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Various media were reporting earlier this month on the Bosnian elections held this month and in which the Mustafa Ceric, the former Bosnian Grand Mufti, was running as an independent candidate. As the Balkan Analysis portal reported:

Mustafa Ceric

Mustafa Ceric

October 12, 2014 Mustafa Ceric is running as an independent candidate. His candidacy was quite a surprise, considering that was a Reis-ul-ulemma of the Islamic Community in Bosnia for over 20 years, since the beginning of the war as a close ally of the senior Izetbegovic. Even during his religious posting, he was unusually active in politics and known for Islamic-nationalist rhetoric.

Turkish media reported the following day that Mustafa Ceric was expected to receive approximately 4% of the vote.

In August, the GMBDW reported on an Al Jazeera article titled “Does Religion Have Role In Bosnia Elections?” detailing the controversy surrounding the decision by former Bosnian Grand Mufti Mustafa Ceric to run as an independent candidate for the Bosnian Muslim seat of the Bosnia and Herzegovina’s tripartite presidency. As noted then, the Al Jazeera article failed to note additional and key issues about Dr. Ceric who held the position of Chief Mufti of the Bosnian Islamic Community for almost 19 years but was replaced in September 2012

Dr. Ceric has had a long and extensive history of ties to Islamists since the time of the 1992-1995 Bosnian War including a long association with Global Muslim Brotherhood leader Youssef Qaradawi who heads the European Council for Fatwa and Research (ECFR) where Dr. Ceric is a member. Questions have also been raised concerning what have been described as Dr. Ceric’s “shady business dealings” and his efforts to placate extremists and silence their moderate critics. The GMBDW reported in June on Dr. Ceric’s decision to run for the Presidency and in April, The Telegraph in the UK cited the GMBDW as the source for their story on the Tony Blair Faith Foundation and the Brotherhood links of Dr.Ceric, one of the Foundation’s advisors. 

For a profile of Dr. Ceric, go here.

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 The Jerusalem Post has published an article titled “Tunisia’s Islamists learned from the Muslim Brotherhood’s failure in Egypt’ that looks analyzes the behavior of the Tunisian Muslim Brotherhood party in light of the recent elections. The article begins:

Ennahda Party

Ennahda Party

October 29, 2014 Tunisia’s Ennahda party, the first Islamist movement to secure power after the 2011 ‘Arab Spring’ revolts, conceded defeat on Monday in elections, perhaps drawing a lesson from the failed power grab of Islamists in Egypt.

Unlike former Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood, Ennahda’s leader, Rached Ghannouchi, an Islamist scholar who spent decades in exile in Britain, acted pragmatically when faced with overwhelming opposition.

Instead of trying to force his party’s Islamist vision on much of the population that is less religious, Ghannouchi did not overstay his welcome, deciding to continue playing the political game, instead of seizing power in ways reminiscent of Morsi.

His party ruled in a coalition until it was forced to make way for a caretaker government during a political crisis at the start of this year.

Ennahda is playing a smarter game than the Brotherhood did in Egypt, understanding that in Tunisia, where at least half of the country opposes Islamists, it must follow the path of slowly building grassroots support.

Read the rest here

The GMBDW reported earlier this week that In yet another setback for the Global Muslim Brotherhood, the Ennahda Party of Tunisia was defeated in the current parliamentary elections. 

The Ennahda Party of Tunisia is headed by Rachid Ghannouchi (many spelling variations) who can best be described as an independent Islamist power center who is strongly tied to the Global Muslim Brotherhood. Egyptian writer Amany Maged presents his view of the relationship between the Ennahda party and Ghannouchi to the Global Muslim Brotherhood:

Al-Nahda Party’s articles of association do not declare a link to the Muslim Brotherhood, but nor has it denied the connection. Some sources maintain that it was ideologically and organisationally inspired by the Muslim Brotherhood, whereas others say that while Ghannouchi considers the Muslim Brotherhood an ally, he does not see it as having any authority, be it hierarchical or moral, over his own movement. Yet the fact remains that Ghannouchi, Al-Nahda’s founder, is a member of the International Guidance Bureau of the Muslim Brotherhood.Al-Nahda shares a number of traits with the Muslim Brotherhood. Both, says Islamist expert Ali Abdel-Aal, have a strong organisational capacity and access to substantial funds.

The UK-based Henry Jackson Society has published a report titled “Moderates or Manipulators? Tunisia’s Ennahda Islamists” detailing the extremist positions and statements of the Ennahda Party and Rachid Ghannouchi.

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A Mideast news portal is reporting that Arabic media is claiming that Hamas was involved in the recent terrorist attack in the Sinai Peninsula that led to the deaths of more than 30 Egyptian soldiers. (The GMBDW reports this information “as is” noting that Egyptian media is notoriously unreliable with respect to many of these issues.) According to a report by The Tower:

Hamas

Hamas

Arab media this weekend, especially in Egypt, claim Hamas was involved in the recent attack in the Sinai Peninsula that led to the deaths of more than 30 Egyptian soldiers.

On Friday, October 24, a group of armed men launched a complex assault on a checkpoint in Sinai, which involved a car bomb possibly detonated by a suicide attacker, rocket-propelled grenades and roadside bombs placed to target rescuers. Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah a-Sisi blamed a ‘foreign-funded operation’ for the deadly attacks that killed at least 33 soldiers and declared a state of emergency.

Following the attack, an Egyptian government source told the Egyptian website Veto’ (Arabic link):

‘The information available, the method of implementation of the incident and the weapons used suggest that members of Hamas supported the execution of the crime against the Egyptian army – by planning, supplying weapons or funding.’

Nabil Naim, an Egyptian researcher in the affairs of the Islamic groups, said (Arabic link) that Hamas and the Jihadist group Ansar Beit al-Maqdis are probably both responsible for the attack. Egyptian military official also said (Arabic link) that Hamas gives ‘patronage’ to terrorism in Sinai.

Read the rest here.

Meanwhile, the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood website has issued a statement condemning the attacks and offering condolences to the families of the victims.

The Hamas charter says that it is “one of the wings of the Muslim Brothers in Palestine.” 

For more on Hamas, go here.

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Local media is reporting that the Canadian branch of the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) was represented at last week’s news conference in Ottawa denouncing what it called violence in the name of Islam. According to a Windsor Star report:

October 23, 2014 Representatives of major Canadian Muslim groups gathered Thursday to reiterate their denunciation of terrorism in the name of Islam at a news conference in Ottawa, even as fear of harassment and violence grows in the Muslim-Canadian community.

‘Our message to anyone who believes in violent extremist ideologies is that you have nothing to do with Islam,’ said Ihsaan Gardee, the executive director of the National Council of Canadian Muslims and one of several speakers at Thursday’s event. ‘You have nothing to do with the noble principles of our faith, which categorically condemn the taking of innocent life.’

Muslim associations across Canada were quick to issue statements of solidarity with their fellow citizens as events unfolded in Ottawa on Wednesday and the killer of Cpl. Nathan Cirillo was identified as Michael Zehaf-Bibeau, a recent convert to Islam.

Speakers at the news conference expressed grief and extended condolences to the families affected by the attack, but they also hinted at the strains the event will likely put on Muslim-Canadian communities. A representative for the Canadian Council of Muslim Women spoke of living ‘under a microscope’ of suspicion since Sept. 11, 2001.

Read the rest here.

The GMBDW reported earlier this month that the Canadian national police had issued a statement saying they could not support a handbook on radicalization and terrorism co-produced by the National Council of Canadian Muslims (NCCM).

The GMBDW reported in July 2013 that the Canadian Branch of the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) had announced that it has renamed itself as the National Council of Canadian Muslims (NCCM) as well as having changed its logo. In August 2013, we reported on a Point de Bascule blog  analysis documenting documenting the clear and unambiguous relationship between the the US and Canadian branches of the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR), a relationship that was denied by CAIR-Canada. The Point de Bascule blog has also published a history of the legal battle between CAIR and ISNA to get the acronym CAIR as trade-mark in Canada.

The most important leader of CAIR-Canada has been Jamal Badawi, also a leader in many of the most important Global Muslim Brotherhood organizations including the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR Canada), the Fiqh Council of North America, the Muslim American Society (MAS), the European Council for Fatwa and Research and the International Union of Muslim Scholars.  Documents released during the Holy Land Foundation terrorism financing trial indicate that Dr. Badawi was (and probably still is) a member of the leadership structure of the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood.

For a profile on the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) and its ties to Hamas and the US Muslim Brotherhood, go here.

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In yet another setback for the Global Muslim Brotherhood, UK media is reporting on the defeat of the Ennahda Party of Tunisia in the current parliamentary elections. According to a report in The Guardian, the Party’s secular rival is expected to become dominant in the country’s parliament:

Ennahda Party

Ennahda Party

October 27, 2014 Tunisia’s Ennahda party, the first Islamist movement to secure power after the 2011 Arab spring revolts, has conceded defeat in elections that are expected to make its main secular rival the strongest force in parliament.

Official results from Sunday’s elections – the second parliamentary vote since Tunisians set off uprisings across much of the Arab world by overthrowing autocrat Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali – are still to be announced.

But a senior official at Ennahda, which ruled in a coalition until it was forced to make way for a caretaker government during a political crisis at the start of this year, acknowledged defeat by the secular Nidaa Tounes party.

‘We have accepted this result and congratulate the winner,’ Lotfi Zitoun, an Ennahda party official, told Reuters.

Zitoun said the party reiterated its call for a unity government, including Ennahda, in the interest of the country.

Earlier, an Ennahda source said preliminary tallies showed Nidaa Tounes had won 80 seats in the 217-member assembly, ahead of 67 secured by Ennahda. The Nidaa Tounes leader, Beji Caid Essebsi, had already said on Sunday night that there were ‘positive indications’ his party was ahead.”

Read the rest here.

The Ennahda Party of Tunisia is headed by Rachid Ghannouchi (many spelling variations) who can best be described as an independent Islamist power center who is strongly tied to the Global Muslim Brotherhood. Egyptian writer Amany Maged presents his view of the relationship between the Ennahda party and Ghannouchi to the Global Muslim Brotherhood:

Al-Nahda Party’s articles of association do not declare a link to the Muslim Brotherhood, but nor has it denied the connection. Some sources maintain that it was ideologically and organisationally inspired by the Muslim Brotherhood, whereas others say that while Ghannouchi considers the Muslim Brotherhood an ally, he does not see it as having any authority, be it hierarchical or moral, over his own movement. Yet the fact remains that Ghannouchi, Al-Nahda’s founder, is a member of the International Guidance Bureau of the Muslim Brotherhood.Al-Nahda shares a number of traits with the Muslim Brotherhood. Both, says Islamist expert Ali Abdel-Aal, have a strong organisational capacity and access to substantial funds.

The UK-based Henry Jackson Society has published a report titled “Moderates or Manipulators? Tunisia’s Ennahda Islamists” detailing the extremist positions and statements of the Ennahda Party and Rachid Ghannouchi.

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The Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC) has announced what is calls its “first ever Congressional Report Card” assessing the current Congress on positions important to the organisation. According to the MPAC announcement:

gI_73756_MPACDear Friend, As part of MPAC’s philosophy of civic and political engagement, we are releasing our first ever Congressional Report Card. The report card assesses the 113th Congress’ positions on issues that directly affect the American Muslim community, grading each House and Senate Member on their voting record on relevant legislation. Our goal is to provide insight into how our representatives have voted on the major concerns of American Muslims, concerns such as national security, civil rights, human rights, and the Middle East peace process.

Based on our core principles of peace, equality and justice, we looked at legislation and determined whether MPAC was for or against that particular piece. Then, based on whether Members voted in accordance with MPAC’s positions, we awarded them points and assigned them a grade (A through F). The report card is meant to serve as an informative tool for the community to make the best decision possible when voting. On November 4, 2014, we will be asked to fulfill a civic duty by going to the ballot boxes and helping to choose the direction of our country. An informed constituency is an influential constituency. Being informed allows voters to hold their representatives accountable and speak with authority on their records. With the introduction of this report card, MPAC hopes to encourage American Muslims to take initiative and become informed about the actions taken by their representatives on issues that affect the American Muslim community in particular and the American public at large.

To download the MPAC scorecard, go here.

The Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC) was established originally in 1986 as the Political Action Committee of the Islamic Center of Southern California whose leaders had backgrounds suggesting they were associated with the  Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood. A 1989 US Muslim Brotherhood document introduced as evidence in the Holy Land Foundation terrorism financing trial refers to the last name of one of the MPAC leaders, Mather Hathout, in a list of “Islamic Centers and Groups in the field.” MPAC has since developed into the political lobby arm of the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood and has opposed almost every counterterrorism action proposed or carried out by the U.S. government, often suggesting that the efforts were aimed at the U.S. Muslim community.

For a profile on MPAC, go here.

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In an article from last month on the British investigation of the Muslim Brotherhood, the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood website described Dr. Azzam Tamimi as a leading member of the Brotherhood in Britain. According to the article:

Azzam Tamimi

Azzam Tamimi

September 16, 2014  A Damien McElroy article published by the Daily Telegraph suggested that the British government is likely to impose a number of measures aimed at restricting the activity of the Muslim Brotherhood in the UK. This caused a lot of arguments and controversy about the future of the Brotherhood in Britain.

For his part, Dr Azzam Tamimi, leading member of the Muslim Brotherhood in Britain, said: ‘I’ve seen the article as published in the Daily Telegraph, and I find its headline too sensationalist, considering that the article text does not offer anything. More importantly, the article does not contain any details about what in fact is in Sir Jenkins’ report or what it is likely to recommend.

‘Everything in the story is speculation by the author, to which he added statements attributed to the Egyptian ambassador in London, inciting the British government to take action against the Muslim Brotherhood. I think this whole article is politicized.”

Read the rest here.

The GMBDW believes that this is the first time that Dr. Tamimi has been openly characterised by the Muslim Brotherhood as one of its members or even that there was such a thing as the Muslim Brotherhood in Britain. Dr. Tamimi is almost always described in the media as a “Palestinian academic.”

Azzam Tamimi is a Palestinian and long time resident of the UK who is often described as a spokesman for Hamas and who famously said during a 2004 BBC interview that sacrificing oneself as a suicide bomber in Israel was a “noble cause” adding that it was “the straight way to pleasing my God and I would do it if I had the opportunity.” Dr. Tamimi has been the director of the Institute of Islamic Political Thought (IPT), known to have had Georgetown University Professor John Esposito on its Advisory Board as well as global Muslim Brotherhood leader Youssef Qaradawi and other important individuals from the Global Muslim Brotherhood. 

For a profile of Azzam Tamimi, go here.

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In an interview with Vanity Fair magazine, Hamas political leader Khalid Meshaal has completed the picture of Hamas responsibility for the June kidnapping and killing of three Israeli teenagers in the West Bank, an event which sparked the last round of the Gaza conflict. In the interview, Meshaal acknowledges that Hamas field operatives have free reign to plan and execute operations with the blessing of the leadership:

 

“You’ve referred to these men as ‘martyrs,’ as heroes. You said in the past few weeks that you were unaware of the plan to kidnap and kill these kids. But it sounds as though you’re saying it was perfectly appropriate to kidnap and kill three teenagers. Is that correct?

The answer is clear. When this operation took place last June, I then said in remarks to the media that we had no information. I could neither confirm nor deny. Later on, and as the Israeli investigations have shown, it turned out that a Hamas field group in the West Bank had killed those three settlers. So, this was indeed an operation executed by a Hamas group. We now have specific information. [The] question now is: Was this operation legitimate or not? This was a legitimate operation. Why? I told you. It is the right of the lawful owners of the land in the West Bank, whether they are from Hamas, or from some other group, to engage in resistance against the occupiers, whether they are the Israeli military or settlers. It’s as simple as that.

Would you have blessed the operation in advance?

We work according to a certain methodology. It’s important to understand this methodology. In the leadership of Hamas, we never give orders to execute this operation—or stop that one. We present general policies: that there is an occupation and part of our strategy is to resist this occupation. Somebody might say, ‘But don’t you have any control over those working in the field?’ Of course we do. When we agree on a ceasefire, for example, this becomes a decision from the leadership of the movement, and those working on the ground must abide by it. But the leadership does not interfere with the execution, or with ordering this operation to be carried out, and that one not to.”

Read the entire interview here.

In August, the GMBDW reported that Meshaal had confirmed that Hamas members were behind the June killing of the teenagers. The GMBDW was the first to report that Salah Al-Aruri, a Hamas military leader residing in Turkey, had admitted that the Hamas military wing was responsible for the kidnapping. False claims that the Israeli police had exculpated Hamas in connection with the crime were for a time a staple on websites linked to a or sympathetic to Hamas and/or the Muslim Brotherhood.

 For a profile of Khaled Meshaal, go here.

For a profile of Saleh al-Arouri, go here

For our report on the IUMS meeting, go here.

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Sheik Kamal Khatib, the Deputy leader of the Israeli Muslim Brotherhood, has given an interview on the official Palestinian Authority TV channel in which he said that Jerusalem would be the “capital of the coming righteous Islamic caliphate” and that  ‘the entire Earth’ would ‘become subordinate to the Islamic caliphate one day.” According to a MEMRI report on the interview,  PA TV cut the interview short following these comments:

Khamal Khatib

Kamal Khatib

In an interview with the official PA TV channel, Sheik Kamal Khatib, deputy leader of the Islamic Movement in Israel, said: “Jerusalem will not be only the capital of the Palestinian state, but also the capital of the coming righteous Islamic caliphate.’ After he repeated his views several times and said that ‘the entire Earth’ would ‘become subordinate to the Islamic caliphate one day’, PA TV cut the interview short.

Following are excerpts from the interview, which aired on October 17, 2014.

Interviewer: Let us first watch what you said at the Al-Aqsa Mosque this week.

Archival images of Kamal Khatib speaking

Kamal Khatib: I have said it before, and I say it again: Allah willing, Jerusalem will not be only the capital of the Palestinian state, but also the capital of the coming righteous Islamic caliphate…

Crowd member: Say: ‘Allah Akbar!’

Crowd: Allah Akbar!

[…]

In studio:

Interviewer: Sheik, we listened to what you said at Al-Aqsa earlier this week. You said that Jerusalem would be the capital of the Islamic caliphate. What caliphate are you talking about?!

Read the rest here.

In July 2013, the GMBDW reported that Sheik Khatib joined Raed Salah in playing an active role in a rally to support the deposed Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi.

Raed Salah is the leader of the Northern branch of the Islamic Movement, essentially comprising the Israeli Muslim Brotherhood. He is noted for often alleging that Israel is conspiring to destroy the Al-Aqsa Mosque. (The Al-Aqsa Mosque is often the subject of various Global Muslim Brotherhood conspiracies theories involving alleged Israeli plots and plans to destroy the mosque.)

For a full report on Raed Salah, go here.

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A Turkish news portal is reporting that a UK Muslim Brotherhood group has said that it will sue the British government if it attempts to place restrictions on the organization over its links to the Muslim Brotherhood. According to a Worldbulletin News report:

logoThe Muslim Association of Britain has said it will take the British government to court if it attempts to place any restrictions on the organization over allegations it is linked to the Muslim Brotherhood.

The declaration came on Thursday days after a British newspaper report – attributed to government officials leaking information – suggested that, although the Muslim Brotherhood, the transnational Islamic group founded in Egypt, would not be designated a terrorist organization, the government would ‘crack down’ on it.

According to the Telegraph newspaper, up to 60 organizations in the U.K. with alleged links to the Muslim Brotherhood are to come under scrutiny, including charities, think tanks and even television channels.

Khalil Charles, spokesperson for the Muslim Association of Britain (MAB), told Anadolu Agency: ‘There’s nothing in law that proscribes what we do or what we intend to do.’  ‘All of these things must happen within existing laws … anything else that they [government officials] chose to do, within my estimation, would be outside the law and therefore it would be challenged.’

Charles acknowledged the U.K. government could attempt to restrict what the Muslim Association of Britain does, but he said: ‘Yes, we expect that there will be different pathways and difficulties with things that we want to do but, because we are not doing anything illegal, we would challenge anything that stops our right to do what we need to do.’

The report goes on to cited the rather disingenuous statements by the MAB representative regarding both the nature of the Muslim Brotherhood itself and the role played by the MAB as part of the Brotherhood in the UK:

Khalil Charles told AA that, although the organisation shared ‘the main principles that the Muslim Brotherhood… including its commitment to uphold democracy, freedom of the individual, social justice and the creation of a civil society’ it was ‘not a branch or an arm of the Muslim Brotherhood’

.…..

The MAB confirmed that they had attended official meetings with a government inquiry group and outlined their position. MAB said it told the group its organisation was separate from the Muslim Brotherhood, but there could be MAB members who were also part of it, adding ‘that is entirely up to them [as individuals]‘.

The Muslim Association of Britain (MAB) had for many years been the most active organization in the U.K Muslim Brotherhood. Many of the leaders of the MAB left in 2007 to form the British Muslim Initiative (BMI). According to an Israeli think-tank report, the breakup appeared to be the result of a conflict between traditionalists in the MAB who were unhappy with the high level of involvement in U.K left-wing politics while those who who formed the BMI wished such activity to continue. Anas Al-Tikriti, the leader of the BMI, and former MAB official, is the son of Osama Al-Tikriti, one of the leaders of the Iraqi Islamic Party representing the Muslim Brotherhood in that country.

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