For full article by Avi Issacharoff go to http://tinyurl.com/hrlb7yr
Via conferences and through hierarchies linked to the Muslim Brotherhood, Gaza-based terror group, Hamas is building global infrastructure to challenge PLO’s standing as Palestinians’ sole legitimate representative
At the end of February, in Istanbul, the Palestinians Abroad Conference convened with the purported goal of promoting global support for the Palestinians. Its actual purpose was to bolster the status of Hamas in the international arena.
It became clear that many of the organizers and attendees had something else in common: they are known to have been members — for decades — of Muslim Brotherhood-affiliated networks all over Europe. Many of the same faces are present — including current and past members of the Muslim Brotherhood, at a more or less official level, and current and past members of Hamas.
Their shared goal is to promote international legitimacy for Hamas — in Europe, Africa, the Middle East (of course) and even in Latin America — in a bid to challenge the PLO’s international standing as the sole legitimate representative of the Palestinian people.
Hamas, in this way, is slowly but surely establishing a global infrastructure of supporters who are providing not only encouragement and legitimacy, but also quite a bit of financial assistance.
Tracing the outlines of this infrastructure lends some surprising insights. For example, Britain turns out to be hosting more of this semi-official activity by Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood than any other country in Europe.
One almost quintessential example of such activity under innocent-seeming cover is the Global Anti-Aggression Campaign. The group held many conferences and issued fatwas against the West, such as against France after it began military action in Mali.
The Campaign began focusing on Gaza in 2009, during and after Operation Cast Lead, an Israeli military campaign aimed at stopping rocket fire from Gaza into Israel. At a conference held in February 2009, the group decided to turn Gaza into a new front for jihad under the auspices of the The declaration, signed by 90 Muslim clerics from all over the world, including members of Hamas, stated that the Palestinian Authority was not the representative of the Palestinian people.
The statement attacked the Saudi-sponsored Arab Peace Initiative — a proposal that offers normalization of ties between Arab countries and Israel in exchange for Israel pulling out of territories claimed by Palestinians — calling it nothing less than “a proven betrayal of the Islamic Nation and the Palestinian cause, and a blatant betrayal of the Palestinian people.”
Another example: FIOE, the Federation of Islamic Organizations in Europe. Thirty-seven different groups in different countries on the continent operate under that organization, and over the years have created an image for themselves as ‘the legitimate representatives’ — the Islamic mainstream. The group is known as IGD in Germany and UOIF in France. The same thing is going on in Scandinavia and almost everywhere.”
These networks operate according to the long-established model of the Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas. In each country there is a network of civil society organizations — in other words, , a word in Arabic meaning proselytizing or preaching of Islam. These organizations are run by well-known figures who head madrasas, or Muslim schools; mosques; charitable organizations that raise money not only for Muslims in Europe but also for Hamas. Recently, Muslim “human rights” groups have been established that work to strengthen support for the ideology of the Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas.
Many prominent figures in these groups, again, operate on British soil. Here are some examples.
• Muhammad Sawalha, of Palestinian origin, is very well known to the Israeli security establishment as one of the founders of Hamas’s military wing in the West Bank. He also lives in London.
• Zaher Birawi, a former Hamas operative in the Gaza Strip, was one of the spokesmen of the Mavi Marmara flotilla and has been involved in other flotillas.
• Essam Yusuf Mustafa is a former member of Hamas’s political wing, at least according to the US Treasury Department. Mustafa, one of the organizers of the latest conference in Istanbul, is on the board of trustees of another organization, Interpal, which was declared a terrorism-supporting organization by the United States as far back as 2003. Both Birawi and Mustafa live in Britain.
Mustafa was a leader of a group called the Charity Coalition (also known as the Union of Good), which raised money for Hamas in the early 2000s and gained the spiritual support of Yusuf al-Qardawi, the leading Sunni cleric and Muslim Brotherhood member..
There are others, in Britain:
- Ismail Patel, head of the Friends of Al-Aqsa group;
- Daud Abdullah, originally from Grenada, a former member of the Muslim Council of Britain, who helps operate a news site which takes a pro-Hamas and pro-Muslim Brotherhood stance;
- Azzam Tamimi, a Palestinian who is the CEO of the Alhiwar television station, which operates from London and is considered explicitly pro-Hamas
- Ibrahim Munir Mustafa, also Egyptian by birth, who chairs the international organization of the Muslim Brotherhood movement and lives in London.
The whole BDS issue benefits from this Islamist infrastructure and receives assistance from organizations that are identified with Hamas or the Muslim Brotherhood.