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.)
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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.