The Muslim American Society (MAS), along with the ANSWER Coalition, has announced a “Gaza Solidarity Day” to take place on June 6. According to the announcement :
MAS Freedom (MASF), as the civic and human rights advocacy entity of the Muslim American Society (MAS) and America’s largest grassroots organization, the ANSWER Coalition, and coalition partners announcing ‘Gaza Solidarity Day’, Saturday, June 6, 2009 in recognition of the 42nd Anniversary of the Invasion and Siege of Gaza. The event will combine a Rally and March starting at 12 noon on Saturday, June 6. Participants will gather at Freedom Plaza, 14th and Pennsylvania Ave., N.W., in Washington, D.C. Co-sponsors include American Muslims for Palestine (AMP), National Council of Arab Americans (NCAA), and others. MAS Freedom Executive Director, Mahdi Bray, one of the event’s principal organizer’s stated, “It is not only important that the violence ends, but the siege of Gaza must be lifted as well. This medieval-like siege, which has denied the people of Gaza food, medicine, clean drinking water, and basic necessities of life, is killing and wounding countless innocent civilians, including women and children.”
In contrast to the MAS characterization of conditions in Gaza, a New York Times reporter wrote last week:
[Gaza] is, of course, crowded and poor, but it is better off than nearly all of Africa as well as parts of Asia. There is no acute malnutrition, and infant mortality rates compare with those in Egypt and Jordan, according to Mahmoud Daher of the World Health Organization here. This is because although Israel and Egypt have shut the borders for the past three years in an effort to squeeze Hamas, Israel rations aid daily, allowing in about 100 trucks of food and medicine. Military officers in Tel Aviv count the calories to avoid a disaster. And the United Nations agency for Palestinian refugees runs schools and medical clinics that are clean and efficient.
The MAS was identified in a recent Hudson Institute report as a part of the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood and closely tied to the Egyptian organization. ANSWER, in turn, was the creation of former attorney general Ramsey Clark and his International Action Center and has its roots in the far left Workers World Party. The MAS has participated in events along side ANSWER since 2003 and it is common for Muslim Brotherhood groups in the U.S. and Europe to be found in coalitions with leftwing and far left political groups who also support Palestinian causes.