WASHINGTON – They gathered by the thousands to watch history on television.
They cheered wildly when President Trump said in his inaugural address that the U.S. will eradicate radical Islamic terrorism from the face of the earth.
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The next day, they looked on in shock and horror at the violent protests in the streets. They were even more horrified when they saw American women wearing hijabs, Muslim headscarves worn as a sign of piety.
But this wasn't Kansas. It wasn't even the Midwest. It was the Middle East.
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Cairo, Egypt. Home to tens of millions of devout Muslims.
Cheri Berens saw it first hand.
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From her vantage point, "The entire coffee shop gasped in disbelief at the vision of American women donning the headscarf."
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Berens is an American who has lived in Cairo for years working as a researcher for the Egyptian Ministry of Culture. She witnessed the violence that preceded the takeover of the country by the radical Muslim Brotherhood and the counter-revolution that removed it from power.
Berens is author of "Cheri's Memoir: An American Woman Living in Egypt" and is working on her next book, "The Cultural History of Egypt."
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And, in an essay on her blog titled "Women's March to Islam?" she chronicled how for everyday Egyptians watching on television, packed into "every coffee shop in Cairo that had a satellite dish," the scenes in the streets of Washington, D.C., were disturbingly familiar.
They recognized the same methods the Muslim Brotherhood used for decades to finally seize control in Egypt playing out in the American capital.
"First we saw protesters smashing windows and torching cars," wrote Berens.
"Hushed murmuring began around me as every single Egyptian in the coffee shop could be heard saying the words: 'Muslim Brotherhood.'"
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She observed: "The images we were watching could have been taken right from a street in Egypt. It is exactly what we had experienced on a daily basis for more than a year."
While the violence stunned the Egyptians, it was American women wearing hijabs that evoked agitation and even anger.
"We have been fighting to remove the headscarf. Why are these the stupid women putting them on?" asked an Egyptian woman within earshot of Berens.
Indeed, it is a question many have asked: Why would American women, and even the homosexual community, make common cause with those who would strip them of their rights and civil liberties?
WND put that question to former U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., who once introduced legislation to designate the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist organization and who observed that the question of why collaboration occurs among disparate causes comes up often.
"People understand Islam abhors homosexuality, yet they often join forces in protests with gay activists," she told WND. "The answer is simple, Black Lives Matters, the gay agenda, as well as Islamic supremacism, all seek domination over American freedoms."
Still, why collaborate?
"They cannot reach their aims separately, but they can realize the fall of individual liberties if they work together. Once liberties fall, the groups break with each other in a race to impose their particular views on the American populace," Bachmann explained.
"Causing liberties to fall is a long-term project, and they will use whatever allies they can get to realize that phase of their goals," she concluded.
That strategy seemed apparent in what Berens observed.
Berens remarked how no one would ever think of damaging someone's car or business before 2012, the year the Muslim Brotherhood took power in Egypt.
But after that, "mobs of Muslim brotherhood would 'protest' in the streets, ripping apart public and private property and disabling normal activity – just as we were now watching on TV."
"Some of the 'protesters' even covered their faces in the exact same way the Muslim brotherhood do."
Making Egyptians even more uneasy was seeing police reduced to what Berens called a quasi-helpless state.
"Again the words 'Muslim Brotherhood' were mumbled throughout the coffee shop. The Muslim Brotherhood had disabled our police force via accusations of police brutality long before the violent protest began."
She explained: "Via a well-calculated program of propaganda and lies, they were able to make the police force impotent. Police became afraid to stop the protest for fear of being accused brutality."
Egyptians have experienced their own version of what's come to be called the "Ferguson effect" and the epidemic of police shootings last summer in the wake of the Black Lives Matter protests.
"During the last two weeks, 29 police officers have been killed in Egypt," observed Berens. "Once the Muslim Brotherhood put this idea of 'police brutality' into place, police offers became fair game and are killed on a regular basis. Before 2012, killing a police officer was absolutely unheard of."
Berens detected Muslim Brotherhood influence among the Washington protesters and rioters, and one facet may help explain how something many Egyptians consider a sign of oppression, the hijab, became a trendy accessory for some American women during their march.
One of the four main organizers of Saturday's Women's March was Linda Sarsour, a pro-Palestine Muslim activist who supports Shariah law, the strict Islamic code that renders women thoroughly subservient to men.
Sarsour worked with the Obama administration as what they called a "Champion of Change" and was a delegate to the Democratic National Convention.
She also is affiliated with the Council on American-Islamic Relations, an un-indicted co-conspirator in the Holy Land Foundation terrorism financing case. Sarsour was seen recently posing for photos at a Muslim convention in Chicago with an accused financier for the Palestinian terrorist group Hamas.
Get the WND Books bestseller "See Something, Say Nothing" by former DHS agent Philip Haney to learn how he exposed the Obama administration's submission to jihad
Berens said the Egyptians with whom she watched the protests were bewildered by the explanation offered on television that the women were marching for civil rights.
"The women in the coffee shop shook their heads and asked, 'Rights? The headscarf will take away your rights!' one young woman shouted at the TV."
Berens recounted how the grand mufti of al-Ahzar, the highest authority in Sunni Islam, has ruled that the headscarf is not a religious requirement. She said that is well known to anyone who has read the Quran or studied Islam.
"And here, in front of our eyes, were non-Muslim, American women donning the headscarf!"
"In Muslim countries such as Egypt," she continued, "women who do not wear a headscarf are often sexually harassed or attacked. They are beaten; they are raped; and sometimes, they are killed."
"In 2012, when the Muslim Brotherhood took power, there were several attacks on Christian women on trains. They were grabbed, their hair chopped off, they were pushed off fast-moving trains. They were told they must wear headscarf – even though they are not Muslim."
Berens stated plainly, "Any country in which the headscarf is imposed, women always suffer from abuses and restrictions."
That included, she said, the law imposed by ISIS in al-Qaida in Syria against women sitting in chairs, because it will stimulate them and make them "go out of control with lust." Out of the same fear, women in certain areas of the Sudan are barred from wearing pants.
"In most Muslim communities," Berens observed, "even Muslim communities in America, the headscarf eventually leads to the full veil, because the headscarf leads to the belief that women easily become sexually 'out of control,' or they become too 'tempting.'"
Berens said that is what American women should be protesting.
And she made a bold declaration: "This 'women's march' wasn't about Trump. Trump is being used as a scapegoat for the Muslim agenda."
It was her research that led her to such a stark conclusion.
"I follow more than 100 Muslim Brotherhood groups in America and also several of their most powerful activists. They were all promoting this Women's March."
She then used a phrase more often associated with the previous president: "The activists, who call themselves 'community organizers,' targeted African-Americans and Hispanics, but even more heavily targeted was the LBGT community, pro-choice groups, and vulnerable university students."
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Berens echoed Bachmann's observations about groups that would otherwise seem to be natural enemies coming together for a common cause.
She noted that "Muslims despise homosexuals" and that homosexuality is punishable by death in Islam, yet the Muslim organizations promoting the event targeted the LBGT community and claimed to promote their rights.
The author said that was done to enlist their aid, as Muslims have done with Christian and Jewish groups in attacking so-called "Islamophobia."
Berens said the Muslims targeted pro-choice American women for the same reason, despite the fact that "abortions are illegal in Islam and no Muslim woman would dare have one."
She warned: "They want American women to have abortions. They want the non-Muslim population to be stagnant while the their Muslim population grows. Numbers mean power."
Berens also noted that the Muslim Student Association targeted students throughout the United States to go to the march.
"They have their finger on the pulse of the 'gender identity crisis.' They want American youth to be confused and frozen. They want American youth to be non-productive beings obsessed with their 'civil right' to a 'safe space' and 'time outs.'"
That, she suggested, was the radical Muslims' endgame.
"They want a young male population that is weakened, or with confused female tendencies, whether real, imagined or transgendered. They want to confuse the American youth so they are helpless and unable to fight. They want to oppress the women and weaken the men."
And to that end, Berens maintains, subversive Muslims are employing misdirection.
"Most Americans have been focused on the stupidity of some of the goings on at the Women's March instead of the deviousness of it. They want you distracted so that you won't see what is really happening behind the scenes."
And who does Berens blame for all the misinformation about the radical Muslims' true intentions?
The American media.
She concluded with a revelation and a stark warning.
"Very powerful Muslim Brotherhood organizations helped organize and promote this event targeting very specific groups. And, starting in 1962, the Muslim Brotherhood placed very powerful people in the media profession to co-opt the media."
And, a footnote, in case one would wonder: Why would Muslims in one of the most Islamic nations in the world erupt in cheers at President Trump's promise to wipe out radical Islamic terrorism?
Berens made an observation that revealed some Americans might have more in common with the average Egyptian than they realize.
"We here in Egypt have experienced many terror attacks and all of us have experienced the death of a friend or family member who were members of the Army and who fight ISIS on a daily basis."