Many years ago, when the Global Influence Operations Report (GIOR) Senior Editor was working solely on the Muslim Brotherhood, he coined the term “Global Muslim Brotherhood” to refer to the global network of individuals and organizations that developed as Muslim Brotherhood members dispersed to other countries while fleeing the periodic crackdowns on the organization in Egypt. Over the years, various scholars, pundits, and others have denied the existence of a GMB. Most famously, the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood itself alleged:
The so called Global Network of the Muslim Brotherhood is merely a Hollywood fiction that only exists in the minds of those who created it as part of their scare tactics to insight fears among the public and instigate government hostilities.
It turns out that the fictional Global Muslim Brotherhood, using the label of “Muslim Councils in the West,” is holding a virtual meeting this week and sponsored by the US Council of Muslim Organizations (USCMO). According to the USCMO announcement:
A leadership conference for Muslim leaders in the west
Join national leaders in this unique conference to discuss important issues of common interest to those who live in the West. This conference follows USCMO’s first conference which was held in Washington, DC, in 2016. By the grace of Allah and the valuable participation of our guests, the 1st conference was a great success. One of the major outcomes was the “Washington Declaration” to form an assembly body for western Muslim organizations. The ad-hoc committee that was formed during the conference will present its report at this conference insha’Allah. Like the 1st conference in 2016, we are inviting the Muslim Councils and their member organizations from North America, Latin America, Europe (UK, France, Germany, Spain, Italy, Belgium, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, …), Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa. We look forward to having you join us this year!
According to a Facebook post, the meeting is being coordinated with the Council of European Muslims (CEM), formerly known as the Federation of Islamic Organizations in Europe (FIOE), and representing the Muslim Brotherhood in Europe. Planned topics for the meeting include:
- The state of national councils and their communities.
- Washington Declaration Ad-Hoc Committee Report,
- Islamophobia, White Supremacy, and the Far Right.
- A special case study on Christchurch Massacre.
- The impact of Covid-19 on the Muslim communities.
- The Muslim relief response during the pandemic.
The meeting announcement goes on to identify 21 “invited councils,” all of which are known to be tied to the Global Muslim Brotherhood:
- Council of European Muslims (formerly the Federation of Islamic Organizations in Europe)
- Australian Federation of Islamic Councils
- Organización Islámica para América latina y el caribe (Islamic Organizations of Latin America)
- Muslim Council of Britain)
- Musulmans de France (French Muslims)
- National Council of Canadian Muslims
- Islamiska Förbundet (Islamic Association in Sweden)
- Liga Islámica de España (Islamic League of Spain)
- Deutsche Muslimische Gemeinschaft (formerly the islamische Gemeinschaft Deutschland)
- Muslim Association of Ireland
- Muslim Association of Britain
- Ligue des Musulmans de Belgique (League of Muslims of Belgium)
- Dansk Islamisk Råd (Danish Islamic Council)
- Ligue des Musulmans de Suisse (League of Muslims of Switzerland)
- Alleanza Islamica d’Italia (The Islamic Association of Italy)
- Det Islamske Forbundet – Rabita (The Muslim League in Norway)
- Guyana Islamic Trust
- Canadian Council of Imams
- Islamsk Råd Norge (Islamic Council of Norway)
- Asocijacija za kulturu, obrazovanje i sport (Association of Culture and Education of Bosnia, AKOS)
- Islamic Dawa Movement of Trinidad & Tobago
Many of the above organizations are known to be members of the CEM. Appropriately, the conference announcement identifies the Global Muslim Brotherhood charity known as Islamic Relief USA as the sole conference sponsor. Based on photos here and here of the conference, the following individuals could be identified:
- Oussama Jammal (US Council Of Muslim Organizations)
- Dorsaf Bendhiab (European Forum Of Muslim Women)
- Linda Hyokki (European Forum Of Muslim Women)
- Samir Falah (Deutsche Muslimische Gemeinschaft)
- Sabri Shiref/Sherif (Deutsche Muslimische Gemeinschaft)
- Raghad Altikriti (Muslim Association of Britain, sister of Anas Altikriti)
- Khallad Swaid (Deutsche Muslimische Gemeinschaft)
- Delwar Hosain (Muslim Ummah of North America)
- Abdullah al Mamun (Muslim Legal Fund)
- Harun Khan (Muslim Council Of Britain)
- Abdelrahman Rizk (likely Forum of Muslim Youth and Student Organizations FEMYSO)*
- Zahid Bukhari (likely Islamic Circle of North America)*
- Anas Altikriti (Cordoba Foundation)
(* affiliations marked as “likely” indicate that only names were listed on the photos)
In February 2016, the Global Muslim Brotherhood Daily Watch (GMBDW) reported that the USCMO had held the 1st International Conference of Muslim Councils in the West February 1–3 in Arlington, Va. The USCMO announcement described that conference as “a major initiative for Muslims in Western nations” An event PR site added that that the conference was expected to feature a White House briefing and a visit to the US Congress as well as a banquet to which various government officials around the world were to be invited. It is not known if these events, in fact, took place. Illustrating the ties to the Global Muslim Brotherhood, a video for the conference featured twelve individuals, including Oussama Jammal, the USCMO Secretary-General, and Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) leader Nihad Awad. Most significantly, the individual to the far-right is Anas Altikriti, the most important leader of the Muslim Brotherhood in the UK. The Twitter feed of Mohammad Kozbar, the head of the Muslim Brotherhood-controlled Finsbury Mosque in London, Indicated that he attended the conference along with Altikriti. The Muslim American Society, part of the USCMO, as indicated below, announced the creation of a steering committee for the Coordinating Body of Muslim Councils in the West.
- Muslim Ummah of North America (MUNA)
- The Mosque Cares (Ministry of Imam W. Deen Mohammed)
- In July 2020, a GMBDW report about a virtual conference attended by Democratic Presidential nominee Joe Biden and two US MB leaders also mentioned USCMO member Emgage USA, a Muslim political action committee linked to Biden’s senior advisor on Muslim American engagement, Farooq Mitha.
- In July 2020, the GMBDW reported that the USCMO had organized a US Muslim Brotherhood conference hosted by UCSMO Secretary General Oussama Jamal that praised Turkish President Erdoğan.
- In October 2019, the GMBDW reported about a “Faith-Based Safety and Security Symposium” held at the White House that featured Trump Administration officials and USCMO representatives as well as other US Muslim Brotherhood leaders.
- In August 2017, the GMBDW reported that leading USCMO representatives had participated in a meeting at the US State Department discussing the Al-Aqsa Mosque crisis that also featured a director of American Muslims for Palestine (AMP), itself a group with strong ties to both the US Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas support infrastructure.
- In April 2016, the GMBDW reported that the USCMO complained that the then Republican Presidential candidate Senator Ted Cruz had refused to meet with a Texas delegation of Muslims sponsored by the organization.
- In December 2014, the GMBDW was the first to report that the USCMO had announced plans to hold what was described as the first-of-its-kind ‘National Muslim Advocacy Day’ on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., which was aimed at connecting national and state Muslim organizations with members of the US House of Representatives and the Senate.