U.K. South Asian media has reported that US Special Envoy to the Organisation of Islamic Conference Rashad Hussain, together with representatives of the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood, were invited to speak at a U.K. event hosted by Lord Nazir Ahmed. According to the report:
Rashad Hussain, US Special Envoy to the organisation of Islamic Cooperation was invited to speak at a BritBangla event hosted by Lord Nazir Ahmed. The event took place at the House of Lords and was organised in conjunction with the US Embassy London and the Concordia Forum. It brought together members of the UK and US Muslim communities in order to facilitate networking and discussion amongst some of the leading lights on both sides of the Atlantic. The audience comprised of guests who had obtained great distinction within their chosen professions and are poised to become the leaders of the next generation. The purpose of the evening was, according to Taryn Khanam, CEO of BritBangla, “To provide a platform for establishing bilateral links between US and UK Muslims”. Taryn was inspired to work on developing this transatlantic relationship following her brief sojourn into the US where she participated in the prestigious International Visitors Leadership Programme. Based on her experience in the US, Taryn stressed that it was “Important to create opportunities to connect with high profile leaders as it will generate an ideal pool for our talented BritBangla members to serve to the local and international community”. US guests included Shahzad Bhatti, Director at Khazanah, Imam Abdullah Antepli, Muslim Chaplain at Duke University, Haris Tarin, Muslim Public Affairs Council, Washington DC, Wajahat Ali, Researcher at Centre for American Progres, Basim Elkarra, Executive Director of Council of America-Islamic Relations, California, Kashif Zafar, Managing Director Barclays Capital and Farhad Chowdhury, co-founder of Micro-philanthropy 100 Foundation. Mr Hussain is an attorney who has served in the White House Counsel’s Office and plays a pivotal role, as a member of President Obama’s team, in advising the US Administration on issues relating to Islam. Some of the Bengali Muslim representatives present were Dr Abdul Bari, Imam from East London Mosque; Murad Qureshi, Chair of the Environment Committee of the Greater London Authority, Councellor Jitu Choudhury and Syed Jaglul Pasha, Joint Secretary of the Privatisation Commission of Bangladesh.”
For a short time, Rashad Hussain was embroiled in controversy after the GMBDW reported both his associations with the US Muslim Brotherhood and remarks that he had made in 2004 about the prosecution of convicted terrorist Sami Al-Arian that were later deleted from the publication that reported them. Mr. Hussain at first denied remembering that he had made the remarks calling the prosecution “politically motivated persecution” but later, after an audio tape surfaced documenting the remarks, he acknowledged the comments but said that they had been “ill advised.” Mr. Hussain also admitted that he had complained to the publication about being misrepresented after the remarks were first reported but that the publication had deleted them on their own volition. The remarks did not appear to have been deleted until after Mr. Hussain had been appointed White House Counsel. (for an analysis of these events, go here). Since that time, Mr. Hussain has appeared at numerous events sponsored by the US Muslim Brotherhood including those held by the Center for the Study of Islamic and Democracy (CSID), the Council of Islamic Organizations of Greater Chicago, the Council for the Advancement of Muslim Professionals (CAMP), and the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA). A Hudson Institute report identifies both the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) and Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC) as elements of the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood. Previous posts have discussed the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood ties of the other organizations.
The Jerusalem Post has reported on some of the Islamist connections and anti-Semitic activities of Lord Nazir Ahmed, who became the United Kingdom’s first Muslim life peer in 1998. According to the report:
Previously, Ahmed used his influence to introduce the lord high chancellor to Sheikh Suhaib Hasan to discuss introducing Islamic divorce laws into the UK, the think tank said. In a 2008 documentary, Hasan said, “Even though cutting off the hands and feet, or flogging the drunkard and fornicator, seem to be very abhorrent, once they are implemented, they become a deterrent for the whole society. This is why in Saudi Arabia, for example, where these measures are implemented, the crime rate is very, very, low.” According to the British current affairs magazine Spectator, Ahmed recently threatened to mobilize 10,000 Muslims to prevent the House of Lords from screening Fitna, a short film by Dutch politician Geert Wilders that claims that Islam sanctions terrorism. He also threatened to take the organizer of the event to court. He called the decision not to screen the film a victory for the Muslim community. In 2005, Ahmed hosted a book launch in the House of Lords for a writer who frequently uses anti-Semitic stereotypes in his work. Russian-born Israel Shamir claimed the blood libels against the Jews were in fact true and that all political parties were Zionist-infiltrated. Shamir is a citizen of Sweden, where his legal name is Adam Ermash. In an interview on Press TV, an Iranian satellite channel, during Operation Cast Lead, Ahmed said that Jewish student groups actively recruited for the IDF, and that British Jews who fight in the IDF should be arrested and, if necessary, charged with war crimes.
Lord Ahmed has numerous connections to the global Muslim Brotherhood. For example, he is listed as a member of the Advisory Board of the Association of Muslim Social Scientists UK (AMSSUK), the U.K. branch of the American organization by the same name which is headquartered at the International Institute of Islamic Thought (IIIT), a part of the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood. The AMSS was founded in 1972 as an outgrowth of the Muslim Student Association by important members of the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood including Jamal Barzinji, currently a leader of IIIT, and the late Ismail Faruqi, a pivotal figure in the “Islamization of Knowledge” project. AMSS has sponsored annual conferences and publishes a journal entitled American Journal of Islamic Social Sciences (AJISS) in conjunction with IIIT which plays host to the AMSS. The AMSSUK Advisory Board includes other individuals tied to the global Brotherhood including:
- Mustafa Ceric (Grand Mufti of Bosnia)
- Charles Butterworth (University of Maryland)
- Khurshid Ahmed Pakistani (Jamaat-d-Islami)
- Yusuf Islam (formerly Cat Stevens)
An earlier post discussed Lord Ahmed’s participation in a British Muslim delegation that was expected to deliver a “letter of thanks” to the Turkish Embassy in London expressing gratitude over Turkish Prime MInister Erdogan’s remarks strongly criticizing Israeli actions in Gaza that were made at the recent World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. The Jerusalem Post report indidcates that Lord Ahmed was the leader of the delegation.