Mend (Muslim Engagement and Development), a UK group whose officials have been linked by British media to the UK Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas support organizations, has published a rather crude attempt at smearing the GMBDW by alleging that its editor has “links” to the US-based Hudson Institute. According to a MEND posting concerning the recent BBC report on closures by HSBC of Muslim Brotherhood-linked bank accounts :
Just recently The Times published a front page article, “Unwitting students fund Islamist projects with their rent payments,” which relied primarily on the Global Muslim Brotherhood Watch’s Steven Merley as its source for information on the Muslim Brotherhood in the UK.
Merley runs the Global Muslim Brotherhood Watch website and is also an “expert” on the MB at the Hudson Institute. The Hudson Institute includes among its board members, the “sugar mama of anti-Muslim hate”, Nina Rosenwald and has hosted the likes of Douglas Murray and Geert Wilders. The Times does not disclose Merley’s links to the Hudson Institute merely portraying him as “a leading authority on the global Brotherhood movement”.
Oborne’s investigation and his commitment to tell the story behind the HSBC bank account closures exposes the shady actors and nefarious influences impacting on British Muslim lives.
In fact, Mr. Merley has no such links with the Hudson Institute. The “expert” designation listed at the Hudson website is an older description that resulted from the authorship by Mr. Merley of a single paper on the US Muslim Brotherhood that was published by Hudson in April 2009. That paper, clearly listed on our companion site, was published by the well respected Hudson Center on Islam, Democracy, and the Future of the Muslim World whose works are frequently cited in scholarly publications. The Center’s publication, Current Trends in Islamist Ideology, is co-edited by Husain Haqqani, the former Pakistani Ambassador to the US who also Director of the Center of International Relations, and a Professor of the Practice of International Relations at Boston University. Kenneth Weinstein, the CEO and President of Hudson, serves by presidential appointment and Senate confirmation as a member of the Broadcasting Board of Governors, the oversight body for U.S. government civilian international media.
Since the time of the publication of the paper in 2009, Mr. Merley has had no further contact with the Hudson Institute nor at any time has he ever received any form of compensation from Hudson nor ever served in any capacity for the organization, paid or unpaid. As anybody can verify, Mr. Merley is not included on the current Hudson web page listing its experts. Mr. Merley has furthermore never met or had any form of contact with Nina Rosenwald who, according to the same report cited by MEND, left Hudson in 2011 and who is also not listed anywhere on the current Hudson leadership page. The GMBDW will let readers of the USMB paper decide for themselves whether it constitutes any form of “anti-Muslim hate.”
As far as Mend itself, as we noted in March a report by The Telegraph identified Azad Ali as one of the Mend officials and described him as follows:
Azad Ali, the group’s head of community development and engagement, who has written of his “love” for Anwar al-Awlaki, the al-Qaeda recruiter; said that the Mumbai attacks were “not terrorism”; justified the killing of British troops and stated that “democracy, if it means at the expense of not implementing the Sharia, of course nobody agrees with that”.
The Telegraph also noted that Mr Ali’s “day job” is as a community affairs co-ordinator for the Islamic Forum of Europe (IFE), essentially the European wing of the Jamaat-e-Islami, the Southeast Asian Islamist political party close to the Global Muslim Brotherhood, and with its own history of extremism.
For the further extremist ties of MEND officials, go here.