Turkish media is reporting that U.S. academic John Esposito will be co-leading an international conference to discuss the “Arab Spring” that will include at least one important leader of the Global Muslim Brotherhood. According to the report:
An international workshop in ?stanbul has put the Arab Spring on the agenda as it will discuss the transition from dictatorship to democracy with the attendance of high-ranking participants from more than 50 countries including Europe, the US, the Arab Spring region and Turkey. The Arab Spring-oriented workshop is scheduled to convene on Thursday to discuss and analyze the developments that have paved the way for the Arab Spring, as well as the current conditions and the possible direction the developments may take in the future. The two-day-long event is to be co-hosted by the Public Diplomacy Coordinator’s Office and the Alwaleed Bin Talal Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding of Georgetown University (ACMCU), to produce solid suggestions for the nations of the Arab Spring to obtain the democracy have been aiming for. The workshop views the Arab Spring as a people’s movement that has ended an era of dictatorship by toppling oppressive regimes one after the other, also changing the prejudice against the Arab and Muslim world, the Office of Public Diplomacy announced on their website on Monday. The workshop is expected to identify the difficulties ahead of Arab Spring nations on their transition to democracy, a road deemed “painful and difficult” due to political and economic issues, social inequality, lack of education and many other problems that are awaiting solutions. The workshop is to be led by co-hosts ?brahim Kal?n, head of the Public Diplomacy Coordinator’s Office and the prime minister’s chief foreign policy advisor, and John Esposito, founding director of ACMCU, and will include high-level participants from various countries as well as researchers and journalists. Tunisian political party leader Rached Ghannouchi, Egyptian presidential candidate Abdel Moneim Aboul Fotouh, Egyptian author, thinker and journalist Fahmi Huwaidi and US political scientist and conflict resolution specialist Rob Malley are among the participants of the workshop.
Dr. Esposito has espoused views consistent with Brotherhood doctrine and during the 1990’s was known for his claims that Islamic fundamentalism was, in fact, democratic and posed no threat to the U.S. Dr. Esposito has at least a dozen past or present affiliations with global Muslim Brotherhood/Hamas organizations including having served on the advisory board of the Institute of Islamic Political Thought in the U.K. headed by Azzam Tamimi, a leader in the U.K. Muslim Brotherhood and often described as a Hamas spokesman. Dr. Esposito has also served with global Muslim Brotherhood leader Youssef Qaradawi on the Steering Committee of the Circle of Tradition and Progress and enjoyed a close relationship with the United Association For Studies and Research (USAR), part of the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood’s Palestine Committee and part of the Hamas support infrastructure. . In 2005, Saudi prince Alaweed bin Talal, a financialsupporter of the global Muslim Brotherhood donated $20 million to the Center for Muslim Christian Understanding at Georgetown, headed by Dr. Esposito.
An Egyptian news report has identified Rashid Ghannouchi (many spelling variations) as a leader of the Muslim Brotherhood “abroad.” Ghannouchi is the leader of the Tunisian Islamist movement known as Nahada (aka Ennahda, Al Nahda) and can best be described as an independent Islamist power center who is tied to the global Muslim Brotherhood though his membership in the European Council for Fatwa and Research (ECFR) and his important position in the International Union of Muslim Scholars (IUMS), both organizations led by Global Muslim Brotherhood Youssef Qaradawi. Al-Ghannouchi is also one of the founding members of the World Assembly of Muslim Youth (WAMY), a Saudi organization closely linked to the Muslim Brotherhood and dedicated to the propagation of “Wahabist” Islam throughout the world. Ghannouchi is known for his thinking on the issue of Islam and citizenship rights. An earlier post discussed an interview Rachid Ghannouchi in which he calls for and predicts the end of Israel and presents detailed information on his long background of extremism.
As far as the meeting’s Turkish venue, the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs (JCPA) has published a report titled “Turkey, the Global Muslim Brotherhood, and the Gaza Flotilla” whose second conclusion states:
The Gaza flotilla incident brought into sharp focus an even more significant long- term development: the growing relationship between the Erdogan government and the Global Muslim Brotherhood, which has given rise to some of the most notorious Islamist terrorist groups – from al-Qaeda to Hamas. Since 2006, Turkey has become a new center for the Global Muslim Brotherhood, while the Hamas regime in the Gaza Strip acted as the main axis for this activity.
Read the rest here.