Egyptian president-elect Mohamed Morsi addressed a throng of adoring supporters in Tahrir Square today. He is from the Muslim Brotherhood, the oldest Islamist organization in the world. So what does that mean, exactly?
Simply utter the phrase "Muslim Brotherhood" and you're guaranteed to stir dark animal passions among conservative politicians and commentators -- or at least public approximations of dark animal passions. The election of the Brotherhood's Mohamed Morsi as Egypt's president has kicked those passions into overdrive.
For many, the Egyptian political movement has joined a long line of American boogeyman with a secret plot to rule the world, from the Masons to the Catholics to the United Nations. In Egypt, there are similar night terrors. Tawfiq Okasha, a conspiratorial TV show host known as the Egyptian Glen Beck, likes to rail against the Masonic/American/Muslim Brotherhood plot to destroy Egypt.
Conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh earlier this week went on a rant implying that the Brothers have already managed to take over parts of President Barack Obama's White House after Secretary of State Hillary Clinton issued a statement on Morsi's election. Morsi, read the oath of office in a packed Tahrir today, looking and sounding the part of the leader of the Arab world's largest country. This weekend, he was confirmed the winner of the first free presidential election in Egyptian history.
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