Report: Muslim Brotherhood Paying People to Protest in Europe

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Turkish supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood flash the movement's four-finger Rabia sign. (Photo: ADEM ALTAN / AFP / Getty Images)
Turkish supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood flash the movement’s four-finger Rabia sign. (Photo: ADEM ALTAN / AFP / Getty Images)

German police arrested an Egyptian opposition journalist at Berlin’s Schoenefeld Airport acting on an Interpol arrest warrant issued by Egypt on Tuesday.

Abdulrahman Ezz was sentenced in absentia by Egyptian courts to 20 years imprisonment. He was charged with incitement to violence, attacking a police station and imprisoning and torturing people after the 2013 popularly-backed coup that saw General Sisi oust Muslim Brotherhood President Muhammed Morsi.

Supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood reportedly immediately began a campaign to release Ezz, according to Egyptian media outlet Al-Bawaba.

The Egyptian German coalition, said to be close to the Muslim Brotherhood, sent two of its members to the airport in Berlin to mediate German authorities to release Ezz. A source told Al-Bawaba that the coalition is coordinating with Amnesty and they will send a representative to the airport in Berlin.

Ezz was released after a few hours of questioning. The German government said Egypt had not provided enough evidence to justify deporting him.

The Muslim Brotherhood reportedly runs campaigns against the Egyptian government internationally, including in cities such as London, New York, Paris and Sydney, according to El-Nada.

On Tuesday they held a conference in Cape Town SA.

The MB has allocated lots of money for activities in these different cities and is using its connections with the intelligence of countries hostile to Egypt to ease organizing these activities. Although El-Nahda reported that the Brotherhood is paying protesters $1,000/day, in addition to travel and accommodation, this figure seems absurdly high.

Dalia Ziada is coordinator of the campaign to designate the Muslim Brotherhood as a worldwide terrorist organization. She argues the Muslim Brotherhood believes this is the right time to reopen its international coalitions to gain influence with the international community. She says they are getting help from human rights organizations such as Amnesty to organize protests in European capitals and to get licenses for these protests. These organizations have gathered volunteers in the past to demonstrate under the slogans of freedom and human rights.

“The Muslim Brotherhood has a net of dozens of charity and women’s rights organizations and uses them to act freely. They are taking advantage of the people who belong to these organizations and their volunteers. They also pay people to support them, especially poor people in Islamic communities. In addition they are telling them that the purpose of these demonstrations is to defend Islam and the sharia. Millions of dollars are being spent. One protest can cost $50,000. The people who fund these protests are usually businessmen from Qatar or Turkey who appear as independent donors to the MB organizations in America and Europe but actually they are being paid by the governments in Turkey and Qatar to give this support through an indirect channel.”

Hisham a-Najjar, an Islamic researcher, concurs. He says that those behind the protests are interested in keeping the Muslim Brotherhood active to prove they still exist, especially to European countries. He thinks this is so these countries won’t make decisions contrary to the interests Qatar and other countries that support terror.

Ahmad al-Enani, a member of the Egyptian Council for Foreign Affairs, says the main funders of these coalitions are Qatar and Turkey. He accuses them of trying to slander the regime in Egypt, adding they are supported by the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt.

He also said the Brotherhood uses foreign companies for PR and to coordinate these activities. He thinks these companies belong to Qatari and Turkish businessmen and they are related to their governments.

He claims billions of dollars are being spent to make international propaganda for the Muslim Brotherhood affiliated coalitions.


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Elliot Friedland

Elliot Friedland is a research fellow at Clarion Project.

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