Throughout the recent strike by IslamOnline (IOL) employees, the only major US news coverage appeared to be by an Associated Press (AP) correspondent in Cairo who is a former spokesperson for the Canadian chapter of the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) in Canada. In one of her reports on the strike, Hadeel Al-Shalchi described the IOL leadership as “moderate” and global Muslim Brotherhood leader Youssef Qaradawi as a “relative moderate”:
The Qatari government has forced out the moderate leadership of a popular Islamic Web site and plans to reshape it into a more religiously conservative outlet, former employees of the site said Thursday. Sheik Youssef al-Qaradawi, the widely respected cleric who co-founded IslamOnline and is known as a relative moderate, is no longer the head of al-Balagh, the company which funds the Web site, said his secretary, Youssef Aboul-Naga……..Al-Qaradawi is one of most influential voices in Sunni Islam, and has been criticized by more conservative scholars for allowing things like men and women to study together, encouraging Western Muslims to participate in their democracies, and condemning al-Qaida attacks such as Sept. 11.
In fact, IOL is the most prominent voice of the global Muslim Brotherhood and numerous posts have document its positions consistent with that role.
Ms. Al-Shalchi’s Twitter bio describes her as a “Canadian journo covering the Middle East for the Associated Press based in Cairo, Egypt.” However, a February 2004 CAIR Canada press release described her as the ”Communications Spokesperson” for the organization. As part of her work at CAIR Canada she developed “media workshops” for journalists. A 2006 article on Ms. Al-Shalchi indicates that she was employed at the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) before her job at AP.
Documents released in the Holy Land Trial have revealed that the founders and current leaders of CAIR were part of the Palestine Committee of the Muslim Brotherhood as well as identifying the organization itself as being part of the U.S. Brotherhood. A recent post discussed an interview with the Deputy leader of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood in which he confirms a relationship between his organization and CAIR. Investigative research posted on GMBDW had determined that CAIR had it origins in the U.S. Hamas infrastructure and CAIR and it leaders have a long history of defending almost all individuals accused of terrorism by the U.S. government, frequently calling such prosecutions a “war on Islam.” US Muslim Brotherhood leader Jamal Badawi is also an important leader of CAIR Canada as well as being a member of the European Council for Fatwa and Research (ECFR), headed by Youssef Qaradawi.