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In Egypt, the Brotherhood also says it wants religious courts to enforce shariah, but at times has also said that secular courts could have final say.
This isn’t to suggest that its moderation is just for show, but it’s fair to say that the Brotherhood has only partially embraced the values of democracy and pluralism.
In the end, the US didn’t reap much for its efforts, as Ramadan was more interested in spreading his Islamist agenda than fighting communism.
Most—including the Obama administration —seem to think that it is a movement the West can do business with, even if the White House denies formal contacts.
By the end of the decade, the CIA was overtly backing Ramadan.
While it’s too simple to call him a US agent, in the 1950s and 1960s the United States supported him as he took over a mosque in Munich, kicking out local Muslims to build what would become one of the Brotherhood’s most important centers—a refuge for the beleaguered group during its decades in the wilderness.
All of this was backed by CIA analyses, with one from 2006 saying the Brotherhood featured “impressive internal dynamism, organization, and media savvy.” Despite the concerns of western allies that supporting the Brotherhood in Europe was too risky, the CIA pushed for cooperation.
As for the Obama administration, it carried over some of the people on the Bush team who had helped devise this strategy. Since its founding in 1928 by the Egyptian schoolteacher and imam Hassan al-Banna, the Brotherhood has managed to voice the aspirations of the Muslim world’s downtrodden and often confused middle class.In Egypt, the Brotherhood has taken an increasingly forceful part in the protests, issuing a statement Thursday calling for Mubarak’s immediate resignation.