At the time it seemed that the Obama Administration really wanted the radical Muslim Brotherhood (with close ties to terrorists) to stay in power in Egypt. After helping to throw out Mubarak after many years as a U.S. ally, the U.S. slapped the new government under President al-Sisi with huge cuts in aid after the Brotherhood was overthrown.
What a shame we didn't do more to maintain ties with al-Sisi. He gave a remarkable speech on New Year's Day that is exactly the kind of message we have been begging Arab leaders to make for years. In it he called for a "revolution" to defeat the message of radical Islam that has brought so much bloodshed and fear to the world.
Here's an excerpt:
I am referring here to the religious clerics. We have to think hard about what we are facing—and I have, in fact, addressed this topic a couple of times before. It’s inconceivable that the thinking that we hold most sacred should cause the entire umma [Islamic world] to be a source of anxiety, danger, killing and destruction for the rest of the world. Impossible!Now, if you were Obama and you REALLY wanted to defeat radical Islam would you not embrace this message and support al-Sisi? What does it say if Obama does not?
That thinking—I am not saying “religion” but “thinking”—that corpus of texts and ideas that we have sacralized over the years, to the point that departing from them has become almost impossible, is antagonizing the entire world. It’s antagonizing the entire world!
Is it possible that 1.6 billion people [Muslims] should want to kill the rest of the world’s inhabitants—that is 7 billion—so that they themselves may live? Impossible!
I am saying these words here at Al Azhar, before this assembly of scholars and ulema—Allah Almighty be witness to your truth on Judgment Day concerning that which I’m talking about now.
All this that I am telling you, you cannot feel it if you remain trapped within this mindset. You need to step outside of yourselves to be able to observe it and reflect on it from a more enlightened perspective.
I say and repeat again that we are in need of a religious revolution. You, imams, are responsible before Allah. The entire world, I say it again, the entire world is waiting for your next move… because this umma is being torn, it is being destroyed, it is being lost—and it is being lost by our own hands.