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Turkey, the Muslim Brotherhood, and the Syrian Rebellion

July 15, 2011

A new organization has cropped up to support the Syrian rebellion, issuing a fatwa declaring support of the rebellion as a “…religious obligation.”  The Association of Muslim Scholars in Support of the Syrian People met in Instanbul, Turkey in a two-day conference.

The Syrian opposition National Salvation Congress is set to hold deliberations in Istanbul this Saturday on the future of Syria’s insurrection. “Islam is a comprehensive religion pertaining to all walks of life, not just ritual,” Sheikh Ekrima Sabri, former mufti of Jerusalem, told The Media Line. “Therefore, it is the right of religious scholars to discuss and rule on political matters.”

It is right that religious scholars rule on political matters, as Islam pertains to all walks of life.  This sounds familiar.  Where have I heard this before?

Shakib Bin-Makhlouf, president of the Federation of Islamic Organizations in Europe, said the Istanbul conference was held only now in order to give the Al-Assad regime time to change its ways. “Clerics usually take their time,” Bin Makhluf told The Media Line. “They wanted to give the regime an opportunity to correct itself, and issued statements calling on it to do so. When that failed, they decided to issue a religious ruling.”

The FIOE?  Who could they be?  Well, luckily, we have the brilliant  NEFA Foundation to answer our question.

In reality, the FIOE is an umbrella group that comprises the global Muslim Brotherhood in Europe. Strong links connect FIOE’s leadership central institutions and member organizations to the Brotherhood, as well as to Saudi Arabia. Funding for the FIOE is derived largely from Gulf sources, including some of the ruling families of the United Arab Emirates. The FIOE has strong ties to Hamas and Hamas fund-raising organizations, and some FIOE member organizations show evidence of links with Al-Qaida.

So, a group of religious clerics, some tied to the Muslim Brotherhood (who knows how many), meet in Turkey to discuss the politics of Syria.  Quite a tangled web.

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