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.
The next local elections in Milan, particularly the lists of the Left, could be considered as a paradigmatic example of the schizophrenia reigning in parties and institutions when it comes to choosing “Muslims” candidates. In Milan two names stand out, namely Maryan Ismail and Sumaya Abdel Qader, who represent two worlds apart: the former is a staunch Muslim activist against all forms of radical Islam, the latter represents political and social activism in the name of the ideology and strategy of the Muslim Brotherhood in Europe.
Maryan is not veiled, Sumaya is. However, Abdel Qader’s veil goes far beyond her colourful head cover. The official biography of Abdel Qader highlights that she was born in Perugia, Italy, on 16/06/1978 from Jordanian-Palestinian parents, that she earned a degree in biology and another one in foreign languages and cultures. She also has a master’s degree in sociology. She collaborates with Italian universities and schools giving talks, lectures and courses on Islam, the Arab-Islamic world, European Muslims, that she is one of the founders of GMI (Giovani Musulmani d’Italia, Young Muslims of Italy), where she has held the post of Secretary General and Vice President. In September 2008 she published an autobiographical book I wear the veil and love the Queen. Since 2011 she has been cooperating with the City of Milan at the table for new citizenship of the Department for social policies. She is also in charge of the cultural section of CAIM (Coordination of Islamic Organizations in Milan and Monza and Brianza), led by Davide Piccardo who is, among other things, one of the Italian members of the European Muslim Network in Brussels headed by Tariq Ramadan.
As CAIM member she has recently launched in Milan the campaign AISHA against violence on women.
Strangely enough, but not so much, Abdel Qader avoids to indicate in her official biography and presentations her most prestigious appointment: Head of FIOE (Federation of Islamic Organizations in Europe) Youth and Student Department. FIOE is the main umbrella organisation of the Muslim Brotherhood in Europe. Besides this, she is also a member of the Board of Trustees of FEMYSO (Forum of European Muslim Youth and Student Organizations) based in Brussels, which is the junior counterpart of FIOE. Giovani Musulmani d’Italia is a member of FEMYSO. In September 2015, at the 19th General Assembly of FEMYSO – that took place at the headquarters of the controversial Turkish organization Milli Gorus in Cologne – Abdel Qader was honoured with an award for her activities. She is also member of the board of the European Forum of Muslim Women (EFOMW) in Brussels together with her mother-in-law.
In order to follow the international activities of FIOE Sumaya recently went to Finland, Turkey, Malaysia showing that Milan and Italy are just a small part of a microcosm of a much larger project.
Last, but not least she is the daughter of Mohammed Abdel Qader, Palestinian co-founder of Unione degli studenti musulmani in Italia (Union of Muslim Students in Italy, USMI) and the Unione delle Comunità e delle Organizzazioni Islamiche in Italia (Union of Islamic Communities and Organizations in Italy, UCOII) and Imam of Perugia, central Italy. She is married with Abdallah Kabakebbji, former President of GMI) and son of MB leader Maher Kabakebbji.
But the main question that should be answered is the following: why is she casting a veil on her European appointments at the highest levels of the European Brotherhood and trying to hide her ties with the European spinoffs of the Muslim Brotherhood?
Kuwaiti Muslim Brotherhood member Tareq al-Suwaidan, who had been invited in Italy by the Associazione Islamica Italiana degli imam e delle Guide Religiose in San Giovanni in Lupatoto, “will not be able and will not enter Italy”. This was confirmed on April 6th 2016 during question time at the Italian parliament by Minister of Interiors Angelino Alfano. The Minister recalled that the preacher “has been inserted by Belgium in the Schengen Information System since November 2014 and by virtue of this he has no possibility to enter any country of that area, including of course Italy. Any application for issuing a visa would be automatically rejected. And if the imam will try to cross our borders would be immediately stopped and rejected.”
However, the most important and significant statement is the one in which Alfano stressed that Suwaidan is a” well-known figure to our police forces and those of other countries of the Schengen area in relation to his previous preaching activities, marked by radical, anti-Western and anti-Semitic contents, and he is known for its proximity to the Muslim Brotherhood.” To denounce the radical, anti-Western and anti-Semitic are thus the Italian Minister of the Interior, the police forces of the Schengen countries, that is people and institutions in charge of Italian and European security.
The official statements are the polar opposite of the statements by Aboulkheir Breigheche, communications officer of the Association and former president of Alleanza Islamica in Italia which is member of FIOE, who had declared that Suwaidan had been invited as a communications expert and that he is an “enlightened, open and moderate person who also knows how to criticize the Western world.”