CAIR Leader Nihad Awad Also Attended February Saudi Counterterrorism Conference

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The New York Times has reported that the recent international counterterrorism conference held in Mecca and sponsored by the Muslim World League (MWL) was attended by Nihad Awad, the leader of the US-based Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR). According to the NYT report:

The conference was held in the worn, white headquarters of the Muslim World League, an umbrella group for charitable organizations that was founded by the Saudi monarchy in the 1960s to counter the leftist ideologies then sweeping the region. The league is seen as a cornerstone of the Saudi effort to disseminate its version of Sunni Islam and claim leadership as a charitable benefactor to the Muslim world.

 The report later cited remarks made at the conference by Mr. Awad:

Nihad Awad, the director of the Washington-based Council on American-Islamic Relations, lamented the paucity of civil society organizations because of restrictions imposed by the region’s states. “The structure of Arab and Islamic society needs to be reviewed,” he said. “Who would the youth go to in order to express themselves?”

The GMBDW reported last month on the MWL conference where the new Saudi king delivered his remarks. Our reported noted that the conference attendance list revealed the participation of a number of other Global Muslim Brotherhood leaders including:

  • Ali Al Qaradaghi (Deputy leader of the International Union of Muslim Scholars  headed by global Brotherhood leader Youssef Qaradawi)
  • Muzammil Siddiqi (longtime leader in the US Muslim Brotherhood and the MWL representative in the US)
  • Munib Hasan al-Rawi (representative of the Europe Trust in the Czech Republic)
  • Ibrahim Salah (long time Muslim Brotherhood leader in Switzerland)

The disclosure by the New York Times report that Nihad Awad was also in attendance further reinforces the role of CAIR in the Global Muslim Brotherhood and adds to the long list of reasons why the GMBDW remains skeptical about the intention of Saudi Arabia to sever relations with the Brotherhood.

Nihad Awad, a leader of the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR), was present during an infamous 1993 meeting held in Philadelphia by senior leaders of Hamas, the Holy Land Foundation, and the Islamic Association of Palestine (IAP). The Holy Land Foundation was convicted on charges of providing financial support for Hamas and the IAP is generally considered to have represented the Hamas infrastructure in the U.S. A widely reported FBI memo based on wiretaps of the meeting indicated that its purpose was “to develop a strategy to defeat the Israeli/Palestinian peace accord, and to continue and improve their [HAMAS] fund-raising and political activities in the United States.” Mr. Nihad was an employee of the IAP at the time of the meeting. Mr. Awad had been asked about his attendance at the meeting during a civil lawsuit and said the didn’t think that he had but that he didn’t remember. The next summer, he was videotaped stating ‘I am in support of the HAMAS movement’ during a seminar at Miami”s Barry University.
The Muslim World League was established in 1962 as a means for the propagation of Saudi “Wahabbi” Islam. Muslim Brothers played an important role in its founding and the League has always been strongly associated with the Brotherhood. US government officials have testified that MWL has been linked to supporting Islamic terrorist organizations globally and the organization has a long history of anti-Semitism.
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