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The Telegraph in the UK has reported that the UK government is expected to order what is described as a “crackdown” on Muslim Brotherhood networks in the UK. According to the report, Istanbul and Qatar are two other major bases for the Global Muslim Brotherhood: 

October 19, 2014 Downing Street is to order a crackdown on the Muslim Brotherhood and a network of Islamist groups accused of fuelling extremism in Britain and across the Arab world.

David Cameron launched an inquiry into the Brotherhood earlier this year, prompted by concerns it was stoking an Islamist ideology that had encouraged British jihadists to fight in Syria and Iraq.

Sir Richard Dearlove, the former head of MI6, who is an adviser to the review, is reported to have described it as ‘at heart a terrorist organisation’. The Brotherhood insists it is non-violent and seeks to impose Islamic rule only through democratic change. It has condemned Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (Isil) and al-Qaeda.

A senior source close to the inquiry said its report – compiled but not yet published – had identified ‘an incredibly complex web’ of up to 60 organisations in Britain, including charities, think tanks and even television channels, with links to the Muslim Brotherhood, which will all now come under scrutiny.

The inquiry, aided by the security services, has also investigated its network abroad. One expert said that the Brotherhood was now operating from three major bases – London, Istanbul and Doha, the capital of Qatar.

Read the rest here.

In September, the GMBDW reported on another Telegraph story indicating that Britain was planning unspecified curbs on what were described as “Muslim Brotherhood-linked organisations” and blocking any Brotherhood “activists” from relocating to the UK. 

The GMBDW initially reported on the UK investigation in April. Since that time we reported in August that the investigation has concluded that the Muslim Brotherhood “does not pose a significant terror threat in the UK” as well as reporting that a leader of the “International Organization of the Muslim Brotherhood” has said that he expects the UK government not to given to what he describes as pressure to label the Brotherhood a terrorist organization. We continue to await the actual public report on the investigation before drawing any solid conclusions.

We also point out our continued reporting that Qatar is a major sponsor of the Global Muslim Brotherhood networks though its official and quasi-official organizations such as Qatar Charity, the Qatar Faculty of Islamic Studies, and the Qatar Foundation. Global Muslim Brotherhood leader Youssef Qaradawi and Hamas political leader Khaled Meshaal are also hosted and resident in Qatar which itself is a major funder of Hamas. The GMBDW reported in August that the Humanitarian Relief Foundation (IHH), a Turkish group close to the Global Muslim Brotherhood, has signed a ‘strategic cooperation agreement’ with Qatar. Also in August, we reported that Qatar Charity had sponsored an conference in Istanbul at which GMB leaders announced a $1 billion fundraising campaign for Gaza and the launch of a new organization appearing to unify Hamas fundraising and flotilla efforts. 

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Islamist media is reporting on the death from natural causes of Dr. Ali Mazrui, a professor at Binghamton University in Binghamton, New York. According to the Iqra.ca report:

Ali Mazuri

Ali Mazrui

October 14, 2014 – One of Africa’s foremost intellectuals, Professor Ali Mazrui, died peacefully on October 12, 2014 of natural causes at age 81 at his home in Vestal, New York, surrounded by family.

Prof. Mazrui was an Albert Schweitzer Professor in the Humanities and the Director of the Institute of Global Cultural Studies at Binghamton University in Binghamton, New York.

Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta said Africa had been robbed of one of its greatest scholars. Mr Mazrui had been ‘towering’ academic whose ‘intellectual contributions played a major role in shaping African scholarship’, Kenyatta told BBC News.

Prof. Mazrui is well known for his writings on politics in Africa as well as Islamic studies. He was born on February 24, 1933, in Mombasa, Kenya, to Swafia Suleiman Mazrui and Sheikh Al-Amin Mazrui, an eminent Muslim scholar and the Chief Qadi (Islamic judge) of Kenya.

Immersed in Swahili culture, Islamic law, and Western education, he grew up speaking or reading Swahili, Arabic and English.

Read the rest here.

In November 2007, the GMBDW reported on Dr. Mazrui’s election as President of the Association of the Muslim Social Scientists (AMSS), founded in 1972 as an outgrowth of the Muslim Student Association by important members of the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood. AMSS has sponsored annual conferences and publishes a journal entitled American Journal of Islamic Social Sciences (AJISS) in conjunction with the International Institute of Islamic Thought (IIIT), an important part of the US Muslim Brotherhood which plays host to the AMSS. According to an online biography, Dr. Mazrui held positions in several other organizations with connections to the Muslim Brotherhood including the now defunct American Muslim Council, the Center for the Study of Islam and Democracy (founder/Chair), and the Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding at Georgetown University, headed by long-time Muslim Brotherhood supporter John Esposito. In 2001, Dr. Mazrui was listed as a member of the advisory board of the Council for American Islamic Relations (CAIR).

In May 2010, the GMBDW reported on anti-Semitic comments made by Dr. Mazrui at a Columbia University colloquium.

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The Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) has announced that it has launched a website called Islamophobia.org that presents what CAIR describes as “detailed profiles of a number of individuals and institutions involved in the American Islamophobia network. According to the CAIR press release:

logoOctober 15, 2014 The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) today launched Islamophobia.org, the latest element in the Muslim civil rights organization’s work to monitor and challenge the growing anti-Muslim bigotry in American society.

CAIR’s Islamophobia.org site presents detailed profiles of a number of individuals and institutions involved in the American Islamophobia network.

‘Islamophobia.org is a reflection of CAIR’s philosophy of educating people and empowering them toward positive action,’ said CAIR Department to Monitor and Combat Islamophobia Director Corey Saylor.

‘Since CAIR included the first Islamophobe profiles in its 2013 report ‘Legislating Fear,’ local communities have used them to begin positive conversations leading to the rejection of bigotry in all its forms,’ said Saylor. ‘We intend to continue this community partnership by further empowering local advocates with a centralized resource that provides detailed information about the haters who tour the nation spreading misinformation and religious division.’

The searchable collection of profiles includes well-known hate entities such as Frank Gaffney’s Center for Security Policy and Robert Spencer’s Jihad Watch. Additionally, the site features information on key, but less visible members of the network, such as a number of local ACT! for America leadership.  The site also lays the groundwork for a forthcoming CAIR initiative to counter all types of prejudice in the United States.

Read the rest here.

In October 2012, the GMBDW reported that the Executive Director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) Chicago office, had told Egyptian media that “die-hard Israeli supporters” are behind what he called the “organized Islamophobia movement” in the US.

The Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) describes itself as “a grassroots civil rights and advocacy group and as “America’s largest Islamic civil liberties group.” CAIR was founded in 1994 by three officers of the Islamic Association of Palestine, part of the U.S. Hamas infrastructure at that time.

For a profile of CAIR, go here.

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Jewish media in the UK has reported on the controversy over a joint statement on Gaza issued by the Jewish Board of Deputies and the Muslim Council of Britain (MCB). According to a Jewish News report:

mcb-logo-blue-150x150September 21, 2014 Members of the Board of Deputies have overwhelmingly backed a joint statement issued with the Muslim Council of Britain (MCB) following the Gaza conflict.

The statemnt condemned anti-Semitism and Islamophobia but some rounded on the Board for engaging in such an initiative with an organisation from which it previously severed relations over its boycott of Holocaust Memorial Day.

Others focused their criticism on the inclusion of a line describing the targeting of civilians as ‘completely unacceptable and against our religious traditions’. While many would have seen this as thinly-veiled condemnation of Hamas, the MCB insisted it took the line to refer to both sides in the conflict.

But, following weeks of public debate, deputies this morning backed a motion proposed by the executive in support of the joint statement by 140 votes to 40.

It comes after another motion, initiated by former Board vice-president Jerry Lewis, was ruled out of order by the organisation’s constitional committee. It’s believed they deemed it to effectively be a motion of no confidence in President Vivian Wineman, but it was not submitted as such.

For the joint statement, go here

The Muslim Council of Britain (MCB) is a U.K. umbrella group that has been dominated by the Jaamat-I-Islami and usually acts in concert with the Global Muslim Brotherhood.

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The International Union of Muslim Scholars (IUMS), headed by Global Muslim Brotherhood leader Youssef Qaradawi, has issued a call for “a free global outburst” to direct world attention to toward what the statement calls “attacks on Al-Aqsa Mosque and Al-Quds (Jerusalem).” The statement begins:

International Union of Muslim Scholars

International Union of Muslim Scholars

October 8, 2014 The International Union for Muslim Scholars is following with deep concern, the escalating criminal acts by the Zionists occupiers on the land of Palestine, towards Al-Aqsa Mosque from very serious the raids, and the launch of stun grenades inside the mosque that led to the burning of some of the carpets of the mosque, in addition to the continuous intrusion calls by Zionists groups, that reached to claim opening a door for the Jews in Al-Aqsa Al-Shareef Mosque, it is unfortunate that all of this and more is happening in amid of global silence and especially the Arab and Islamic silence! Except for those who have a mercy from my Lord. In the ambience of such criminal acts of Zionism, against the Palestinian people and Al-Aqsa and the people of Al-Quds, IUMS sees the following:

1. The Union denounces the stormed of the Al-Aqsa Mosque by the Zionist occupiers, and by Israeli security forces that dropped bombs ,which led to the burning of some Carpets in Al-Aqsa Mosque, also the Union condemns the attack on the people of Al-Quds while the Zionists who are trying to attack Al-Aqsa Mosque.

2.The Union warns of continuing such criminal acts toward Palestine and its just cause, and confirms that the Zionists are the aggressor and occupier of the blessed land and its people according to the laws and norms and international law.

3.The International Union calls all the world and international organizations to work in order to stop this Zionist crime, and stop t h e unexplained silence, at the time where the world is establishing an alliances against the organizations that are shown an extremist, while standing silently in front of an occupied that is breaking the laws without being stopped by anyone.

Read the rest here.

In addition, the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood also issued a statement that

…..demands that Arab and Muslim peoples meet the call of the International Union for Muslim Scholars to support Al-Aqsa Mosque on Friday, October 17th so the Zionists, their puppets and accomplices realize the time for liberating Jerusalem and Al-Aqsa Mosque from the barbaric criminals is upon them.

Reuters reported earlier this week on clashes at the al-Aqsa compound.

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 and the GMBDW judges that Qaradawi is using the occasion of the current clashes to attempt to divert world focus over ISIS.

In March 2013, the GMBDW reported that Israeli Muslim Brotherhood leader Raed Salah had warned U.S. President Obama not to visit the Al-Aqsa mosque during his upcoming visit to Israel. A post from September 2012 reported on comments by Salah in which he predicted that Israel actions toward the Al-Aqsa Mosque will “speed up the demise of the Zionist entity.”

The International Union of Muslim Scholars (IUMS) was launched on July 11, 2004 in conjunction with a visit by Global Muslim Brotherhood leader Youssef Qaradawi to London for a meeting of the European Council for Fatwa and Research. Qaradawi is the IUMS President while  many prominent individuals tied to the Global Muslim Brotherhood and/or Hamas serve as IUMS Trustees.

For a profile on the IUMS, go here.

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Islamist media has reported that the Canadian national police issued a statement saying they could not support a handbook on radicalization and terrorism co-produced by the Canadian branch of the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR). According to an Iqra.ca report, the RCMP objected to what was described as the “adversarial tone” of the publication:

logo2September 30, 2014– The RCMP issued a statement today saying that they could not support the handbook produced by two Canadian Muslim organizations titled, ‘United Against Terrorism.’

‘After a final review of the handbook, the RCMP could not support the adversarial tone set by elements of the booklet and therefore directed RCMP Manitoba not to proceed with this initiative,’ said the RCMP news release.

The Islamic Social Services Association (ISSA) and the National Council of Canadian Muslims (NCCM) yesterday announced the public launch of the 38-page handbook for Canadian Muslim communities about radicalization towards violent extremism.

The handbook, United Against Terrorism: A Collaborative Effort Towards a Secure, Inclusive, and Just Canada, answers questions about radicalization and provides Canadian Muslims with tools to confront misinformation and challenge discrimination. ‘

The RCMP contributed to Section 3 of the handbook entitled ‘Understanding Radicalization and the role of RCMP in law enforcement and national security’. We are not responsible for other material contained in this publication,’ stated the news release.

Read the rest here.

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 the clear and unambiguous relationship between 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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Al Jazeera has reported on what can only be described as a highly equivocal condemnation of ISIS by Global Muslim Brotherhood leader Tariq Ramadan. According to the report, Ramadan seems to be more concerned with criticizing what he calls “dictators” in the Islamic world than he is with ISIS itself:

Tariq ramadan

Tariq ramadan

Oct 12 2014 ‘They [ISIL] are distorting the whole message. So we have to respond to this by saying … what you are doing, killing innocent people, implementing so-called ‘Sharia’ or the so-called ‘Islamic State’, this is against everything that is coming from Islam,’ says Tariq Ramadan, a prominent Islamic scholar.

‘It is not a caliphate,’ Ramadan says about ISIL. ‘It is just people playing with politics referring to religious sources. And this is why [as] Muslim scholars, Muslim intellectuals, we have to be quite clear about this. We have to speak the truth and be quite clear about the fact that if they are not representing what are the Islamic principles, many of the dictators today are not representing Islam either.

‘They have nothing to do with [Islamic] principles because our principles are clear: that the one who is leading should be chosen by people who are followers or citizens. So many countries who are dealing with the West are not as bad as Daesh (ISIL) today, but they are bad,’ he adds.

Ramadan concedes that those who speak for the mainstream understanding of Islam face a challenge for the hearts and minds of Muslims.

‘The main problems of Muslims are coming from the Muslims; from Muslim-majority countries,’ he says. ‘And then when we start to be critical and say we are going to speak out against all the dictators, then some of the scholars who responded to Daesh today and are speaking about the so-called Islamic State, saying this is wrong in Islam, they are the same scholars that are supporting dictators.’

Read the entire article here.

Tariq Ramadan is best described as an independent power center within the Global Muslim Brotherhood who has sufficient stature as the son of Said Ramadan and the grandson of the founder of the Muslim Brotherhood to challenge positions taken by important Brotherhood leaders. His statements and writings have been extensively analyzed and he has been accused by critics of promoting anti-Semitism and fundamentalism, albeit by subtle means. On the other hand, his supporters promote him as as example of an Islamic reformer who is in the forefront of developing a “Euro Islam.”

For a profile of Tariq Ramadan, go here.

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The Tunisian Muslim Brotherhood has issued a press release reporting that Rachid Ghannouchi, the leader of the Tunisian Ennahda Party, visited the US in late September. According to the release, Mr. Ghannouchi was invited to speak at Yale and Columbia Universities as well as at the US Institute of Peace (USIP):

Rachid Ghannouchi

Rachid Ghannouchi

WASHINGTON, Oct. 3, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — Rached Ghannouchi, the leader of Tunisia’s Ennahdha (Renaissance) Party, visited the U.S. this week to urge lawmakers to publicly support democracy as Tunisia heads for Parliamentary elections on October 26. As the first, post-revolution Arab Spring country to conduct what are expected to be free and fair elections, Tunisia offers a sharp contrast to the region’s extremes.

‘Tunisia’s democratic journey is still nascent – and a visible support for the electoral process and its outcome will be crucial not just for Tunisia, but for the whole region and the U.S.,’ said Ghannouchi. ‘A lot is riding on Tunisia’s elections – it will be one of the most consequential electoral contests the world community will witness.’

Ghannouchi was invited to speak at Yale University in Connecticut and Columbia University in New York, and also addressed the U.S. Institute of Peace in Washington, DC this week. He reiterated that Tunisia’s consensus-based model will showcase that Islam and democracy can co-exist in the Arab world.

Read the rest here.

 A Middle Eastern news portal provides details about Mr. Ghannouchi’s comments at the USIP:

“One flower cannot make the spring,” Ghannouchi told a small group of reporters at the US Institute of Peace at the start of a visit to the United States during which he will also meet key US administration officials.

Ennahda last week unveiled an ambitious platform for the parliamentary elections, saying it was confident of a greater victory than the one achieved three years ago.

“By the end of this year we can guarantee that Tunisia will be the first Arab democracy,” Ghannouchi said, speaking in English.

“But we need the support of the United States for this experience, which can be considered as the alternative of extremism and terrorism and war,” he said.

Ghannouchi pointed to cooperation over the past three years between moderate Islamic parties and moderate secularists in Tunisia as “a very rare experience in the Arab world” and one which can serve as an example that “democracy and Islam can work together, are compatible.”

“There is a part of the Middle East (where) there is a candle still shining,” he said.

Ennahda rejects any form of what he called “terrorism,” but Ghannouchi insisted that to fight groups such as Al-Qaeda and the Islamic State group, a program of social justice was needed to ensure there was food on the table and jobs.

Despite his claim that Ennahda rejects any form of terrorism, in  May 2013, the GMBDW reported that Mr. Ghannouchi had  called for young people to realize that “Jihad belongs in Palestine.” In 2011, Mr. Ghannouchi gave an Arabic-language interview in which he predicted the end of Israel, a viewpoint which is not surprising given that he has had a long history of ties to Palestinian extremism and calls for terrorism. In February 2009, Mr. Ghannouchi was a signatory to the so-called Istanbul declaration that called for the opening of a “third jihadist front” against Israel. The statement was the result of a conference held under the auspices of the Global Anti-Aggression Campaign (GAAC), an international Islamist umbrella group comprised of Islamist scholars tied to the Global Muslim Brotherhood as well as Salafi-Jihadi scholars including individuals designated as terrorists by the US government.

For a profile on Rachid Ghannouchi, go here.

For a profile on the Ennahda Party and its ties to the Muslim Brotherhood, go here.

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UK media is reporting that charity regulators have appointed an interim manager and frozen the bank account for Viva Palestina, the charity associated with far-left British Muslim Brotherhood George Galloway. According to a Third Sector report:

vivapalestinaThe Charity Commission has appointed an interim manager to Viva Palestina, the charity launched by George Galloway, the Respect Party MP for Bradford West, because of concerns about its financial management.

A statement from the commission today said that Helen Blundell of the accountancy firm MHA Bloomer Heaven had been appointed to take over the management of the charity from the trustees on a temporary basis on 15 September in order to protect the charity’s funds.

The decision to appoint Blundell was prompted by the commission’s continuing concerns about the charity’s financial management and its outstanding annual accounts and returns, the regulator said.

Blundell has been asked to compile and submit the charity’s overdue accounts, reports and returns, and to report any extra regulatory issues she identifies.

The regulator opened a statutory inquiry into Viva Palestina in June 2013 because of serious concerns about how it was managing its finances, including a failure to provide any accounts since the organisation was registered in 2009.

Read the rest here.

George Galloway has been a long-time supporter of Palestinian causes and a previous post discussed his role in Viva Palestina, a UK registered charity associated which had been under investigation by U. authorities in 2009. The organization has organized several convoys of humanitarian aid to Gaza including the first convoy where Galloway was reported to have handed cash and three cars to Hamas leader Ismail Haniyah and the second convoy where Galloway met again with Hamas leader Ismail Haniyah. Previous posts have discussed Galloway’s trips to the U.S. in conjunction with the convoys including a trip in March 2009 where he participated in a Northern Virginia fund-raising event in which Muslim American Society leader Mahdi Bray was also scheduled to appear.

For more information on George Galloway, go here.

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At the recent 2014 UK Conservative Party conference, two MP’s with foreign affairs responsibility made strong statements against the Muslim Brotherhood, both abroad and domestically. The first statement was made by Tobias Ellwood MP, Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign and Commonwealth Office) whose responsibilities include Middle East and North Africa, Counter Terrorism, and Defence and International Security. The statement, read on his behalf, was made at event titled ‘The Threat of Islamic Extremism in West Africa”:

Similarly, whether it be Al-Shabab elsewhere in Africa, ISIL in the Middle East, Al-Qaeda in the Maghreb and the Muslim Brotherhood, then the British government will provide the necessary resource alongside our allies to expose, challenge and the the scourge of global Islamic terrorism.  (time 0:27)

At a Q&A session after the event titled “Should Britain Ban Deport and Ban Radical Organizations?”, the moderator initially identifies Anas Al-Tikriti and Azzam Tamimi as residing in London and as examples of individuals representing Islamic fundamentalist groups. In response to the question posed, member of the Foreign Affairs Select Committee Andrew Rosindell MP said:

I do think we should ban organizations that are facilitating this kind of thing in our own country. I think we have been far too soft for far too long, on a whole range of things and this is one of them and I think if we were to take action it would not only be the right thing to do, it would be the popular thing to do amongst the British people and would show that the conservative government in this country is not going to tolerate such criminality from within our own shores. So we should take much firer action and yes if necessary ban individuals and organizations from operating in this country.

The statements by the UK MP’s are interesting in light of the September GMBDW report that Britain is planning unspecified curbs on what are described as “Muslim Brotherhood-linked organisations” and blocking any Brotherhood “activists” from relocating to the UK.  

Anas Al-Tikriti is the well-known son of Osama Al-Tikriti, one of the leaders of the Iraqi Islamic Party representing the Muslim Brotherhood in that country and Anas Al-Tikriti is the leader of the British Muslim Initiative (BMI), part of the UK Muslim Brotherhood. 

Azzam Tamimi is a Palestinian also affiliated with the BMI but who has also for years served as a spokesperson for Hamas.

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