The US Council of Muslim Organizations (USCMO) has issued a statement saying its representatives had recently met with State Department officials, pressing them in an “intense” discussion about the Department’s findings on the killed Middle East reporter Shireen Abu Akleh. According to the statement:
July 7, 2022 The US Council of Muslim Organizations (USCMO), the largest umbrella for Muslim American organizations, strongly rejects as “unjust, undemocratic, and unacceptable” the U.S. State Department findings on the Israeli killing of Al Jazeera journalist and American citizen Shireen Abu Akleh, issued Monday, July 4th. Council representatives in their recent meeting with US State Department officials pressed them in an “intense” 2‑hour discussion on the Israeli targeted killing of the renowned Middle East reporter, and other systematic human rights abuses by the Israeli government of the Palestinians.
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As part of the statement, USCMO President Oussama Jammal alleged that US politicians compelled the nation to “kneel in humiliation, again and again, before this anti-democratic Israeli apartheid human desecration and killing machine.” The USCMO also said it planned to deliver a letter to President Biden before his July 2022 trip to the region, laying out policy concerns of American Muslims regarding Israel and Palestinians.
On 4 July 2022, the State Department published a statement summarizing Israeli and Palestinian investigations in which it said it could not reach a definitive conclusion regarding the origin of the bullet that killed the prominent Palestinian-American journalist, while it concluded that gunfire from Israeli positions was “likely responsible” for her death. Abu Akleh was shot while covering an Israeli army operation in the West Bank on 11 May 2022, leading to widespread protests against the Israeli government. A few hours after her death, Israel’s Prime Minister Naftali Bennett initially claimed that there was a chance that “armed Palestinians, who fired wildly,” were responsible. At the same time, the Palestinian Authority blamed the Israeli military.
The USCMO is comprised almost solely of elements of the US Muslim Brotherhood. USCMO Secretary-General Oussama Jammal has long been a leader of the Bridgeview Mosque and its Mosque Foundation, the focus of a 2004 Chicago Tribune investigation. The investigation revealed that as much as $1 million a year had been raised from mosque members and sent to overseas Muslim charities, principally in support of Hamas. The article also detailed the mosque’s ties to the Muslim Brotherhood. In October 2020, we reported that the USCMO hosted a meeting of dozens of Western Muslim Brotherhood-linked organizations.
In May 2021, the Global Influence Operations Report (GIOR) reported that the USCMO had issued a statement expressing its “deep dismay” with the Biden administration over its stance on the violence in Israel and Gaza and which accused Israel of a series of heinous crimes, including “mass slaughter of Palestinian babies, children, the elderly, women, entire families, and men.”
Opposition to Israel and anti-Semitism have long characterized much of the Global Muslim Brotherhood.