The Scottish Islamic Foundation (SIF), a group tied to the global Muslim Brotherhood, has announced an “informal agreement” with the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) in the U.S. According to the announcement :
Two senior members from the Council on American Islamic Relations will be touring Scotland in advance of their appearance at the Scottish Muslim Futures conference. CAIR are arguably the most advanced Muslim organisation in the West at dealing with public affairs. This is part of an informal agreement will see individuals from both Glasgow and Chicago visiting key community organisations, sharing experiences and building on the close links between the American and Scottish people. Commenting on the transatlantic partnership, Ahmed Rehab, Executive Director of CAIR-Chicago said:“The need for meaningful transatlantic cooperation to deal with challenge and expand on opportunity for Western Muslims is paramount and long overdue. We are proud to initiate a strategic partnership with a great community that I believe is poised to emerge as a healthy model for Muslim life in Europe in terms of positive social activism, integration and engagement.” Noman Tahir, the SIF director who brokered the agreement, commented: “Bringing Ahmed and Yaser’s wisdom and experience across the Atlantic will not only benefit Scotland, but will promote the need for a strategic transatlantic partnership which will empower Western Muslims to play their part in society and participate in the democratic process. With support from our friends in the US, I am sure the Scottish-Islamic Foundation will be leading the way for years to come.”
While it is not unusual for Muslim Brotherhood groups from different countries to have ongoing relationships, sometimes facilitated by the U.S. State Department, it is more unusual for a public announcement to be made acknowledging the relationship.
The SIF is a relatively new organization that was officially launched in June of this year and a U.K think-tank has reported on its ties to the global Muslim Brotherhood. CAIR, in turn, had its origins in the U.S. Hamas infrastructure and was identified in court documents as a member of the Palestine Committee of the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood. CAIR was also named as an unindicted coconspirator in the Holy Land Foundation Hamas terrorism financing case which recently resulted of the conviction on all counts of the HLF and its leaders. HLF was also a member of the Palestine Committee of the U.S. Brotherhood.
The SIF has appears to be enjoying good relations with the Scottish government and has received government funding on more than one occasion. The SIF National Conference held on November 30 was scheduled to include global Muslim Brotherhood figures Tariq Ramadan, the grandson of the Brotherhood founder as well as Ahmed Rehab of CAIR. Scottish Deputy First Minister Sturgeon was also scheduled to attend.