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Democratic Representatives and US Muslim Brotherhood Participate in “Khashoggi Way” Unveiling Ceremony in Washington, DC

June 22nd, 2022 12:03

On 15 June 2022, Demo­c­ra­t­ic Rep­re­sen­ta­tives joined Democ­ra­cy for the Arab World Now (DAWN), an orga­ni­za­tion found­ed in hon­or of the killed Sau­di colum­nist Jamal Khashog­gi, at the unveil­ing of a new street sign for “Jamal Khashog­gi Way” out­side of the Embassy of Sau­di Ara­bia in Wash­ing­ton, DC. Accord­ing to a press release from the  Coun­cil on Amer­i­can-Islam­ic Rela­tions (CAIR), which co-spon­sored the event:

June 14, 2022 The impe­tus for this street renam­ing comes direct­ly from the Inves­ti­ga­tion of the Unlaw­ful Killing of Jamal Khashog­gi by then UN Spe­cial Rap­por­teur on extra­ju­di­cial sum­ma­ry, or arbi­trary killings, Agnes Calla­mard, to rename the streets of Sau­di Arabia’s embassies after Jamal Khashog­gi as an effort to estab­lish truth and account­abil­i­ty for his heinous mur­der by the Sau­di State with the involve­ment of high-lev­el officials.

Read the rest here.

DAWN had urged mem­bers of the DC city coun­cil to intro­duce leg­is­la­tion to rename the street, which in Decem­ber 2021 passed unan­i­mous­ly. One month before Pres­i­dent Joe Biden’s con­tro­ver­sial trip to Sau­di Ara­bia, DAWN reit­er­at­ed its calls to the Biden admin­is­tra­tion to “hold the Sau­di gov­ern­ment account­able for the mur­der and end weapons sales to the country.”

The unveil­ing cer­e­mo­ny was co-spon­sored by a coali­tion of US human rights NGOs, includ­ing CAIR, Amnesty Inter­na­tion­al, the Bahrain Insti­tute for Rights and Democ­ra­cy, and Human Rights Watch. In addi­tion to CAIR leader Nihad Awad, Eleanor Holmes-Nor­ton, Demo­c­ra­t­ic Con­gress­woman for the Dis­trict of Colum­bia, spoke at the event. Oth­er speak­ers includ­ed Coun­cil­woman Brooke Pin­to and Nobel Peace Prize win­ner Tawakkol Kar­man, for­mer­ly a mem­ber of the Yemeni Al-Islah Par­ty,  an enti­ty rep­re­sent­ing the Mus­lim Broth­er­hood, Salafi Sheikhs, and rur­al trib­al forces in Yemen. Khashog­gi’s fiancée Hat­ice Cen­giz, Adam Schiff, Demo­c­ra­t­ic Con­gress­man for Cal­i­for­ni­a’s 28th con­gres­sion­al dis­trict, and Ger­ry Con­nol­ly, Con­gress­man for Vir­gini­a’s 11th con­gres­sion­al dis­trict, deliv­ered mes­sages of support.

DAWN is a think tank, and watch­dog set up in 2020 to mon­i­tor human rights vio­la­tions by US allies in the Mid­dle East and North Africa. In Feb­ru­ary 2021, a Glob­al Influ­ence Oper­a­tions Report (GIOR) inves­ti­ga­tion found that the DAWN board includes mul­ti­ple indi­vid­u­als tied to the Glob­al Mus­lim Broth­er­hood (GMB) in the US, includ­ing Abdul­lah Alaoudh, son of extrem­ist schol­ar and for­mer Osama bin Laden men­tor Salman Alo­dah, and Nihad Awad, co-founder and leader of CAIR, and impor­tant part of the Mus­lim Broth­er­hood the US. GIOR report­ed last week that Awad had par­tic­i­pat­ed last month in a meet­ing of Glob­al Mus­lim Broth­er­hood (GMB) lead­ers held in the Qatari cap­i­tal of Doha. DAWN is led by for­mer Human Rights Watch Mid­dle East direc­tor Sarah Leah Whit­son, who has often defend­ed the Mus­lim Broth­er­hood against accu­sa­tions of ter­ror­ism and extremism.

Although Jamal Khashog­gi had a record of prais­ing democ­ra­cy and human rights as the only viable solu­tion for sta­bil­i­ty in the Mid­dle East, US media has point­ed out that part of his approach was to also include polit­i­cal Islamists in what he saw as democ­ra­cy build­ing as well as his friend­ship with Azzam Tami­mi, a UK spokesman for Hamas and close to the GMB in the UK. Khashog­gi also denounced crack­downs on Sun­ni Islamists by the region’s gov­ern­ments, and the Wash­ing­ton Post has acknowl­edged that Khashog­gi’s columns and sto­ries were at times “shaped” by a top offi­cial of the Qatar Foun­da­tion, close to the Qatari roy­al family.