Turkish media is reporting that a Turkish think tank headed by a former leader of a US/EU designated terrorist organization is holding a conference about the Muslim Brotherhood. The Anadolu Agency report suggests the conference participants were favorably disposed toward the Brotherhood:
January 28, 2022: A three-day international conference to debate Middle East’s Islamic movement, popularly known as Muslim Brotherhood, started in Istanbul on Friday. “That we are ‘callers of peace and towards righteousness’ was the clear message of Hasan al-Banna,” said Mohamed Gamal Heshmat of Canadian Institute for Strategic Studies and Development, referring to the Muslim Brotherhood founder who was a schoolteacher. The three-day conference will brainstorm the Muslim Brotherhood’s experience in politics and governance in Egypt, said Sami Al-Arian, director of Center for Islam and Global Affairs, an Istanbul-based think tank and the host of the event.
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As the GIOR reported in August 2021., Sami Al-Arian was a US leader of the US/EU designated Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) and was sentenced to 57 months in prison for conspiring to contribute funds, goods, or services to or for the benefit of the PIJ.
According to a Center for Islam and Global Affairs tweet, speakers at the conference included John Esposito, a long-time supporter of the Global Muslim Brotherhood, and Abdullah Al-Arian, Sami Al-Arian’s son.
Al-Arian’s Center for Islam and Global Affairs is based at Istanbul Sabahattin Zaim University, which in turn was founded by the Ilim Yayma Vakfı foundation, whose current president is Turkish President Erdoğan’s son Bilal.
[NOTE: This post was updated from the original version with information about conference speakers]