Islamic media is reporting on a conference to be held this Sunday at a Cairo hotel and which brings together an unusual and significant number of participants from the Global Muslim Brotherhood, the Egyptian Brotherhood, and other Islamist movements. According to an Arabic language report on the Islam Today website, itself associated with Saudi Islamist Salman Al-Awda, the conference is titled “The Awakening in light of the political changes in the Arab world: Egypt and Tunisia as models” and is sponsored by the International Forum of the Wasatiya”, a previously unknown group. Participants are reported to include:
- Rachid Ghannouchi, leader of Tunisian Muslim Brotherhood, International Union of Muslim Scholars, headed by Youssef Qaradawi)
- Ali Al-Salabi (International Union of Muslim Scholars)
- Dr. Mohammed Baltagy (member of the 25th January revolution coalition, former head of the MB parliamentary bloc),
- Tariq al-Bishri (Wasat Party, head of the Egyptian constitutional amendment committee)
- Imam al-Sadeq al-Mahdi (former Sudanese Prime Minister)
- Dr. Safwat Abdul Ghani, (former head of the Gamaa Islamiyya military wing)
- Marwan Fauri (Islamic al-Walsat Party Jordan)
- Dr. Jassem Sultan (Qatar)
- Saad al-Din Othamni (Morocco, head of the Justice and Development party)
The International Forum of the Wasatiya appears to be located in Jordan and headed by Marwan Fauri, identified above. The group also maintains a Facebook page. It should be noted that the concept of Wasatiya (moderation) is most closely associated with Global Muslim Brotherhood leader Youssef Qaradawi.
The Islam Today report also identifies the head of the Forum in Egypt as Montasser el-Zayat, a well known Egyptian lawyer whose clients have included Ayman al-Zawahiri and al-Gama’a al-Islamiyya, an Egyptian Islamist group formerly known for terrorism but which had renounced violence and allowed to resume a degree of its activities in Egypt before the recent revolution.