The Gulf News has posted an article titled “Rise and fall of Muslim Brotherhood in UAE” that provides interesting detail about the operations of the Muslim Brotherhood in that country. The article begins:
April 13, 2013 Abu Dhabi: While the Muslim Brotherhood enjoyed a lot of freedom and influence in the early 1960s and 1970s, its popularity was dealt a sharp blow in the 1990s after the government became highly suspicious of its alternative motives. The Muslim Brotherhood’s ‘conspiracy against the UAE’ goes back to the late 1960s and early 1970s, an Emirati analyst said. During those years, ‘the global movement of the Brotherhood decided to invade the UAE and other Gulf states, through recruiting students who studied abroad. Those students operated secretly through front organisations like mafia-style gangs, money-laundering and espionage rings,’ Dr Ali Salem Humaid, chairman of the Al Mezmaah Centre for Studies and Research, a Dubai-based think-tank, told Gulf News. Dr Humaid added that the Brotherhood’s cell in the UAE influenced the country’s education and judiciary until its political society Jammiyat Al Islah, was dissolved in 1994. Mansour Al Nuqaidan, a Saudi writer, quoted Mohammad Bin Ali Al Mansouri, a former member of the Islah Society’s board, as saying that the Islah had been dissolved after a complaint from Egypt that it provided financial support to Al Jihad militant group, which was affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood and was involved in terrorist acts. Recruitment Related Links Prominent Muslim Brotherhood idealogues The many faces of the Muslim Brotherhood Most members of the movement are recruited during high school or college years and, in many cases, serve in top administrative positions within the Brotherhood’s nationwide structure before being promoted to the Guidance Office, the organisation’s top executive authority.
Read the rest here.
A post from January reported that that the United Arab Emirates would try 94 people on charges of trying to seize power in that country.
The GMBDR has extensively covered the ongoing developments concerning the Muslim Brotherhood in the Gulf countries:
- A post from earlier this month reported that that the UAE had arrested 10 people described as the leadership of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood in that country.
- A post from November 2012 reported on further comments by the Dubai police chief accusing the Muslim Brotherhood of creating unrest in the UAE. As noted in that post, Lt. Gen. Dhahi Khalfan also said that UAE Muslim Brotherhood members who had been arrested had met with Kuwaiti Brotherhood “mentors” including Kuwaiti Brotherhood leader Tariq Al-Suwaidan.
- A post from October 2012 reported on comments by the United Arab Emirates Foreign Minister in which he said that Gulf Arab countries should work together to stop the Muslim Brotherhood from undermining governments in the area.
- A post from late September 2012 reported that the Muslim Brotherhood in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) had denied setting up an armed wing with the goal of seizing power. A post from late September reported on the trial in Abu Dhabi of what are described as “activists belonging to the Muslim Brotherhood” and who reportedly admitted that they have engaged in financial actives and communicated with “the international organisation of the Muslim Brotherhood and other bodies.”
- A post from April 2012 reported that the United Arab Emirates (UAE) had detained six members of the local Muslim Brotherhood whose citizenship had been revoked on the basis of belonging to groups that fund terrorists. Earlier posts reported on allegations by the Dubai police chief that the Muslim Brotherhood is using social media to attack the UAE and his threat to arrest Qaradawi who criticized the UAE for revoking the visas of Syrians demonstrating against the regime in Damascus.
- In March 2012, a post reported that that Tariq Al-Suwaidan had added his voice to the conflict between the UAE and the Global Muslim Brotherhood by warning that if the UAE followed through on its threat to arrest Global Muslim Brotherhood leader Youssef Qaradawi, “it would be a disaster” for the UAE.
The New York Times reported in mid-January on the continuing conflict between the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood.
globalmb @ April 15, 2013
An African news portal is reporting on what is described as the first conference of the Muslim World League (MWL) that was recently held in Nigeria. The allAfrica.com report begins:
14 APRIL 2013 It was the grandest Muslim conference held in Nigeria in a long time, and Vice President Mohamed Namadi Sambo spent three full days in Sokoto attending it. It was the first conference of the Muslim World League ever held in Africa, and it was a small miracle that Sokoto was chosen as the venue for this event. Quite right, Sokoto was always in very good standing as the capital of the old Sokoto Caliphate, one of the most remarkable phenomena of Muslim state building and religious reinvigoration ever seen on the African continent. The Muslim World League [MWL], also known by its Arabic name Rabita al-Alam al-Islami, is one of the largest Islamic non-governmental organisations in the world with its headquarters in the holy city of Makka, Saudi Arabia. It was founded in 1962 by eminent Muslim figures from 22 countries led by the then Saudi Crown Prince Faisal ibn Abdul Aziz, who later became King of Saudi Arabia. Back in the 1960s, the Sardauna of Sokoto Sir Ahmadu Bello was one of the important figures who promoted the MWL’s world-wide work, which included advocating the application of the rules of the Shari’a either by individuals, groups or states and coordinating the efforts of Islamic preachers the world over. Other functions of Rabita include developing methods for the propagation of Islam, peacefully in accord with the Qur’an and the Sunnah; education and culture; holding symposia, rehabilitation, and refresher courses; bringing intellectuals and opinion leaders together during the pilgrimage season with the aim of fostering closer relations among them and urging them to develop practical methods of raising the standard of Muslims in the world; overseeing the activities of the Fiqh Council and lending it the support it needs to find Islamic solutions to contemporary problems; promoting activities that aim at spreading the Arabic language and raising the standard of teaching to both Arabs and non-Arabs; setting up branch offices as well as Islamic centres to serve the purpose of Islam; extending urgent relief to Muslims affected by war and natural disasters; and making the activities and construction of mosques more effective.
Read the rest here.
The Muslim World League was established in 1962 as a means for the propagation of Saudi “Wahabbi” Islam. Muslim Brothers played an important role in its founding and, to date, the League has been strongly associated with the Brotherhood.
A post from November 2011 reported that the NIgerian branch of the U.S. based International Institute of Islamic Thought (IIIT) sits on an Islamic coordination council in Nigeria. As discussed in a post from August 2007, the website of the Muslim Student’s Society of Nigeria states that it played a “leading role” in the formation of a variety of important Islamic organizations, both internationally, and in the U.S. including IIIT. According to a recent Hudson Institute report, IIIIT was founded in the U.S. in 1980 by U.S. Muslim Brotherhood leaders including Jamal Barzinji and Hisham Altalib who wished to promote the “Islamization of Knowledge” and who were also early leaders of ISNA. IIIT was associated with the now defunct SAAR Foundation, a Saudi-funded network of Islamic organizations located in Northern Virginia that was raided by the Federal government in March 2002 in connection with the financing of terrorism and both organizations had been under investigation at that time by the U.S. Justice Department until at least mid 2007.
globalmb @ April 15, 2013
Israeli media is reporting that Omar Mustafa, the head of Sweden’s Islamic Association and a member of the Social Democratic Party’s governing board, resigned on Saturday from his post because of allegations of anti-gay bias, sexism and anti-Semitism. According to a Jerusalem Post report:
BERLIN – Omar Mustafa, the head of Sweden’s Islamic Association and a member of the Social Democratic Party’s governing board, resigned on Saturday from his post in the center-left party because of allegations of anti-gay bias, sexism and anti-Semitism. The 28-year old Mustafa tweeted in 2011 that Sweden should send fighter planes to Israel instead of to attack the late Muammar Gaddafi’s regime in Libya as part of the 2011 NATO campaign to protect the civilian population. The Swedish social democrats elected Mustafa last week to their governing board in Stockholm. Related: EJC president: Sweden a center of anti-Semitism EU Experts call for action against Hezbollah After Mustafa’s election to the board, however, a mushrooming series of disclosures about his cordial words for Egyptian anti-Semites, his Islamic organization’s refusal to recognize equality between men and women, and invitations to Islamists who propagate hardcore anti-gay ideologies, sparked fury in the Swedish media and with the former head of the social democrats. Mustafa ‘liked’ the Facebook page of Yusuf al-Qaradawi, an Egyptian theologian who has called for suicide bombings against Israelis and justified the Holocaust, saying, ‘Throughout history, Allah has imposed upon the [Jews] people who would punish them for their corruption. The last punishment was carried out by Hitler.’ Responding to the resignation, Lisa Abramowicz, the secretary-general of the Swedish-Israel Information Center, told The Jerusalem Post on Saturday that she is ‘a bit surprised, since they [social democrats]were so adamant until just a few hours ago that as a social democrat he was by definition an anti-racist.’ Stefan Löfven, the head of Sweden’s Social Democrats, initially accepted Mustafa’s statement last week that he is against anti-Semitism and the social democratic leader seemed to double-down on retaining Mustafa as a board member.. Swedish media reports revealed anti-women by-laws of the Islamic Association, containing provisions for segregating the sexes and defending sexual discrimination against women. The Swedish free daily Metro reported Löfven stating,’You cannot be elected to the Social Democrats unless you can fully stand up for the party’s values of human equality and equality between women and men.
Read the rest here.
The “Islamic Association” referred to above is most likely the Islamiska Förbundet i Stockholm (IFIS) and is the Swedish member organization of the Federation of Islamic Organizations In Europe (FIOE), the umbrella organization representing the Muslim Brotherhood in Europe. Abdirizak Waberi is the IFIS President and was the Vice-President of FIOE in 2010.
A post from December 2010 reported that the imam of Stockholm’s largest mosque had condemned the recent suicide attacks in the Swedish capital. A local media report from April 2006 states that although later expelled, an Al Qaeda recruiter was operating in the Södermalmsmoskén, also known as the Great Mosque, and that the mosque was known for having “fundamentalist” sympathizers as well as individuals associated with the Muslim Brotherhood. The mosque is run by the IFIS. In May 2004, local media carried a report by a local Muslim who said that Hassan Moussa was giving incendiary speeches at the mosque in Arabic that were incorrectly translated into Swedish. These speeches including accusations that the US was “raping Islam.”
A post from 2007 reported on the construction of a large new Saudi-funded mosque in Goteborg, Sweden that was possibly tied to the IFIS.
globalmb @ April 14, 2013
A Saudi newspaper has published an article detailing how a prominent North London mosque was taken over by the U.K Muslim Brotherhood. The article in Asharq Al-Awsat begins:
London, Asharq Al-Awsat—A huge crashing sound rings out across the cold North London night as a 50-pound battering ram smashes open the sturdy mosque doors. Armed police, wearing special slip-on covers over their boots, silently enter the notorious Finsbury Park Mosque. One group heads right towards the ablution area, another up the stairs towards the offices and prayer area. The year is 2003, and the mosque is led by the hook-handed hatemonger Abu Hamza Al-Masri. It is infamous for being a ‘suicide factory’—a term coined by two Times journalists in a well-known book—churning out a veritable all-star list of dangerous extremists and terrorists. Ten years later and the police are back, but this time as part of a community outreach program to tackle hate crimes and anti-social behavior in the local area. In fact, not only are senior members of the local police force attending this open conference at the mosque, but local MP Jeremy Corbyn is delivering the opening speech. The current trustees work under the umbrella of the Muslim Association of Britain (MAB) and took control of Finsbury Park Mosque in 2005, two years after the police raid and one year after former Imam Abu Hamza was arrested on terrorism charges. MAB was founded in 1997 by a number of prominent Britain-based Muslims, including well-known Muslim Brotherhood-affiliated figures like Kamal El-Helbawy and Walid Saffour. The organization was initially heavily involved in the British protest movement, including the Stop the War Coalition and the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament. The group is currently led by Omer El-Hamdoon. Since the MAB takeover, Finsbury Park Mosque has experienced an unexpected turnaround. Speaking from his sparse office, the mosque’s chairman, Mohamed Kozbar, told Asharq Al-Awsat: ‘In 2005, we [the MAB] were approached by the council, the police, the MPs and the charity commission to try to help sort out the problems at the mosque. After intensive discussions, we decided to go ahead [with the takeover] because we thought that it would be beneficial for both the Muslim community and the wider community. We were aware that a lot of problems were happening here, and we thought that it was our duty to help sort this out.
Read the rest here.
A post from reported on complaints by trustees of the Finsbury mosque that their signatures were forged on mosque legal documents.
The Muslim Association of Britain (MAB) had for many years been the most active organization in the U.K Muslim Brotherhood. Many of the leaders of the MAB left in 2007 to form a new organization known as the British Muslim Initiative (BMI). According to sources in the U.K, the breakup appeared to be the result of a conflict between traditionalists in the MAB who were unhappy with the high level of involvement in U.K left-wing politics while those who who formed the BMI wished such activity to continue. Prior to the split, the MAB often joined in coalitions with far-left U.K groups such as the Stop the War Coalition and the Respect Party. The MAB is still part of the European Muslim Brotherhood umbrella group known as the Federation of Islamic Organizations in Europe (FIOE) as well as the U.K. umbrella group the Muslim Council of Britain (MCB), also dominated by the Muslim Brotherhood. After a period in which the MAB appeared to be moribund and only active in Scotland, the web site was reactivated in February 2008 and announced one month later that Ahmed Al-Rawi had been chosen as the new MAB President. Al-Rawi himself had been the long-time president of FIOE and was replaced sometime following the assassination of his brother in Iraq. Sometime in 2009, Ahmad Belhaj replaced Al-Rawi as MAB President.
globalmb @ April 14, 2013
In an article for Foreign Policy, academic Dr. Marc Lynch attempts to justify his his long-standing attempt to legitimize the Muslim Brotherhood as for force for democracy. The article begins:
BY MARC LYNCH | APRIL 10, 2013 The deterioration of Egyptian politics has spurred an intense, often vitriolic polarization between Islamists and their rivals that has increasingly spilled over into analytical disputes. Some principled liberals who once supported the Muslim Brotherhood against the Mubarak regime’s repression have recanted. Longtime critics of the Islamists view themselves as vindicated and demand that Americans, including me, apologize for getting the Brotherhood wrong. As one prominent Egyptian blogger recently put it, ‘are you ready to apologize for at least 5 years of promoting the MB as fluffy Democrats to everyone? ARE YOU?’ So, should we apologize? Did we get the Brotherhood wrong? Not really. The academic consensus about the Brotherhood got most of the big things right about that organization … at least as it existed prior to the 2011 Egyptian revolution. U.S. analysists and academics correctly identified the major strands in its ideological development and internal factional struggles, its electoral prowess, its conflicts with al Qaeda and hard-line Salafis, and the tension between its democratic ambitions and its illiberal aspirations. And liberals who defended the Brotherhood against the Mubarak regime’s torture and repression were unquestionably right to do so — indeed, I would regard defending the human rights and political participation of a group with which one disagrees as a litmus test for liberalism.”
Read the rest here.
Dr. Lynch has also been a proponent of the idea the Muslim Brotherhood could serve as some kind of “bulwark” against Al-Qaeda and related groups.
A post from June 2008 discussed Dr. Lynch’s position that repression was responsible for the “hardline turn” of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood . Previous posts have discussed Dr. Lynch’s sympathetic position towards the Brotherhood, his trip(s) to Egypt to meet with Brotherhood leaders, and his flawed use of political science methodology in reaching his conclusions about the Brotherhood’s commitment to democracy.
globalmb @ April 11, 2013