Does the US State Department Understand Who They Are Talking To- Do They Care?

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According to the American Muslims for Palestine (AMP), itself a group with strong ties to both the US Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas support infrastructure, has reported that a US Muslim Brotherhood coalition has met at the US State Department to discuss the Al-Aqsa Mosque crisis. According to the AMP report:

August 10, 2017 Representatives of the US Council of Muslim Organizations (USCMO), a coalition of leading national and local American Muslim organizations, met yesterday with State Department officials to discuss the ongoing Al-Aqsa Mosque crisis and Israel’s denial of religious freedom in Jerusalem, which is holy to the three Abrahamic faiths.

During the meeting at the State Department, the delegation highlighted the religious significance of Jerusalem and the Al Aqsa mosque sanctuary – Islam’s third holiest site — for the world’s 1.7 billion Muslim, including the 6 million Muslims residing in the United States. Officials assured the group the United States is committed to maintaining the safety and security of worshipers in Jerusalem.

Two weeks of peaceful Palestinian protests and international pressure in July forced Israeli authorities to remove surveillance cameras they had installed at the gates to Al Aqsa. Palestinians and Muslims worldwide remain concerned about Israel’s denial of religious rights for Muslims and Christians, and the ongoing Israeli effort to alter the religious landscape of Jerusalem.

‘While we’re glad the security cameras and checkpoints were removed from outside Al Aqsa, Israel’s occupation is still firmly in place,’ said Dr. Osama Abuirshaid, AMP national policy director and USCMO board member. ‘When we articulate our position to the State Department it informs them that there are thousands of Americans demanding a more fair and balanced foreign policy in the Middle East.

‘We wanted to convey to the State Department how deeply concerned we are about the incidents in Jerusalem and to make sure they understood the religious significance this site holds for American Muslims,’ said Oussama Jammal, USCMO secretary general. ‘We were encouraged by the constructive dialogue at the State Department on these important issues.’

USCMO member organizations represented at the meeting included Oussama Jammal, Secretary General of USCMO; Osama abuIrshaid, American Muslims for Palestine (AMP); Roula Allouch, Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR); Dr. Muzammil Siddiqi, Islamic Shura Council of Southern California (ISCSC); Dr. Zahid Bukhari and Dr. Mohsin Ansari, Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA); Mir Masum Ali, Muslim Ummah of North America (MUNA).

Israel had installed metal detectors at entry points to the Al Aqsa Mosque compound in Jerusalem after two police officers were shot dead on July 14 and setting off what have been described as the bloodiest clashes between Israelis and Palestinians in years. (The detectors have since been removed.) Although the protests were widely characterized as demonstrating “Muslim anger” over Al Aqsa, often the subject of various Global Muslim Brotherhood conspiracy theories involving alleged Israeli plots and plans to destroy the mosque, the GMBDW reported last month that a group calling itself Europeans for Jerusalem” Foundation (Europeans for Al-Quds) posted a statement taking responsibility for the  wave of protests in Europe centered on the Mosque. Although the group describes itself as an umbrella organization for dozens of institutions supporting the Palestinian cause and other pro-Palestinian organizations throughout the EU, the GMBDW reported that the groups leaders are in fact tied to the Global Muslim Brotherhood/Hamas. The President of the group is Mohammed Hanoun, identified by the GMBDW in 2010 as the head of the Associazione Benefica di Solidarietà con il Popolo Palestinese (AABSPP), the Italian Union of Good member organization. The UOG is a worldwide coalition  of charities funding Hamas and headed by global Muslim Brotherhood leader Youssef Qaradawi and was designated by the US in 2008 as a terrorist organization.

As the GMBDW first reported in 2014, the US Council of Muslim Organizations (USCMO), a was founded as a US Muslim Brotherhood coalition and all of the above organizations are known to be part of the Brotherhood structure in the US. We subsequently reported in February 2016 that the USCMO inaugural conference 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 European leaders 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. As we reported earlier Qaradawi has weighed in on the crisis, tweeting:

It is incumbent on the Umma of Islam to leave aside minor issues and side battles, and be concerned with the primary cause of Islam: the cause of Palestine and what the prisoner Al-Aqsa Mosque is being subject to,” Qaradawi wrote in a Twitter post on Monday.

Also speaking at the 2016 USCMO conference was Abdullah Benmansour, last known to be the President of the Federation of Islamic Organizations in Europe (FIOE). 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 and has its own history of incitement over the Al-Aqsa Mosque.

The GMBDW would think that the taking advice on the subject from the USCMO, a group tied to their European counterparts responsible for incitement over Al-Aqsa would at least give the State Department pause. Sadly, however, the US State Department has an unfortunate history with respect to the Global Muslim Brotherhood, a history that includes:

The Center for the Study of Islam and Democracy (CSID) was founded in 1998 in what appears to have been a cooperative effort among the US Muslim Brotherhood, the US State Department and Georgetown University academic Dr. John Esposito who served during the 1990’s as a State Department “foreign affairs analyst” and who has at least a dozen past or present affiliations with global Muslim Brotherhood/Hamas organizations. Past CSID board members included Jamal Barzinji and Taha Al-Alwani, both associated with the International Institute of Islamic Thought (IIIT) and both important leaders in the US Muslim Brotherhood who helped to establish many of the most important U.S. Brotherhood organizations. Antony Sullivan, the current CSID Vice-Chair, has many ties to U.S. Brotherhood groups including the Association of Muslim Social Scientists (AMSS), the United Association for Studies and Research (USAR), and the Circle of Tradition and Progress (COTP), a group whose other founding members included Global Muslim Brotherhood leader Youssef Qaradawi. From its inception, CSID has argued that the U.S. government should support Islamist movements in foreign countries and has received financial support from the U.S. State Department, the National Endowment for Democracy and the United States Institute of Peace.

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