The Center for the Study of Islam and Democracy (CSID) has issued a new report that reveals that it has been organizing events in Tunisia funded by the U.K. government. According to the CSID report:
In addition to these workshops, CSID-Tunisia organized about 10 other conferences and symposiums for various political and religious leaders to promote and encourage dialogue, and also organized more than 25 training workshops on “Islam and demo- cracy – Towards an Effective Citizenship”. We believe these activities and projects are laying the foundation for a successful and lasting democracy in Tunisia. We greatly appreciate the support of the UK-Arab Partnership Fund, which funded most of these activities and also for the support of all our members, donors, participants, and contri- butors for their willingness – and sometimes eagerness – to work with us towards buil- ding a better and brighter future for Tunisia, and for the Arab World.
Radwan A. Masmoudi President CSID – Tunisia
A U.K. government website describes the Arab Partnership fund as follows:
The Arab Partnership is the UK government’s long-term strategic response to the Arab Spring. The events which began in Tunisia and Egypt in early 2011 have given us an historic opportunity to support fundamental, long-term positive change in the Middle East & North Africa. Our long-term vision is of a Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region which enjoys good governance by stable states, with greater social, economic and political participation of its people; a region which offers a positive enabling environment for the UK’s security and prosperity interests. The Arab Partnership is the vehicle through which we aim to achieve this vision.
The Center for the Study of Islam and Democracy (CSID) was founded in 1998 largely by the efforts of Georgetown University academic Dr. Esposito who during the 1990’s served in the State Department as a “foreign affairs analyst” and who has at least a dozen past or present affiliations with global Muslim Brotherhood/Hamas organizations. Many members of the early CSID board were associated with IIIT, the American Muslim Council, and the Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC). For example, past CSID board members included Jamal Barzinji and Taha Al-Alwani, both associated with IIIT and both important leaders in the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood who helped to establish many of the most important U.S. Brotherhood organizations. Antony Sullivan, the current CSID Vice-Chair, has many ties to U.S. Brotherhood groups including the Association of Muslim Social Scientists (AMSS), the United Association for Studies and Research (USAR), and the Circle of Tradition and Progress (COTP), a group whose other founding members included Youssef Qaradawi, the most important leader of the global Muslim Brotherhood. From its inception, CSID has argued that the U.S. government should support Islamist movements in foreign countries and has received financial support from the U.S. State Department, the National Endowment for Democracy and the United States Institute of Peace.
A post from last month reported that Tunisian Muslim Brotherhood leader Rachid Ghannouchi had appeared at an event organized by the Center for the Study of Islam and Democracy (CSID) Another post from last month reported that Radwan Masmoudi, the founder and President of CSID, had lost his bid to become the Tunisian ambassador to the U.S. A post from last August reported that Masmoudi, was being considered for the post. In the report discussed in that post, Masmoudi also acknowledges for the first time that he has been a part of the Ennahda movement since the 1980’s. A post from November 2011 reviewed the evidence linking the Ennahda (aka Nahda) Party to the Global Muslim Brotherhood.
The GMBDW notes that the close connections between CSID and its leader Radwan Masmoudi to a foreign Islamist government appear to have been ignored in the U.S. media.