New European Muslim-Jewish Interfaith Group Includes Hamas Fundraisers And German Muslim Brotherhood Leader

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A Saudi-funded interfaith group has announced the launch of what is described as a “ground-breaking platform to support religious freedoms for Muslim and Jewish communities across Europe.” According to the announcement, the Muslim-Jewish Leadership Council includes a global charity linked to the Muslim Brotherhood that is banned by Israel over Hamas funding and a German Muslim Brotherhood leader who is associated with the virulently anti-Semitic Global Muslim Brotherhood leader Youssef Qaradawi:

September 9, 2015 Prominent Jewish and Muslim religious leaders and officials launched a ground-breaking platform to support religious freedoms for Muslim and Jewish communities across Europe. The group began their discussions at a workshop held in Vienna on 27 August 2015, hosted by the International Dialogue Centre (KAICIID), which now concluded with the formation of the Muslim-Jewish Leadership Council.

The newly-founded Muslim-Jewish Leadership Council, or MJLC, is the first European platform for Muslim leaders and Jewish religious authorities to proactively advocate the protection of religious freedom in Europe.

The group will also support education, information exchange and coordinate swift responses on a ‘hot-line’ basis for issues that arise locally, nationally or at a European level.

The Conference of European Rabbis, Islamic Relief Worldwide, and the Islamic Council for the Federal Republic of Germany launched the MJLC.”

Established to promote greater understanding and respect for minority religions, the MJLC will enable information exchange about the local and national communities’ needs, concerns, challenges and the day-to-day experience of living a minority religious identity in Europe. The Muslim and Jewish communities share a common heritage, and have been connected by many bridges in the past. The Council will serve to build more bridges between and among these communities in future.

Stressing the historical significance of this first common platform for European Muslims and Jews, Ibrahim El-Zayat, past chairman of Islamic Relief Worldwide, a co-convener of the Council, stated that “the MJLC is urgently needed as we see repeated attempts to curtail the religious freedoms of certain minorities. As religious believers, we have to support the religious freedoms of minority religious communities. History also tells us that when one community’s rights are constrained, soon other communities will face similar restrictions in the future. When we advocate together, we can always preserve our rights. When we remain isolated, we lose the right to practice our faith in full”.

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Islamic Relief Worldwide (IRW) is registered as a charity in the UK where until recently its chairman of the board was Ibrahim El-Zayat. Islamic Relief Worldwide is also registered as a company in the UK where records indicate that Mr. El-Zayat continues to serve as a director (he is also a  a trustee of the UK charity branch of Islamic Relief.) Ahmed Al-Rawi, the former head of the Federation of islamic Organizations in Europe (FIOE) and former President of the Muslim Association of Britain (MAB) was a past director of the company and both FIOE and the MAB are part of the U.K. and European Muslim Brotherhood. Other past IRW company directors  include Isam El-bashir, a Sudanese figure close to the Global Muslim Brotherhood and Essam El-Haddad, a longtime  Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood member a former adviser to Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi. Islamic Relief was one of the founding members of the Union of Good, a “coalition of Islamic charities that provides financial support to both the Hamas ‘social’ infrastructure, as well as its terrorist activities.” The Union of Good is headed by global Muslim Brotherhood leader Youssef Qaradawi and most of the trustees and member organizations are associated with the Global Muslim Brotherhood. In May 2006, the Israeli government announced the arrest of an IRW worker for activities related to supporting Hamas and said that IRW activities in the Palestinian territories ” are carried out by social welfare organizations controlled and staffed by Hamas operatives.” In June  2014 , the GMBDW reported that the Israeli Defense Minister had banned Islamic Relief Worldwide from operating in Israel saying that it is involved in sending cash to Hamas. 

Ibrahim El-Zayat is the former President of the Islamische Gemeinschaft Deutschland (IGD) which is listed annually by German intelligence as an extremist organization representing the Muslim Brotherhood in Germany. He was also formerly the Western European head of the World Assembly of Muslim Youth (WAMY), a Saudi youth organization that US government agencies and officials have said has helped spread Islamic extremism around the world as well as sponsoring terrorism in places such as Bosnia, Israel, and India. In 2005, the Wall Street Journal reported that Mr. El-Zayat had transferred more than $2 million on behalf of WAMY “used for carrying out fundamentalist Islamic activities in Europe” including transfers to to an Albanian charity designated a terrorist organization by the US government. Mr. El-Zayat is also a leader in many European Muslim Brotherhood organizations including the Federation of Islamic Organizations in Europe (FIOE) and the Europe Trust. He is also known to have been a trustee of the Institut Européen des Sciences Humaines (IESH) , an Islamic educational facility in France associated with FIOE and its French member the Union des organisations islamiques de France (UOIF). IESH in turn, is associated with Global Muslim Brotherhood leader and virulent anti-semite Youssef Qaradawi

The King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz International Centre for Interreligious and Intercultural Dialogue, known by its abbreviation KAICIID, is a controversial organization that was founded in Vienna in October 2011 by the then Saudi King. According to a Western media report:

The center has ignited debate. Backers hope it will promote increased tolerance in Saudi Arabia, a kingdom that now prohibits any religion outside of Islam. Detractors, including Austria’s Green party and moderate Muslim groups in Austria say the Saudis are the last people who should be hosting initiatives on religious coexistence. Ahead of Thursday’s inauguration ceremonies, the daily Der Standard cited Rabbi David Rosen of the American Jewish Committee as criticzing Saudi plans to exercise initial leadership oversight of the institution, saying it had to be “totally independent.”

It should be noted that Rabi Rosen was identified in the above report as one of the participants in the above workshop.

Also notable is the support of a Saudi-funded center for activity involving the Global Muslim Brotherhood. The GMBDW has been warning since March 2014 that the Saudi Arabia’s designation of the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist organization was likely not what it seemed at first and that the Kingdom has been continuing its outreach and support of the global Brotherhood. In fact, as we reported in March 2014, two Global Muslim Brotherhood leaders, Ahmed Al-Rawi and Isam El-Bashir, attended a conference of the Saudi Muslim World League. Both are identified above as past officials of Islamic Relief Worldwide.

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