By Beatrice Thomas
Two advisors to the Tony Blair Faith Foundation allegedly have ties to the Islamic extremist group
Former UK prime minister Tony Blair’s religious charity has been accused of having links to Islamic extremist group the Muslim Brotherhood, according to a report by London’s Sunday Telegraph.
The newspaper reported that two Muslim leaders, who have ties to the Muslim Brotherhood, are advising the Tony Blair Faith Foundation.
The Global Muslim Brotherhood Daily Watch, which has been looking into the group for 13 years, revealed that Dr Ismail Khudr Al Shatti, an adviser to the Kuwaiti government and a member of Blair’s advisory council, is a leading member of the Kuwaiti branch of the Muslim Brotherhood, the Islamic Constitutional Movement (ICM), the newspaper reported.
The Sunday Telegraph reported that he told a crowd of Kuwaitis protesting over Palestine: “Israel is an evil, and we can never live with evil,” according to a news agency report in 2000. In 1995, it was reported in America that a Palestinian terrorist group wrote to him requesting funds.
Another Islamic adviser to Blair, Bosnian Muslim cleric Mustafa Ceric is also said to have made controversial statements about Islam in the Balkan states.
The newspaper report said the former Grand Mufti of Bosnia-Herzegovina has been linked to the global Muslim Brotherhood through his membership of the European Council for Fatwa and Research.
Steven Merley, a US investigator of extremist movements, who runs Global Muslim Brotherhood Daily Watch, was quoted by The Sunday Telegraph as saying “many groups don’t call themselves Muslim Brotherhood but they are linked to what I call the Global Muslim Brotherhood”.
“These individuals have fooled a lot of politicians, like Blair, who should know better. The very presence of people like Shatti and Ceric in the same room as him is a judgment on Blair,” he was quoted as saying.
The Muslim Brotherhood denies being an extremist organisation, and has reportedly asked former director of public prosecutions Lord Macdonald to help defend them.
A spokesman for the Tony Blair Faith Foundation told the paper they were “grateful” for the work done by the pair and described them as “great supporters of the foundation”.
The organisation reportedly said they were not aware of the men’s alleged links.
Blair was appointed the Quartet Representative in the region in 2007, which sees him act as the official Middle East envoy for the United Nations, European Union, United States and Russia.