Global Muslim Brotherhood Reacting Widely To Trump Victory

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The Global Muslim Brotherhood has begun to react widely to the election of Donald Trump as US President. One of the groups outside the US to issue a statement was the Ennahda Party, essentially the Muslim Brotherhood in Tunisia led by Rachid Ghannouchi. According to a statement on the official party Facebook page, Ghannouchi has congratulated Trump on his victory:

Tunis, 9 November 2016 Following the announcement of the results of the US presidential elections and the victory of candidate Donald Trump to become the 45th president of the United States of America, Ennahdha is pleased to congratulate President-elect Trump on the trust given to him by the American people. Ennahdha Party stresses that Tunisia and the USA must preserve their common interests. The new President-elect has an important role in managing American interests in the world and directing American foreign policy, particularly in relation to Arab and Muslim nations and causes, towards establishing peace and supporting the people of these nations in their movements towards freedom, democracy-building and development in their countries.

Ennahdha Party

President Rached Ghannouchi

Hamas on the other hand has take the opportunity to instruct the President elect on how he should conduct his policy toward the Palestinian/Israeli conflict. According to a Turkish media report, Hamas political leader Khaled Meshaal told the International Forum of Youth for Jerusalem meeting in Istanbul that “It would be wrong of Trump to give the green light to Israel to do as it pleases in Palestine”:

November 10, 2016 Khaled Meshaal, head of Palestinian resistance movement Hamas, urged U.S. President-elect Donald Trump on Thursday to reconsider longstanding U.S. policy vis-à-vis the Palestine/Israel dispute.

Speaking from Doha via video-conference, Meshaal made the appeal in a speech he delivered to the International Forum of Youth for Jerusalem held Thursday in Istanbul.

Addressing the U.S. president-elect, Meshaal said, ‘There can be no stability in the [Middle East] region without recognizing the rights of Palestine’.

He added: ‘Now is the time to acknowledge that Israel has become a burden on you [the U.S.]… We call on you to treat fairly with the Palestinians and end your policy of overlooking Israel’s perpetual crimes.’

‘It would be wrong of Trump to give the green light to Israel to do as it pleases in Palestine… We urge him to reconsider his country’s policy of unqualified bias towards Israel,’ Meshaal said.

Trump, the Republican party’s presidential nominee, decisively captured the White House on Wednesday, beating out Democratic rival Hillary Clinton.

The Hamas leader also urged Palestinians to come together in defense of Jerusalem’s Al-Aqsa Mosque, asserting that Israel sought to change the city’s historical Arab and Islamic identity.

‘We must work day and night for the cause of Jerusalem,’ he said. ‘The entire world must know that Jerusalem is the key to war and peace [in the region].’

US groups have also weighed in on the election with what could be described as cautiously congratulatory statements. The GMBDW judges that the US Muslim Brotherhood is attempting not to burn bridges prematurely with the President-elect while at the same time not alienating their constituencies. According to a report by CNSNews.com, a self-described counter to “liberal bias” in the media,  the leader of the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) told a press conference that “American Muslims are here to stay. We are not going anywhere, and will not be intimidated or marginalized”:

November 9, 2016 The Council on American-Islamic-Relations and other Muslim groups called on President-elect Donald Trump Wednesday to reach out to Muslims and other communities ‘impacted’ by his campaign rhetoric.

‘As citizens of this great nation, we accept the result of the democratic process that has bound us together as one nation,’ said CAIR national executive director Nihad Awad.

‘Regardless of who won or lost yesterday’s election, American Muslims are here to stay. We are not going anywhere, and will not be intimidated or marginalized.’

As a press conference in Washington D.C. reacting to the presidential election outcome, Awad said that to CAIR’s knowledge neither Trump nor any member of his campaign had reached out to representatives of Muslim organizations since the result was announced.

He said CAIR invites Trump, as it has done before, to reach out to Muslim community leaders ‘to meet and to have a serious and deep conversation about the future of this country and how we can work together.’

‘It is our obligation as Muslims, as citizens, to be gracious and to communicate with the leaders of our country,’ he said.

Awad said CAIR also expects Trump to reach out, ‘especially to the communities that have felt threatened by his rhetoric, not only the Muslim community – Latinos, Mexicans, the African-American communities …’

The Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) describes itself as “a grassroots civil rights and advocacy group and as “America’s largest Islamic civil liberties group.” The group was founded in 1994 by three officers of the Islamic Association of Palestine, part of the U.S. Hamas infrastructure at that time, and Nihad Awad was hired as the CAIR Executive Director.

The same CNS report cites comments by the President of the Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA), a US group close to the Jaamat-e-Islami, in which he congratulated Trump but said it was “incumbent on Trump to heal the nation, ensure the safety, security and freedom of worship of minorities and places of worship”:

Islamic Circle of North America president Naeem Baig congratulated Trump on his ‘surprising victory’ and welcomed what he said had been a free and fair election process.

At the same time, he said the U.S. has come through an ‘appalling election season that saw Islamophobia, anti-immigrant, sexist and racist rhetoric become mainstream in the United States.’

He said it was incumbent on Trump to heal the nation, ensure the safety, security and freedom of worship of minorities and places of worship, ‘in particular those who have been threatened.’

Baig also urged the Department of Justice to keep an eye on hate groups and individuals, ‘who are now organized, vocal and well-networked.’

And he congratulated Hillary Clinton ‘for running an amazing campaign and for winning the popular vote.’

The CNS report also cites comments by a representative of the American Muslims for Palestine (AMP), a Palestinian advocacy group with strong ties to both the US Muslim Brotherhood and to the Hamas support infrastructure in the US, who told a press briefing that the group hopes for a “more positive discourse” from the President elect:

At Wednesday’s press briefing, Kristin Szremski of American Muslims for Palestine said there was ‘a lot of fear out there among Muslims and other impacted communities.’

She said the group hopes that Trump will ‘put aside his decisive rhetoric’ and ‘adopt a more positive discourse.’

‘Muslims are not aliens in this country,’ Szremski said. ‘We are longstanding citizens and we expect to be treated as such. We should not be singled out, subjected to surveillance and otherwise marginalized by threats to close our mosques, make us carry special IDs or to ban Muslims from entering the United States.’

Finally, the leader of the Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC) issued a statement on the group’s website which, as often, uses the opportunity to promote its own relationship with the US government. According to the statement, “MPAC’s engagement model is needed now more than ever”:

Last night represented a tectonic shift in the American political landscape because of Donald Trump’s victory in the presidential elections and the cavernous divisions this particular race exposed.

This presidential campaign did not create these divisions but reminded us of how changing demographics in our country have created fear and hysteria in parts of our nation, leading to unrest and a fractured society. Another indicator of this division is that Hillary Clinton won the popular vote by the slightest of margins, while Donald Trump won the electoral votes which determines who is president.

We accept the results of the election because we believe in the principle of democracy and the peaceful transition of power. We have to deal with the presidency no matter who is in office and we have to engage all Americans no matter their political persuasion, their race or their creed.

We, American Muslims, will be among those who represent the conscience of the American people, based on a vision of pluralism and equality under the law.

MPAC’s engagement model is needed now more than ever. We will redouble on our principle of seeking common ground, whether with the left or the right. We will work with those who are disenfranchised and those who feel left out, with citizens and with government. We will base our relationships with all people and sectors of society on the principles of freedom, liberty and justice for all. That, in our minds and in our souls, is the truest path to unity as Americans.

At this time, our work with allies in media, Hollywood and civil society will be more critical than ever to promote the truth that can liberate people from the shackles of xenophobia. Our allies in law enforcement will be our line of defense against any threat to our community. We will continue to engage all governmental and non-governmental sectors to establish common ground and defend our democracy.

Read the rest here.

The Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC) was established originally in 1986 by leaders with backgrounds suggesting they were associated with the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood. The group has since developed into the political lobby arm of the US Muslim Brotherhood

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