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War On Terror ‘Commemoration’ Campaign Includes Host Of Islamist Partner Groups

September 13th, 2021 16:24

A recent­ly launched vir­tu­al “Inter­na­tion­al Wit­ness Cam­paign”, com­mem­o­rat­ing the 20th anniver­sary of the US War on Ter­ror, includes a host of Euro­pean Islamist groups. The Cam­paign web­site describes itself as follows:

Sep­tem­ber 13, 2021 In 2001, US pres­i­dent GW Bush announced the launch of a “cru­sade”. Since then, we have wit­nessed 20 years of ille­gal wars, car­pet bomb­ings, drone assas­si­na­tions, arbi­trary deten­tion, tor­ture and mass dis­place­ment in the Mus­lim world. West­ern democ­ra­cies have also enact­ed count­less leg­is­la­tions and poli­cies tar­get­ing Mus­lim com­mu­ni­ties and under­min­ing the rule of law for all. The Inter­na­tion­al Wit­ness Cam­paign gath­ers inter­na­tion­al part­ners to com­mem­o­rate this anniver­sary and remem­ber the mil­lions of peo­ple affect­ed across the globe. It explores two decades of the war on Ter­ror, its impact, its fail­ures and its future, while pro­mot­ing sol­i­dar­i­ty, jus­tice and dialogue.

Read the rest here.

The Cam­paign says it orga­nizes film screen­ings and webi­na­rs and hosts in-per­son events and pod­casts. It was ini­ti­at­ed by CAGE, a UK Islam­ic advo­ca­cy group tied to the Glob­al Mus­lim Broth­er­hood (GMB) and whose senior lead­ers have advo­cat­ed sup­port­ing vio­lent jihad over­seas. Among the initiative’s 53 part­ner asso­ci­a­tions are mul­ti­ple Islamist orga­ni­za­tions from sev­er­al Euro­pean coun­tries, including:

  • BarakaC­i­ty, a French NGO that was dis­solved by the French gov­ern­ment in 2020 and was described as an “ene­my of the state” by the country’s inte­ri­or minister.
  • Islam­ic Cen­tral Coun­cil of Switzer­land, a Swiss fun­da­men­tal­ist Mus­lim asso­ci­a­tion under sur­veil­lance by the Swiss authorities.
  • Col­lec­tif Con­tre l’Islamophobie en Europe, a regroup­ing of a con­tro­ver­sial French Islam­o­pho­bia watch­dog and human rights NGO that was also banned by the French gov­ern­ment. A 2020 analy­sis by the Glob­al Influ­ence Oper­a­tions Report (GIOR) con­clud­ed that this pre­de­ces­sor was an Islamist influ­ence oper­a­tion with close ties to the GMB.
  • Mus­lim Engage­ment and Devel­op­ment (MEND), a UK Islam­ic NGO close to the GMB in Britain.

Oth­er part­ners include Nyans, a Turk­ish-Swedish migrant par­ty whose senior lead­ers have fam­i­ly ties to the Turk­ish far-right/Is­lamist MHP par­ty, and ACT‑P, a sup­port group for chil­dren involved in the Novem­ber 2020 raids by the Aus­tri­an author­i­ties that tar­get­ed a large num­ber of Islam­ic orga­ni­za­tions and indi­vid­u­als sus­pect­ed of ties to the GMB and ter­ror­ist orga­ni­za­tions. Anoth­er part­ner is the Istan­bul-based Cen­ter for Islam and Glob­al Affairs (CIGA), whose leader Sami Al-Ari­an in 2006 plead­ed guilty to con­spir­ing to make or receive con­tri­bu­tions of funds, goods, or ser­vices to or for the ben­e­fit of the Pales­tin­ian Islam­ic Jihad. In August 2021, the GIOR report­ed that CIGA had orga­nized an aca­d­e­m­ic con­fer­ence in Turkey named “Chal­leng­ing Apartheid in Pales­tine” that fea­tured promi­nent Islamist and Turk­ish fig­ures as well as US aca­d­e­mics with close ties to the GMB as speakers.

One of the Wit­ness Cam­paign’s first events was a 2 Sep­tem­ber 2021 vir­tu­al pan­el dis­cus­sion host­ed by CAGE Out­reach Direc­tor Moaz­zam Begg that dis­cussed the future of Afghanistan and fea­tured British Mus­lim activist Yvonne Rid­ley and Mul­lah Abdus-Salam Zaeef, the for­mer Tal­iban ambas­sador to Pak­istan. Anoth­er two-day event titled “People’s Tri­bunal on the Crimes of Aggres­sion” fea­tured for­mer British Nation­al Union of Stu­dents (NUS) Pres­i­dent Malia Bouat­tia, who in the past has sug­gest­ed that vio­lent “resis­tance” was the way for­ward in Palestine.