US Media Fails Again- US Muslim Brotherhood Electoral Group Receives No Scrutiny

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US media is doing its customary incompetent job at doing any kind of due diligence when it comes to US Muslim Brotherhood groups. Last week, World Religion News reported on an organization known as Project Mobilize, describing it only as a “a political action nonprofit organization dedicated to the betterment of the Muslim American community. ” Despite the fact that the report goes on to cite the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR), it fails to identify any of the connections of Project Mobilize to CAIR itself much less to the other Global Muslim Brotherhood organizations tied to the group:

In Chicago, while Muslims have been active in voter registration, Othman and other candidates like her are part of the first organized effort to prepare and mobilize Muslims to run for political office.

Project Mobilize is a nonprofit organization with the mission of developing the political potential of the Muslim community in Chicago’s southwest suburbs.

Launched last spring, it is the first professional political action organization that focuses on the grass-roots political empowerment and engagement of American Muslims through local politics.

Executive Director Reema Ahmed says that Muslim candidates running for public office is a natural next step.

‘For the past 20 years, the Muslim American community here has gone from learning about what it means to be a citizen, to registering to vote, to going out on election day. The natural trend of any community is to become more and more involved and seek to give back.’

More than 400,000 Muslim Americans live in the Chicago area.

In the city’s southwest suburbs, in the 10 precincts surrounding one of largest mosques in the country, 20% of the registered voters are Muslim.

But only one Muslim is in local office in this area. But do they vote?

While a growing number of American Muslims are running, and winning elections nationwide, Muslim American have the lowest percentage of registered voters of all American religious groups, according to a 2009 Gallup Poll.

Safaa Zarzour, who is a board member at Project Mobilize and the first Muslim commissioner of the Bridgeview Park District in Illinois, stresses the importance of Muslims running for political office, despite low political participation.

Read the entire report here.

In January 2013, the GMBDW posted an extensive analysis of Project Mobilize, an organization we described as “a newly-emerging organization whose leaders are tied to the US. Muslim Brotherhood and which is designed to help elect Muslims to local governments in the Chicago area.” That post documented the group’s extensive connections to the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR), the Mosque Foundation, and the Muslim American Society, all part of the US Muslim Brotherhood. We excerpt here the relevant portion of that post and it should be noted that many of the links documenting these connections have been subsequently scrubbed as we find often happens after a post such as this:

According to its website, the following individuals are members of the board of Project Mobilize and are known to have ties to the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood:

  • Safaa Zarzour (Secretary-General of the Islamic Society of North America who has extensive ties to the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood)
  • M. Yaser Tabbara (former Executive Director of Council on American Islamic Relations Chicago chapter)
  • Oussama Jammal (Vice President of the Mosque Foundation in Bridgeview, Illinois, known to have been a center for terrorism fundraising)

In addition, the online c.v. for Reema Ahmed indicates that she did more than “work with” the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR). She was in fact the Government Affairs Coordinator for the Chicago chapter. In addition, she is currently a director of the Islamic Society of Milwaukee where Salah Sarsour serves as the Religious Chair as well as being the registered agent for the Wisconsin chapter of the Muslim American Society (MAS), a part of the US Muslim Brotherhood closely tied to the Egyptian organization. The Sarsour family in Milwaukee is known to have many ties to the Hamas infrastructure in the US.

Her c.v also indicates that she is a Fellow at the American Muslim Civic Leadership (AMCLI) Institute which serves as home for Project M. According to its website, the AMCLI  is:

…housed at the University of Southern California’s Center for Religion and Civic Culture (CRCC), and works in partnership with the Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Center for Muslim Christian Understanding (ACMCU) at Georgetown University.

The Saudi-funded ACMCU is well known as the home of John Esposito, who has at least a dozen past or present affiliations with global Muslim Brotherhood/Hamas. Since that time Oussama Jammal has become known as the leader of the US Council of Muslim Organizations, a coalition of US Muslim Brotherhood organizations that recently held the 1st International Conference of Muslim Councils in the West, a new global body comprised of Global Muslim Brotherhood groups from around the world.  A followup to the original post identified even further ties of Project Mobilize to the Global Muslim Brotherhood.

As we describe in our short profile on CAIR, the organization  was founded in 1994 by three officers of the Islamic Association of Palestine, part of the U.S. 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. In 2008, the then Deputy leader of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood acknowledged a relationship between the Egyptian Brotherhood and CAIR.  In 2009, a US federal judge ruled “The Government has produced ample evidence to establish the associations of CAIR, ISNA and NAIT with HLF, the Islamic Association for Palestine (“IAP”), and with Hamas.” CAIR and its leaders have had a long history of defending individuals accused of terrorism by the US. government, often labeling such prosecutions a “war on Islam”, and have also been associated with Islamic fundamentalism and antisemitism.

Should anybody attempt to argue that anything has changed since its founding, it should be noted that CAIR is led by Nihad Awad, its longstanding Executive Director and one of the three original founders who was present during an infamous 1993 meeting held in Philadelphia by senior leaders of Hamas. Very little is known about the organization’s “behind the scenes” activities but when such information does become available, it reveals that Mr. Awad shows up in very interesting places. For example, we reported in 2008 that Awad was an invited speaker for the sixth Palestinians in Europe Conference, annual event associated with Hamas and which that year featured the usual lineup of speakers tied to Hamas and/or the Global Muslim Brotherhood. In March of this year, we reported that Awad attended an international counterterrorism conference held in Mecca and sponsored by the Muslim World League (MWL), a Saudi organization long associated with the Global Muslim Brotherhood and linked to supporting Islamic terrorist organizations globally and with a history of anti-Semitism. Awad was also featured prominently at the 1st International Conference of Muslim Councils in the West, discussed above.

Whatever one’s opinion on CAIR might be, and the group is certainly controversial to say the least, it should be relatively uncontroversial to expect that a group such as Project Mobilize receive at least the minimum of competent journalistic scrutiny. Our original post on the group was done almost three-and-a-half years ago and if anybody believes it would be hard to find, we suggest the following simple Google search which features out post as the sixth result.  A Google News search on Project Mobilize itself reveals no other media reporting on the subject at all. How is it possible that an effort to elect individuals to public office mounted in the US by groups with transnational Islamist connections can receive no media attention whatsoever? As always, the GMBDW stand ready to assist any credible journalist anywhere should any of them decide that this subject is deserving of proper investigation and research.

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