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US Muslim Brotherhood Associates Of Jamal Khashoggi Launch Middle East Human Rights Project

February 10th, 2021 13:18

US media report­ed last Sep­tem­ber that asso­ciates of the late Sau­di dis­si­dent and Wash­ing­ton Post colum­nist Jamal Khashog­gi had launched a think tank and watch­dog mon­i­tor­ing human rights vio­la­tions by US allies in the Mid­dle East and North Africa. Accord­ing to the New York Times report:

Sep­tem­ber 28, 2020 On Tues­day, two years after his death, Mr. Khashoggi’s friends and col­leagues will launch (…) Democ­ra­cy for the Arab World Now, or DAWN. DAWN is a Wash­ing­ton-based human rights watch­dog that plans to focus on vio­la­tions by the Unit­ed States’ clos­est Arab allies and pub­lish arti­cles by polit­i­cal exiles from across the Mid­dle East to car­ry on Mr. Khashoggi’s legacy.

Read the rest here.

The NYT arti­cle also reports that Khashog­gi him­self came up with the idea to form DAWN in the months lead­ing up to his 2018 killing in the Sau­di con­sulate in Istan­bul by Sau­di oper­a­tives. In 2018, our pre­de­ces­sor pub­li­ca­tion was the first West­ern pub­li­ca­tion to report that Khashog­gi was work­ing togeth­er with US Mus­lim Broth­er­hood leader Nihad Awad on DAWN, described at that time as an “Islam­ic Democ­ra­cy” project. DAWN is led by for­mer Human Rights Watch Mid­dle East direc­tor Sarah Leah Whit­son who is known for mak­ing seri­ous­ly mis­lead­ing state­ments about the Mus­lim Broth­er­hood such as the following:

…the Egypt­ian gov­ern­ment plays pol­i­tics with the facts, attempt­ing to con­nect the Mus­lim Broth­er­hood to the vio­lence of the Islam­ic State and oth­er extrem­ist groups, with no evi­dence whatsoever.

Aside from the mas­sive evi­dence con­cern­ing the extrem­ist nature of the Broth­er­hood itself, which will not be reviewed here, in 2017, our com­pan­ion research site pub­lished a report which detailed the role played by Egypt­ian Mus­lim Broth­er­hood lead­ers in the Glob­al Anti-Aggres­sion Cam­paign (GAAC), a Salafi-led inter­na­tion­al umbrel­la orga­ni­za­tion that brings under its wings Salafi, Salafi-Jiha­di, Glob­al Mus­lim Broth­er­hood, and Hamas leaders.

DAWN board mem­bers also include mul­ti­ple indi­vid­u­als tied to the Glob­al Mus­lim Broth­er­hood (GMB), a transna­tion­al Islamist net­work cov­ered by the Glob­al Influ­ence Oper­a­tions Report (GIOR):

  • Asim Ghafoor, a for­mer Con­gres­sion­al staffer who in 2001 was a spokesman for the Glob­al Relief Foun­da­tion, des­ig­nat­ed by the US Trea­sury in 2002 as a ter­ror­ist enti­ty in con­nec­tion with sup­port for Al Qae­da. Ghafoor was asso­ci­at­ed with the Amer­i­can Mus­lim Coun­cil, whose for­mer head Abdul Rah­man Alam­ou­di was an impor­tant leader in the US Mus­lim Broth­er­hood and who was con­vict­ed in a plot to mur­der Sau­di Crown Prince Abdul­lah on behalf of Libyan leader Muam­mar al-Gaddafi.
  • Nobel Peace Prize win­ner Tawakkol Kar­man, for­mer­ly a mem­ber of the Yemeni Al-Islah Par­ty, the local branch of the GMB.

DAWN’s Research Direc­tor is Abdul­lah Alaoudh, son of extrem­ist schol­ar and for­mer Osama bin Laden men­tor Salman Alo­dah (aka Salman Al-Oudah), who has since mod­er­at­ed his views but has remained a reg­u­lar fea­ture at GMB events. One of DAWN’s inau­gur­al pub­li­ca­tions has notably described Salman Alo­dah as a “pop­u­lar schol­ar edu­cat­ing for reform” with­out men­tion­ing his extrem­ist and anti-Semit­ic views.

Although Jamal Khashog­gi had a record of prais­ing democ­ra­cy and human rights as the only viable solu­tion for sta­bil­i­ty in the Mid­dle East, US media has point­ed out that part of his approach was to also include polit­i­cal Islamists in what he saw as democ­ra­cy build­ing as well as his friend­ship with Azzam Tami­mi, a UK spokesman for Hamas and close to the UK Mus­lim Broth­er­hood. Khashog­gi also denounced crack­downs on Sun­ni Islamists by the region’s gov­ern­ments, and the Wash­ing­ton Post, has acknowl­edged that Khashog­gi’s columns and sto­ries were at times “shaped” by a top offi­cial of the Qatar Foun­da­tion, close to the Qatari roy­al family.

Report­ing on Khashog­gi by our pre­de­ces­sor pub­li­ca­tion included:

  • An Octo­ber 2018 analy­sis of Khashoggi’s GMB ties.
  • An Octo­ber 2018 report about Khashoggi’s anony­mous work for Mid­dle East Eye, an Islamist media house tied to the GMB.
  • A Novem­ber 2018 report that GMB spir­i­tu­al guide Youssef Qaradawi had referred to and praised Khashog­gi in a speech.
  • A Jan­u­ary 2019 report about how in 1993, Khashog­gi acknowl­edged and explained the US Mus­lim Brotherhood.