Following racist remarks about veiled women in a restaurant, Marwan Muhammad, leader of the CCIF launched a cyber-harassment campaign and organized a meeting at Tremblay Mosque.
His speech, broadcasted live, was a call to mobilize politically.
“Nobody has the right to tell us how we should dress, how we must fund mosques (…). And for that, we must mobilize politically. (…) Being able to send 1000 letters, mail 2000, 5000 calls to a politician if we consider his behavior as problematic. It is a political action. Political action in the noble sense of the term. (…) And in the entire range of political actions that are possible, whether voting or joining associations or the fact to mobilize and gather in place, I will choose the one with which I am in agreement and adequacy in line and consistent with my vision of society, with my values, my ethics. (…) the more we will be effective and will weigh politically more complicated it will be for elected officials to mistreat us and put us to the index. “
Clearly political, Marwan Muhammad, intervention falls under the 1905 Act.
Article 26 of Law of 9 December 1905 on the separation of Church and State is very clear.
“It is forbidden to hold political meetings on the premises normally used for the exercise of worship.”
Regarding racist, a judicial inquiry has been opened; it precisely determine the circumstances under which such statements were made and it will be for the judicial authority and of itself, to give it the appropriate action.Several steps are being taken for the holding of “a meeting in a place of worship.
Around 30 000 pages read daily. 329 000 English speaking fans on Facebook and 62 600 French speaking fans.
Twenty permanent staff in the London bureau.
A dozen freelancers in several countries.
Many are professionals and their careers give MEE a mantle of seriousness and professionalism. Heading the website is David Hearst. He is the Editor of Middle East Eye and was for a long period of time, senior international correspondent for the Guardian. He worked on the conflicts in Yugoslavia, Chechnya, Ireland and Russia.
In two years’ time, the websites became unavoidable. Online Media Awards named Middle East Eye’s Peter Oborne best freelance writer of the year for his report on the siege of Damascus.
However, what kind of journalism Middle East Eye does?
« The moment activists come through this door they become journalists » #presswashing
Many activists who write in the media sustain adamantly that they are journalists and therefore objective. When David Hearst declares that MEE staff writers come in as “activists” and come out as “journalists” he plays on this ambiguity. As if, human beings, who fight passionately for a cause or an ideology, can turn off their brain when they write.
Some contributors of Middle East Eye are politically engaged. Fortunately so.
However, alleging that they stop being activists the minute they start writing, is an insult to the intelligence of the readers and the contributors of Middle East Eye.
The bias of political Islam
Hanan Chehata is a regular contributor of the site. She does not hesitate to call secular people “secular fanatics”. She says of herself a hostage of two parts of the population. On one side, the seculars (Muslim and non-Muslim) that she does not hesitate to qualify as “secular fanatics”. On the other side, those who are more fundamentalists than she is who she calls “religious police.” Hanan Chehada says she is the happy medium between those two extremes, forgetting however that the vast majority of Muslims in the west (and even in a growing number of Muslim countries) are in favor of the separation between religion and politics and disagree with political Islam.
Basheer Nafi is in charge of research in Al Jazeera Center for Studies. He wrote several articles for Middle East Eye, in one of them he calls Rashed Ghannouchi to order.
“Ennahdah can change its speech, but not the reality of political Islam.
The relation between Ennahda and the Muslim Brothers is not the result of a conspiratorial missionary effort; it is purely a Tunisian choice. It is absolutely wrong to pretend today that Ennahdah was for many decades prisoner of an Islamic political identity it did not want.”
“The forces of the mainstream current in political Islam, led by the Muslim brothers, fought for about one century for the independence of their state. They struggled for people’s freedom and the instauration of a fair system of governance that expresses the will of the majority and safeguards their interests. When it had to face the despotism of Tunisian leader Habib Bourguiba, Ennahdah was not an exception. There is nothing shameful in this history that justifies its condemnation.”
« Fear and sensitivity should not push a political movement with such a long history of struggle and sacrifices to take hasty and sudden decisions.”
Independent….yes, from the Hollywood studios and its great granduncle maybe.
In the English section “about”, we can read, “Middle East Eye is an independently funded online news organization founded in February 2014”
What does « independently funded » mean? Independent of the big media groups? Independent of the Hollywood studios? Independent of American pension funds? The only way to try to see a bit more clearly is to ask for the legal documents handed by the company. We can read there that the director is Jamal Awami Jamal known as Jamal Bessasso. He is director of two companies with quasi-similar names: MEE limited and Middle East Eye limited.
Jamal Bessasso born in 1969 in Kuwait is a Dutch national of Palestinian origin who lives in Great Britain. He was formerly director of planning and human resources for Al-Jazeera. He was also director of Samalink TV in Lebanon, which broadcasts Al Quds TV, the station close to Hamas.
Jamal Bassasso also worked for a real estate company in Dubai with Anas Mekdad, another Palestinian linked to Al Islah the Emirati wing of the Muslim Brothers, which is banned today, and many of its members are serving prison sentences accused of attempting to overthrow the government. Anas Mekdad is the founder of the Islamist web forum AlMakeed that praised Hamas. A forum in which Bessasso contributes.
Asked by the Emirati daily The National, David Hearst the editor in chief of Middle East Eye categorically denied that Bessasso played any important role in Middle East Eye. At most he conceded that Jamal Bessasso was a ““a colleague and the head of human resources and the legal director”.
Why deny that he is also represents the anonymous owners of Middle East Eye? If he is not himself the owner. His name is the only one that appears on the official documents handed to the British administration.
The name of Jamal Bessasso is also the only one showing for the company Middle East Eye Limited that owns the website Middle East Eye.
Also in the category, “independence” we must underline this important industrial gift: the lending of a coach, Jonathan Powell, an Al Jazeera employee since 2009. He spent six months in London to create the website Middle East Eye.
Another coincidence probably, the person who registered the website Middle East Eye is Adlin Adnan. Incidentally, he is responsible of development policies at Interpal an organization based in Qatar and linked for a long time to the Union of Good of Youssef Al Qaradhawi.
A coincidence as well, probably, we find in the staff of MEE, Rori Donaghy director from 2012 to 2014 of the Emirates Center for Human Rights, a structure aimed to support the Muslim Brothers in the United Arab Emirates. Rori Donaghy admitted that this structure was created thanks to Anas Al Tikriti, head of the Cordoba Foundation and a supporter of the Muslim Brotherhood.
David Hearst published videos on internet in which he maintains he is politically and financially independent. However, he does not reveal the identities of those who make his financial set-up. To run a website of this size with spacious offices in central London, twenty permanent staff and tens of freelancers in various countries, let alone the cost of translation, you need more than 1.5 million pounds a year.
We launched Ikhwan Info in June 2015. We needed to provide a Watchdog of Political Islam and the Muslim Brotherhood which is a political and fundamentalist network that thrives in Muslim countries and finds allies in the West. It managed to influence western public opinions mainly through its efficient propaganda but also due to the lack of public knowledge about its double talk , its speeches, its ramifications worldwide, its thinkers and strategists. Our goal was to overcome this gap. We reached it even better than expected.
1 million views
In late May 2016, according to Google Analytics, 1,059,604 pages of our website were seen by 699,756 users.
Ikhwan Info website was attacked several times, but it held. Except during the 2016 congress of UOIF (Union des Organisations Islamiques de France) where the attack made access unavailable for 48 hours. When we publish an article on Iran, the website is inaccessible in the country for several days. Most of the attacks came from IP addresses in Turkey and Tunisia.
Although the main language of the site is French, many articles are also published in English and Arabic.We try to ensure that each article is translated in at least two languages.We published this year: 381 articles. 287 in French. 138 in English. 91 Arabic.
In one year, our stories were read nearly everywhere. Some countries are still not reached : North Korea, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Greenland, Chad, Uganda, Papua New Guinea.
The most frequent visitors come from the following countries: France, Egypt, Turkey, Indonesia, Morocco, USA, Tunisia, Belgium, India.We published articles about 29 countries.
Algeria, Australia, Belgium, Canada, Cuba, United Arab Emirates, Egypt, USA, Finland, France, Great Britain, India, Iran, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Malaysia, Morocco, Norway, Qatar, Sudan Sweden, Switzerland, Syria, Tunisia, Turkey, Yemen
Some investigations, such as those conducted by a former MB activist who became a contributor of Ikhwan Info , Mohamed Louizi, alerted public opinion as well as French authorities. They played a decisive role in the decision to cancel the participation of extremist preachers, at rallies organized by the Muslim Brotherhood in France.
Alkhayria Belgica is an NGO which aspires to contribute to the teaching of Islam in Belgium. They give courses of elimination of illiteracy and organize school outputs. Seminars are also organized to initiate the parents with the Islamic debates. Few lecturers are external with the ideology of the Muslim brothers.
Among the speakers:
Tareq Oubrou: “Islamic theology at the era of secularization: Is it necessary to reform theology in Islam?”
Mohamed Bajrafil: “To point out the past of people”
Yahya Michot: “Ibn Taymiyya and the Salafism”
Hassan Iquioussen : “Relations Man-Woman”• Tahar Mahdi of the European Council of the Fatwa (formation)
Zakaria Seddiqui of the World council of the Moslem Scientists
Or Michael Privot, Adnan Ibrahim, Hani Ramadan, Ahmed Jaballah.
In March 2015, in his investigation into Muslim Brotherhood in Belgium, Marie-Cécile Royen includes Alkhayria in the satellite organizations of the Brotherhood. Following this investigation, Marie-Cécile Royen undergoes many intimidations. Ali Oubila, president of CA of Alkhayria requires a right of reply:
“Our ASBL neither is attached or subordinated to the Muslim brothers nor to other organizations whatever they are. This, obviously, prevented us not, within the framework of our activities, to collaborate with intellectual actors of different backgrounds.”
Post scriptum :
On March 21st, 2016, between the arrest of Salah Abdeslam and the attacks of Brussels, Ali Oubila president of Alkhayria Belgica sent a mail to us :
“Nearly 90% of our speaker are not Muslim brothers!
Moreover you published our photographs without our knowledge!
We ask you to withdraw all that you published on us.”
In the paper we had indicated that “few” lecturers were not close to the Brotherhood. We maintain this information, even if the term “few” implies more than one person.
In addition the images will not be withdrawn, they belong to the propaganda of the group and are public.
We had stressed that Marie-Cécile Royen had undergone intimidations following his investigation. We will not yield to the threats and will continue our investigation on this organization and its participants. And will return it public.