Former U.S. Muslim Brotherhood Leader with Hamas in Jordan
by THE GLOBAL MUSLIM BROTHERHOOD DAILY REPORT
January 30, 2012
U.S. media is reporting on the visit to Jordan by Hamas political leader Khaled Meshaal, accompanied by former U.S. Muslim Brotherhood leader Abu Marzook. According to an AP report:
Associated Press AMMAN, Jordan (AP) – A high-profile visit to Jordan by the leader of Hamas has revived contacts with the Palestinian militant group, but Jordan will not lift a ban on its activities there, a senior Jordanian official said Sunday.
Khaled Mashaal’s visit was part of Jordan’s efforts to engage with previously shunned Islamists, who have been gaining ground across the region in Arab Spring uprisings.
”It will only break the ice, following years of estrangement,” said the official, who was attending talks between Khaled Mashaal and Jordan’s King Abdullah II, “but Hamas will not be allowed to reopen its offices in Jordan.”
Re-establishing contact with Hamas also positions Jordan to mediate between Israel and the Palestinians.
Mashaal holds a Jordanian passport, but the kingdom expelled him and four other Hamas leaders in 1999 for “illicit and harmful” activities, forcing Mashaal to set up camp in exile in Syria, from where he has led his group’s political bureau. With the harsh Syrian government crackdown on protesters- including some Palestinians in Syria- Mashaal is looking for a new place to operate.
Jordan blacklisted Hamas after an alleged weapons cache was discovered in the country six years ago. Since then, Mashaal was allowed to enter Jordan twice on humanitarian grounds- in August 2009 to attend his father’s funeral, and again last October to visit his ailing mother.
Speaking to reporters after the meeting on Sunday, Mashaal said Hamas was eager to develop “close and unique relations” with Jordan. He suggested more meetings could follow.
“Hamas also cares for Jordan’s security and stability,” he said.
Mashaal also acknowledged “limits and ceilings” in the relationship, which he said Hamas “respects,” but he did not say if the group asked the king to reopen its offices here.
Jordanian officials said the matter was not raised. The visit was arranged by the crown prince of Qatar, which is helping Hamas find a new home. Hamas, which took over the Gaza Strip violently in 2007, opposes a peace deal with Israel.
Jordan, a key U.S. Mideast ally, has a signed peace treaty with Israel. It strongly advocates a negotiated settlement to the lingering Arab-Israeli conflict.
A revival of contacts with Hamas would also allow Jordan to mediate between Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, who heads the moderate Fatah faction and Hamas- his arch foe since 2007. Egypt has been trying to broker an agreement between both sides.
Jordan hosted five meetings between Israeli and Palestinian negotiators this month in a bid to have them restart their peace talks. Jordanian Prime Minister Awn al-Khasawneh repeatedly said that expelling Mashaal was a “legal and constitutional mistake which must be corrected.”
In 2008, the NEFA Foundation posted a court filing by federal prosecutors which provided detail on the role of Mr. Marzook as a leader of the United States-based Muslim Brotherhood and Palestinian Committee. According to the document:
By the outbreak of the First Intifada, the Muslim Brotherhood in the United States was significant and well organized. In 1987, the governing body of the International Muslim Brotherhood decided to focus its mission on the Palestinian issue, and directed that Palestine Committees be formed in countries throughout the world. In the United States, the Palestine Committee was comprised of active Muslim Brotherhood members of Palestinian origin. The leader of the Palestinian Committee in the United States at that time was unindicted co-conspirator Mousa Abu Marzook. Marzook is now – and has been since 1995 – a Specially Designated Terrorist and Hamas leader. In fact, in the early 1990s, Marzook left his post as a leader of the United States-based Muslim Brotherhood and Palestinian Committee to take over as Hamas’ Political Bureau Chief, the organization’s highest official position. The creation and growth of the Palestine Committee in the United States are evidenced in part by documents that the government seized in 2004 from the Virginia home of unindicted co-conspirator and Palestinian Committee member Ismail Elbarasse. As shown by those documents and other evidence, the Muslim Brotherhood directed its Palestinian Committees throughout the world, including the United States, to carry out the mandate of assisting Sheik Yassin and his newly-formed Hamas Movement. In accordance with that mandate, the Palestinian Committee in the United States, which included the defendants Elashi, Baker and El-Mezain, oversaw a number of sub- organizations charged with varying missions calculated to comprehensively address Hamas’ needs. These organizations included the United Association for Studies and Research (UASR) (“think tank”), the Islamic Association of Palestine (IAP) (propaganda and information) and the Occupied Land Fund (OLF) (money), later to become the defendant HLF. The defendant Shukri Abu Baker was in charge of the HLF and, along with the defendants El-Mezain and Elashi, set out to establish what would become the highest grossing Islamic charity in the United States.
It should be noted that the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) grew directly out of the IAP and Hamas infrastructure in the U.S.
It should also be noted that according to the AP article, the visit by Mr. Meshall and Mr. Marzook was arranged by Qatar which is emerging as perhaps the preeminent Mideast center for the Global Muslim Brotherhood. A series of earlier posts covered the launch of a new center for Islamic studies in Qatar to be headed by Global Muslim Brotherhood leader Tariq Ramadan and a close associated of Global Muslim Brotherhood leader Youssef Qaradawi who resides in Qatar.
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The Irish Times has published a fawning interview with Global Muslim Brotherhood supporter and Georgetown academic John Esposito which:
-asserts that Esposito has argued for years that “Islam is not the enemy; religious extremism is”
-in which Espositio claims “Islamophobia and unconditional support for Israel often go hand-in-hand”
-cites Esposito’s statement that he is more concerned about Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu than Iranian leader Ahmadinejad.
WHEN JOHN ESPOSITO was growing up in New York, he spent the better part of a decade in a Capuchin Franciscan monastery.
“I wanted to be ordained but I didn’t see myself spending my entire life in a religious order,” he says. “I missed my family. I had always been attracted to women. I was normal.” About the time Esposito gave up on the priesthood, he found himself in a crowded lift in his mother’s apartment building in Brooklyn. An elderly neighbour asked why he’d left. “I just blurted out, ‘SEX,’ ” says Esposito, laughing. “I married a brilliant blonde the following year.”
Now 71, Esposito has nonetheless fulfilled a lifelong vocation involving a subject that is arguably as controversial as sex: Islam. He brings the sense of humour and directness he demonstrated in that lift in Brooklyn to his work as professor of religion, international affairs and Islamic studies at Georgetown University, and founding director of the Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding at the university.
The author of more than 35 books, Esposito is also editor-in-chief of at least five Oxford reference works on Islam, including The Oxford Encyclopedia of the Modern Islamic World. He was one of the first to warn of what he calls the “social cancer” of Islamophobia, which he compares to anti-Semitism in the US in the 1990s.
Post-9/11, with the help of the Gallup organisation and American-Muslim scholar Dalia Mogahed, he spent six years asking Muslims in 35 countries what they thought about politics and Islam and published the results in the 2008 book Who Speaks for Islam? What a Billion Muslims Really Think . Next Thursday, Esposito will deliver the annual Chester Beatty Lecture in Dublin on The Arab Spring and the Future of Muslim-West Relations .
He will argue that, as Jews and Christians came together in the wake of the Holocaust to emphasise their common Judeo-Christian heritage, the West must now adopt “the broader Abrahamic vision that recognises the integral place of the descendants of Abraham, Hagar and Ismail – Muslims – as co-equal citizens and believers”.
The Arab Spring, the series of revolts against dictators that began in Tunisia in December 2010, then spread to Egypt, Yemen, Libya, Bahrain and Syria, occurred despite, not because of, western policies. Esposito condemns “the falsity of commonly held stereotypes” that for decades led us to ask, in almost racist fashion: Is Islam compatible with democracy and modernity?
Is there something about the religion of Islam and Arab culture that accounts for the kind of regimes they have? As Esposito points out, most Arab dictatorships were propped up by the West. “We bought into those regimes’ logic, which was: we are the only game in town, and any and all opposition are potentially extremists,” he says.
Dr. Esposito, a former U.S. State Department advisor, has espoused views consistent with Brotherhood doctrine and during the 1990′s was known for his claims that Islamic fundamentalism was, in fact, democratic and posed no threat to the U.S. Dr. Esposito has at least a dozen past or present affiliations with global Muslim Brotherhood/Hamas organizations including having served on the advisory board of the Institute of Islamic Political Thought in the U.K. headed by Azzam Tamimi, a leader in the U.K. Muslim Brotherhood and often described as a Hamas spokesman. Dr. Esposito has also served with global Muslim Brotherhood leader Youssef Qaradawi on the Steering Committee of the Circle of Tradition and Progress and enjoyed a close relationship with the United Association For Studies and Research (USAR), part of the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood’s Palestine Committee and part of the Hamas support infrastructure. In 2005, Saudi prince Alaweed bin Talal, a financial supporter of the global Muslim Brotherhood, donated $20 million to the Center for Muslim Christian Understanding at Georgetown, headed by Dr. Esposito.
Earlier posts also reveal that Dr. Esposito currently also has little problem with Qaradawi; a virulent anti-Semite, known extremist, and spiritual patron of Hamas suicide bombings; with whom he recently appeared on a podium during the launch ceremony for the new Islamic center in Qatar to be headed by Global Muslim Brotherhood leader Tariq Ramadan and a close associate of Qaradawi.
- RECOMMENDED READING: “The Muslim Brotherhood in the United States”
- RECOMMENDED READING: The Muslim Brotherhood In The United States: A Brief History
- RECOMMENDED READING: “Georgetown U. Received $325,000 Funneled Through Terror Front Group”
- RECOMMENDED READING: Coping With Political Theology
- RECOMMENDED READING: Should Muslims Integrate Into The West?