Groups tied to the Muslim Brotherhood in the US have criticized Joe Biden’s US Presidential campaign over its disavowal of Palestinian-American activist Linda Sarsour. The disavowal came shortly after Sarsour made an appearance at a virtual Democratic National Committee (DNC) Muslim delegate meeting. According to an article in the Times of Israel:
August 20, 2020 Joe Biden, the Democratic presidential nominee, disavowed Palestinian-American activist Linda Sarsour after she appeared at an online meeting of Muslims who will be campaigning for Biden for president. “Joe Biden has been a strong supporter of Israel and a vehement opponent of anti-Semitism his entire life, and he obviously condemns her views and opposes BDS, as does the Democratic platform,” Andrew Bates, a Biden campaign spokesman, said in a statement Tuesday to CNN, referring to Sarsour’s embrace of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement targeting Israel. “She has no role in the Biden campaign whatsoever.” Sarsour had appeared that afternoon at the Democratic National Committee Muslims and Allies virtual assembly. Republicans immediately seized on the appearance, with party officials posting a few seconds on social media.
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After the Biden campaign’s rejection of her views, Sarsour was defended by a number of Muslim and/or Arab advocacy groups including the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR), a group tied to the US Muslim Brotherhood and which emerged out of the US Hamas support infrastructure. CAIR issued the following statement in her defense:
Our sister @lsarsour is an outspoken advocate of justice for all, including the Jewish community. Smearing her and other American Muslims as anti-Semitic for supporting Palestinian human rights is predictable, despicable and unacceptable. Our political leaders must stop doing it.
Also defending Sarsour was a group known as Emgage which issued the following statement:
Specifically, Mr. Bates’ statement that Joe Biden “condemns” Sarsour’s views is reckless and hurtful. Is the campaign telling Muslim voters that Biden condemns all of Sarsour’s views as a Muslim American progressive woman of color? The Democratic Party is a big tent party that welcomes diversity, including differing opinions on sensitive subjects. In the view of the numerous community members and allies that have reached out to us since this occurred, the message coming out of the campaign is that Joe Biden condemns those who hold certain views on Israel and its problematic treatment of Palestinians. If that is the litmus test for who is welcomed in the Party, then we are at risk of seriously fracturing it.
The GMBDW reported last month that Linda Sarsour had appeared at a Democratic virtual conference sponsored by Emgage and featuring Joe Biden as well as Biden‘s Muslim Engagement Advisor, Farooq Mitha who is also an Emgage leader. That post detailed the ties of Emgage to the USMB, most notably as a member of the US Council of Muslim Organizations (USCMO) established in 2014 by eight organizations, seven of which are part of the USMB. The conference also featured long-time USMB leaders CAIR Director Nihad Awad and Salman Al-Marayati, head of the Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC).
In the past Sarsour has drawn substantial media attention due to her role as co-chair of the Women’s March on Washington to protest the administration of President Trump, a position she had to step down from in 2019 following accusations of anti-Semitism, infighting and financial mismanagement. Sarsour is known as a harsh critic of Israel as well as a proponent of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement and has appeared at a 2015 march organized by anti-Semite Louis Farrakhan. She has also accused US politicians of being more loyal to Israel than to the American people. Additionally, the GMBDW has reported on Sarsour’s family ties to Hamas.
The DNC Muslim delegate meeting also featured contributions by Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) and Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison, who has a long-standing relationship with the US Muslim Brotherhood and was once set to become the Democratic National Chairman. Other individuals tied to the US Muslim Brotherhood who attended the delegate meeting included:
- Azhar Azeez, co-founder of the Council for American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), President of the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) and Senior National Director of Islamic Relief USA (IRUSA)
- Anwar Khan, IRUSA President
- Khurrum Wahid, Chairman of Muslim Political Action Committee Emgage Action, one-time CAIR legal advisor and officer of CAIR-Florida)
- Farooq Mitha, Senior Muslim Engagement Advisor to the DNC and Executive Director at Emgage Action
- Petra Alsoofy, Outreach and Partnership Director at the Institute for Social Policy and Understanding (ISPU)
GMBDW reporting on the relationship of former Democrat administrations to individuals and organizations linked to the US and Global Muslim Brotherhood has included:
- In 2013, we reported that a top Muslim Brotherhood advisor had worked for the Bill Clinton Foundation in Egypt.
- In 2010, we reported on the family ties of Hillary Clinton Chief of Staff Huma Abedin to the Global Muslim Brotherhood.
- In 2010 we reported on the relationship with the US Muslim Brotherhood of President Obama’s newly appointed Special Envoy to the Organization of Islamic Conference.
- In 2009, we reported on the family ties of an Obama Faith Advisor to the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood.
- In 2009, we reported that several Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood members had been invited to attend President Obama’s speech to the Muslim world in Cairo.
- In August 2008, we reported that the Obama campaign Muslim-outreach coordinator was part of multiple organizations tied to the US Muslim Brotherhood.
The GMBDW has also documented numerous White House meetings involving the US Muslim Brotherhood during the Obama Administration. The relationship of Democratic Administrations with the US Muslim Brotherhood appears to have begun in 1996 when Hillary Clinton first invited USMB leaders to a White House Iftar dinner.