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Coalition Of US NGOs, Muslim Brotherhood Groups Urges Members Of Congress To Vote “Yes” On Anti-Islamophobia Act, Bill Passes House One Day Later

January 18th, 2022 15:41

On 13 Decem­ber 2021, a coali­tion of US NGOs and Mus­lim Broth­er­hood groups pub­lished an open let­ter urg­ing Mem­bers of Con­gress to vote “Yes” on a new­ly intro­duced law aimed at com­bat­ing Islam­o­pho­bia in the US and inter­na­tion­al­ly. One day lat­er, the “Com­bat­ing Inter­na­tion­al Islam­o­pho­bia Act” passed the House of Rep­re­sen­ta­tives with a nar­row vote of 219 – 212. Accord­ing to a Coun­cil on Amer­i­can-Islam­ic Rela­tions (CAIR) press release :

The Coun­cil on Amer­i­can-Islam­ic Rela­tions (CAIR), the nation’s largest Mus­lim civ­il rights and advo­ca­cy orga­ni­za­tion, today joined 53 orga­ni­za­tions in a let­ter to mem­bers of Con­gress in the U.S. House of Rep­re­sen­ta­tives urg­ing they vote “YES” on Con­gress­women Ilhan Omar and Jan Schakowsky’s Com­bat­ing Inter­na­tion­al Islam­o­pho­bia Act (H.R. 5665). The bill is expect­ed to receive a vote on the House floor some­time tomorrow.

Read the rest here.

The “Com­bat­ing Inter­na­tion­al Islam­o­pho­bia Act” (HR 5665) was ini­tial­ly intro­duced in the House by Rep. Ilhan Omar(D‑MN) in Octo­ber 2021 and co-spon­sored by 56 mem­bers of the Demo­c­ra­t­ic Par­ty, includ­ing Rep. Rashi­da Tlaib, serv­ing as the US Rep­re­sen­ta­tive for Michi­gan’s 13th con­gres­sion­al dis­trict. On 15 Decem­ber 2021, the bill was received in the Sen­ate and referred to the Com­mit­tee on For­eign Rela­tions. The bill seeks to estab­lish a new Office to Mon­i­tor and Com­bat Islam­o­pho­bia with­in the US Depart­ment of State and tasked with mon­i­tor­ing and com­bat­ing “acts of Islam­o­pho­bia and Islam­o­pho­bic incite­ment in for­eign coun­tries.” If signed into law, the bill also would require exist­ing annu­al reports to Con­gress about human rights and reli­gious free­dom in for­eign coun­tries to include infor­ma­tion about Islam­o­pho­bia, such as infor­ma­tion about acts of phys­i­cal vio­lence or harass­ment of Mus­lims. The reports would also include Instances of pro­pa­gan­da in gov­ern­ment and non­govern­ment media that attempt to jus­ti­fy or pro­mote hatred towards Muslims.

In their let­ter, the groups stat­ed that anti-Mus­lim rhetoric, big­otry, and acts of vio­lence went togeth­er with the rise of polit­i­cal par­ties that “out­ward­ly attack the rights of Mus­lims, espe­cial­ly in France and oth­er parts of Europe.” Co-sig­na­to­ries includ­ed CAIR and a large num­ber of oth­er US Mus­lim groups tied to the Glob­al Mus­lim Broth­er­hood (GMB) and the  Hamas sup­port net­work, including:

  • MPow­er Change, a Mus­lim advo­ca­cy NGO that has coop­er­at­ed with impor­tant orga­ni­za­tions in the US MB and whose Exec­u­tive Direc­tor Lin­da Sar­sour has fam­i­ly ties to Hamas.
  • Democ­ra­cy for the Arab World Now (DAWN), a US think-tank whose board of direc­tors includes numer­ous indi­vid­u­als tied to the GMB.
  • Amer­i­can Mus­lims for Pales­tine (AMP), a Pales­tin­ian advo­ca­cy group with strong ties to both the US Mus­lim Broth­er­hood and the Hamas sup­port infra­struc­ture in the US.
  • Amer­i­cans for Jus­tice in Pales­tine Action, a recent­ly estab­lished polit­i­cal advo­ca­cy group, asso­ci­at­ed with AMP.
  • EMGAGE Action, a Polit­i­cal Action Cam­paign asso­ci­at­ed with EMGAGE USA, a Mus­lim civ­il soci­ety orga­ni­za­tion tied to the US Mus­lim Broth­er­hood whose board mem­ber Farooq Mitha has served as Joe Biden’s for­mer senior advi­sor on Mus­lim Amer­i­can engagement.
  • JETPAC Resource Cen­ter, part of a Mus­lim polit­i­cal action com­mit­tee led by CAIR-Mass­a­chu­setts board mem­ber Nadeem Mazen.
  • Mus­lim Pub­lic Affairs Coun­cil, estab­lished as the Polit­i­cal Action Com­mit­tee of the Islam­ic Cen­ter of South­ern Cal­i­for­nia, whose ear­ly lead­ers had back­grounds sug­gest­ing they were asso­ci­at­ed with the  Egypt­ian Mus­lim Brotherhood.

The Glob­al Influ­ence Oper­a­tions Report (GIOR) report­ed ear­li­er on bill spon­sors Ilhan Omar and Rashi­da Tlaib’s own ties to US Mus­lim Broth­er­hood groups.

In ear­ly 2021, US Mus­lim Broth­er­hood groups had already called on Pres­i­dent Biden to appoint a State Depart­ment spe­cial envoy ded­i­cat­ed to Islamophobia.

CAIR is part of the Glob­al Mus­lim Broth­er­hood in the US. It describes itself as “a grass­roots civ­il rights and advo­ca­cy group” and as “Amer­i­ca’s largest Islam­ic civ­il lib­er­ties group” and was found­ed in 1994 by three offi­cers of the Islam­ic Asso­ci­a­tion of Pales­tine, part of the US Hamas infra­struc­ture at that time. The orga­ni­za­tion has repeat­ed­ly joined oth­er groups with ties to the US Mus­lim Broth­er­hood in engag­ing Mus­lim cit­i­zens to par­tic­i­pate in con­sul­ta­tive meet­ings with leg­isla­tive offices and state sen­a­tors, high­light­ing the need to com­bat Islam­o­pho­bia and anti-Mus­lim sen­ti­ment in the US. Rep. Omar has a his­to­ry of work­ing togeth­er with and deliv­er­ing speech­es for CAIR.