Some Capitol Hill lawmakers recently alleged that some American Muslims who are connected to the U.S. Government are also influenced by the Muslim Brotherhood. And now more level-headed voices are responding.
A letter is being circulated among former U.S. officials concerned with U.S. foreign policy, NGO leaders concerned with U.S. foreign policy, and academics concerned with U.S. foreign policy. Below is an excerpt.
Dear Speaker Boehner and Leader Pelosi:
We write out of concern for the impact on U.S. interests in the Muslim world of the actions of some Members of Congress in promoting anti-Muslim conspiracy theories suggesting that top U.S. officials who are Muslim-American are part of a Muslim Brotherhood plot to infiltrate the U.S. government.
As you are aware, Reps. Michele Bachmann, Trent Franks, Louie Gohmert, Thomas Rooney and Lynn Westmoreland recently wrote to various government agencies and asked them to investigate the influence of the Muslim Brotherhood on U.S. officials who are Muslim-American, targeting top State Department official Huma Abedin and several advisers to the Department of Homeland Security.
As you are also no doubt aware, the promotion of these conspiracy theories by Members of Congress has been cited by conspiracy theorists in Egypt as evidence for the claim that the U.S. government has deliberately helped engineer the electoral success of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt. This has come at a time when the U.S. government has worked hard to avoid any public perception that it is backing one faction over another in Egypt's nascent democracy.
The United States Government spends significant resources in the Muslim world working to combat various conspiracy theories, such as the claim that the U.S. government has engineered the electoral success of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt. By promoting these conspiracy theories, these Members of Congress are undermining U.S. policy in the region.
This is yet another example of how "othering" is dangerous for every single one of us. And how opposition to the radical and unsubstantiated claims based on bias can be voiced.