An Egyptian Ambassador’s frustrations about pro-Muslim Brotherhood policies in the West

Sent On: 
Tue, 2020-12-29
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Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Egypt – photo from Wikipedia​


In October 2014 I had a unique personal meeting with an Egyptian Ambassador in function (and he is still in function) who freely spoke his mind about the dramatic political changes in Egypt in 2011-2013 and foreign countries meddling in this. The talks lasted several days and was allowed to take notes. These notes were initially not intended for publication. They are now published, with permission of the Ambassador, in Arab-West Report for use of researchers, but the Ambassador’s name could not be mentioned since he presented his personal views and experiences and not that of the Government of Egypt. Yet, the meetings were with a tremendous insight in views that were no doubt prevalent in Egyptian government circles at the time.


The Ambassador spoke freely about different government actors, the role of the Muslim Brotherhood, Dutch-Egyptian relations and the Ethiopian Renaissance Dam. The Ambassador was and still is highly critical of the Muslim Brotherhood.


In September 2020 I received a paper from Bas Belder, Member of the European Parliament for the Dutch SGP Party between 1999 and 2019, for our September 26, 2020, Webinar on Inclusive Citizenship in Egypt. Belder freely quoted from a review of “A Sword above the Nile” of Coptic activist and author Adel Guindy [ʿĀdil Jindī].


“The judiciary system in Egypt, as well as the rest of the pillars of the state (often referred to as the “deep state”) have become impregnated with fundamentalist Islamic ideology, and are thus decidedly biased against Copts. The political leadership of the country takes no concrete corrective measures and, worse still, let this ideology shape and dominate the society, through education and media.”


It is in this regard interesting to read the report of my meeting with the Egyptian Ambassador. “The Netherlands keeps talking about human rights and democracy. But this is empty and hollow,” he said. “With the Arab Spring. What did the Dutch do? Their involvement resulted in support for the Muslim Brotherhood, not human rights or democracy.”


The Netherlands trained a number of activists that played an important role in the January 25, 2011, revolution that toppled President Hosni Mubarak [Ḥusnī Mubārak]. Diplomatic relations is about “reciprocity between countries, equality in relations and treatment.” This was absent for a number of years. The Ambassador gave several concrete examples.


The Ambassador does not deny that human rights in Egypt can be improved but says “Why do the Netherlands not help Egypt in improving human rights standards instead of just providing critique?”

Muslim Brotherhood President Mohamed Morsi [Muḥammad Mursī] was not legitimately elected in 2012. They rigged the presidential elections in that year and came to power because of US pressure. The Ambassador is not alone in making such claims.[i]


Army and police counted in 2014 already 3000 victims from their ranks due to Islamist violence. “Police has found arms in houses of members of the Muslim Brotherhood. This is not a group that wants dialogue. They only want to take over the country.” The ambassador calls Brotherhood members traitors, they twist words and tell lies. They are effective because they are capable of manipulating media. “The Egyptian army has its own ideology. That is that religion is personal and this view is to keep the unity in the army.”


The interview with the Ambassador in 2014 clearly reflects strong sentiments about foreign governments, politicians and activists not understanding Egypt and at times even interfering in Egypt’s domestic affairs. The Ambassador wants countries to be sensitive for reciprocity in dealing with wishes/needs and mutual interests of both countries. The ambassador does not deny the importance of applying human rights standards but countries should do this with equal standards and not use this as a political tool to put pressure on other countries.


I first arrived in 1976 in Egypt and throughout the years built a large network of connections throughout Egyptian society. This is what made this unique interview possible in 2014. When informants ask me not to publish information I will do so since otherwise I would never get such insights as happened during this unique interview. I am pleased I am now allowed to make this interview public. It shows the total opposite to what ʿĀdil Jindī was claiming. I have known this ambassador from long before the Egyptian revolution of 2011. I have seen him dealing with Coptic Christians in a very fair way. I have never heard a word of sympathy for the Muslim Brotherhood. I have repeatedly had good insights of how things function in Egypt. ʿĀdil Jindī is not an insider but an outsider, a Copt who has been away from Egypt for decades and who, as a consequence, is primarily informed through media reporting. Media reporting in general is focused on reporting tensions and the unusual and hardly gives attention to information one receives when living in a country.


This is what makes interviews such as this one so extremely valuable. To read the full report please click here.



December 29, 2020


Cornelis Hulsman,


Editor-in-Chief Arab-West Report



[i] Cornelis Hulsman, Was President Mohammed Morsi Legitimately Elected?, Arab-West Report, December 16, 2014,