A small Northern Virginia Muslim newspaper announced a fundraising event at which British parliamentarian George Galloway and Muslim American Society Freedom Foundation Executive Director Mahdi Bray were scheduled to appear. According to the announcement :
… a fundraising event titled “Reaction Time” will take place at Falls Church High School in Northern Virginia on Sunday afternoon, March 29. Known for its provocative, human rights oriented speaker list, the “Reaction Time” keynote address will be given by outspoken Iraq war critic George Galloway, a member of the British parliament. Galloway is hugely popular around the world for his unapologetic criticism of Israel and the Iraq war. This month he led a large convoy and march into Gaza, bringing aid and international media attention to the area after Israel’s brutal attacks on Gaza’s civilians. Muslim American Society Freedom Foundation Executive Director Mahdi Bray will also speak at the event.“Brother Mahdi has been really supportive of the [Muslim Link],” remarked Hasan. “He understands the value of media.”
Galloway is a far-left British M.P. who was expelled from the Labor Party over incendiary comments made at time of the 2003 Iraq War. He subsequently formed the Respect Coalition which prior to a 2007 split included the Socialist Workers Party and members of the Muslim Association of Britain and Muslim Council of Britain, essentially the Muslim Brotherhood in Britain. The Respect coalition was the sponsor of the February 2003 anti-Iraq war demonstration in London, reported by police to have been the largest demonstration ever held in the U.K. A previous post discussed the 2007 falling out between Galloway and the Socialist Workers Party and the speculation that the difficulties stemmed from Galloway’s desire to focus more on developing a Muslim constituency. At that time, Galloway launched a new movement called Respect Renewal which helped to elect Mr Galloway as a Respect MP. Galloway has been a long-time supporter of Palestinian causes and another previous post discussed his participation in a fund-raising event for a Bahraini charity that is part of the Union of Good, a worldwide coalition of charities headed by global Muslim Brotherhood leader Youssef Qaradawi add which has been designated by the U.S. in connection with its funding of Hamas.Galloway was recently banned from entry into Canada on the same grounds.
Mahdi Bray is one of the leaders of the Muslim American Society (MAS) that was established in 1993 by leaders of the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood. A Chicago Tribune investigation revealed the close ties between the MAS and Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood. The Investigative Project recently disclosed Mr. Bray’s prison record in the 1980’s for drug offenses, grand larceny, and fraud and a statement posted on the MAS website suggests that the disclosures were part of a conspiracy to damage Mr. Bray and the MAS by casting a pall over the fundraising event involving Mr. Galloway. According to the statement:
Back in the 1960’s, the F.B.I. Counter-intelligence Program (COINTELPRO) practically wrote the book on tactics used by the U.S. government to target Black radical organizations and groups that opposed the war in Vietnam. One time-tested strategy was based on draining the resources of (usually) poor and financially-strapped groups by tying them up in litigation and lengthy court battles – while, at the same time, alienating them from their financial donors. Is this one of the factors behind the Investigative Project/Jihad Watch crusade against Imam Mahdi Bray? Let’s look at the facts and connect the dots:
1. Imam Bray will be the principle fundraising speaker for the March 29, 2009 fundraising event for The Muslim Link, a periodical vital to the Muslim community of Maryland, Washington, DC, and northern Virginia.
2. George Galloway, a Member of Parliament in the United Kingdom, will also be a featured speaker at the event. Galloway (like Mahdi Bray) is both a vocal critic of the U.S./United Kingdom wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and an opponent of the Israeli occupation of Palestine.
3. Galloway was recently denied entry into Canada due to pressure on the Canadian government exerted by pro-Zionist interests there.
4. One of the bogus anti-Bray emails received by the Muslim American Society called on Muslims, and specifically The Muslim Link, to end the newspaper’s association with him.
Am I seeing some imaginary conspiracy here? I don’t think so. I think that it would please our adversaries to no end if they could (1) do irreparable harm to the reputation of a national Muslim leader and prolific community fund-raiser, (2) raise a furor sufficient to prevent Mr. Galloway from entering the United States in the same way that they stopped him from getting to Canada, and (3) severely damage a critical fundraising event for a significant Muslim newspaper.
The statement was authored by O.M. Hassan-Ali, described as a “Washington, D.C.-based writer and political commentator.” However, no record of such an individual could be located.