U.S. Muslim Brotherhood Boycotts NYPD Ramadan Conference; John Esposito Joins Boycott


The Mondoweiss Web site is reporting on the boycott of the New York Police Department’s (NYPD) annual ‘pre-Ramadan conference’ by U.S. Muslim Brotherhood groups joined by Brotherhood supporter and academic Dr. John Esposito. According to the report:

Last July, some 400 Muslim New Yorkers gathered at the New York Police Department’s (NYPD) annual ‘pre-Ramadan conference’ at police headquarters. Mohamed Shamsi Ali, the imam of the Islamic Cultural Center of New York, delivered prayers while Mayor Michael Bloomberg told the audience that ‘New York is a city built on religious tolerance.’ But this year, the scene was different. In the wake of the New York Police Department’s spy scandal, a coalition of Muslim groups in New York announced a boycott of the Ramadan conference, which was held this morning. Ramadan, the Islamic holy month, begins later this month. While some Muslims attended, including Muslim NYPD officers, groups that organize around civil liberties issues said no to attending while the NYPD runs a ‘covert program of warrantless and comprehensive surveillance of American Muslim communities.’ 10 community organizations, including the Council on American-Islamic Relations (NY chapter), Desis Rising Up and Moving and the Muslim American Society of New York, boycotted the event. In addition, the Islamic Leadership Council of New York supported the boycott, according to CAIR’s Cyrus McGoldrick. Also boycotting the event was John Esposito, a well-known academic expert on Islam invited to the conference. In a statement that CAIR posted, Esposito’s office said: ‘Esposito declined after his review and conclusion that the mayor and police commissioner’s defense of NYPD’s surveillance policy fails to distinguish between surveillance with probable cause of specific individuals or groups and the threat to and violation of the civil liberties of the mainstream majority of Muslims.’ The coalition’s statement said they boycotted due to the NYPD’s ‘lack of transparency, accountability and respect.’ Since last summer, a stream of revelations from the Associated Press have exposed the NYPD’s surveillance program of Muslims across the Northeast. Another factor that influenced the shunning of the conference was CommissionerRay Kelly’s conduct at last year’s conference. After Imam Talib ‘Abdur-Rashid, the head of the Islamic Leadership Council, criticized the showing of the anti-Muslim film ‘Third Jihad’ to police officers, Kelly misled the Muslim leaders gathered at the conference. He said that the film was shown only one time and only as a ‘background visual.’ But this was false. In January, the New York Times revealed that the film, which posits that Muslim organizations secretly wish to establish an Islamic theocracy in the US, ‘was shown, according to internal police reports, ‘on a continuous loop’ for between three months and one year of training.’ About 1,500 officers viewed the film, which was funded by the Clarion Fund, an anti-Muslim group financed by the likes of Sheldon Adelson. Furthermore, Kelly himself was featured in the film, which Kelly and the NYPD vehemently denied until the Times exposed how they weren’t telling the truth. ‘Commissioner Ray Kelly has no problem lying to huge audiences of people,’ said McGoldrick, CAIR-NY’s civil rights manager, in an interview this morning. The boycott of this morning’s event comes after some Muslim community leadersboycotted Mayor Bloomberg’s annual interfaith breakfast last year.

Documents released in the Holy Land Trial have revealed that the founders and current leaders of CAIR were part of the Palestine Committee of the Muslim Brotherhood as well as identifying the organization itself as being part of the US. Brotherhood. A recent post discussed an interview with the Deputy leader of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood in which he confirms a relationship between his organization and CAIR. Investigative research posted on GMBDW had determined that CAIR had it origins in the U.S. Hamas infrastructure and CAIR and its leaders have a long history of defending almost all individuals accused of terrorism by the US. government, frequently calling such prosecutions a “war on Islam.” In 2009, a US federal judge ruled “The Government has produced ample evidence to establish the associations of CAIR, ISNA and NAIT with HLF, the Islamic Association for Palestine (“IAP”), and with Hamas.”

The MAS was identified in a Hudson Institute report as a part of the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood and closely tied to the Egyptian organization and In March, a post discussed a report that imprisoned U.S. Muslim Brotherhood leader Abdurrahman Alamoudi had testified that the MAS is, in fact, a branch of the Muslim Brotherhood. In June of 2011, the MAS closed its political action wing, known as the Freedom Foundation (MAS Freedom),  due to lack of “resources”, presumably meaning funding. MAS Freedom had been headed by MAS leader Mahdi Bray who, as reported in a post from January, was recovering from a cerebral stroke. Numerous posts have discussed the activities of Mr. Bray who according to a 2009 Investigative Project investigation had an undisclosed criminal background.

Dr. Esposito, a former U.S. State Department advisor,  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 financial supporter of the global Muslim Brotherhood, donated $20 million to the Center for Muslim Christian Understanding at Georgetown, headed by Dr. Esposito.

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