The Muslim Brotherhood System: Illustration via the Privot Case
May 20, 2016
by Willy Wolsztain
More a religious political sect than a spiritual movement, founded in 1928 by the Egyptian Hassan al-Banna, the Muslim Brotherhood carries a totalitarian vision of the religion. In Europe they are attempting to Islamize society in a gradual manner, with their ultimate end the installation of a worldwide caliphate. In order to grasp their true nature, it is enough to observe up close the Muslim Fair of Brussels (FMB), one of their flagship annual events, along with the Moslem Expo (Antwerp) and the Muslim Expo (Charleroi).
Promotion of the female Muslim dress code, segregation of men and women during conferences, omnipresent prayers, Koranic rants. At the FMB there reigns an atmosphere of obscurantism, bigotry and conservatism. There the Aksahum Foundation supports the charitable works of Hamas. One can hear the diatribes of hate against Shi’ite Islam (Hassan Iquiousson at the FMB 2015). Anti-Semitic preachers are invited (FMB 2104, Muslim Expo, Charleroi 2016) Works by Youssef al-Qaradawi, the notorious leading thinker and spiritual guide of the Brotherhood, are distributed.
The founding father Hassan al-Banna always present
The ideology that permeates the Muslim Fair is inspired directly by the founding father, Hassan al-Banna. See his 1947 manifesto with its 50 programmed points. One will note in passing how many ideas also influence the Islamic political pressure in Europe (claims on the Islamic veil, segregation between the sexes, family law, censorship of media and art, etc.) A prophetic microcosm, the Fair prefigures the ideal macrocosm according to the Brotherhood, the exact opposite of a liberal Islam open to the values of individual liberty, democracy, humanism and progress.
We examine the Brotherhood career of the Islamologist Michael Privot. We have already dealt with his case elsewhere. In an exemplary manner, it illustrates the “Leninist perspective of taking control”, put into practice by the Brotherhood, to use the happy formula of the Egyptian historian, Tewfik Aclimandos.
A completely unusual approach for a member of the Brotherhood, Michael Privot carried out a Brotherhood “coming out” in 2008. In perfect contrast to the spectacle of the Muslim Fair, Privot presents the European Muslim Brotherhood, self-styled as “fed up with the virtues of democracy, human rights, the nation of laws and responsible citizenship”. Interviewed eight years later after having said he slammed the Brotherhood door, he gave us the same angelic serenade. He shows “the tip of the ear”, however. “One has to take the example of Millî Görüş.” Millî Görüş, the Turkish Islamist movement, conservative, totalitarian, close in spirit to the Muslim Brotherhood. Since 2012, Michael Privot claims to have broken with the Brotherhood. In truth, that is false. Right up to today he remains closely tied to the active Brotherhood structures in Belgium. And here is the proof.
According to a 2008 American report, “The Muslim Brotherhood in Belgium”, Michael Privot co-chaired the Forum of European Muslim Youth and Students Associations (FEMYSO), one of the top organizations linked to the Brotherhood. In 2004, he entered the administrative council of the Educational Islamic Cultural Complex of Verviers — Assahaba Mosque (CECIV) as treasurer, a few months after the establishment of this non-profit. In 2007 he became vice secretary. He only left the board of the CECIV at the beginning of 2015. Not without leaving behind him a person of confidence, namely Julie “Noor” Pascoet, who joined the board at the end of 2014 as secretary. She joined Hajib El Hajjaji see below, who then sat on the board of CECIV since 2010, as well as Frank “Amin” Hensch, president and imam of CECIV. Pascoet is also a close collaborator of Privot at the head of ENAR (European Network Against Racism), which he leads in a professional role. She worked for Islamic Relief Worldwide, a very important international charitable NGO linked to the Muslim Brotherhood.
ENAR, a European network of organizations, has, among its Europeans members, the FEMYSO, already mentioned, as well as the European Forum of Muslim Women (EFOMW), also linked to the Brotherhood. ENAR counts among its Belgian members the Collective Against Islamophobia in Belgium (CCIB) and Muslims Right Belgium (MRB), two propaganda agencies of the Muslim Brotherhood movement. ENAR makes the fight against “Islamophobia”, an Islamist obsession, one of its priority actions.
At the beginning of 2013, Privot co-founded Empowering Belgian Muslims (EmBeM), a non-profit in which he served as vice president. Fatima Zibouh, a researcher at the University of Liege, leads EmBeM. She also functions as editorial adviser of Radio AraBel, a local Brussels transmitter. A partner of the Muslim Fair of Brussels, Radio AraBel covers this event exclusively from a temporary studio installed in the heart (of the fair). Among the founding members of EmBeM, we note Brussels representative Mahinur Ozdemir, the first Parliamentarian in Europe to wear the Islamic veil. After getting her elected, the CDH excluded her for denying the Armenian genocide. Should that be surprising? The current Turkish president, the Islamist Recep Tayyip Erdogan, then prime minister, a great democrat as everyone knows, attended the lady’s marriage in Istanbul. Another founder of EmBeM: Zaki Chairi, a Radio AraBel host and Islamist Scout leader (Scouts and Muslim Guides of Brussels). Zaki Chairi is the son of Mustapha Chairi, president of CCIB, previously mentioned. EmBeM counts among its administrators Taoufik Amzile, president of the Belgian Association of Muslim Professionals (ABPM). We will return to this (see below). EmBeM figured, along with the CCIB, among the partners of Muslim Expo 2015 in Antwerp, a Muslim Brotherhood event organized in the north of the country.
Nebula of personalities — Network of institutions
In this way, accessible data, though partial, permit the outlining of the active Muslim Brotherhood mechanism in French-speaking Belgium. Not having identifiable bosses and leaders, a nebula of personalities emerges. It adopts the form of a network of non-profits of various social purposes, with converging aims and mutual filtering roles, through cross-participation in boards of directors. To which should be added de facto associations (Muslim Rights Belgium) and limited public companies (Radio AraBel). What is shown in the table is French-speaking Belgian level with connections in Flanders, an international level, as well as positions of external, strategic influence, for example, within ENAR. By the number of its administrators also belonging to the boards of sister non-profits, Michael Privot’s CECIV appears to be at the center of the mechanism.
The Tarek Al-Suwaidan episode at the Brussels Muslim Fair (FMB) in 2014 offers an insight into the operational function of this apparatus. Remember that the authorities prohibited the entry into Belgium of this Kuwaiti preacher on grounds of anti-Semitism. The CECIV, during the time when Michael Privot was still director, co-organized the FMB along with the League of Belgian Muslims (LMB). On the Facebook page of the Fair is shown a reservation banner with the CECIV logo alongside those of the French editor Gedis and the LMB, the official organizer. After the incident, Privot put out a press release. He was sorry for “the lack of differentiation” between the LMB and Gedis. He avails himself of EmBeM, but takes care not to denounce CECIV. The press award him a “patent of virginity” under the title, “discordant voice”. A discordant voice? Or skillful against fire?
At the end of the Merley report in 2008 an informational chart shows the central position of Michael Privot within Muslim Brotherhood structures in Belgium. Hajib El Hajjaji, previously mentioned, appeared by his side. He still figures today among his close associates. We were able to find them together during a conference which EmBeM organized at Anderlecht on 12 May 2015 at Espace Poincaré/Dar al Quran — a Brotherhood institution. Michael Privot introduced the debate. Hajob El Hajjaji manages the location. He also chairs the Collective Against Islamophobia in Belgium, mentioned above. He has practiced professionally on behalf of the ABPM of Taoufik Amzile and was administrator for a time. As for Julie Pascoet, the administrator/secretary of CECIV and Michael Privot’s right arm at ENAR, she participated in the European Parliament on March 2, 2016 on behalf of ENAR in the conference “Women Against Islamophobia”. The session was held under the leadership of Deputy Soraya Post (Sweden, Feminist Party, Socialist Group). ENAR co-organized the event along with the European Brotherhood federations, FEMYSO and EFOMW, already mentioned.
Belgian elites bet on the Muslim Brotherhood?
In spite of his insistent denials, Michael Privot persists in frequenting Muslim Brotherhood circles in an active manner. Ex-officials of the Brotherhood such as Farid Abdelkrim or Mohamed Louizi denounce the ideology, exposing its hidden function, and help combat it. They take risks. Nothing of the sort for Michael Privot. On the contrary, he reveals nothing about the organization which he, nevertheless, worked inside for years. He makes soothing comments about the Brotherhood. He saves the day. We can commit errors in our youth. To have adhered to a fascist-type movement. But if you break with it, you must pay the debt. You must work to destroy it. A question of democratic credibility. Privot is very careful. This con artist is an excellent showcase for the Muslim Brotherhood. And it works.
Because it is exclusively those non-Muslims, media types, academics, politicians who have fabricated and maintain the visibility and the notoriety of Michael Privot. Here for 40 years our political elites (and the Royal Palace) have outsourced Islam in Belgium to Saudi Arabia. Today we are paying very dearly for this fatal choice. Would our current elites bet on the Muslim Brotherhood to out-source Islam 2.0 to them? A disastrous calculation. Like the Saudi Salafism in the past 40 years, the ever-so-close Brotherhood ideology programs and softens the brains and renders them permeable to the jihadist sirens of tomorrow.