The Center for the Study of Islamic and Democracy (CSID) has published the program for its upcoming annual conference which shows the participation of several leaders of the global Muslim Brotherhood along with State Department and White House officials. According to the program, the following individuals will be giving keynote speeches or participating in various discussions:
- Tariq Ramadan- grandson of the founder of the Muslim Brotherhood
- Rashad Hussain- US envoy to the Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC), White House counsel
- Farah Pandith- Special Representative to Muslim Communities, U. S. Department of State
- Anwar Ibrahim- Malaysian opposition politician, International Institute of Islamic Thought (IIT)
- Salah Ali Abdulrahman- Islah (Muslim Brotherhood) Movement, Bahrain)
- Ruhail Gharaibeh- Islamic Action Front (Muslim Brotherhood), Jordan
- Emile Nakhleh- former head of CIA Political Islam program
- Daniel Brumberg- United States Institute of Peace
Senator John Kerry, Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, is still listed as an invited speaker.
The United States Institute of Peace, created and funded by the US Congress, is one of the conference cosponsors along with The Ali Vural Ak Center for Islamic Studies at George Mason University and The Islamic Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (ISESCO). Previous posts have discussed a $1.5 million grant awarded to George Mason from International Institute of Islamic Thought (IIT), a part of the US Muslim Brotherhood, as well as the membership of a George Mason professor in the IIIT Council of Scholars. An earlier post discussed the upcoming conference and presented biographical detail on Tariq Ramadan and Ruhail Gharaibeh a leader in the Islamic Action Front which has been headed recently by Ishaq Farhan, also a director of IIIT.
CSID was founded in 1998 largely by the efforts of Georgetown University academic Dr. Esposito who during the 1990’s served in the State Department as a “foreign affairs analyst” and who has at least a dozen past or present affiliations with global Muslim Brotherhood/Hamas organizations. Many members of the early CSID board were associated with IIIT, the American Muslim Council, and the Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC). For example, past CSID board members included Jamal Barzinji and Taha Al-Alwani, both associated with IIIT and both important leaders in the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood who helped to establish many of the most important U.S. Brotherhood organizations. Antony Sullivan, the current CSID Vice-Chair, has many ties to U.S. Brotherhood groups including the Association of Muslim Social Scientists (AMSS), the United Association for Studies and Research (USAR), and the Circle of Tradition and Progress (COTP), a group whose other founding members included Youssef Qaradawi, the most important leader of the global Muslim Brotherhood. From its inception, CSID has argued that the U.S. government should support Islamist movements in foreign countries and has received financial support from the U.S. State Department, the National Endowment for Democracy and the United States Institute of Peace.
The CSID conference represents perhaps the largest public gathering of global Muslim Brotherhood leaders and U.S. government officials to date and would appear to be a triumph for CSID as well as IIIT which, until at least 2007 had been under investigation by the US Justice Department in connection with terrorist financing. According to a recent Hudson Institute report, IIIIT was founded in the U.S. in 1980 by U.S. Muslim Brotherhood leaders including Jamal Barzinji and Hisham Altalib who wished to promote the “Islamization of Knowledge” and who were also early leaders of Ithe Islamic Society of North America (ISNA). IIIT was associated with the now defunct SAAR Foundation, a network of Islamic organizations located in Northern Virginia that was raided by the Federal government in March 2002 in connection with the financing of terrorism and both organizations had been under investigation at that time by the U.S. Justice Department until at least mid 2007. The organization appeared to have withdrawn from public view following the 2002 raids but seems to be enjoying a renaissance of late. IIIT has a network of affiliates located in Europe, Africa, the Middle East, and Asia. Previous posts have discussed the Council of Scholars recently established by IIIT that includes prominent US. Muslim Brotherhood leaders such as Ingrid Mattson, President of the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA).
Also notable is the participation of Rashad Hussain, the newly appointed US envoy to the Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC) which is also a conference co-sponsor. For a short time, Mr. Hussain was embroiled in controversy after the GMBDW reported both his associations with the US Muslim Brotherhood and remarks that he had made in 2004 about the prosecution of convicted terrorist Sami Al-Arian, financially supported by IIIT, that were later deleted from the publication that reported them. Mr. Hussain at first denied remembering that he had made the remarks calling the prosecution “politically motivated persecution” but later, after an audio tape surfaced documenting the remarks, he acknowledged the comments but said that they had been “ill advised.” Mr. Hussain also admitted that he had complained to the publication about being misrepresented after the remarks were first reported but that the publication had deleted them on their own voilition. The remarks did not appear to have been deleted until after Mr. Hussain had been appointed White House Counsel.
For an analysis of these events, go here.