Middle East studies in the News
State Department Now Denies That Georgetown University Set Up Muslim Brotherhood Meeting
by Robert Spencer
February 3, 2015
This is a very strange story. If Georgetown actually had nothing to do with bringing members of the Muslim Brotherhood to the State Department, how did Jen Psaki get the idea that it did? Is it possible that John Esposito was involved in this, since he is at Georgetown and, according to Discover the Networks, was instrumental in the founding of the Center for the Study of Islam and Democracy (CSID), which Psaki now says was responsible for the State/Muslim Brotherhood meetup?
And it is hardly better that the CSID was behind this meeting. Here is a portion of the Discover the Networks entry on the CSID:
The Center for the Study of Islam and Democracy (CSID) was established in March 1999 by board members and former staffers of the American Muslim Council (AMC). Georgetown University academic John Esposito was also instrumental in CSID's founding, and later went on to serve as vice chair of the organization. According to Islam scholarDaniel Pipes, "CSID is part of the militant Islamist lobby. It is well-disguised, and has brought in all the Islamist trends, giving them a patent of respectability."
The American Muslim Council was once the leading "moderate" Muslim organization in the U.S. Its founder, Abdurrahman Alamoudi, is now in prison for funding al-Qaeda. The CSID was founded by board members and former staffers of the AMC. The CSID, adds Discover the Networks, "has numerous ties to the Muslim Brotherhood and its affiliated groups." This is the kind of group that Obama's State Department partners with.
Note also that Psaki says that State is just find with having met with the Brotherhood officials.
From the State Department website (thanks to Mike), a portion of Spokesperson Jen Psaki's Daily Press Briefing, February 2, 2015:
Note: Articles listed under "Middle East studies in the News" provide information on current developments concerning Middle East studies on North American campuses. These reports do not necessarily reflect the views of Campus Watch and do not necessarily correspond to Campus Watch's critique.
QUESTION: Can I – just on (inaudible) something that came up last week, which was this Georgetown University-sponsored visit of the —
MS. PSAKI: Yes.
QUESTION: I'm just wondering if in the days since this first came up here, if there's been any rethink in – within the building about the appropriateness of this visit, considering what happened afterwards and the photographs that some of the participants took.
MS. PSAKI: No, but, since you gave me the opportunity – unfortunately, I didn't have the accurate information on one small piece. The meeting was set up by the Center for the Study of Islam and Democracy, a nonprofit. So the visit was not funded, as you know, by us or the U.S. Government, but it was also not funded by Georgetown.
QUESTION: Oh. Well, that's – (laughter) – kind of a significant thing.
MS. PSAKI: Understood. That's why I provided the information as I had it, when I had the accurate information.
QUESTION: Okay. So the Center for – whatever it is – are you comfortable with continuing to —
MS. PSAKI: I think there's some affiliation, but I don't have any details on that specifically.
QUESTION: Are you – is the building comfortable with continuing to do business with this center, this group?
MS. PSAKI: Yes. Yes.
QUESTION: Okay. So there is no – there has not – there are no concerns about what the people who were here did afterwards?
MS. PSAKI: Well, nothing has changed about our decision to have the meeting, no.
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