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03/20/2013

The Muslim Brotherhood is a cult and my relatives are a pain: King of Jordan

                                                   King Abdullah
King Abdullah of Jordan, not a reticent monarch.  (Yousef Allan/AP)

 

The Atlantic's Jeffrey Goldberg has this startlingly frank interview with King Abdullah of Jordan.

Goldberg is a journalist and the ultimate Washington insider. He is read closely by the Obama administration so you can be sure anything the Jordanian monarch has told him will be carefully tailored for that audience. 

Here are some of King Abdullah's blunt musings: 

On Syria: He says he offered President Bashar al Assad's family asylum but they refused. “I had offered a couple of times to get his wife out, and they said, ‘Thank you very much, but why don’t you worry about your country more than you worry about us?’ ”

On Bashar himself: “There was a dinner with me and him and the king of Morocco, at the king’s residence in Cairo. And so Bashar at dinner turns to us and says, ‘Can you guys explain to me what jet lag is?’  He never heard of jet lag." 

On his own relatives: “Look at some of my brothers. They believe that they’re princes, but my cousins are more princes than my brothers, and their in‑laws are like—oh my God. I’m always having to stop members of my family from putting lights on their guard cars. I arrest members of my family and take their cars away from them and cut off their fuel rations and make them stop at traffic lights. I’m trying to be that example.”

On President Mohammed Morsi of Egypt: "There’s no depth to the guy." 

On The Muslim Brotherhood: "A Masonic cult." 

Future meetings with regional leaders, not to mention the next family reunion, are going to be a bit awkward. 

Hamida Ghafour is a foreign affairs reporter at the Star. She has lived and worked in the Middle East and Asia for more than 10 years and is the author of a book on Afghanistan. Follow her on Twitter @HamidaGhafour

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