U.S. Catholic media is reporting that Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi met last week with U.S. religious leaders in a meeting chaired by Global Muslim Brotherhood supporter John Esposito. According to an America Magazine report:
Sept. 25.—In a meeting Monday evening with American religious leaders at Egypt’s UN Mission in New York, Egypt’s new president Mohamed Morsi stressed dialogue, tolerance and human rights are the values of the new Egyptian government. These values he argued were in the best traditions of Islam. In Islam’s golden age Muslims favored ‘tolerance, openness and questioning’ that led to the flourishing of science, scholarship and the preservation of ancient learning for the modern world. In keeping with the Koran, Mr. Morsi argued, ‘there can be no compliance (coercion) in religion.’ The prophet Mohammed extended mercy to all people. For that reason, dialogue is intrinsic to Islam. Dialogue must have as its outcome, he contended, collaboration to build ‘a dignified life for all.’ Mr. Morsi’s audience consisted largely of Muslim-American, with only five Christian clerics and on rabbi in the group. (The low turnout of other denominations was probably due to the repeated re-scheduling of the dialogue.) The Egypitan president did not respond to a proposal by one American Muslim participant that he issue a fatwa, re-affirming a letter of Mohammed extending protection of Christians and their churches. A former leader in the Muslim Brotherhood, Mr. Morsi insisted there were ‘few problems’ between Muslims and Christians in Egypt, and he was supported in this by a Coptic cleric in attendance. Reports of these tensions, he asserted, were exaggerated or invented. The former dictatorship he contended ‘sowed differences’ to promote its own political survival. [There is no doubt exaggeration in reports of Christian-Muslim tensions in Egypt, particularly from elements of the U.S. Coptic community and anti-Islamic advocates of religious liberty. With the help of the Catholic hierarchy in Egypt, I have often resisted such claims in the past. But, there are nonetheless real problems both at the political and social levels, which President Morsi seemed to downplay. Police do not extend their protection to Christians, and government restrictions still prevent the construction and repair of church property.
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According to another report, participants in the meeting included Obama Administration Faith Advisor Dahlia Mogahed and Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) leader Sayid Syeed.
Dahlia Mogahed is the Senior Analyst and Executive Director of the Gallup Center for Muslim Studies, associated with Global Muslim Brotherhood supporter and academic John Esposito. She was appointed in April 2009 as one of two Muslim members to the President’s Advisory Council on Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships. Ms. Mogahed, who was born in Egypt and lived in the U.S. since the age of 5 was identified in 2003 as the Outreach Coordinator for the Islamic Center of Pittsburgh (ICP) whose co-founder lost a DOE security clearance and whose Imam was last reported facing deportation on immigration violations. Ms. Mogahed is the daughter of Elsayed Mogahed, an Egyptian immigrant who is an engineering scientist at the University of Wisconsin and a past President of the Islamic Center of Madison (ICM) where he remains a member. The website of the ICM had in the past linked mainly to U.S. Muslim Brotherhood organizations and Souheil Ghannouchi, the former President of the Muslim American Society (MAS), was ICM Imam and President for several years. The MAS is part of the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood and closest to the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood. A report by the Investigative Project analyzes Ms. Mogahed’s history of support for the organizations of the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood.
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.
A Hudson Institute report identifies ISNA as an important part of the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood.