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Global Muslim Brotherhood Activist Leaves US Islamist Group To Join Tunisian Muslim Brotherhood Party

May 13th, 2021 12:30

Rad­wan Mas­mou­di, the founder and Pres­i­dent of the Wash­ing­ton, DC-based Cen­ter for the Study of Islam and Democ­ra­cy (CSID), has announced he had left the group to offi­cial­ly join the polit­i­cal office of Tunisia’s Mus­lim Broth­er­hood par­ty Ennah­da. Accord­ing to his Face­book post:

March 30, 2021 After 10 years of work­ing in civ­il soci­ety as head of the Cen­ter for the Study of Islam and Democ­ra­cy in Tunisia, I decid­ed to take part in the com­ing years of par­ty and polit­i­cal work, as a mem­ber of the polit­i­cal office of Nah­da Move­ment. As required by Tunisian law, I will soon aban­don the chair­man­ship of the Cen­ter, after a tran­si­tion­al peri­od of about a month to search for a new head of the Cen­ter and hand over duties to him or her. [Trans­lat­ed using Google.]

Read the rest here.

Mas­mou­di, an Amer­i­can cit­i­zen, has long been active in Tunisia through the CSID’s local chap­ter by orga­niz­ing counter-extrem­ism train­ing and through part­ner­ships with sev­er­al Tunisian region­al gov­er­nors to imple­ment CSID projects. In 2012, the Glob­al Mus­lim Broth­er­hood Dai­ly Watch (GMBDW) report­ed that Mas­mou­di had been con­sid­ered for the post of Tunisian ambas­sador to the US, a bid that ulti­mate­ly was unsuc­cess­ful. In the report dis­cussed in that post, Mas­mou­di acknowl­edged for the first time that he had been a part of the Ennah­da move­ment since the 1980s. The Ennah­da Par­ty is essen­tial­ly the Mus­lim Broth­er­hood in Tunisia.

The CSID is a lit­tle-known orga­ni­za­tion found­ed by Mas­mou­di in 1998 in what appears to have been a coop­er­a­tive effort among the US Mus­lim Broth­er­hood, the US State Depart­ment, and US aca­d­e­mics.  Its past lead­ers have includ­ed George­town Uni­ver­si­ty pro­fes­sor Dr. John Espos­i­to, who has numer­ous past and present affil­i­a­tions with Glob­al Mus­lim Broth­er­hood (GMB) and Hamas orga­ni­za­tions and who, dur­ing the 1990s, served as a US State Depart­ment For­eign Affairs Ana­lyst. Oth­er CSID board mem­bers have includ­ed Jamal Barz­inji and Taha Al-Alwani, both deceased, who were impor­tant lead­ers in the US Mus­lim Broth­er­hood who helped to estab­lish many of the most impor­tant US Broth­er­hood orga­ni­za­tions. Antony Sul­li­van, the cur­rent CSID Vice-Chair, has also had many ties to US Broth­er­hood groups.

From its incep­tion, CSID has argued that the US gov­ern­ment should sup­port Islamist move­ments in for­eign coun­tries, has tak­en posi­tions large­ly con­sis­tent with those of the GMB, and has enjoyed fre­quent and deep ties with oth­er US Mus­lim Broth­er­hood groups. CSID has received finan­cial sup­port from the US State Depart­ment, the Nation­al Endow­ment for Democ­ra­cy, and the Unit­ed States Insti­tute of Peace, and unpub­lished research sug­gests that the orga­ni­za­tion was involved in covert US fund­ing of the Syr­i­an Mus­lim Brotherhood.