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Anti-Israel Conference In Turkey Features Prominent Islamist and Turkish Figures, US Scholars

August 4th, 2021 16:37

US media is report­ing about an aca­d­e­m­ic con­fer­ence in Turkey called “Chal­leng­ing Apartheid in Pales­tine,” fea­tur­ing promi­nent Islamist and Turk­ish fig­ures as well as US aca­d­e­mics as speak­ers. Accord­ing to the Alge­mein­er report:

June 27, 2021, An recent online con­fer­ence in Turkey fea­tured anti-Israel schol­ars from promi­nent Amer­i­can uni­ver­si­ties. The fact that the con­fer­ence was host­ed by an orga­ni­za­tion led by a con­vict­ed leader of Pales­tin­ian Islam­ic Jihad (PIJ) did not deter these Amer­i­can schol­ars from par­tic­i­pat­ing. The week-long con­fer­ence, “Chal­leng­ing Apartheid in Pales­tine: Reclaim­ing the Nar­ra­tive, For­mu­lat­ing a Vision,” was orga­nized by Sami Al-Arian‘s Cen­ter for Islam and Glob­al Affairs (CIGA). Al-Ari­an plead­ed guilty in 2006 to con­spir­ing to make or receive con­tri­bu­tions of funds, goods, or ser­vices to or for the ben­e­fit of PIJ. Records show Al-Ari­an was a long­time mem­ber of the PIJ Shu­ra, or gov­ern­ing coun­cil. He was deport­ed to Turkey in 2015 as part of his plea agree­ment, and he now heads CIGA at Istan­bul Saba­hat­tin Zaim University.

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The con­fer­ences’ spon­sors include the Turk­ish Min­istry of Cul­ture and Tourism and schools at the Uni­ver­si­ty of Exeter and the Uni­ver­si­ty of Den­ver. Its speak­ers include sev­er­al indi­vid­u­als involved in the Glob­al Mus­lim Broth­er­hood:

  • Muham­mad Akram Adlouni (leader in the US Mus­lim Broth­er­hood, for­mer sec­re­tary-gen­er­al of the Al-Quds Inter­na­tion­al Foun­da­tion, sanc­tioned by the US Trea­sury for its affil­i­a­tion with Hamas).
  • Huwai­da Arraf (leader in the Free Gaza Move­ment, a lead orga­ni­za­tion in the Gaza Flotilla)

There were also speak­ers con­nect­ed to the Turk­ish gov­ern­ment or Turk­ish Pres­i­dent Erdoğan’s AKP party:

  • Necmed­din Bilal Erdoğan (Pres­i­dent Erdoğan’s son)

Oth­er notable speak­ers were:

  • Shawan Jabarin (con­vict­ed of recruit­ing and arrang­ing train­ing for mem­bers of the Pop­u­lar Front for the Lib­er­a­tion of Pales­tine (PFLP) and for­mer board mem­ber of  Defense for Chil­dren Inter­na­tion­al, whose lead­er­ship has PFLP ties)

Oth­er rel­e­vant GIOR report­ing has included:

  • In June 2021, we report­ed about a vir­tu­al con­fer­ence that brought togeth­er a British Glob­al Mus­lim Broth­er­hood leader, for­mer high-lev­el politi­cians, a West­ern aca­d­e­m­ic, and the Chief Advi­sor to the Turk­ish President.
  • In Jan­u­ary 2021, we report­ed that two promi­nent US aca­d­e­mics sup­port­ed a promi­nent Aus­tri­an Islam­o­pho­bia researcher who wrote an Islam­o­pho­bia report for the SETA Foun­da­tion and was a tar­get of police raids involv­ing Islam­ic orga­ni­za­tions and indi­vid­u­als sus­pect­ed of ties to ter­ror­ist and crim­i­nal organizations.
  • In Octo­ber 2020, we report­ed on a US Mus­lim Broth­er­hood umbrel­la orga­ni­za­tion meet­ing with Pres­i­dent Erdoğan at the Turk­ish pres­i­den­tial complex.