Kuwaiti Muslim Brotherhood Wants To Raise Funds For Libyan Opposition


Gulf media is reporting that the Kuwaiti Muslim Brotherhood is attempting to raise money for the Libyan opposition movement. According to a report in the National newspaper:

KUWAIT CITY // A Kuwaiti group with ties to the Muslim Brotherhood is trying to overcome government controls to raise money for Libya’s opposition, a leading figure in the movement has said. “We are waiting for the government to tell us we can collect,” said Abdullah al Ateeqi, the secretary general of the Social Reform Society (SRC), on Wednesday. The society is a Kuwaiti charity linked to the Islamic Constitutional Movement (ICM), a political group with ideological roots in the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood. “In the future we will raise money,” Mr al Ateeqi said. He said the SRC advertised in local newspapers last week to encourage Kuwaitis to support the Libyan opposition “in any way they can”, but his organisation was not accepting donations yet. Nasser al Ammar, the director of the ministry of social affairs and labour’s charity and donation organisations department, said no Kuwait charities have received permission to raise money for the Libyan crisis. “They can’t do anything now,” Mr al Ammar said. “We need time to study [the proposal]with the ministry of foreign affairs.” ……’ Until now, the SRC has given the Libyan opposition moral, rather than material, support. In the statement on Wednesday, it condemned the “unjust and oppressive” regime for attacking the Libyan people with tanks and aircraft. “The Organisation of the Islamic Conference and the Arab League should provide the necessary aid including food and medicine,” the group’s official statement said. Several prominent Kuwaitis, including members and affiliates of the ICM, displayed their support for the Libyan opposition at a seminar on the outskirts of the city on Wednesday night. The head of the ICM’s media office, Osama al Shaheen, said that unlike in Egypt, the Muslim Brotherhood in Libya has mostly been living in exile because of Muammar Qaddafi’s relentless persecution of political opposition during his 41-year rule. Some of them are now fighting with the opposition. Mr al Shaheen said if the ICM can raise money for Libya, it will be used for humanitarian aid and food. Falah bin Ghayam, a former parliamentary candidate who is “very close” to the ICM, said the seminar at his residence was not to held to raise money for Libya, but to encourage other organisations such as the Red Crescent to do so. The speakers included ICM activists, liberals, and civil society leaders. Mr al Ghayam said the seminar was the first public show of solidarity with the Libyan opposition in Kuwait.

A Carnegie Foundation report identifies the Islamic Constitutional Movement (ICM) as the “political arm of the Kuwaiti Muslim Brotherhood” and the Social Reform Society as “the formal organization associated with the Kuwaiti Muslim Brotherhood.” One of the most important leaders of the Kuwait Brotherhood is Tariq Al-Suwaidan, the General Manager of Al-Resalah Satellite TV, the brainchild of Saudi businessman Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal. In May 2007, Al-Suwaidan was listed by federal prosecutors in a group of U.S Muslim Brotherhood members named as part of a large group of Unindicted Co-Conspirators in the terrorism financing case against the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development, convicted of providing funds for Hamas. Al-Suwaidan is also the author of the anti-Semitic “Encyclopedia of Jews.” A previous post discussed both his background and the struggle to control his Wikipedia page.

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