A U.K event known as IslamExpo, sponsored by and featuring a large number of individuals tied to the global Muslim Brotherhood, was held in London from July 11-14. Four out of six directors of the U.K. registered company are known to be part of the U.K. Muslim Brotherhood and prominent sponsors and supporters tied to the Brotherhood included:
-Muslim Council of Britain
-British Muslim Initiative
The event was the subject of controversy as Britain’s first Muslim MInister was instructed not to attend as planned because of the ties of some of the event organizers to Hamas. One of the most prominent of the IslamExpo directors and featured speakers associated with Hamas was Azzam Al Tamimi, a long-time member of the U.K. Muslim Brotherhood and often referred to in the media as a “Hamas spokesman.” Another IslamExpo director is Mohammad Sawalha, a former Hamas military commander. Several prominent U.K critics of the Muslim Brotherhood were also scheduled to speak the event but withdrew citing the ties to Hamas as well as the threat by one of the directors to sue a blog which had reported an anti-Semitic comment said to have been made by Mr. Sawalha.
Another speaker of interest was Egyptian-based geologist Dr. Zaghloul el-Naggar whose anti-Semitic background and ties to wanted terrorist supporter Abdul Majeed Zindani were discussed in an earlier profile.
A source in the U.K. attended the event and reported the following comments attacking Israel and the U.S. while defending Hamas and/or Palestinian terrorism:
In a lecture entitled Iraq 5 Years on: Stability or Chaos? The speakers were George Galloway, Jonathan Steele and Anas Altikriti. Tikriti was quite careful with what he said, though he did mention that the US was “the most corrupt government on earth” and he claimed that the UN sanctions on Iraq were by far the worst atrocities committed on the Iraqi people. Galloway was on usual form. Firstly he claimed that the sectarian suicide attacks that have taken place in Iraq are being orchestrated by the US intelligence services. He even went as far to say that the destruction of the Samarra Mosque was “planned by dark forces in the United States”. When the subject of Iran came up he said that if an attack on Iran by Israel goes ahead “she (Iran) should respond everywhere”.
Another talk I attended was entitled Do Muslim women need liberating? Speakers here were Merve Kavakci, Maleiha Malik and Yvonne Ridley. It was mostly about the hijab and how the French government is discriminating against Muslim women. Yvonne Ridley made the most notable comments: In her argument that women were treated as equals in Islam, she used the example of “women taking up arms for the resistance in Iraq” to show that they are on the same level as men. She also claimed that “Islamic feminism will become a global phenomenon.” When she spoke of the misogynistic Muslim regimes, she said that they were like that because of the past influence of “colonialists” and it had nothing to do with the Koran or Hadiths.
I also attended a talk called Palestinian Nakbah: A 60-Year Catastrophe, speakers here were Azzam Tamimi, Ilan Pepe, Baroness Jenny Tong and Nur Masalha.Professor Masalha claimed that the “British and the Zionists are equally responsible for this catastrophe…Blair should make a public apology”. He also said that the “Zionist lobby based in London created the Jewish homeland…Israel was created by Christian Zionists”. He also stated that the Jewish National Fund was the “most racist group in the middle east.” And finally he said that the “UK government is silencing the Palestinian Nakbah and apartheid…the apartheid in Israel is worse than that in South Africa”. He also claimed that “Palestinian ethnic cleansing” is as bad as the holocaust was. Azzam Tamimi – “Zionism causes our (Muslims) pain..it is a western colonial project..in the same category as the holocaust”. He referred to Hamas as “the resistance” and described it as “a national liberation movement, duly elected in the fairest elections in the Arab world.” Palestinian suicide bombers and missile attacks were simply the actions of people “defending themselves and their country.” Baroness Jenny Tong, a member of the House of Lords began her talk by praising those who spoke before her – “I would like to say a thank you to the three speakers before me…I hope you (audience) realise how much guts it takes to speak like they have…they are very brave and deserve a tribute from all of us.” She then went on to say that “we allowed the creation of Israel due to the holocaust” and the west is currently taking part in a “slow strangling” of the Palestinian people. She then referred to the Israeli security precautions as an “apartheid infrastructure”. She then moved to the subject of anti Semitism and stated that it exists in the world today because of Israel’s behaviour – “how can we stop anti semitism if they (Israel) keep treating the Palestinians like this?”. Her explanation as to the reasons why Israel gets away with these “crimes” is the influence of the “Jewish lobby in the US” in the form of APAC, who “make all political parties obey the will of Israel”. On the subject of terrorism she stated that the Palestinian issue was the main reason for international terrorism and that the only difference between a suicide bomber and a bomber pilot was “the bomber (pilot) is legitimised by his government and the suicide bomber gives his life for his cause.”
The final talk that I attended was The Islamist Threat: Myth or Reality? Speakers John Esposito, Soumaya Ghannoushi, Alastair Crooke and Robert Leiken. According to Ghannoushi, “we cannot have any serious change in the politics of the region (mid east) without embracing Islamists.” Robert Leiken asserted that the “Muslim Brotherhood rejected global terrorism in the 1950s and 60s” and this is proven because “they take part in elections.” He thinks that what the west is suffering from is “a lack of objective scholarship on the Muslim Brotherhood”, and that is why many people criticise them.According the Esposito the main challenge when dealing with Islamism “is that we have to distinguish between violent and non violent extremists.” Alistair Crooke began by saying that “the West is losing its nerve is key to this.” He also believes that “terrorism is the wrong word to use, it should be described as resistance.” He describes Hezbollah and Hamas as “pursuing a revolutionary strategy”. He went on to say that “Western values are becoming stale…historically colonial powers that are losing their nerve cling to the status quo…western policy has changed mainly by failure and this makes people search for alternatives (ie Islamism)…the west needs and internal critique to go ahead in order to find a way forward”. His implication was that Islamist will help the west find new solutions.
Previous posts have discussed the controversial article written by Robert Leiken arguing for greater U.S. involvement with the Egyptian Brotherhood as well the background to the discussion on titled “he Islamist Threat: Myth or Reality?” Esposito and Alistair Crooke are both known to be supporters of the global Muslim Brotherhood.
The same U.K source also reported some of the following exhibitors of interest:
The Sudanese government
The Iranian Cultural Center (part of the Iranian government
Azhar Academy (based in East London and distributes books including “Women who deserve to go to hell.”)
Darussalem Publications Ltd ( based in Riyadh and publisher of fundamentalist Islamic texts)