EXCLUSIVE: University of Exeter Muslim Research Center Funded By U.K. Muslim Brotherhood


The European Muslim Research Center (EMRC) at the University of Exeter in the U.K. was launched with funds provided by the U.K Muslim Brotherhood who also funded it’s recently released report on anti-Muslim hate crimes in the U.K. According to the Acknowledgements section of that report:

We also wish to thank the trustees of Islam Expo and the Cordoba Foundation who have provided the funding to launch the European Muslim Research Centre (EMRC) and enabled us to carry out the research for this report. Other groups and individuals have expressed the same interest in funding this research project as it develops throughout the UK and Europe and we welcome their generosity. Not least during an economic recession it behoves academic institutions to look beyond conventional sources of funding to facilitate important and original research. British Muslim businesses are looking to emulate British Jewish businesses that have supported research and monitoring projects concerning anti-Semitic hate crimes.

The Cordoba Foundation was founded by Anas Al-Tikriti who also serves as the Foundation’s Chief Executive. Al-Tikriti is a leader in the British Muslim Initiative and a former leader of the Muslim Association of Britain, both organizations being part of the U.K. Muslim Brotherhood. Anas Al-Tikriti is also the son of Usama Al-Tikriti (aka Osama Al-Tikriti), one of the leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood in Iraq. As discussed in an earlier post, IslamExpo is an event that is strongly associated with the global Muslim Brotherhood and has been supported by organizations such as the British Muslim Initiative, the Federation of Islamic Organizations in Europe (FIOE) the Muslim Association of Britain (MAB) and the Muslim Council of Britain (MCB). It may have been funded by Qatari sources.

The EMRC report also says the authors benefited “enormously” from the organization’s advisory board whose seven members include:

  • Basheer M. Nafi

Abdul Bari is the Secretary General of the Muslim Council of Britain, a U.K umbrella group dominated by the U.K. Muslim Brotherhood.

John Esposito is a Georgetown academic who has at least a dozen past or present affiliations with global Muslim Brotherhood/Hamas organizations including having served on the advisory board of the Institute of Islamic Political Thought in the U.K, enjoyed a close relationship with the United Association for Studies and Research in the U.S., and has served with global Muslim Brotherhood leader Youssef Qaradawi on the Steering Committee of the Circle of Tradition and Progress. In 2005, Saudi prince Alaweed bin Talal, a financial supporter of the global Muslim Brotherhood donated $20 million to the Center for Muslim Christian Understanding at Georgetown, headed by Dr. Esposito.

Basheer Nafi (aka Bashir Nafi) was designated by the U.S. as a Palestinian Islamic Jihad founder and leader of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad living in the United Kingdom. He was also associated with the International Institute of Islamic Thought (IIIT), an important part of the U.S.Muslim Brotherhood.

The authors of the EMRC report also state that they collaborated with a group of individuals including Tariq Ramadan, one of the most important leaders of the global Muslim Brotherhood and the grandson of the founder of the Egyptian Brotherhood. The authors also said they were “informed and instructed” by a list of U.K. Islamist organizations including the Islamic Human Rights Commission (IHRC), Muslim Public Affairs Committee (MPAC) UK, the Federation of Islamic Student Societies (FOSIS), and the Muslim Council of Britain.

The EMRC describes itself as follows:

Our core value is that a growing European Muslim population makes significant and valuable contributions to the safety and cohesion of European communities and countries and to the well being of Europe as a whole. We reject, as fundamentally flawed, the position currently held by too many commentators: that European Muslims, Islam and strict adherence to Islam poses a threat to the safety, cohesion and well being of communities and countries in Europe. The research undertaken and sponsored by the EMRC builds upon this value – seeking to highlight and constructively engage with communities, practitioners and policy makers where these contributions seem especially relevant and valuable to the development of 21st century Europe. This means that research conducted by the EMRC is ‘action’ oriented – seeking not only to make methodologically rigorous academic contributions to understandings of the roles that Muslim communities play in European society, but also engaging with practitioners and policy makers to translate this work into practice. The EMRC research agenda is posited on the belief that overly negative or non-constructive analyses of the contribution of Muslim communities to European society, if left unchallenged, may create the conditions necessary by which these pernicious ideas become a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Consistent with that core premise, the research report titled “Islamophobia and Anti-Muslim Hate Crime: a London Case Study ” concludes that anti-Muslim violence was acquired from either “mainstream or extremist nationalist reports or commentaries in the media.”:

In this report we introduce empirical evidence that demonstrates tangible links between Islamophobia or anti-Muslim bigotry in both (i) mainstream political and media discourse and (ii) extremist nationalist discourse and anti-Muslim hate crimes. That is to say the report provides prima facie and empirical evidence to demonstrate that assailants of Muslims are invariably motivated by a negative view of Muslims they have acquired from either mainstream or extremist nationalist reports or commentaries in the media. Moreover, the evidence is clear that the major motivating factor for violence against Muslims is a negative and false belief that Muslims pose a security or terrorist threat. The evidence arises from compelling and original primary data: interviews with victims, perpetrators and witnesses of hate crimes in London.

Discussion2 Comments

  1. GlobalMB

    A report from the Centre for Social Cohesion has some interesting material on Saudi/UAE funding of Exeter University (p. 103-109)

  2. GlobalMB

    Knowledgeable readers have suggested include the information that, as discussed in a previous post, Mohammad Sawalha and Azzam Tamimi are both officers/directors of Islam Expo. Both individuals are closely tied to Hamas as well as being U.K. Muslim Brotherhood leaders.