Photos posted on Twitter have revealed further evidence that the recent inaugural conference for the “Muslim Councils in the West”, organized by the US Muslim Brotherhood coalition known as the US Council of Muslim Organizations (USCMO), was attended by a wide variety of European Muslim Brotherhood leaders as well as US government officials, and a prominent US academic supporter of the Global Muslim Brotherhood. One of those leaders is known to have been a trustee of an organization designated by the US as a terrorist group.
The first of these photos shows Abdullah Benmansour speaking at the conference. Benmansour is last known to be the President of the Federation of Islamic Organizations in Europe (FIOE). (The photo was posted on the Twitter feed of another participant but was captioned only as “France representative”) FIOE claims to be an independent organization representing the interests of Muslims in Europe but in reality is an umbrella group that comprises the global Muslim Brotherhood in Europe. As we noted when we posted on Benmansour’s 2014 election, he has a rather colorful background. Based on unpublished GMBDW research:
Abdallah Benmansour was one of the co-founders of the UOIF in 1983 when he was described as a student from Tunisia. In 1989, Mansour and Ahmed Jaballah, Secretary-General and President of the UOIF respectively, visited the headmaster of the College of Creil Oise in order to persuade him to reinstate three young women who had been suspended from the school over wearing the hijab. They carried a hidden tape recorder in order to try and entrap the headmaster into making incriminating remarks. However, the operation was discovered when the tape recorder made noises inside the bag that Mr. Mansour was carrying. They later began a mail campaign to important French politicians including the French prime minister explaining that the veil is required by the Koran. In 1993, Abdallah Ben Mansour resigned as Secretary General of the UOIF and was replaced by Lhaj Thami Breze as President and Fouad Alaoui as Secretary-General. In April 2003, Mr. Mansour attracted substantial worldwide media attention when he compared the law requiring French Muslim women to remove their headscarves for identity photographs to the Nazi decree that forced Jews to wear a yellow star.
Another photo posted on Twitter shows Dr. John Esposito also speaking at the conference. Esposito is a Professor of International Affairs and Islamic Studies and director of the Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding at Georgetown University. A former US State Department advisor, Esposito has espoused views consistent with Brotherhood doctrine and during the 1990’s was known for his claims that Islamic fundamentalism was, in fact, democratic and posed no threat to the US Dr. Esposito has at least a dozen past or present affiliations with global Muslim Brotherhood/Hamas organizations including having served on the advisory board of the Institute of Islamic Political Thought in the U.K. headed by Azzam Tamimi, a leader in the UK. Muslim Brotherhood and often described as a Hamas spokesman. Dr. Esposito has also served with global Muslim Brotherhood leader Youssef Qaradawi on the Steering Committee of the Circle of Tradition and Progress and enjoyed a close relationship with the United Association For Studies and Research (USAR), part of the US Muslim Brotherhood’s Palestine Committee and part of the Hamas support infrastructure. In 2005, Saudi prince Alaweed bin Talal, a financial supporter of the global Muslim Brotherhood, donated $20 million to the Center for Muslim Christian Understanding at Georgetown, headed by Dr. Esposito. In February 2015, the GMBW reported that Dr. Esposito was scheduled to participate in a conference on “Islam and Democracy” sponsored by the UK Cordoba Foundation, headed by UK Muslim Brotherhood leader Anas Altikriti., also featured at the this month’s conference. Other scheduled participants included important Egyptian and Global Muslim Brotherhood leaders.
Another photo posted on Twitter reveals that US Congressman Ellison (D-MN) was also in attendance at the conference. Ellison is the first Muslim-American to be elected to Congress and previous posts have discussed the controversy over his trip to Mecca which was funded by the Muslim American Society, a US Muslim Brotherhood group close to the Egyptian organization. In February 2011, Ellison called fears of a Muslim Brotherhood takeover in Egypt a “scarecrow” and in July 2012 dismissed concerns over Muslim Brotherhood influence in the US government as “scare-mongering.”
Complementing the presence of Congressman Ellison and former State Department advisor Esposito is yet another photo showing what the caption describes as an unidentified US State Department representative speaking to the conference about Syrian Refugees. The GMBDW reported yesterday that the conference was expected to feature a White House briefing and a visit to the US Congress as well as a banquet to which various government official around the world were to be invited.
Also speaking at the conference was Iqbal Sacranie, a former Chairman of the Muslim Council of Britain (MCB), a UK umbrella group that has been dominated by the Jaamat-I-Islami and usually acts in concert with the Global Muslim Brotherhood. As late as 2008, the original Union of Good website identified Iqbal Sacranie as a Trustee. The UOG is a worldwide coalition of charities headed by global Muslim Brotherhood leader Youssef Qaradawi and was designated by the US in 2008 as a terrorist organization. Also representing the UK Muslim Brotherhood, in addition to Anas Altikriti as reported yesterday, was Omer El-Hamdoon (photo, center), President of the Muslim Association of Britain (MAB) that for many years had been the most active organization in the UK Muslim Brotherhood.
Yet another photo shows ihsaan Gardee speaking at the conference. Gardee is the Executive Director of the National Council of Canadian Muslims (NCCM), known to be the Canadian branch of the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR). CAIR was founded in 1994 by three officers of the Islamic Association of Palestine, part of the US Hamas infrastructure at that time. Documents discovered in the course of the the terrorism trial of the Holy Land Foundation confirmed that the founders and current leaders of CAIR were part of the Palestine Committee of the Muslim Brotherhood and that CAIR itself is part of the US. Muslim Brotherhood. As the GMBDW reported yesterday, CAIR leader Nihad Awad was featured as one of the twelve individuals representing the leadership of the conference. Awad 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).
Also tweeting about the conference was Khalid M. Turaani, the former director of the American Muslims for Jerusalem (AMJ). More unpublished GMBDW research details the ties of the AMJ:
The American Muslims for Jerusalem (AMJ) was incorporated in 1999 and sponsored by most of the US Muslim Brotherhood including MPAC, CAIR, AMA, AMC. ICNA, ISNA, and the MAS. AMJ also had many other ties to the Muslim Brotherhood. The AMJ director, Khalid Turaani, was a former staff member of the American Muslim Council and the AMJ Chairman, Omar Ahmad, was one of the founders of CAIR and a former President of the Islamic Association (IAP), part of the Hamas/Muslim Brotherhood infrastructure in the US. The leader of the Jordanian Muslim Brotherhood, Dr. Ishaq Farhan, was invited to speak at the May 6, 2000, AMJ United for Al-Quds Conference co-sponsored by CAIR. In December 2001, Khalid Turaani attended the IAP Fifth Annual convention in Chicago. AMJ sponsored a number of boycotts, perhaps the best known of which was their 2002 boycott of Burger King over corporation’s decision to open a restaurant in the West Bank settlement of Ma’ale Adumim. AMJ is currently inactive and state records show it was dissolved.
The GMBDW reported yesterday that the US Muslim Brotherhood coalition known as the US Council of Muslim Organizations (USCMO) had held the 1st International Conference of Muslim Councils in the West February 1-3 in Arlington, Va. The USCMO announcement described the conference as “a major initiative for Muslims in Western nations” and the creation of a steering committee for the Coordinating Body of Muslim Councils in the West was announced.