International Crisis Group Awards Peace Prize To Tunisian Muslim Brotherhood Leader

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The website of a human rights NGO is reporting that the International Crisis Group (CG) has awarded Tunisian Muslim Brotherhood leader Rachid Ghannouchi the “Fred Cuny Award for the Prevention of Deadly Conflicts.” According to the report from the No Peace Without Justice website:

October 26, 2015 During a ceremony held today in New York, Emma Bonino, former Italian Minister of Foreign Affairs and founder of No Peace Without Justice, received the ‘Fred Cuny Award for the Prevention of Deadly Conflicts’ from the International Crisis Group.

Ms. Bonino’s prize, which was presented by George Soros, a member of Crisis Group’s Board of Trustees, pays tribute to her outstanding commitment and pioneering role in the promotion of humanitarian and political action in crises. As European commissioner for humanitarian aid during the 1990s, she fought to draw international attention to crises in the African Great Lakes Region and the Balkans. She later founded the campaign group No Peace Without Justice and was a driving force behind the creation of a special court to try crimes committed in the former Yugoslavia. Emma Bonino is also a pioneer in promoting women’s rights. She joined Crisis Group’s Board of Trustees in 2008. An active member of Italy’s Transnational Radical Party, she served as Italy’s Minister of Foreign Affairs from April 2013 to February 2014.

The other award winners this year, which marks the 20th anniversary of Crisis Group’s mission to prevent and resolve deadly conflict worldwide, include Sir Richard Branson, Béji Caïd Essebsi, Rached Ghannouchi, Gareth Evans, Babatunde Fashola, and Sadako Ogata.

According to the ICG website:

Béji Caïd Essebsi and Rached Ghannouchi will jointly receive the Founder’s Award for pioneers in peacebuilding. The president of Tunisia and leader of the Nahdha Party are chosen for their unwavering dedication to pluralism, inclusion and compromise during Tunisia’s democratic transition.

In March, the GMBDW reported that President Obama had appointed Robert Malley, a former International Crisis Group executive, as his new special assistant for the Middle East, North Africa and the Gulf region. As noted in that post, Mr. Malley was formerly the program director for the Middle East and North Africa at the International Crisis Group (ICG). As we also noted at that time, there are serious questions about the influence of the Muslim Brotherhood/Hamas within the ICG, founded in 1995 as “an international non-governmental organization on the initiative of a group of well known transatlantic figures who despaired at the international community’s failure to anticipate and respond effectively to the tragedies in the early 1990s of Somalia, Rwanda and Bosnia. Notable members of the board have included former Carter National Security Advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski, financier George Soros, former Nato commander Wesley Clark, and former German foreign minister Joschka Fischer. In 2008 we reported that the International Crisis Group (ICG) had issued a report recommending that the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood be integrated in Egyptian political life and that Brotherhood posted a statement on its website saying that the group agrees with the recommendations.

The GMBDW has also reported since 2007 on the Muslim Brotherhood and/or Hamas background of two of the ICG Trustees which may help to explain the ICG position on the Brotherhood. Palestinian-born Wadah Khanfar is a current member of the ICG board. We have long reported on the Muslim Brotherhood/Hamas ties of Waddah Khanfar now head of the Huffington Post, Arabic Edition. Another former board member of the ICG is former Malaysian Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim who has many ties to the global Muslim Brotherhood including helping to found the International Institute of Islamic Thought (IIIT) where he currently serves as a director, representing Asian youth and serving as a trustee for the World Assembly of Muslim Youth (WAMY) during the 1970’s and early 1980’s, and appearances at numerous Brotherhood-linked conferences. His ICG bio omitted this background.

Rachid Ghannouchi (many spelling variations) is the head of the Tunisian Ennahda Party, essentially the Muslim Brotherhood in Tunisia. Mr. Ghannouchi has been a member of the European Council for Fatwa and Research (ECFR) and is currently and Assistant Secretary-General of the International Union of Muslim Scholars (IUMS), both organizations led by Global Muslim Brotherhood Youssef Qaradawi. In 2009, an Egyptian news report referred to Ghannouchi as a leader of the MB “abroad.” Ghannouchi is also one of the founding members of the World Assembly of Muslim Youth (WAMY), a Saudi organization closely linked to the Muslim Brotherhood and dedicated to the propagation of “Wahhabist” Islam throughout the world. Ghannouchi is known for his thinking on the issue of Islam and citizenship rights. In January 2011, Ghannouchi returned to Tunisia after a long exile in the UK and two weeks after the Tunisian leader Zine El Abidine Ben was forced from power in the events which triggered the “Arab Spring.”

The GMBDW recently reported that Mr. Ghannouchi had met with the US State Department and been on tour in the US in spite of his long history of extremism and support for terrorism. Earlier this month, we reported that Mr. Ghannouchi had called the recent wave of stabbing attacks in Israel “a wake-up call for the nation’s youth and the world to save the Palestinians from the Israeli aggression

For a history of Mr. Ghannouchi’s extremism, go here.

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