On July 1st, two days before the coup that deposed President Mohamed Morsi, Juan Cole wrote an article titled, How Egypt’s Michele Bachmann Became President and Plunged the Country Into Chaos. The article detailed the major errors that Morsi made in his one year in office and also drew parallels between his movement and the Tea Party:
Morsi, from the Muslim Brotherhood, represents the equivalent of the American tea party in Egyptian politics—captive to the religious right, invested in austerity and smaller government, and contemptuous of workers and the political left.
Bachmann of course is one of the most notorious anti-Muslim politicians in the United States. She is squarely in the camp of those who propagate loony conspiracy theories about American Muslims as fifth columnists attempting to infiltrate, overtake and impose Sharia’ on an unsuspecting US government.
To advance this notion, over the past several years she has claimed that the CIA, US Congress and the Executive have all been infiltrated by the Muslim Brotherhood, claimed the attacks on the US embassy in Libya vindicated her theories, ranted against Huma Abedin as an undercover terrorist, advocated for anti-Sharia’ legislation and supported Islamophobes from all walks of life.
In a bit of schadenfreude the three Tea Party politicians met with Generalisimo Sisi, to express their immense happiness at the overthrow of a democratically elected president as well as the violent crackdown on anti-Coup protesters.
Bachmann gave strong backing to Sissi, describing his crackdown on sit-ins and demonstrations as the “frontline” in “the War against Terrorism,” and linking the Muslim Brotherhood to the attacks on 9/11.
For his part Gohmert compared Gen. Sisi to George Washington; I guess he’s made good on his claim that “You see me huggin’ Muslims all around the world,” (yeah, when those Muslims happen to be bloody military rulers).
Watch the bizarre and kooky video:
The symbiosis between American Islamophobia and Egyptian instrumentalization of it is for different and varying ends but the rhetoric and optics are literally identical at times. Ilisha touched on this point in a previous article but take an Egyptian opposition newspaper, Al-Wafd, and its usage of the Islamophobic meme that Barack Obama is an undercover terrorist and member of the Muslim Brotherhood:
The headline reads like any Pamela Geller blogpost, it claims Barack Obama is a member of the Muslim Brotherhood, tied to AlQaeda and that he embraced the Brotherhood ideology in Indonesia.
Naguib Mahfouz couldn’t pen a more surreal tale: American Christian fundamentalist Islamophobes who have been democratically elected thanking and supporting non-democratically elected fascist military leaders who just orchestrated a coup in Egypt against a Muslim fundamentalist group that was democratically elected.
What is all the more trago-comic is that the Tea Party and Muslim Brotherhood have much in common: they are on the religious right, advocate unequal rights for minorities, support austerity and small government.
How much do these three goons know about Egypt? Do they know for instance that Egyptians are united in their disdain for the state that they pin their Messianic hopes upon: Israel?
How much do the Egyptians who now love Michele Bachmann as the best thing since ful know about the three American goons effusively praising their military leaders? Do they know how bigoted they are against Islam, do they know that Michele Bachmann is so rabidly pro-Israel that she lived on a Kibbutz?
While this is all extremely bizarre, it is unsurprising. This meeting is nothing more than a convenient opportunity for American Dominionist Islamophobes and Egyptian militarists to score some quick political points by reaffirming each others narratives.