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Prominent Austrian Islamophobia Researcher Denies Ties To Muslim Brotherhood

January 17th, 2021 13:35

Farid Hafez, a promi­nent Aus­tri­an Islam­o­pho­bia researcher, has giv­en an inter­view in which he denied any ties to Islamism and the Mus­lim Broth­er­hood. Accord­ing to the inter­view with Aus­tri­an dai­ly Die Presse:

I have always crit­i­cized Islamism to the effect that for me it is essen­tial­ly a reflec­tion and prod­uct of the con­fronta­tion with oth­er total­i­tar­i­an nar­ra­tives such as com­mu­nism and fas­cism. I have already won two law­suits because the media false­ly accused me of being close to the Mus­lim Broth­er­hood. But once again: No, I am nei­ther a mem­ber of the Mus­lim Broth­er­hood nor an Islamist.

(Trans­lat­ed from Ger­man using DeepL.)

Read the rest here.

In Novem­ber, the GIOR report­ed that Hafez was a key sus­pect in Aus­tri­an police raids tar­get­ing a large num­ber of Islam­ic orga­ni­za­tions and indi­vid­u­als sus­pect­ed of ties to the Mus­lim Broth­er­hood and Hamas. Hafez sub­se­quent­ly drew media crit­i­cism over author­ing an arti­cle say­ing the raids under­mined the cred­i­bil­i­ty of Aus­tri­an efforts to com­mem­o­rate the 1938 Reich­skristall­nacht pogroms and stat­ing the coun­try was on a “dan­ger­ous path towards repeat­ing his­to­ry.” Hafez also said the crack­down remind­ed him of China’s sup­pres­sion of Uighur Mus­lims in the Xin­jiang region.

Farid Hafez is a found­ing mem­ber of the Mus­lim­is­che Jugend Öster­re­ich (MJÖ), an Aus­tri­an Mus­lim youth orga­ni­za­tion known to have been a mem­ber of the Forum of Euro­pean Mus­lim Youth and Stu­dent Orga­ni­za­tions, the youth/ stu­dent Glob­al Mus­lim Broth­er­hood in Europe. Hafez is also a senior researcher at the George­town University’s Bridge Ini­tia­tive, whose staff includes mul­ti­ple indi­vid­u­als tied to US Mus­lim Broth­er­hood groups, such as the Coun­cil on Amer­i­can-Islam­ic Rela­tions and the Islam­ic Soci­ety of North Amer­i­ca. Hafez also co-edits the annu­al ‘Euro­pean Islam­o­pho­bia Report’ pub­lished by the SETA Foun­da­tion for Polit­i­cal, Eco­nom­ic, and Social Research, a Turk­ish think-tank part of the Turk­ish influ­ence net­work and close­ly linked to Pres­i­dent Turk­ish Erdoğan. In Jan­u­ary 2019, Hafez par­tic­i­pat­ed in a high-lev­el con­fer­ence that includ­ed lead­ing fig­ures of the Euro­pean Mus­lim Broth­er­hood and orga­nized by Diyanet, the Turk­ish state insti­tu­tion respon­si­ble for man­ag­ing reli­gious affairs.