The Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC) has announced that one of its leaders will be appearing along with Tariq Ramadan at a fundraising event for KinderUSA, a charity known to have been linked to the now-defunct Holy Land Foundation. According to the MPAC announcement:
Where can you hear MPAC’s Senior Adviser Dr. Maher Hathout and renowned scholar Tariq Ramadan speak on the same stage? KinderUSA’s Ramadan Fundraising Event on Saturday, July 23, is where! At the Sheraton Universal Hotel, KinderUSA, a non-profit organization that strives to develop creative solutions to long-standing problems with the belief that all children are entitled to their inherent rights of survival, health, shelter and education, is hoping to raise awareness and money for their programs. This Ramadan, KinderUSA will continue to provide support to Palestinians in need in the West Bank and Gaza by supplying food baskets valued at $110 to feed families of six to 10 members. The feature of their Ramadan program is the central role played by women cooperatives in both the West Bank and Gaza in developing the food baskets. This dynamic income-generating project is staffed by rural Palestinian women who have been trained in the production, marketing and management aspects of the program to sustain themselves and their families beyond Ramadan. The other central pillar of its Ramadan program is support for local indigent farmers. In Gaza and the West Bank, the project is designed to purchase fresh vegetables from small-scale farmers, many of whom are women, who can no longer market their goods. This fundraiser goes beyond simply donating money to a cause by preparing the needy for the future to develop their own sustainable income. This is definitely an event to attend!”
As discussed in a another previous post, a former U.S. Treasury Department linked KinderUSA to the Holy Land Foundation, recently convicted in the U.S. for terrorism financing in connection with Hamas. As the post noted, Riad Abdelkarim was a Chairman of the KinderUSA board as well as a Holy Foundation board member. He was also the Western Region communications director for the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR), a U.S. Muslim Brotherhood group that has strongly supported the Holy Land Foundation and itself was an outgrowth of the U.S. Hamas infrastructure.
Tariq Ramadan is perhaps best described as an independent power center within the global Brotherhood with sufficient stature as the son of Said Ramadan, and the grandson of the founder of the Muslim Brotherhood to challenge positions taken by important Brotherhood leaders. His statements and writings have been extensively analyzed and he has been accused by critics of promoting anti-Semitism and fundamentalism, albeit by subtle means. On the other hand, his supporters promote him as as example of an Islamic reformer who is in the forefront of developing a “Euro Islam.” Ramadan is currently professor of Islamic Studies at the University of Oxford’s Faculty of Theology and senior research fellow at St. Antony’s College (Oxford), Dohisha University (Kyoto, Japan) and at the Lokahi Foundation (London). Previous posts discussed his dismissal from his positions as an adviser on integration for the city of Rotterdam and from a Dutch University over his role as a talk show host on Iranian TV. A ban on Ramadan traveling to the US was lifted in January 2010 and several posts have discussed his recent visits to the US where he appeared at various US Muslim Brotherhood venues including giving the keynote at the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR)-Chicago annual banquet in April 2010. He was scheduled to give the keynote address at the 16th annual CAIR banquet in October.
MPAC, headquartered in Southern California, was established initially in 1986 as the Political Action Committee of the Islamic Center of Southern California whose key leaders likely had their origins in the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood. Since that time, MPAC has functioned as the political lobbying arm of the U.S. Brotherhood. MPAC has opposed virtually every count-terror initiative undertaken or proposed by the U.S. government. At times this opposition was said to be on civil-rights grounds but, just as often, MPAC claimed that U.S. counter-terror efforts were aimed at the U.S. Muslim community itself. MPAC has consistently supported and facilitated terrorism by supporting terrorist organizations and, more broadly, constructing an elaborate ideology defending the use of violence by Islamists and Islamist organizations. More than any other U.S. Muslim Brotherhood organization, MPAC has developed extensive relationships with the U.S. government which have included numerous meetings with the Department of Justice and the FBI.