A new Islamic organization tied to the Global Muslim Brotherhood has announced that on September 25, it is holding what it describes as the “biggest Islamic conference in Montreal history.” According to the announcement, the featured speakers include the following individuals tied to the global Brotherhood:
- Tariq Ramadan (grandson of the Muslim Brotherhood founder)
- Zainab Al-Alwani (Fiqh Council of North America (FCNA), probably daughter or other relative of US Muslim Brotherhood figure Taha Al-Alwani)
- Abdalla Idris Ali (ISNA)
In 2001 Yasir Qadhi, another featured speaker, was embroiled in controversy centered on his remarks denying the Holocaust. According to the UK Sunday Telegraph (see Note 1):
In 2001, Qadhi described the holocaust as a hoax, claiming that “Hitler never intended to mass-destroy the Jews” and “all this [the Holocaust]is false propaganda”. Although he later claimed he had been misled into making these statements, he more recently posted links to articles by a notorious Holocaust denier on an Islamic online forum, according to the Centre for Social Cohesion.
United For Change describes itself as follows:
United For Change began as a result of a recent trip to Mali. …United For Change is dedicated to helping to bring about a world where the loftiest principles of Islam are actualized as the basis for Muslim unity as well as focused, purposeful work directed towards the alleviation of human suffering that is directly attributable to human neglect, insensitivity and wantonness. United For Change exists to facilitate the unity of Muslim organizations in North America to address through collective action monumental tasks that are larger than the human and material resources of any individual group. Through this effort we aim to foster greater unity, cooperation and goodwill between participating groups and organizations and to be a source of compassion, empathy and relief for impoverished and marginalized communities both here in North America and abroad.
One of the board members and co-founders of United for Change is Asma Mirza, reported to be the President of the Muslim Student Association (MSA) in 2008. Photographic and other public record information indicate that Asma Mirza is likely the daughter or other close relative of Yaqub Mirza, a Pakistani native living in Virginia who was the former Vice-President of the now defunct SAAR Foundation, a network of Islamic organizations located in Northern Virginia that was raided by the Federal government in 2003. The SAAR foundation was established in 1983 by individuals who had also established some of the most important U.S, Muslim Brotherhood organizations including the Muslim Student Association, the Islamic Society of North America, and the International Institute of Islamic Thought. SAAR is generally thought to have been funded by the Al-Rajhi family of Saudi Arabia and until recently was the subject of an ongoing investigation into possible financing of terrorism. In August 2007, Mirza appeared on a panel at an Islamic Society of North America convention together with Zaki Barzinji, likely a relative of Jamal Barzinji, another important figure in the SAAR network. The leadership of many organizations in the global Muslim Brotherhood is passed down to younger generations and Jamal Barzinji was one of the original founders of the Muslim Student Association in the early 1960’s.
The conference is sponsored by Islamic Relief Canada. Islamic Relief Worldwide (IRW) is headquartered in the U.K. where one it’s trustees listed in U.K. charity records is Ibrahim El-Zayat, a leader in both the European and the German Muslim Brotherhood. Mr. El-Zayat is also a Trustee of the U.K. branch of Islamic Relief. Islamic Relief Worldwide is also listed as a company in the U.K where records indicate that Dr. Ahmed Al-Rawi, the former head of the Federation of islamic Organizations in Europe (FIOE) and President of the Muslim Association of Britain (MAB) is a director. Both FIOE and the MAB are part of the U.K. and European Muslim Brotherhood. Another director of the company Islamic Relief Worldwide is Issam Al-Bashir who, as previous posts have discussed, is a former Minister of Religious Affairs in the Sudan and who has held numerous positions associated with the global Muslim Brotherhood. In a number of European countries, the local branch of Islamic Relief is also tied to the local Muslim Brotherhood organization.
(note 1: The Sunday Telegraph (London) January 3, 2010 “special investigation; Bomber’s mentor invited to spread hate in Britain; Banned extremist addressed young audiences at universities and mosques seven times in three years)