Amr Darrag

Amr Darrag is an American-educated senior member of the Muslim Brotherhood currently operating out of Istanbul, Turkey.Robert Fisk, “Amr Darrag: Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister in exile still believes Egypt's military regime can be replaced with 'moderate' Islamic rule,” Independent (London), May 5, 2015, http://www.independent.co.uk/news/people/amr-darrag-exmuslim-brotherhood-minister-in-exile-still-believes-egypts-military-regime-can-be-replaced-with-moderate-islamic-rule-10227129.html. He is a founding member of the Egyptian Brotherhood’s outlawed Freedom and Justice Party (FJP) on whose platform Mohammed Morsi ran for president in 2012.Nancy Messieh, “Profiling Egypt's New Ministers,” Atlantic Council, May 7, 2013, http://www.atlanticcouncil.org/blogs/egyptsource/profiling-egypts-new-ministers. Darrag served as Egypt’s former Minister of Planning and International Cooperation during the last two months of Morsi’s presidency.Robert Fisk, “Amr Darrag: Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister in exile still believes Egypt's military regime can be replaced with 'moderate' Islamic rule,” Independent (London), May 5, 2015, http://www.independent.co.uk/news/people/amr-darrag-exmuslim-brotherhood-minister-in-exile-still-believes-egypts-military-regime-can-be-replaced-with-moderate-islamic-rule-10227129.html.

In the 1980s, Darrag reportedly developed an interest in the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood while studying for an engineering degree at Purdue University in the United States.Robert Fisk, “Amr Darrag: Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister in exile still believes Egypt's military regime can be replaced with 'moderate' Islamic rule,” Independent (London), May 5, 2015, http://www.independent.co.uk/news/people/amr-darrag-exmuslim-brotherhood-minister-in-exile-still-believes-egypts-military-regime-can-be-replaced-with-moderate-islamic-rule-10227129.html; Eric Trager, Katie Kiraly, Cooper Klose, and Eliot Calhoun, “Who's Who in Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood,” Washington Institute for Near East Policy, September 2012, http://www.washingtoninstitute.org/policy-analysis/view/whos-who-in-the-muslim-brotherhood#AmrDarrag; “2013 U.S.-Islamic World Forum Speakers,” Brookings Institution, accessed June 1, 2015, http://www.brookings.edu/about/projects/islamic-world/usiwf-2013-speakers. He later recalled, “What attracted me was that these people had been exposed to a lot of suffering and torture and yet they held on to their principles. I asked myself: ‘Who are these people?’”Robert Fisk, “Amr Darrag: Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister in exile still believes Egypt's military regime can be replaced with 'moderate' Islamic rule,” Independent (London), May 5, 2015, http://www.independent.co.uk/news/people/amr-darrag-exmuslim-brotherhood-minister-in-exile-still-believes-egypts-military-regime-can-be-replaced-with-moderate-islamic-rule-10227129.html; Eric Trager, Katie Kiraly, Cooper Klose, and Eliot Calhoun, “Who's Who in Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood,” Washington Institute for Near East Policy, September 2012, http://www.washingtoninstitute.org/policy-analysis/view/whos-who-in-the-muslim-brotherhood#AmrDarrag; “2013 U.S.-Islamic World Forum Speakers,” Brookings Institution, accessed June 1, 2015, http://www.brookings.edu/about/projects/islamic-world/usiwf-2013-speakers. During the 1990s, Darrag continued to learn about Brotherhood founder Hassan al-Banna and the Brotherhood’s history, and in 1999, Darrag became actively involved in the Brotherhood’s political committee.Robert Fisk, “Amr Darrag: Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister in exile still believes Egypt's military regime can be replaced with 'moderate' Islamic rule,” Independent (London), May 5, 2015, http://www.independent.co.uk/news/people/amr-darrag-exmuslim-brotherhood-minister-in-exile-still-believes-egypts-military-regime-can-be-replaced-with-moderate-islamic-rule-10227129.html. In 2005, Egyptian police arrested Darrag, holding him for five months, over his involvement with the Muslim Brotherhood.Robert Fisk, “Amr Darrag: Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister in exile still believes Egypt's military regime can be replaced with 'moderate' Islamic rule, Independent (London), May 5, 2015, http://www.independent.co.uk/news/people/amr-darrag-exmuslim-brotherhood-minister-in-exile-still-believes-egypts-military-regime-can-be-replaced-with-moderate-islamic-rule-10227129.html.

Following the FJP’s creation in 2011, Darrag acted as the party’s secretary in Giza, Egypt, and as the chairman of its Foreign Relations Committee.Nancy Messieh, “Profiling Egypt's New Ministers,” Atlantic Council, May 7, 2013, http://www.atlanticcouncil.org/blogs/egyptsource/profiling-egypts-new-ministers. Between 2012 and 2013, Darrag served as the secretary-general of Egypt’s Constituent Assembly, which drafted and passed Egypt’s now-suspended post-Mubarak constitution.Mahmud El Shafey, “Egypt appoints nine new ministers in cabinet reshuffle,” Asharq al-Awsat (London), http://www.aawsat.net/2013/05/article55300966/egypt-appoints-nine-new-ministers-in-cabinet-reshuffle.

During the revolt against Morsi in June 2013, Darrag was reportedly in Moscow meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin and other world leaders. According to Darrag, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad voiced support for Morsi and sent his “best wishes.”David D. Kirkpatrick, “Army Ousts Egypt’s President; Morsi Is Taken Into Military Custody,” New York Times, July 3, 2013, http://www.nytimes.com/2013/07/04/world/middleeast/egypt.html; Robert Fisk, “Amr Darrag: Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister in exile still believes Egypt’s military regime can be replaced with ‘moderate’ Islamic rule,” Independent (London), May 5, 2015, http://www.independent.co.uk/news/people/amr-darrag-exmuslim-brotherhood-minister-in-exile-still-believes-egypts-military-regime-can-be-replaced-with-moderate-islamic-rule-10227129.html Opinion pieces written by Darrag have appeared in numerous Western media outlets including the New York Times,Amr Darrag, “Egypt’s Blood, America’s Complicity,” New York Times, August 15, 2013, http://www.nytimes.com/2013/08/16/opinion/egypts-blood-americas-complicity.html?_r=0. Foreign Policy,Amr Darrag, “A Revolutionary Foreign Policy,” Foreign Policy, October 16, 2012, http://foreignpolicy.com/2012/10/16/a-revolutionary-foreign-policy/. and Middle East Eye.Amr Darrag, “Will foreign investors in Egypt have blood on their hands?” Middle East Eye, March 13, 2015, http://www.middleeasteye.net/columns/will-foreign-investors-egypt-have-blood-their-hands-1406176913. In these articles, Darrag has propagated his Islamist and anti-Western viewpoints.

In March 2016, Darrag proposed the separation of the Muslim Brotherhood’s da’wa (proselytization) and religious work from its political activities and temporarily refraining from political mobilization for a set period in an effort to de-escalate the mounting confrontations with the regime.Marc Lynch, “In Uncharted Waters: Islamist Parties Beyond Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood,” Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, December 16, 2016, http://carnegieendowment.org/2016/12/16/in-uncharted-waters-islamist-parties-beyond-egypt-s-muslim-brotherhood-pub-66483.

In a December 2016 Facebook post addressed to “my people, my brothers, my loved, ones, and my friends,” Darrag announced his retirement from political work and his leadership position within the Brotherhood.“The Brotherhood Leader His Resignation From Any Position Within the Brotherhood Group,” al-Islamiyoun (Cairo), December 22, 2016, http://islamion.com/news/%D8%A7%D9%84%D9%82%D9%8A%D8%A7%D8%AF%D9%8A-%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%A5%D8%AE%D9%88%D8%A7%D9%86%D9%8A-%D8%B9%D9%85%D8%B1%D9%88-%D8%AF%D8%B1%D8%A7%D8%AC-%D9%8A%D8%B9%D9%84%D9%86-%D8%A7%D8%B3%D8%AA%D9%82%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%AA%D9%87-%D9%85%D9%86-%D8%A3%D9%89-%D9%85%D9%86%D8%B5%D8%A8-%D8%AC%D9%85%D8%A7%D8%B9%D8%A9-%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%A5%D8%AE%D9%88%D8%A7%D9%86/. He allegedly wrote, “I would like to deliver to you all a decisive and final decision that I adopted a while ago. I was waiting for the appropriate time to announce it. It is my retirement from all forms of public work as a politician or administrative officer, whether in the Freedom and Justice Party or the Muslim Brotherhood.”“The Brotherhood Leader His Resignation From Any Position Within the Brotherhood Group,” al-Islamiyoun (Cairo),  December 22, 2016, http://islamion.com/news/%D8%A7%D9%84%D9%82%D9%8A%D8%A7%D8%AF%D9%8A-%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%A5%D8%AE%D9%88%D8%A7%D9%86%D9%8A-%D8%B9%D9%85%D8%B1%D9%88-%D8%AF%D8%B1%D8%A7%D8%AC-%D9%8A%D8%B9%D9%84%D9%86-%D8%A7%D8%B3%D8%AA%D9%82%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%AA%D9%87-%D9%85%D9%86-%D8%A3%D9%89-%D9%85%D9%86%D8%B5%D8%A8-%D8%AC%D9%85%D8%A7%D8%B9%D8%A9-%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%A5%D8%AE%D9%88%D8%A7%D9%86/. Later that month, Darrag told Arabic-language newspaper Arabi21 that though he stepped down from his leadership position, he remained a member and supporter of the Muslim Brotherhood.Arabi 21 Talks with Amr Darrag After His Announcement of His Retirement from Public Work,” Arabi21 (Cairo), December 26, 2016, https://arabi21.com/story/973163/%D8%B9%D8%B1%D8%A8%D9%8A21-%D8%AA%D8%AD%D8%A7%D9%88%D8%B1-%D8%B9%D9%85%D8%B1%D9%88-%D8%AF%D8%B1%D8%A7%D8%AC-%D8%A8%D8%B9%D8%AF-%D8%A5%D8%B9%D9%84%D8%A7%D9%86%D9%87-%D8%A7%D8%B9%D8%AA%D8%B2%D8%A7%D9%84-%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%B9%D9%85%D9%84-%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%B9%D8%A7%D9%85.

 
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