan’s statement is proof that the Brotherhood was never a moderate group, as many in the West claimed when Morsi first came to power.
“The Brotherhood’s virulently anti-American, conspiracy-theory-laden statement shows just how badly Washington’s policy of friendly engagement with the Brotherhood failed,” said Trager, a Next Generation Fellow with the Washington Institute for Near East Policy.
“The expectation was that through friendly outreach, and by not criticizing the Brotherhood for all of its domestic abuses, we could build trust and a cooperative relationship with the organization,” Trager said. “Turns out the Brotherhood isn’t so sentimental.”
Morsi was not deposed by the millions of Egyptian civilians who took to the streets to demand his resignation, but by shadowy U.S.-aligned forces, Ghozlan wrote.
“What [America] found from the new regime, headed by Dr. Mohamed Morsi, was opposition to” its pro-Israel, pro-democracy itinerary,” he claims. “The regime refused to be an ally to America and was keen on Egypt being a free, independent country with sovereignty and will, as it repeatedly expressed its desire for Egypt to produce its own food, medicine, and weapons and make its relationship with Israel minimal.”
Morsi additionally “strengthened [Egypt’s] relationship with the Palestinians and tried to achieve reconciliation between them,” Ghozlan wrote. “And it widened its relationship with many countries around the world, including Russia, China, in East and West Africa, Brazil, and African countries, so as not to keep its relationship confined to America and its subsidiary Israel, as was the case under the former regime.”
Morsi also “sought to substitute the Islamic project for the Western secular project, and here began the exploitation by the secular parties in order to spoil [the Islamic project],” Ghozlan argued.
The pro-Morsi article was published the same day seven people were killed during clashes between pro-Morsi factions and police, according to reports.
Violence is expected to grow in the wake of a military decree that prevents the Brotherhood and other Islamic factions from participating in Egypt’s new government.
As chaos builds in Egypt, experts warned that the Middle East’s largest and most important Arab state is teetering on failure.
“The more pertinent and pressing question right now is not whether we’re seeing the death of democracy in Egypt or we’re seeing the death of Egypt itself,” said former White House national security adviser John Hannah.
“I think we’re perilously close to a failed state status in Egypt,” Hannah said on Tuesday in an interview with FDD. “It’s a country of 80 million people dangerously polarized at this point in time, a collapsing economy, rampant crime, no visible signs of the rule of law.”
Others warned that the Muslim Brotherhood could resort to terrorism in order to maintain power in Egypt.
“The real question we need to ask ourselves is whether we can prevent Egypt from becoming a failed state,” former Pentagon advisor Michael Rubin said in an interview with the American Enterprise Institute.
“What [Morsi] seemed to want to do is impose religion, rather then give people the jobs they had been clamoring for,” said Rubin, who warned that the Brotherhood could resort to “car bombings” and other forms of terror in the near future.