On 9 May 2021, a virtual Global Muslim Brotherhood scholars conference centered on Jerusalem’s Al-Aqsa Mosque brought together a UN-sanctioned terrorism financier, Global Muslim Brotherhood leaders, and a British organization known to be pro-Hamas. According to an article in Palestinian media:
May 9, 2021 The Palestine Scholars Association participated in the [International Union of Muslim Scholars] conference entitled: “The Scholars’ Speech to Al-Murabitin in Al-Aqsa” (…) today, Sunday 9/5/2021, with the participation of more than 40 scientific (…) bodies and institutions from all countries of the Islamic world via the Zoom application and (…) live broadcast of YouTube and Facebook. [Translated from Arabic using Google.]
Read the rest here.
The conference was co-hosted by the International Union of Muslim Scholars (IUMS), an international body of Muslim theologians based in Doha, Qatar, whose leadership is closely tied to the Global Muslim Brotherhood (GMB). Until recently, it was led by GMB spiritual guide Youssef Qaradawi. Several prominent European Muslim faith leaders tied to the GMB were IUMS members and/or have served as IUMS Trustees.
Another conference co-host was Friends of Al-Aqsa (FOA), a British pro-Hamas organization that has been described by an Israeli NGO advocating Israel’s elimination. FOA is known to have launched the #HandsOffAlAqsa social media campaign and was one of the organizers of a 15 May 2021 pro-Palestinian demonstration in front of the Israeli embassy in London where former UK Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn spoke, and that drew more than 100,000 protesters, some of whom ripped up Israeli flags and displayed anti-Semitic imagery.
The virtual Al-Aqsa conference featured an appearance by Muthanna Harith Al-Dari, head of the Political Department of the Association of Muslim Scholars in Iraq (AMSI) and who in 2010 was sanctioned by the UN Security Council for providing financial support to Al-Qaida in Iraq. Numerous other prominent individuals in the international Hamas and GMB support network have also participated in the event, including:
- Ali Al-Qaradaghi, Secretary-General of the IUMS
- Ismail Patel, head of FOA
- Kamal Khatib, deputy head of the Northern Branch of the Islamic Movement in Israel, banned by Israel for close ties to Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood
- Nawwaf Takrouri, head of the Association of Palestinian Scholars Abroad, which is known to have participated in European Hamas support conferences
- Hammam Saeed, former General Comptroller of the GMB in Jordan
Other recent Global Influence Operations Report (GIOR) reporting on the IUMS and the European Hamas support infrastructure has included:
- A January 2021 report that the European Hamas support network had established a new front group.
- A March 2021 report that Friends of Al-Aqsa had announced the kick-off of this year’s edition of the annual “Al-Aqsa International Week” that featured multiple GMB leaders.
- An April 2021 report that the IUMS had called on the French government to stop interfering with the “privacy of Islam,” rejecting a new French Charter of Republican Values aiming to curtail foreign influence over Muslim groups and mosques.
- A May 2021 report that the IUMS had posted a proposed Friday sermon on the topic of Jerusalem that included incitement to violence, jihad, and self-sacrifice.