The European Muslim Brotherhood has joined other elements of the Global Muslim Brotherhood by condemning Israeli military action in Gaza while neglecting to mention either Hamas rocket attacks on Israel or the kidnapping and murder of the there Israeli teenagers that sparked the recent crisis. The statement by the Federation of Islamic Organizations in Europe (FIOE) begins:
July 8, 2014 On Monday night, 7 July, the occupation government decided to launch a new aggression on the Gaza Strip, threatening to bombard cities and residential neighbourhoods, as well as destroy civilian infrastructure, terrorising close to two million Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, the majority children and women; indeed, it immediately began to execute this.
Days after the horrific crime in Jerusalem against the Palestinian youth, Mohammed Abu Khudair, who was burnt to death at the hands of an extremist Israeli gang, the acts of killing, repression, and violations directed against Palestinians in the West Bank and Jerusalem by the occupation’s forces and gangs of extremist settlers under their protection have escalated.
The Federation of Islamic Organisations in Europe condemns in the strongest terms the latest aggression by the Israeli occupation government and military forces on the Palestinian people in the Gaza Strip, and the escalation in acts of killing, repression, and violation perpetrated in the West Bank and Jerusalem.
The Federation warns of the disastrous consequences of any military attack on the Gaza Strip, which has been subject to a suffocating blockade, and lacks shelter from bombardment, with no food or medical reserves, while its inhabitants face crippling shortages of fuel and electricity.
Read the rest here.
In December 2008, during that round of the Gaza conflict, the FIOE issued a statement referring to “ruthless massacres” and describing the Israeli actions as “unprecedented in its nature.” The GMBDW noted at that time that “None of the Global Muslim Brotherhood statements made mention of the Hamas rocket attacks on Israel that precipitated the attack.”
The Federation of Islamic Organizations in Europe (FIOE) claims to be an independent organization representing the interests of Muslims in Europe. In reality, the FIOE is an umbrella group that comprises the global Muslim Brotherhood in Europe. FIOE has long had a problematic record with respect to terrorism that includes:
- Youssef Qaradawi, the head of the FIOE European Council for Fatwa and Research, is known for his fatwas supporting terrorism in Israel and Iraq.
- Ahmed Al-Rawi, the long-time former head of FIOE, has also made statements supporting terrorism in Israel and Iraq.
- Both Qaradawi and Al-Rawi are Trustees of the Union of Good, the worldwide coalition of charities raising funds for Hamas that was recently designated by the U.S. as a terrorist organization.
- FIOE has issued effusive statements of praise for Ahmed Yassine, the late spiritual leader of Hamas killed by Israel.
The Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA) has weighed in with its contribution to the controversy over reports that American Muslim leaders were part of a list 202 individuals designated for surveillance targeting by the US National Security Agency. According to the ICNA statement, the individuals in question “have been targeted for their tireless positive contributions for our country.”:
(NEW YORK, NY, July 9, 2014) – The Islamic Circle of North America denounces the unconstitutional surveillance of Muslim Americans by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the National Security Agency under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.
A new report co-written by Glenn Greenwald, based on documents leaked by Edward J. Snowden identifies five prominent American Muslim leaders whose emails were illegally monitored for several years. The documents acknowledged that it was impossible to determine why the men were monitored and the extent of the surveillance. ‘
Such actions are a severe and outrageous violation of basic rights.’ said Naeem Baig, president of ICNA. ‘The government must immediately provide a transparent account of its actions and safeguard civil rights.’ Several dozen civil rights, human rights, privacy rights, and religious based organization wrote a letter of condemnation to President Obama, expressing outrage at the blatant violation of the sacred rights of Americans to freedom of speech, association, and worship.
The five Americans who have been under surveillance are Agha Saeed, Nihad Awad, Asim Ghafoor, Faisal Gill, and Hooshang Amirahmadi.
‘We are troubled that senior community leaders such as Agha Saeed and Nihad Awad have been targeted for their tireless positive contributions for our country,’ said Baig. ‘Such unconstitutional governmental actions restrict the ability of individuals to serve their communities and the nation.’
Read the rest here.
As we noted when we first reported on this issue and the claim that “ethnic backgrounds had something to do with the NSA spying on them”, the ICNA statement a;so fails to mention that two of the five individuals in question were heads of US Muslim Brotherhood organizations including Nihad Awad, the leader of the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR), and Dr. Agha Saeed, the head of the American American Muslim Task Force (AMT). The GMBDW reported earlier today that the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), another part of the US Brotherhood, had also issued a statement saying that it is “deeply concerned” over the reports but failed to mention ISNA’s own connections to both CAIR and the AMT. The Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA) is itself part of the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood and considered to be closely tied to the Jamaat-e-Islami organization of Southeast Asia. The claim by ICNA that the individuals in question were targeted because of their “tireless contributions.” just raises the bar on preposterousness.
The ever unhelpful Tariq Ramadan has done his best to help pour fuel on the fires of the Gaza conflict, this time by describing the ethics of Israel as bombing civilians and destroying them “by tens, hundreds, and in the recent past by the thousands.” His statement (Google Translation), as with other statements by Global Muslim Brotherhood leaders. omits any mention of the Hamas rocket attacks on Israel:
The Israeli government says that burning a teenager is the work of ‘extremists’ and not part of [it's] ‘ethics’ … Indeed, [it's] ‘ethics’ is to bomb civilians and destroy them by tens, hundreds, and in the recent past by the thousands. It is much more ‘noble’! And the international community [thinks]‘obviously’ it is the right of Israel to defend itself against rockets that its technology allows it to destroy and / or divert [from] flight. Ethics of the State of Israel, from all parties is needed in the world and Arab governments, as Asian and Western fold hypocritically. And because this hypocrisy is shared, …international human beings and citizens around the world should make an international cause of defending the dignity of our humanity.”
Despite complaining that he has been dismissed as a “conspiracy theorist”, Tariq Ramadan is known for his conspiratorial theories involving Jews and Israel. For example:
- In June, the GMBDW reported that Tariq Ramadan had alleged that Belgian officials may be part of a conspiracy to falsely depict the Brussels Jewish museum shootings as anti-Semitic.
- The GMBDW reported in July 2013 that Tariq Ramadan had authored an article in which implied that the overthrow of former Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi was orchestrated by a conspiracy involving the US and Israel together with what he alleges to be their Salafist allies.
- In March 2012, despite media reporting on the extremist Islam and anti-Semitic background of the so-called “Toulouse scooter killer”, the GMBDW reported that Ramadan wrote “Religion was not Mohamed Merah’s problem; nor was politics” but that the interpretation of the killings was driven by political motives.
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.” Ramadan was banned from visiting the US until January 2010 when the ban was lifted.
For further information on Tariq Ramadan, go here.
Likely not for the last time, the GMBDW has reactivated the “Mideast Crisis” category for posts on the latest round of Gaza violence. Readers who want to quickly scan our reporting on the events, can click on the category in the right column of the GMBDW.
Rachid Ghannouchi, the head of the Tunisian Muslim Brotherhood and widely described as a leading “moderate”, has issued a statement on the Gaza violence that appears to adopt Hamas language to describe the conflict. The statement, issued on behalf of the Tunisian Ennahda Party, refers to the “savage attack” on Gaza, fails to mention the Hamas rocket assault on Israel, and refers to unidentified “martyrs” who are demonstrating “resistance”:
Tunis, 9 July 2014 Zionist occupation forces have unleashed a new savage attack on Gaza, targeting civilians, buildings and infrastructure, killing and injuring dozens of Gazans. The attack is continuing, and is set to escalate as Zionist military leaders threaten to invade the Gaza Strip.
- Condemns the brutal attack led by the Zionist military machine against the Palestinian people in Gaza and the West Bank. – Prays for the martyrs who are paving the path to freedom and demonstrating legendary resistance. – Emphasises that overcoming the attack is achieved through resistance and the unity of the Palestinian people, and calls on Palestinian leaders to continue on the path of reconciliation and protecting its gains, foremost amongst which is the government of national consensus. – Condemns the complicit international silence and disregard for Palestinian lives, which only increase the Zionist attack’s savagery. – Calls on international organisations and all freedom-loving people around the world to condemn Zionist crimes and stand by the Palestinian people in Gaza and the West Bank. – Calls on political parties, national organisations and all supporters of freedom in Tunisis to a protest against the attack on Gaza on Friday 11 July 2014.
Ennahdha Party President
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 March 2014, the GMBDW reported on a dinner held in Washington DC to honor Mr. Ghannouchi that was attended by numerous US government officials.
For a profile on Rachid Ghannouchi, go here.
For a profile on the Ennahda Party and its ties to the Muslim Brotherhood, go here.
The Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) has issued a statement saying that it is “deeply concerned” over reports that American Muslim leaders were part of a list 202 individuals designated for surveillance targeting by the US National Security Agency (NSA). According to the ISNA statement:
Plainfield, IN July 9, 2014 Today the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), the largest and oldest American Muslim umbrella organization, is deeply disturbed by recent news that the National Security Agency (NSA) had been active in the profiling and surveillance of American Muslim leader emails.
According to the latest reporting by Glenn Greenwald, the Muslims featured in the article include: a former high ranking official with the Department of Homeland Security; a well-known attorney; the head of another Muslim organization; and several academics. These names come from a list of over 7,000 e-mails contained in the Snowden documents. The surveillance orders were from the 2002-2008 period.
‘This news report only confirms our worst suspicions: American Muslims have been subjected to profiling and surveillance by the NSA neither without probable cause nor in the act of committing any crime,’ says ISNA President Imam Mohamed Magid. ‘We call on the Obama administration and congress to place sufficient safeguards to insure the NSA and other federal law enforcement agencies do not violate the constitutional rights of all American citizens.’
ISNA joined a wide coalition of other American Muslim organizations, civil and human rights groups and faith-based organizations who have sent a letter to President Obama requesting full public accounting of these practices and to strengthen protections against the infringement of civil liberties and human rights. The coalition also requested a meeting with President Obama, Attorney General Holder and FBI Director Comey to discuss the issue.
The ISNA report neglects to mention that two of the five individuals in question were heads of US Muslim Brotherhood organizations including the leader of the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR), an organization with a close relationship to ISNA. For example, in January 2010, the GMBDW reported that the newly elected ISA Secretary-General was a board member of the CAIR-Chicago chapter. Jamal Badawi, another long-time CAIR leader, has also been a CAIR official. Both CAIR and ISNA were named as unindicted coconspirators in the Holy Land Foundation Hamas terror financing trial.
ISNA also fails to mention that it is a member of the American American Muslim Task Force (AMT) who leader Dr. Agha Saeed was another individual reported to be on the NSA list.
For a profile of ISNA, go here.
The Global Post has published an article titled “As Egypt Targets Muslim Brotherhood, Saudi Arabia Follows Suit” that looks at the decision by Saudi Arabia to designate the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist organization. The article begins:
July 8, 2014 Riyadh, Saudi Arabia — The Saudi government’s March designation of the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist group caused many Saudis to wonder if they now risk being seen as criminals because of their longstanding sympathies with the organization.
The Ministry of Interior decree put the Brotherhood— the oldest political Islamist organization in the Muslim world — on a par with such groups as Al Qaeda even though the Brotherhood does not condone violence. Even the slightest display of support for the group, including posting online images and slogans, was outlawed.
‘The government is now saying that people who are like you are terrorists?’ asked Bassim Alim, a lawyer in Jeddah. While there is no Brotherhood organization in the kingdom, Alim explained, there are many people ‘with the Muslim Brotherhood lifestyle and outlook on life.’
The Brotherhood’s banning appears to stem from two of Riyadh’s political priorities. First, to show support for Egypt’s military junta, which declared the Brotherhood a terrorist group last December and has been aggressively arresting and prosecuting its members since then, including hundreds of death sentences. Secondly, to quash any ambitions among Brotherhood-influenced Saudi dissidents to demand internal political reforms.
‘People know that [the banning] is done for the politicians’ interest,’ said Mohammad Al Ojaimi, a businessman and activist in Riyadh. ‘They’re afraid of the Arab Spring.’”
Read the rest here.
The GMBDW reported in March that Saudi Arabia had formally designated the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist organization and was among a group of Gulf countries that had recalled their envoys from Qatar over the issue. We also reported in May that that three well-known imams in the Kingdom’s Southern Province had been banned for life from delivering sermons after they were found to be connected to the Muslim Brotherhood and that Saudi authorities had arrested nine university professors for their alleged links to the Muslim Brotherhood. However, the GMBDW has also noted that since the designation, the Saudi Muslim World League (MWL), historically close to the Muslim Brotherhood, had held a global conference in the name of King Abdullah which included among its speakers two important leaders in the Global Muslim Brotherhood and that top Deputies of Global Muslim Brotherhood leader Youssef Qaradawi had been welcomed to the Kingdom by the Secretary-General of the MWL. Our analysis of these events suggests that for whatever reason, the MWL is being allowed to conduct itself outside of declared Saudi policy and that there is some kind of “disconnect” between Saudi domestic and foreign policy regarding the Global Muslim Brotherhood.
US media and global media are reporting that the email addresses of two leaders in the US Muslim Brotherhood appeared among on a list 202 individual designated for surveillance targeting by the US National Security Agency (NSA). According to a Huffington Post report:
The National Security Agency spied on five American citizens despite a lack of any finding that they posed a threat to national security, The Intercept, an investigative outlet co-founded by Greenwald, is reporting Wednesday.
All five are moderate American citizens who appear to have been targeted for surveillance between 2002 and 2008 because of their political activity. The NSA told The Intercept that the surveillance was not ‘based solely’ on speech.
‘No U.S. person can be the subject of FISA surveillance based solely on First Amendment activities, such as staging public rallies, organizing campaigns, writing critical essays, or expressing personal beliefs,’ the statement read.
The revelation of the names of those spied on has been hotly anticipated since Greenwald teased it in May. The names were included in documents leaked by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden.
Greenwald obtained the consent of all five before publishing their names, he told HuffPost. Among those is Nihad Awad, executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations. CAIR, the largest Muslim civil rights organization in the country, is widely regarded as moderate.
Read the rest here.
An Al-Jazeera report identifies Agha Saeed as the second individual on the list and reports that the five Muslim-Americans on the list “speculated that their ethnic backgrounds had something to do with the NSA spying on them.”
The GMBDW of course takes issue with the Huffington Post characterization of Nihad Awad as “widely regarded as moderate.” In fact, Mr. Awad was present during an infamous 1993 meeting held in Philadelphia by senior leaders of Hamas, the Holy Land Foundation, and the Islamic Association of Palestine (IAP). The Holy Land Foundation was convicted on charges of providing financial support for Hamas and the IAP is generally considered to have represented the Hamas infrastructure in the U.S. A widely reported FBI memo based on wiretaps of the meeting indicated that its purpose was “to develop a strategy to defeat the Israeli/Palestinian peace accord, and to continue and improve their [HAMAS] fund-raising and political activities in the United States.” Mr. Nihad was an employee of the IAP at the time. The next summer, he was videotaped stating ‘I am in support of the HAMAS movement’ during a seminar at Miami’s Barry University. The Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) is known to have had a relationship with both Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood and CAIR and its leaders have had a long history of defending individuals accused of terrorism by the US. government, often labeling such prosecutions a “war on Islam”, and have also been associated with Islamic fundamentalism and antisemitism. The GMBDW reported just last week that Mr. Awad had posted back-to-back Tweets, one in Arabic language blaming the “Israeli Lobby” for the prosecution of convicted Palestinian Islamic Jihad leader Sami Al-Arian and one in English omitting the phrase.
In 2004, Dr. Agha Saeed was the Coordinator of the American Muslim Task Force (AMT) , founded in February 2004 by a coalition of U.S. Muslim Brotherhood groups to “encourage community-based Muslim political participation and to defend against the erosion of civil liberties in a post-9/11 social environment.” Dr. Saeed was also at that time the Chairman of the American Muslim Alliance (AMA) which in turn was part of the American Muslim Political Coordination Council, both organizations representing earlier US Brotherhood electoral coalitions. The AMT today is comprised of the most important U.S. Muslim Brotherhood organizations including CAIR, the Muslim American Society (MAS), the Islamic Circle Of North America (ICNA), the Islamic Society Of North America (ISNA), the Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC), and the Muslim Student Association (MSA). According to his bio, Dr. Saeed is still the head of both the AMT as well as the AMA which, in turn, is a member of the AMT.
While the GMBDW takes no position on any NSA surveillance per se, it would seem clear that Mr. Awad and Dr. Saeed at least were likely not on the list in question because of their “ethnic backgrounds.”
Israeli media is reporting that a Hamas spokesperson declared on Tuesday that all Israelis have become “legitimate targets” for Hamas attacks. According to a Jerusalem Post report:
July 8, 2014 Hamas vowed on Tuesday to step up its attacks on Israel, threatening that all Israelis have become a target for for the terror organization’s missiles.
In the Gaza Strip, defiant Hamas spokesmen vowed to continue firing rockets at Israel after an Israeli air strike reportedly killed seven people in a house in Gaza.
Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri accused Israel of perpetrating ‘massacres’ against women and children in Khan Yunis. Referring to an Israel Air Force bombing of a house belonging to a Hamas operative, Abu Zuhri said: ‘The Khan Yunis massacre against women and children is an ugly war crime. All Israelis have now become legitimate targets.’
Ismail al-Ashqar, a Hamas legislator, said that his movement would continue the rocket attacks until Israel succumbs to its demand and lifts the blockade imposed on the Gaza Strip.
Hussam Badran, a top Hamas figure, said that Israel’s ‘dream’ of eliminating the rockets would not be fulfilled.
‘The occupation began this aggression and we have the right to defend ourselves,’ he said. ‘This is a war against the whole Palestinian people.’”
Read the rest here.
The Hamas charter says that it is “one of the wings of the Muslim Brothers in Palestine” and soon after Hamas took over the Gaza strip, Muslim Brotherhood representatives traveled to Gaza from Egypt through the newly-opened border to review Hamas military formations. A Hamas journalist has acknowledged the role that the “international Muslim Brotherhood” has played in providing funds for the purchase of weapons and Hamas is known to be supported financially and politically by the global Muslim Brotherhood. A Muslim Brotherhood spokesman revealed that a coalition of London-based Muslim groups, including the Muslim Brotherhood, were behind the mass demonstrations staged to protest Israeli actions in the 2008 Gaza war and the Global Muslim Brotherhood and its Turkish affiliates were also intimately involved, along with the Turkish government, in the June 2010 Gaza flotilla that was involved in a violent altercation with Israeli naval forces. Following a period of seeming ascension related to the period of Egyptian rule by the Muslim Brotherhood, the organization was forced to scramble to try and find other state sponsors after Mohamed Morsi was deposed as President. In September 2013, it appeared that Hamas had succeeded in re-establishing close ties with Iran. In January 2013, Israeli intelligence sources claimed that Turkey has replaced Iran as the chief source of Hamas financing.
The editor of a Hamas newspaper has written that the murder of a Palestinian teenager in Jerusalem is “reminiscent” of “their holy matzos that became part of [the Jewish] history of betrayal and murder. According to a MEMRI translation:
In an antisemitic article, the editor of Hamas’s paper Al-Risalah, Wisam ‘Afifa, associated the death of Muhammad Abu Khdeir, a Palestinian teen whose body was found yesterday (July 2, 2014) in Jerusalem, with the claim that the Jews used blood to bake their matzos on Passover. It should be noted that the identity and motivation of Abu Khdeir’s murder(s) is yet unknown; the murder is possibly a hate crime perpetrated by Jews in revenge for the recent murder of three Israeli teens. ‘Afifa wrote that, just as the Jews once killed non-Jews to use their blood for matzos, today they still engage in ‘sacred rites’ of vengeance. He added that Israel has adopted the ideology of the Nazis, who distinguished between superior and inferior races. The following are excerpts:
Wisam ‘Afifa (image: aqsatv.ps) ‘The settlers used the body of 17-year-old Muhammad Hussein Abu Khdeir, from Shuafat in northern Jerusalem, to carry out their sacred [act of] vengeance by torturing him and burning him to death, in a crime reminiscent of their holy matzos that became part of their history of betrayal and murder – for the culture of violence and blood grew among the Jews to such an extent that it seeped into their sacred rites and prayers. ‘By holy matzos,’ I mean those matzos mixed with human blood, the blood of gentiles, namely of the non-Jewish other, [which they baked] to celebrate the Jewish holiday called Passover. According to historical accounts, they used to murder Christians, preferably children under ten, collect their blood, and then hand it over to a rabbi, so he would mix it into the holiday matzos, and then serve them to the believers, to devour on their holiday.
Read the rest here.
This is not the first time that the Muslim Brotherhood/Hamas figures have accused Jews of using Christian blood for Matzoh (a substitute for bread used during the Jewish holiday of Passover) in an example of what is called “blood libel” dating back to the 1st Century, the accusations that Jews use human blood in religious rituals. Dr. Salah Sultan, a close associate of Global Muslim Brotherhood leader Youssef Qaradawi, made the same accusation during an April 2010 interview on a Hamas TV station. Another Qaradawi associate, Saudi cleric Salman Al-Awda, gave a TV interview in August 2012 in which he repeated the claim.
For a profile on Hamas, go here.