Yesterday, Grover Norquist's weekly Americans for Tax Reform conclave was the venue for an announcement by Suhail Khan that he was becoming director for external affairs for Microsoft. Khan's transformation into a corporate lobbyist comes amidst rising concerns in conservative circles about his longstanding family and personal ties to the Muslim Brotherhood (MB or Ikhwan) in America and his positions in favor of such MB priorities as building the Ground Zero mosque, closing Guantanamo Bay, prohibiting "secret evidence," repealing the Patriot Act, dissembling about shariah, etc.
An interesting question is why Microsoft would recruit such an individual at this moment? Perhaps it is seeking to position itself for good relations with the Muslim Brotherhood as that shariah-adherent movement becomes ascendant in the Middle East. After all, an Egyptian executive of rival Google, Wael Ghonim was seen by some as the face of a hip, secular, democratic new order destined to emerge from the ashes of Mubarak's autocracy. Ghonim, however, has been literally shunted aside by the increasingly emboldened Brothers: On February 18, 2011, he was physically precluded from getting on stage when the Ikhwan's spiritual leader, Yusef al-Qaradawi led a crowd (estimated to have been over a million strong) that had been convened in the revolution's famed Tahrir Square to welcome him home – a la Khomeini's triumphal return to Iran in 1979 –in calls for the "conquest of the al-Aqsa mosque [in Jerusalem]."