The White House on Friday notified Congress of its plan to provide Egypt’s new government with an emergency cash infusion of $450 million, the New York Times reports. The column further notes that a prominent lawmaker said she will attempt to block the handout.
Rep. Kay Granger (R-Texas), chairwoman of the House appropriations subcommittee overseeing foreign aid, threatened to use her clout to block the distribution of the money. The American relationship with Egypt, she told reporters, “has never been under more scrutiny” than it is in the wake of the election of President Mohamed Morsi, a former leader of the Muslim Brotherhood.
Inexplicably, the administration’s announced aid proposal came two days after Morsi read the U.S. the riot act in his remarks at U.N. General Assembly. In his speech, Morsi defended a ban on free speech when it comes to insults against Islam. “Egypt respects freedom of expression,” he said, but “not a freedom of expression that targets a specific religion or a specific culture.”
In case there were any doubts about which religion or culture he had in mind, he drew a line in the sand:
And the insults hurled on the prophet of Islam, Mohammed, is rejected. We reject this. We cannot accept it. And we will be the opponents of those who do this. We will not allow anyone to do this by word or deed.
He went on to express his unwavering support of “any course of action Palestine decides to follow” and called the U.N.’s recognition of Israel’s actions in the region “shameful.”
Oh, and his wish list also includes freeing Omar Abdel-Rahman, a.k.a., the “Blind Sheikh,” who was behind the 1993 failed bombing attempt on the World Trade Center. Abdel-Rahman is currently serving a life sentence in an American prison.
And this is the guy the Obama administration wants to lend a helping hand. Imagine what the administration would have offered if Morsi had ended his speech with the words “Death to America!”
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