Fact Check

Is George Soros 'Grooming' a Pro-Muslim Brotherhood Gubernatorial Candidate in Michigan?

Abdul El-Sayed's platform actually puts him in opposition to the beliefs espoused by the Muslim Brotherhood.

Published Dec. 11, 2017

 (Wikimedia Commons)
Image Via Wikimedia Commons
Billionaire philanthropist George Soros is "grooming" Abdul El-Sayed, who is "sympathetic" to the Muslim Brotherhood, to be president of the United States.

In late November and early December 2017, a Facebook post reported without any evidence that a candidate for governor of Michigan is being "groomed" by billionaire philanthropist George Soros and is sympathetic to the Muslim Brotherhood. The post, which prompted troubling comments, appears to have been inspired by an April 2017 story in the far-right tabloid WND.com (formerly WorldNetDaily). It reads:

Don't ever say you weren't warned-'He IS on his way'
'He IS being groomed at this very minute'
Etch this man's name in your mind.
His name is Abdul El-Sayed.
After years of being groomed by George Soros. He has been hand-picked by the Left to be their next “champion” of Hope and Change.
He is 32 years old, born in the USA, and an extremely well educated Muslim Doctor in Detroit Michigan. (education funded by Soros)
He is handsome, articulate, charismatic and smart.
He is sympathetic of the Muslim Brotherhood, and is running for Governor of Michigan,
Which is Step 1 in his preparation to run for President of the United States
He has the potential to be Obama #2, but far more openly Muslim.
Abdulrahman Mohamed El-Sayed is an American physician, epidemiologist, public health advocate, and politician.
He has announced his candidacy for Governor of Michigan, running as a Democrat.
Born: October 31, 1984 (age 32), Michigan
Awards: Rhodes Scholarship; Paul and Daisy Soros; Fellowships for New; Americans
Education: University of Michigan, Ann; Arbor (BA); Oriel College, Oxford (MA, PhD); Columbia University (MD)
Political party: Democratic Party.
In 2020 he will be eligible to run for President!
Democrats' mouths are watering in anticipation and raising money.
Elizabeth "Pocahontas" Warren is already campaigning for him. Another Trojan Horse?
Al Jazeera, which is widely read by Michigan's large Muslim population is doing its best to help George make him "YOUR" president in 2020!
Bet you never dreamed an unknown, like Obama, would end up as the President of the United States of America FOR 8 YEARS, did you?

The idea that George Soros, a Hungarian-American Jew, is pulling the strings in a plot to take over the U.S. (this time vis-a-vis the Michigan gubernatorial race and candidate Abdul El-Sayed) threads into the ubiquitous anti-Semitic conspiracy theory known as the "New World Order." The theory posits a secret cabal of rich (and Jewish) financiers are angling to establish an authoritarian global government and, among other things, force America to become more diverse.

El-Sayed is not sympathetic to the Muslim Brotherhood, but he's not the first Muslim American to step into public life only to have that accusation lobbed at him. After Gold Star father Khizr Khan spoke in support of Hillary Clinton at the Democratic National Convention in 2016, he was falsely accused by anti-Muslim conspiracy trolls of being a Muslim Brotherhood "operative."

El-Sayed has said publicly he is a firm supporter of the separation of church and state -- which puts him at complete odds with the Muslim Brotherhood, an international theocratic movement that aims to combine religion with government.

El-Sayed is an American progressive, a political movement left of liberalism that seeks things like universal health care, an increased minimum wage and equality for the LGBT community. He is also pro-choice. His stances on LGBT and women's reproductive rights place him in polar opposition to the Muslim Brotherhood. Ani Zonneveld, president of the organization Muslims for Progressive Values told us the Muslim Brotherhood's views on those issues are similar to conservative Christians in the U.S. in that they want to legislate anti-gay and pro-life policy due to their religious beliefs.

What is true is that El-Sayed is indeed a "well educated Muslim Doctor in Detroit." At 32, he is the youngest person to have served as director of Detroit's Health Department. Born in Michigan to immigrant parents from Egypt, he earned an M.D. from Columbia University in 2014 and a PhD in public health from Oxford University in 2011. During the course of his education he was awarded several prestigious scholarships including Rhodes, Marshall and the Paul and Daisy Soros fellowship in 2012.

Paul Soros, George Soros's now-deceased older brother, launched the Paul and Daisy Soros Fellowship for New Americans with his wife in 1998. It is a competitive, merit-based program that every year accepts 30 immigrants or children of immigrants who are pursuing graduate school in the United States and can demonstrate that they will "make significant contributions to the United States though their future work," fellowship director Craig Harwood told us. About the selection process, Harwood said:

Every applicant must submit two essays, information about their background and accomplishments, and any relevant exhibits about their work. In addition, they need three to five recommendations. It's not an easy application process.

Our selection process, which is based on this criteria, is divided into two phases. The first phase is the screening process where we employ a diverse set of skilled readers who are a mix of professors, higher education administrators, and experts in a range of professional fields. The screening process narrows the field to 77 applicants who then become our finalists. We then hold seven days of interviews where we engage dozens of panelists who, like the readers, are experts in a range of fields.

George Soros is not involved in any way with the selection process.

We asked El-Sayed's campaign about the accusations made in the post and a spokesperson referred us to an August 2017 profile in The Guardian in which he flatly denied each of them in an interview with journalist Drew Philp:

“Are you the spear tip of a vast Muslim conspiracy to bring Sharia law to the US?”

“No,” [El-Sayed] said.

“Are you a front for the Muslim brotherhood to pervert American politics towards terrorism?”


“Were you handpicked by George Soros to lead a vast liberal takeover of the government?”

“No. I’ve never met George Soros.”


Philp, Drew. "'The New Obama': Will Abdul El-Sayed Be America's First Muslim Governor?"   The Guardian. 24 August 2017.

Verhovek, John. "Can This Doctor Become the 1st Muslim Governor in US History?"   ABC News. 14 September 2017.

Siacon, Aleanna. "Abdul El-Sayed Offers Up the Most Comprehensive Water Plan of the Gubernatorial Race."   Detroit Metro Times. 17 November 2017.

Bethania Palma is a journalist from the Los Angeles area who has been working in the news industry since 2006.