Several Global Muslim Brotherhood groups, including the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), have issued statements marking the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. An analysis by the Global Influence Operations Report (GIOR) shows that these commemorative statements predominantly focus on the attack’s Islamophobic backlash and what are seen as scapegoating of Muslim communities worldwide while failing to criticize or even mention the terrorist’s Islamist ideology. According to a statement on the CAIR website:
September 11, 2021 As we mark the 20th anniversary of that atrocious day, we can’t help but mourn and honor the lives lost. I often reflect on the families that did lose someone dear on that day or in the years that followed. I pray they’re doing well and that they’re telling their loved ones’ stories so that we may never forget. Twenty years later, the tragedy still cuts deep, and American Muslims still face an Islamophobic rhetoric that continues to promote mistrust and hostile behavior towards them.
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The group also said that extremist actions were never an example of an entire culture and that it was time to end the “xenophobic and racist rhetoric still permeating our politics and media.” CAIR, which describes itself as “America’s largest Islamic civil liberties group,” is part of the Global Muslim Brotherhood (GMB), a transnational Islamist network covered by the GIOR. In September 2021, the GIOR reported that CAIR had also published a 9/11 teaching guide providing teachers with educational resources and tips that almost exclusively highlight the attack’s impact on American Muslims while urging no mention be made of the attackers’ Islamist motives.
According to an 11 September 2021 press release by the US Council of Muslim Organizations (USCMO), an umbrella group of US Muslim organizations comprised almost solely of elements of the GMB in the US:
September 11, 2021 We remember the 2,977 men, women, and children who were killed and the more than 6,000 who were injured in our nation on September 11, 2001. We remember the countless men, women, and children who have been impacted by hate and bigotry inside and outside the Muslim over the past 20 years, including the first victim of a post‑9/11 hate crime, Balbir Singh Sodhi.
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In its statement, the USCMO also said that many Americans and “millions of people in far-flung places” had endured immense suffering as a result of the “disastrous” War on Terror, also highlighting those who have been impacted by hate and bigotry.
September 11, 2021 Each sector of the nation’s population was physically, emotionally, and psychologically impacted by the three-pronged coordinated attack on the United States. Muslim Americans bore the brunt of the collective outrage of our fellow citizens as the alleged perpetrators were identified as being Muslims.
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The ICNA statement said American Muslims had always rejected any domestic or foreign acts of terrorism and that the attack, in which one of its workers died, served as both a reminder of “one of the most traumatizing occurrences to unfold on American soil” and as a testimony to the resilience of “every community living in America.”
On the same say, the Muslim Council of Britain (MCB), among Britain’s most influential Muslim organizations and which has historically acted in concert with the GMB, issued an update to a statement it made on the day of the attack condemning the terrorist’s actions while at the same time warning of “knee-jerk reactions that would make victims of other innocent peoples of the world”:
September 11, 2021 Two decades on, hundreds of thousands of innocent people have died as a result of both terrorism and the war on terror globally, many of them Muslim. Along with the deaths and suffering, there has been more division, more Islamophobia and reflexive policy approaches that see Muslims as a security threat rather than the ordinary and productive members of society they are.
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The MCB also said that they remembered all those who had been caught up in the “two decades of violence, vengeance and vacuous policies” that had prevailed since the attack.
It is sometimes asserted that the Global Muslim Brotherhood is a “firewall” against extremism or terrorism. For example, a 2016 UK Parliamentary review of “Political Islam” and the Muslim Brotherhood concluded:
…the vast majority of political Islamists are involved in no violence whatsoever. Because of this, and because of their broader status as a ‘firewall’ against extremism, political Islamists have suffered criticism and attack from ISIL and other extremist organisations.
However, also in 2016, a report by the GIOR Senior Editor analyzed a group called the Global Anti-Aggression Campaign (GAAC), described in the report as follows:
While claiming to be a “non-governmental, independent, peaceful, educational campaign of volunteers”, the Global Anti-Aggression Campaign (GAAC) is in reality a Salafi-led international umbrella organization that brings under its wings Salafi, Salafi-Jihadi, Global Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas leaders. The GAAC views the US as a key enemy of Islam and the purpose of the GAAC is to fight the US and its allies – a fight which has included close cooperation with the violent insurgency directed against Iraqi and Coalition forces in Iraq. At least seven leading GAAC figures and/or their organizations have been designated as terrorists by the United States, the EU, and/or the United Nations for their support of Al-Qaeda and related groups – with some of these leaders known to have been close to Osama Bin Laden himself.
Prominent Global Muslim Brotherhood leaders were GAAC leaders and/or participated in GAAC conferences, including the movement’s ‘spiritual leader’ Youssef Qaradawi, UK fugitive and senior Hamas commander Mohammad Sawalha, Yemeni Muslim Brotherhood leader and US-designated terrorist Abd-Al-Majid Al-Zindani, Tunisian Ennahda Party leader Rachid Ghannouchi, and Anas Altikriti, the key spokesman and lobbyist for the Muslim Brotherhood in Britain. Other GAAC figures included leaders of the Jordanian and Egyptian Muslim Brotherhoods as well as individuals residing in Europe and the US. No Global Muslim Brotherhood figure or group has ever been known to have criticized the GAAC.