Muslim Brotherhood established in SIPRI
The Muslim Brotherhood’s network-and aid organizations reach an ever more established position within Swedish foreign policy sphere. As co-organizer with SIDA (Swedish International Development) and the Swedish Peace Research Institute, SIPRI, they are taking a larger place in Swedish foreign and security policies.
On 28 November 2019, SIDA arranged a breakfast seminar together with SIPRI and Islamic Relief on connections between peace-making work and humanitarian aid. The theme of the seminar was: “Implementation of the Humanitarian, Development, Peace Building Nexus”.
Islamic Relief is classified as a terrorist organization by the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Israel, among others. Most of its leading representatives have repeatedly expressed anti-Semitic views and values. The international banks, UBS (Union Bank of Switzerland) and HSBC (UK) have closed the organization’s accounts after funding from the terrorist organization, Hamas, was revealed.
Islamic Relief was represented by Dr. Paul Quinn and Dr. Sylvia Brown, who, among others, highlighted Islamic Relief’s activity in the Philippines. Brown pointed out Islamic Relief’s work in the inclusion of children and women, which is based in the Koran.
Islamic Relief is one of the Muslim Brotherhood’s two aid organizations, along with Muslim Aid. Both are found to be represented in Sweden. In the leadership of Islamic Relief is found the Islamic Union in Sweden’s chairman and ex-union rector, Omar Mustafa. Mustafa earlier represented Sweden as a participant in a business delegation to Azerbaijan. Among the leadership of Muslim Aid is found the former housing minister, Mehmet Kaplan (MP).
An active member of Muslim Aid Sweden was earlier sentenced to six months in prison for terror financing. The judgment was appealed to the Supreme Court but was upheld in the autumn of 2019.
Swedish Islamic Relief is currently involved in collaboration with the Swedish Church, which Ledarsidorna.se previously reported on.
That Islamic Relief Philippines is highlighted is interesting. For the US Dept. of Treasury, the American finance department responsible for the USA’s list of terrorist-connected organizations, Islamic Relief is an old acquaintance. In 2006, Islamic Relief Philippines was placed on the USA’s sanction list of terror organizations, in accordance with the US President’s Executive Order 13224, after being caught passing economic resources to two al Qaeda-connected organizations, Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) and Jemaah Islamiyeh (JI).
That was also not the first time that Islamic Relief Philippines was involved. Mahmoud Abd Al-Jalil Afif, who earlier served as director for the organization in the Philippines and forwarded resources to ASG and JI, was involved in the murder of Father Salvatore Carzeda in 1992.
Only in 2016 was Islamic Relief Philippines removed from the list. However, remaining on the American banned list (as of April 12, 2020) are the American and African organizations.
The Muslim Brotherhood in Sweden has changed its tactic to gain influence, and follows an international trend. For some time, they have toned down their presence in political parties and work more through civil society organizations in general and aid organizations in particular. A trend that is also found internationally, which the prestigious American think tank, Middle Eastern Forum, has noticed.
This shift has occurred for several reasons, not least because of secrecy and financial reasons. On the one hand, the Brotherhood can enjoy certain protection of foreign secrecy by going through the aid umbrella, which often includes the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and on the other hand, the financial resources are considerably larger than what the National Education Council, among others, can offer, and the controls are fewer and more difficult.
But the shift in tactics is also because the Muslim Brotherhood has reached such a position in the free West that they are no longer completely dependent on political parties. By working consciously through aid, they have been able to establish a presence not only in the Swedish Foreign Ministry, but also have begun to work in inter-governmental organizations such as SIPRI and FN (UN).