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Saturday, May 28, 2022

The Brotherhood in Italy…a failure at all levels

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Over the years, the terrorist arms of the Brotherhood have tried to infiltrate Italian institutions and challenge the accusations leveled against their members in the judiciary, but their attempts have failed.

For almost 60 years, the terrorist Brotherhood has intensified the deployment of its weapons in Italy with clear objectives, among which the exercise of influence over the Islamic community of this western country stands out.

The first “Jenin” of Brotherhood activity appeared in Italy in the late 1960s, when a small group of students, mostly from Syria, Jordan, and the Palestinian territories, founded the so-called “Muslim Student Union” ( USMI).

In 1990, activists from the USMI, the Islamic Cultural Center of Milan, and a few other entities founded the Union of Islamic Communities and Communities in Italy, the umbrella organization of the terrorist Brotherhood on Italian soil.

The presence of the Brotherhood in Italy follows the same rule that was applied in other European countries. The group initially created small entities to test existence and later established an umbrella entity that manages these dispersed entities in a non-public way, in a move that can be described as “fixing feet,” according to observers.

The Federation of Islamic Organizations and Communities of Italy is the umbrella organization of the Terrorist Brotherhood in Italy. It is based in Rome and controls a vast network of mosques and Islamic centers, constantly seeking to present itself as the leading representative of Islam. in Italian lands.

But there is another entity that can be described as the “inner core” of the Brotherhood in Italy, which is the Islamic League of Milan, which shares with the Union of Islamic Organizations and Communities, the management of the Brotherhood network in Italian territory, and plays an important role in the coordination between the members of the network, according to a recently published report by the Center for the Documentation of Islamic Policy in Austria.

The Brotherhood network in Italy plays a prominent role in the group’s network at the European level, especially the Union of Muslim Organizations and Communities, the Islamic League and the Islamic Endowment Organization; The latter is in charge of managing the real estate assets owned by the Brotherhood in Italian territory, according to a report by the Political Islam Documentation Center.

Links also exist between the Brotherhood in Italy and the Tunisian Ennahda movement. For example, the son of a Brotherhood leader in Rome, Osama al-Saghir, won a seat in the Tunisian parliament with the votes of Tunisians abroad in 2011, and became a spokesman for the Brotherhood’s Ennahda movement. .

The report says that: “Since the establishment of the League, the Federation of Islamic Organizations and Communities in Italy has been very active in the political arena, and has tried hard to become the main spokesperson for Muslims and to become a partner of the Italian state”.

According to a recent report by the Political Islam Documentation Center, responses from the Italian authorities to the Brotherhood’s attempts, whether at the local or central level, were mixed, as many official voices questioned the organization’s claims to represent the Muslims. and its true nature.

According to the same report, this dynamic was particularly evident in the long and complex dialogue between the Italian state and Islamic organizations for the official recognition of Islam; It is a legal move that would give the Muslim community the status and privileges of the Catholic Church and many other religious groups.

The Union of Islamic Organizations and Communities was included in most of the negotiations with the Italian government to conclude an agreement that required recognition of Islam, but deep divisions between the various Italian Islamic organizations and a degree of mistrust of the Brotherhood on the part of of many Italians, the decision makers always prevented the signing of the agreement.

At the same time, the Union of Islamic Organizations and Communities tried to infiltrate government institutions in another way: in 2015, for example, the organization signed an agreement with the Ministry of Justice to send imams to Muslims in prisons.

In 2017, the Federation of Islamic Organizations and Communities was one of the signatories of an agreement with the Ministry of the Interior to combat extremism, promote integration and inclusion, and ensure financial transparency.

Despite this, the Austrian report says that “great doubts dominate Italian decision-making circles towards the Federation of Islamic Organizations and Communities, which restricts its movement and prevents it from penetrating further into government politics and institutions.”

While the issue of Islamism does not feature in Italian public debate as it does prominently in many other European countries, organizations and individuals close to the Brotherhood’s milieu frequently raise controversies with problematic statements.

In 2019, for example, Lombardy’s “government” council voted unanimously to condemn the presence of a defender advocating wife-beating at an event organized by Italian Islamic Relief in Milan.

And in 2020, Yassin Baradei, media director for Islamic Relief in Italy, sparked controversy for a Facebook post in which he claimed that Christianity and Judaism were “heresy and a deviation from the original message of the prophets.”

Organizations and individuals close to the Brotherhood often go to court to challenge accusations of extremism and association with the international organization of the Brotherhood.

In 2019, an Italian court rejected a case brought by Somaya Abdel Qader, the daughter of one of the founders of the Union of Islamic Organizations and Communities, and who previously served as director of the youth section of the Federation of Islamic Organizations in Europe. (the Brotherhood’s umbrella organization on the mainland), against critics who accused her and her husband of having ties to the Brotherhood’s international organization.

The Italian judge rejected Somaya Abdel Qader’s case, noting that there is a large body of literature that “confirms the link between the Union of Islamic Organizations in Europe and the Muslim Brotherhood.

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