In mid-June 2021, the US Council of Muslim Organizations (USCMO) called on US President Biden to intervene to halt the planned execution of former officials of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood government, led by the late Mohamed Morsi. According to a USCMO post::
June 18, 2021 The US Council of Muslim Organizations (USCMO) is calling on the Biden Administration and congressional leaders to condemn and take concrete action to stop the U.S.-supported Egyptian government’s plan to carry out a mass execution of democracy activists, faith leaders, and other political prisoners in the coming days. In 2018, the Egyptian government secured death sentences against 12 political prisoners in Egypt, including a former government minister who served in the country’s first and only democratic government. This week, Egypt’s highest court approved the sentences, paving the way for mass executions to occur at any moment.
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The group also called on Biden and other politicians, including the Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, to suspend any US military aid to Egypt until the country improved its human rights record and demanded the Egyptian government free all political prisoners.
Despite the USCMO characterization of the 12 individuals as “democracy activists, faith leaders, and other political prisoners,” the individuals are, in fact, leaders of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood. A June 2021 ruling by Egypt’s highest appeals court upheld the death sentence against 12 senior Brotherhood members leaders for crimes related to 2013 sit-in protests that called for the reinstatement of the deposed President Mohamed Morsi. Among the defendants are Abdul Rahman Al-Bar, described as the group’s top religious scholar, Mohamed El-Beltagi, a former member of parliament, and Osama Yassin, a former minister in the Morsi administration.
In February 2021, the Global Influence Operations Report (GIOR) reported that a group of US lawmakers had initiated an “Egypt Human Rights Caucus” with the assistance of Mohamed Soltan, the son of an Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood leader and who also served as the de-facto social media manager for the 2013 sit-in protests. According to recent reporting in US media, the Director of the Egyptian General Intelligence Directorate has alleged that US officials had agreed to jail Soltan, whom Egyptian authorities had charged with terrorism-related offenses, upon his arrival in the United States as part of an effort to secure his extradition from Egypt.
The United States Council of Muslim Organizations was established in 2014 by eight organizations, seven of which are part of the Global Muslim Brotherhood in the US. Since its founding, the USCMO has grown to include 35 member organizations, almost half known to be part of the US MB and including almost every important component of the Brotherhood in the US. Prior GIOR reporting about the USCMO has also included:
- An October 2020 report that Turkish President Erdoğan had welcomed USCMO representatives to the Turkish presidential complex, discussing the need to strengthen US-Turkish relations.
- A January 2021 report that the USCMO had published an online form for government jobs in the Biden administration as part of its “Empowerment and Service” program.
- An April 2021 report that the representative of a USCMO member organization had met with the Turkish ambassador to the US and a Turkish-American influence group closely tied to the Turkish ruling party.
- A May 2021 report that the USCMO had published an open letter calling on President Joe Biden to appoint a State Department special envoy to monitor and combat Islamophobia.
- A May 2021 report that the USCMO had joined an initiative to boycott a virtual White House Eid celebration hosted by President Biden in connection with his stance on the violence in Israel and Gaza.
NOTE: The GIOR presents the above information for purposes of context and not to endorse or approve of the execution of prisoners and ill-treatment of political activists at the hands of the Egyptian authorities.