The Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) has announced that a delegation of U.S. Muslim Brotherhood groups as well as a U.S. Hamas support organization are visiting Morocco in order to speak with governmental and civil organizations about “political reforms and the process of strengthening democracy.” According to the CAIR press release:
(RABAT, MOROCCO, 3/25/2013) — A delegation of American Muslim and Arab-American leaders is currently visiting Morocco at the invitation of that nation’s government to meet with civil organizations and officials for discussions about political reforms and the process of strengthening democracy. The 16-member delegation, which includes American Muslim community and religious leaders, academics and political activists, has so far met with a number of civic associations and with Moroccan officials representing the parliament, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, the Muhammadan League of Religious Scholars, the Central Authority for Corruption Prevention, and the National Council for Human Rights, among others. Delegation members also travelled to the city of Dakhla in the Moroccan Sahara for meetings with the provincial governor and non-governmental organizations to learn more about rapid development taking place in that region. “We are grateful for the tremendous hospitality we have experienced and for the opportunity to learn about ongoing political reforms and civic development occurring in Morocco,” said Omar Zaki, a member of the delegation and board chair of the Washington-based Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR). “When we return to the United States, we hope to share what we have learned with our community and the larger society.” Zaki is also a member of the International Relations Council of Riverside, Calif. “The relationship between our nation and Morocco has deep historical roots, which we seek to strengthen and deepen through exchanges such as these,” said CAIR National Executive Director Nihad Awad, the leader of the delegation. Later this week, the delegation will travel to Casablanca and the historic city of Fez for more meetings with government officials and for a conference on political reforms and bilateral relations with Moroccan scholars and researchers. Delegation members include representatives of CAIR, the Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA), the Muslim American Society – Public Affairs and Civic Engagement (MAS-PACE), the Syrian American Council (SAC), American Muslims for Palestine (AMP), the Shura Council of Southern California, the Coordinating Council of Muslim Organizations in the Washington, D.C., area, as well as other community activists and academics. The Muslim delegation was also joined by James Gomez, a representative of Rev. Jesse Jackson’s Rainbow PUSH Coalition, and by Randa Fahmy Hudome, a government affairs consultant and former George W. Bush administration official.
A Hudson Institute report identifies the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) and the Muslim American Society (MAS) as part of the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood. The Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA) is a less well-known part of the Muslim Brotherhood network in the U.S., generally thought to be closely tied to the Jamaat-e-Islami organization of Southeast Asia, itself known to be allied with the Muslim Brotherhood. The Shura Council of Southern California is a long-standing part of the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood closely tied to the Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC). The Coordinating Council of Muslim Organizations (CCMO) is an even more obscure organization with various board members over the years who are tied top the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood. A post from yesterday discusses the role of the American Muslims for Palestine (AMP) as part of the Hamas support infrastructure in the U.S.
A post from last week noted that Ghassan Hitto, a leader in several U.S. Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas support organizations as well as the recently named “interim prime minister” of Syria, became a national board member of the Syrian American Council in 2012. A post from September 2011 reported that the Los Angeles chapter of the Syrian American Council had held a town hall meeting featuring a State Department official as well as Najib Ghadban, a member of the then newly-formed Syrian National Council, an opposition group dominated by the Muslim Brotherhood. In 2007, the Wall Street Journal report identified Najib Ghadbian as the point of contact between White House officials and the National Salvation Front, a newly formed Syrian opposition coalition at that time, and as an advocate for a U.S. relationship with the Syrian Brotherhood. Previous posts have documented the role of Dr. GhadbIan at the Center for the Study of Islam and Democracy (CSID), a U.S. Muslim Brotherhood organization that has long 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.