A Blog by the Editor of The Middle East Journal

Putting Middle Eastern Events in Cultural and Historical Context

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Some Brotherhood MPs Invited to Hear Obama

Word is out that the Egyptian Parliament has invited 10 Muslim Brotherhood members of parliament to attend President Obama's speech at Cairo University. Whether or not Obama will actually meet the Brotherhood MPs is not stated, but their presence is interesting. It shows that those in attendance will not be just pro-regime figures, though of course the Brotherhood MPs are part of the system as opposition members of the People's Assembly.

A formal meeting with the Brotherhood as such would provoke enormous controversy given the fact that it is technically illegal in Egypt, but as representatives of the elected opposition, the MPs are acceptable. The fact that — presumably from the story, anyway — they have agreed to attend also suggests the Brotherhood is open to building bridges with the West.