A columnist for an Irish newspaper has reported that a Saudi sheikh until recently known to be a sympathizer of Osama Bin Laden has been invited to speak at an Irish islamic center associated with the Muslim Brotherhood. According to the report, a local imam expressed concen that Sheikh Salman Al Awda was invited to address a conference entitled “Our Children, Hopes and Realities” at the Islamic Cultural Center of Ireland (ICCI). The imam was said to have been concerned because Awda had recently described Shias as “non-Muslims” The report also stated that that the ICCI was not only “unrepentant” but that the conference was also to include Egyptian Wajdi Ghunaim who the report stated
…has been banned from Canada as a Hamas-fundraiser and member of the Muslim Brotherhood, and who has a musical party piece with the refrain “No to the Jews, Descendants of Apes” .
The ICCI is the home of the European Council for Fatwa and Research (ECFR) headed by Youssef Qaradawi, the most important leader of the global Muslim Brotherhood.
Both Awda and Ghunaim (aka Wagdy Ghoneim) have been featured at other events connected to the Muslim Brotherhood. According to a flyer posted on the website of the Swiss member of the Federation of Islamic Organizations in Europe (FIOE), the parent organization of the ECFR, their 2007 annual congress included Awda as a speaker. Swiss media has also reported that in 2005, the Ligue des Musulmans de Suisse invited Ghoneim to speak but that he was denied permission to enter the country by Swiss authorities. Ghoneim has also been featured at events sponsored by the U. Muslim Brotherhood. According to an Internet posting, an all-day program was held on May 24 1998 at Brooklyn College in Brooklyn, New York sponsored by eleven Islamic organizations, including the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the Islamic Society of North America, the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development and the Islamic Circle of North America. At the event, Ghoneim spoke in Arabic about the “infidelity,” “stealth” and “deceit.” of Jews. A counter-terrorism journal reported that at the conference Ghoneim stated:
The conflict with the Jews, he said, was not over land but one of religion. “The problem of Palestine is not a problem of belief. .. suppose the Jews said ‘Palestine–you Muslims can take it.’ Would it then be ok? What would we tell them? No! The problem is belief, it is not a problem of land.” Ghuniem also reportedly led the audience, in song, the audience responsively repeating each refrain: No to the Jews Descendants of the Apes We Vow to Return Despite the Obstacles.
Ghoneim was also scheduled to speak at a December 2003 Florida conference entitled Islam for Humanity sponsored by the Universal Heritage Foundation where ISNA leaders Dr. Muzzamil Siddiqi, Dr. Sayyid M. Syeed, and Dr. Abdullah Idris Ali were also scheduled to participate. It is unclear if the address actually took place but Ghoneim later left the country in connection with immigration violations and a government website indicates that he was suspect of being involved with fundraising for terrorism including Hamas.
(Additional Sources: 1. Irish Independent November 11, 2007 Sunday “Muslim issue will turn and bite us if we fail to act 2. “Le prÃ©dicateur dont la Suisse ne veut pas;” Le Temps September 23, 2005)