Friday, February 11, 2011

On Capitol Hill, MPAC Panel Seeks to Whitewash Jihadist Threat

by IPT News

Two days after a panel took to Capitol Hill to say the terrorist threat to America is overblown, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano told a House committee Tuesday that "the terrorist threat to the homeland is in many ways at its most heightened state since 9/11."

That threat comes from homegrown terrorists ready to strike with "little or no warning," she said.

Islamist groups including Lashkar-e-Tayyiba, al-Shabaab and branches of al-Qaida are driving the threat, National Counterterrorism Center Director Michael Leiter added. "I actually consider al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula, with Awlaki as a leader within that organization, probably the most significant risk to the U.S. homeland," he said.

Both officials said the problem reflects on only a tiny portion of the Muslim-American community.

A similar theme was emphasized during a forum Monday sponsored by the Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC). But the rest of "Muslims, Law Enforcement and National Security" offered a tutorial on how not to have a serious discussion about the homegrown terrorist threat. Panelists mired themselves in platitudes and use of misleading statistics to downplay the threat to the United States. They relied on data from faulty studies and featured witnesses who have downplayed the threat of radical Islamist groups.

Instead of grappling with the reality that the organizations like MPAC and the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) continually attack law enforcement and actively discourage Muslims from cooperating with it, forum panelists ignored the subject. Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca continued his vociferous public defense of CAIR and defended his attendance at CAIR fundraisers.

Speakers made clear that a key goal was to challenge the premise hearings planned next month on Islamic radicalism in America by the new chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, Rep. Peter King, R-N.Y. "Our heads aren't in the sand," said MPAC's Alejandro Beutel. "The threat clearly exists, but I also want to put it in perspective. The threat exists, but it is not a pandemic."

MPAC's past stands on terrorism include criticism of the U.S. decision to label Hamas and Hizballah as terrorist groups.

But Beutel relied on faulty data to support his claims. He cited MPAC's own study, which claimed that Muslim Americans thwarted one-third of terrorist plots since 9/11; that study has already been thoroughly debunked by an IPT analysis in December. That study selectively defined terrorism prosecutions to leave out dozens of cases involving terrorist financing. And it exaggerated the role community policing played in generating tips to law enforcement.

Beutel also touted a new report by the Triangle Center on Terrorism and Homeland Security – a collaboration including Duke University and the University of North Carolina – that found the number of Muslim Americans named as suspects or convicted of committing terrorist acts domestically or abroad fell from 47 in 2009 to 20 in 2010.

While Beutel and others claim that shows Muslim-related terrorism isn't a problem, the report actually says that "with Muslims comprising about 1 percent of the population, it is clear that Muslims are engaging in terrorism at a greater rate than non-Muslims." Although the number of incidents did decrease in 2010, the year still had a higher number of terrorist plots since 9/11 than every year but one.

The study tried to play down the significance of this fact by comparing it to the number of murders that occur in the United States each year (a formulation which ignores the reality that makes terrorism so much more frightening than violent street crime: Murders are often the culmination of disputes involving people who know one another, while jihadist attacks are planned efforts to kill and maim hundreds or thousands of total strangers at one time.)

As an IPT investigation showed, MPAC's data is marred by more serious flaws. It overstated the role of "community assistance" from American Muslims, including plots that were stopped by "intelligence assets overseas and other plots that had little or nothing to do with the U.S. Muslim community."

MPAC inflated the percentage of "community assistance" by ignoring more than 150 cases reported by the Justice Department as involving "material support or resources to a designated terrorist organization." These included prosecutions for providing weapons, money, personnel and other support to designated terrorist organizations.

By ignoring those cases, MPAC omitted the indictment and prosecution of six Americans for funneling money and personnel to the Somali jihadist group al-Shabaab; the case of Sami Al-Arian, who pled guilty to conspiring to provide services to the Palestinian Islamic Jihad; and the now-defunct Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development (HLF), whose leadership was convicted of providing millions of dollars to Hamas. The exclusion of the last two cases is particularly revealing – MPAC tried to discredit the prosecutions of Al-Arian and HLF.

Experts Play Down Threats

At MPAC's Capitol Hill forum, both Sherriff Baca and CNN terrorism analyst Peter Bergen minimized the threat posed by jihadist terror. Asked about King's expressed concerns about Muslim non-cooperation with law enforcement, Baca denied there was a problem. "I don't know what King is hearing or who he is hearing from," Baca said. "We're with these people [Muslim Americans] all the time." If King "has evidence of noncooperation, he should bring it forward."

CAIR "is not a terrorist-supporting organization," Baca asserted. "I've got enough experience with CAIR to make that statement." None of the other panelists challenged Baca's comment. At Monday's MPAC event, Baca said that Rep. Mark Souder, R-Ind., had tried to "slap me around for going to CAIR dinners" at last year's hearing, but boasted that he had stood firm.

It is not the first time that Baca – who has appeared at numerous CAIR fundraisers – has sought to whitewash the organization's radical background. Asked about his close relationship with CAIR during a House Homeland Security subcommittee hearing last March, Baca angrily denied that CAIR supported terrorism or had connections with Hamas. One week after that congressional hearing, Baca met with officials from Muslim organizations and defended CAIR again. He ridiculed FBI official statements about CAIR officials' participation in a Hamas support network called the Palestine Committee, dismissing those who consider CAIR untrustworthy as "amateur intelligence officer[s.]"

Early last year, Assistant Attorney General Ronald Weich wrote that trial testimony and exhibits in the HLF case "demonstrated a relationship among CAIR, individual CAIR founders and the Palestine Committee. Evidence was also introduced that demonstrated a relationship between the Palestine Committee and Hamas." Weich also responded to questions from U.S. Sen. Jon Kyl, R-Ariz. A simple "no" was the response to whether there was any "new evidence that exonerates CAIR from the allegations that it provides financial support to designated terrorist organizations."

Yet Baca reacted contemptuously to these concerns, stating, "When you attack CAIR, you attack virtually every Muslim in America."

At Monday's MPAC forum, Bergen wavered between downplaying the terrorist threat and conditioning Americans not to "overreact" when terrorists launch a successful attack on the United States. "Al-Qaida is not 10 feet tall," Bergen said. The organization was not in a position to launch an "existential" attack on the United States, suggesting that the group would be limited to carrying out smaller-scale strikes like the Dec. 25, 2009 attempt to carry out a suicide attack on a passenger jet, he added.

Bergen repeatedly emphasized the importance of preventing an "overreaction" to a successful attack.

Bergen said it is critical to "lay the groundwork" so that the U.S. Constitution would not be damaged as a result of public overreaction to a future attack. He fretted that "our own overreaction could do al-Qaida's work for it." Bergen has a history of statements defending the Muslim Brotherhood and strident attacks on U.S. conduct of the war against radical Islamists:

    • Despite its long record of radicalism and support for jihad, Bergen dismissed the notion that the Muslim Brotherhood poses a danger. Asked about the Brotherhood during a recent appearance on CNN, Bergen replied: "I don't think they're very dangerous at all." Bergen said that the Brotherhood "had a terrorist ring in the 1950s, but over time, this is a group that is increasingly just engaged in normal politics."

    • Bergen co-authored an article crediting Muslim Brotherhood leader Kamal Helbawy with helping "bring in moderates at the Finsbury Park Mosque in London." Helbawy is an advocate of violent jihad against Israel with a long history of extremism.

    • Even after Newsweek retracted a false allegation in 2005 that a copy of the Koran had been flushed down the toilet at the Guantanamo Bay detention facility, Bergen said the allegation could be true. "I don't think it's beyond the realm of possibility, to be honest," he told CNN's Anderson Cooper. "I think it is still an open question."

If the panel hoped to undermine King's hearing, Wednesday's testimony and the guilty plea of homegrown terrorist Daniel Patrick Boyd offer compelling counter-arguments. And King is making it clear he isn't swayed. In a letter to U.S. Rep. Bennie Thompson, the Homeland Security Committee's ranking Democrat, King wrote that "the homeland has become a major front in the war with Islamic terrorism and it is our responsibility to fully examine this significant change in al Qaeda tactics and strategy."

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IPT News

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Egypt: The Inside Struggle for the Direction of U.S. Policy

by Barry Rubin

This is an extremely important article. Let me explain why briefly. The point is to analyze the split within the Obama Administration: Should it let the current Egyptian regime manage the process of "transition" or press for the regime's fall and replacement by...who knows what?

And it isn't surprising. In favor of the moderate and sensible approach are Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, national security advisor Thomas Donilon and Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates, "who worry about regional stability and want to reassure other Middle East governments that the U.S. will not abandon an important and longtime ally."

In other words, the people who actually have some experience with international affairs understand that the administration's original policy would produce a disaster.

And who wants to dump Mubarak and the regime immediately while having no fear of the emergence of a radical Egypt? Why the ideologues, of course: National Security Council members Ben Rhodes and Samantha Power, who say "that if President Obama appears to side with the remnants of Mubarak's discredited regime, he risks being seen as complicit in stifling a pro-democracy movement."

This split which has existed all along now becomes visible for the first time. We are going to be hearing more about this conflict in future.

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Barry Rubin

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Saudis Rebel Against U.S. Egypt Policy--Out of Self-Preservation

by Barry Rubin

The Saudi offer to subsidize Egypt's President Husni Mubarak if the U.S. government tries to pressure him by cutting aid calls to our attention still another inept flub of the Obama Administration.

Obviously, before demanding the regime go away, the White House did not consult with American allies on their views, and certainly didn't consider the impact on them. Aside from their sense of honor, the Saudis know that people view Egypt as a precedent for their country.

If Mubarak is humiliated today, the Saudi king can be humiliated tomorrow. If a radical regime takes power in Egypt today, it will be one more threat to Saudi Arabia that the Americans did not protect them from. Now the Saudis have rebelled against Obama's policy.

It's remarkable how effective he has been at demolishing the entire structure of U.S. influence, deterrence, and credibility in the Middle East. I certainly don't think any of this was on purpose. But the incompetence is at such a high level that it is understandable why some think otherwise. And that in itself tells you how bad things are.

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Barry Rubin

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FBI Chief: Muslim Brotherhood Supports Terrorism

by IPT News

Elements of the Muslim Brotherhood, the Islamist group whose ideology has inspired terrorists such as Osama bin Laden, are in the United States and have supported terrorism here and overseas, FBI Director Robert Mueller told a House committee Thursday.

Mueller joined seven other Obama administration intelligence and law enforcement officials at a hearing of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence. They spoke of the Brotherhood's U.S. ties as word spread in Egypt that President Hosni Mubarak was prepared to resign. Mubarak has repeatedly said his administration, in place since 1981, is the one thing keeping an Islamic state led by the Brotherhood from taking over Egypt.

While Mueller, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper and other witnesses spelled out a variety of threats, they and some committee members highlighted the Brotherhood's ties in the United States. It was a significant departure from earlier hearings, which focused on groups more directly involved with terrorism.

"I'm concerned that the Muslim Brotherhood is using peaceful protests in Egypt for a power grab, and our government doesn't seem to grasp their threat," Rep. Sue Myrick, R-N.C., told the committee and the witnesses. "The Muslim Brotherhood isn't a danger because they are terrorists, but because they push an extremist ideology that causes others to commit acts of terrorism."

Clapper agreed that "there are entities associated with the Muslim Brotherhood here in the United States." Mueller told Myrick that he would provide the committee with greater detail on the Brotherhood's activities in closed session.

However, Clapper also characterized the Brotherhood in Egypt as a mostly secular umbrella organization. "The term 'Muslim Brotherhood' an umbrella term for a variety of movements, in the case of Egypt, a very heterogeneous group, largely secular, which has eschewed violence and has decried Al Qaeda as a perversion of Islam," Clapper said in response to a question from Myrick. "They have pursued social ends, a betterment of the political order in Egypt, et cetera.....In other countries, there are also chapters or franchises of the Muslim Brotherhood, but there is no overarching agenda, particularly in pursuit of violence, at least internationally."

Clapper's "secular" reference is odd, given the Brotherhood's motto is "Allah is our objective. The Prophet is our leader. The Qur'an is our law. Jihad is our way. Dying in the way of Allah is our highest hope."

Myrick said she was also concerned about the Brotherhood's attitudes toward government. "The danger of the Muslim Brotherhood is not just encouraging terrorism through their ideology, but also trying to take over government, so everyone has to succumb and live under their ideology," Myrick said.

The scope of the Brotherhood's vision for the United States was spelled out in a 1991 document called the "Explanatory Memorandum." In that memo, which federal prosecutors introduced as evidence in two trials of the now-defunct Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development, Brotherhood leaders said they planned to create an Islamic state in the United States.

In that document, the Brotherhood's stated goal was "a kind of grand Jihad in eliminating and destroying the Western civilization from within and "sabotaging" its miserable house by their hands and the hands of the believers so that it is eliminated and God's religion is made victorious over all other religions."

The memo also listed 29 organizations working in the United States to further the Brotherhood's goals. They include the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), the Muslim Students Association (MSA), the North American Islamic Trust (NAIT) and the Islamic Association of Palestine (IAP). The IAP and the Holy Land Foundation shared many members and directors, including those who founded the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR).

Clapper told the committee the U.S. government has no relationship with the Muslim Brotherhood in America. However, In response to a question from Rep. Peter King, R-N.Y., Mueller said "we do not have a relationship with CAIR," although some FBI officials have attended the same events as CAIR representatives. The FBI suspended formal ties with CAIR in 2009, citing CAIR's ties with Hamas, the Middle Eastern terrorist group that controls the government in Gaza, and the ties of some CAIR leaders with Hamas front groups.

Much of the evidence tying CAIR to Hamas, another offshoot of the Muslim Brotherhood, was presented during the two trials of the Holy Land Foundation. Five HLF officials were convicted in 2008 of illegally sending millions of dollars to Hamas.

Much of the hearing testimony focused on the threat still posed by al-Qaida, the Islamist terrorist group responsible for the 9/11 attacks. Anwar al-Awlaki, the U.S.-born cleric who now leads al-Qaida unit based in Yemen, al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), has become perhaps the greatest threat, Clapper said.

While AQAP has primarily focused on attacks in Yemen and Saudi Arabia, Clapper said, "it is increasingly devoted to directing and inspiring attacks on the U.S. Homeland and other targets in the West, as well as Western interests in Yemen."

Other witnesses were CIA Director Leon Panetta, Michael Leiter, director of the National Counterterrorism Center; Lt. Gen. Ronald Burgess, director of the Defense Intelligence Agency; Caryn A. Wagner, under secretary for intelligence and analysis, Department of Homeland Security; Thomas A. Ferguson, principal deputy under secretary of Defense for intelligence; and Philip S. Goldberg, assistant secretary of State, Bureau of Intelligence and Research.

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IPT News

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Toward a Soft Landing in Egypt

by Charles Krauthammer

Who doesn't love a democratic revolution? Who is not moved by the renunciation of fear and the reclamation of dignity in the streets of Cairo and Alexandria?

The worldwide euphoria that has greeted the Egyptian uprising is understandable. All revolutions are blissful in the first days. The romance could be forgiven if this were Paris 1789. But it is not. In the intervening 222 years, we have learned how these things can end.

The Egyptian awakening carries promise and hope and of course merits our support. But only a child can believe that a democratic outcome is inevitable. And only a blinkered optimist can believe that it is even the most likely outcome.

Yes, the Egyptian revolution is broad-based. But so were the French and the Russian and the Iranian revolutions. Indeed in Iran, the revolution only succeeded - the shah was long opposed by the mullahs - when the merchants, the housewives, the students and the secularists joined to bring him down.

And who ended up in control? The most disciplined, ruthless and ideologically committed - the radical Islamists.

This is why our paramount moral and strategic interest in Egypt is real democracy in which power does not devolve to those who believe in one man, one vote, one time. That would be Egypt's fate should the Muslim Brotherhood prevail. That was the fate of Gaza, now under the brutal thumb of Hamas, a Palestinian wing (see Article 2 of Hamas's founding covenant) of the Muslim Brotherhood.

We are told by sage Western analysts not to worry about the Brotherhood because it probably commands only about 30 percent of the vote. This is reassurance? In a country where the secular democratic opposition is weak and fractured after decades of persecution, any Islamist party commanding a third of the vote rules the country.


Elections will be held. The primary U.S. objective is to guide a transition period that gives secular democrats a chance.

The House of Mubarak is no more. He is 82, reviled and not running for reelection. The only question is who fills the vacuum. There are two principal possibilities: a provisional government of opposition forces, possibly led by Mohamed ElBaradei, or an interim government led by the military.

ElBaradei would be a disaster. As head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), he did more than anyone to make an Iranian nuclear bomb possible, covering for the mullahs for years. (As soon as he left, the IAEA issued a strikingly tough, unvarnished report about the program.)

Worse, ElBaradei has allied himself with the Muslim Brotherhood. Such an alliance is grossly unequal. The Brotherhood has organization, discipline and widespread support. In 2005, it won approximately 20 percent of parliamentary seats. ElBaradei has no constituency of his own, no political base, no political history within Egypt at all.

He has lived abroad for decades. He has less of a residency claim to Egypt than Rahm Emanuel has to Chicago. A man with no constituency allied with a highly organized and powerful political party is nothing but a mouthpiece and a figurehead, a useful idiot whom the Brotherhood will dispense with when it ceases to have need of a cosmopolitan frontman.

The Egyptian military, on the other hand, is the most stable and important institution in the country. It is Western-oriented and rightly suspicious of the Brotherhood. And it is widely respected, carrying the prestige of the 1952 Free Officers Movement that overthrew the monarchy and the 1973 October War that restored Egyptian pride along with the Sinai.

The military is the best vehicle for guiding the country to free elections over the coming months. Whether it does so with Mubarak at the top, or with Vice President Omar Suleiman or perhaps with some technocrat who arouses no ire among the demonstrators, matters not to us. If the army calculates that sacrificing Mubarak (through exile) will satisfy the opposition and end the unrest, so be it.

The overriding objective is a period of stability during which secularists and other democratic elements of civil society can organize themselves for the coming elections and prevail. ElBaradei is a menace. Mubarak will be gone one way or the other. The key is the military. The United States should say very little in public and do everything behind the scenes to help the military midwife - and then guarantee - what is still something of a long shot: Egyptian democracy.

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Charles Krauthammer

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Useful Jihadiots

by David Solway

The turmoil we see on our screens daily enacted in Cairo’s Tahrir Square has its ideological counterpart in the skirmish of opinions among Western observers concerning its political significance for the future. Some commentators are apprehensive that the ultimate result of the popular uprising will be the gradual usurpation of power by the Muslim Brotherhood, a fundamentalist organization that has assassinated two Egyptian presidents, spawned terrorist movements such as Hamas and al-Qaeda, and, according to its 1991 Memorandum, harbors the intent of “destroying Western civilization from within and sabotaging its miserable house.” As Jamie Glazov reminds us, the Brotherhood “is, after all, an influential Islamist organization [whose] top objectives are to implement Sharia law and to annihilate Israel.”

Others respond to the thrill of revolutionary upheavals in the name of democracy, as does the Daily Beast’s Bruce Riedel who instructs us not to “fear Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood,” and comforts us that there is no danger of a fundamentalist takeover similar to what occurred in Iran in 1979. For such illusionists, whose numbers continue to grow, the Brotherhood is regarded as a largely benign institution which has shed its violent past and wishes only to share power in coalition governments.

A recent column by Doug Saunders in the Toronto Globe and Mail perfectly encapsulates this pleasant, soft-minded, complacent and entirely supercilious attitude toward Islamic fundamentalism as embodied in the Brotherhood. According to this expert, the Brotherhood is “sluggish and inarticulate” and “not exactly a formidable bunch.” What’s more, “there is zero chance of Egypt’s turning into the 1979 Iranian revolution or the terrorist violence of Hamas.” Where Saunders derives the evidence for his conclusions remains an impenetrable mystery. We are, presumably, to trust his prophetic afflatus. To be fair, Saunders does render brief homage to George Washington University political scientist, Nathan Brown, who affirms with counterfactual didacticism that the Brotherhood “is against a theocratic state.” Saunders does not mention that Brown is known for defending Palestinian textbooks demonizing Jews and Israel. Or perhaps he skimped on his research.

Saunders then proceeds to assure his readers that the Muslim Brotherhood would “participate in a government that recognizes Israel,” although spokesmen for the group have made it amply clear that the direct opposite would be the case. Brotherhood officials such as Mohammed Morsy, Kamel Helbawi and Rashad al-Bayoumi have indicated that the peace treaty with Israel would likely be “reviewed” or, in plain language, “abolished.”

Next, Saunders goes on to compare an Islamist Egypt to modern Turkey whose ruling party under Recep Tayyip Erdogan achieved electoral credibility by purging its Sharia faction, becoming “aggressively pro-European,” and cooperating with Israel. One may be forgiven for wondering under what conditions of sensory deprivation the poor man has been living, as Turkey turns its back on its Western allies, drifts into the Iranian/Syrian orbit, publicly humiliates Israel’s president, and sends a flotilla comprising a band of Insani Yardim Vakfi (IHH) thugs to break the Israeli blockade of the Hamas terrorist regime. Saunders also believes that outlawing the Brotherhood in the past led directly to “the attacks of 9/11,” revealing himself as no less insani than the Turkish incendiaries.

It is only in virtue of such twisted logic, blindness to the facts on the ground and a state of mental vacuity that such absurdities can be entertained. What we can also detect operating beneath these aerial conjectures is a kind of culturally inflected exhaustion, a desire to surrender to the forces of unreason rather than to engage in the continuous struggle to defend the traditions, usages and principles that guarantee our liberty. Thus we race to take onboard the velleities and misunderstandings that absolve us of having to think and to act.

An Al-Jazeera interview with media glitterati Tariq Ramadan and Slavoj Zizek on the prospects for the Egyptian revolution shows how cleverly such misunderstandings can be sown and nurtured. Zizek, of course, is a flaming lunatic, a howling partisan of revolutionary violence who, as he wrote in Robespierre: entre vertu et terreur, believes that “notre tâche aujourd’hui est de réinventer une terreur émancipatrice” (“our task today is to reinvent a liberating terror”). As the interview demonstrates, Zizek has no understanding of the Palestinian situation, is ignorant of international law, draws a contrast between contemporary Egypt and 1979 Iran when the similarities are ominous, and, like Saunders, glides serenely over the truth about Turkey’s Islamic turn.

Ramadan is, as usual, suavely oleaginous and superficially credible, but his real purpose, as his writings, conferences and cassettes make clear, is to whitewash the Muslim Brotherhood (founded by his grandfather), downplay the threat of Islamic extremism, and game his audience with subtle disinformation. Ramadan would agree with the Al-Jazeera moderator that the conflict between Western democracy and radical theocratic governments is merely an “age-old stereotype” and that the Brotherhood is not to be feared or suspected.

We need to go elsewhere for informed and perceptive discussion. For example, Charles Krauthammer aptly remarks in The Washington Post that “We are told by sage Western analysts not to worry about the Brotherhood because it probably commands only about 30 percent of the vote. This is reassurance?” In a nation like Egypt, with its weak democratic opposition, “any Islamist party commanding a third of the vote rules the country.” And as highly respected Jerusalem Post editor, David Horovitz, correctly points out, ‘the Brotherhood is committed to death-cult jihad in the cause of widened Islamist rule,” exercising what we might call historic patience in “building and gaining power and influence over years, over decades.”

It is also worth consulting the erudite scholar of Islam, Andrew Bostom, who expands the context of the debate. “Despite ebullient appraisals of events in Egypt,” he writes, “which optimistic observers insist epitomize American hopes and values at their quintessential best—there is a profound, deeply troubling flaw in such hagiographic analyses which simply ignore the vast gulf between Western and Islamic conceptions of freedom itself. The current polling data indicating that three-fourths of the Egyptian population are still enamored of the totalitarian Sharia confirms that this yawning gap still exists—strikingly so—in our era.”

Touché Riedel, Saunders, Brown, Zizek, Ramadan, and anyone foolish enough to swallow the Ecstasy of revolutionary exaltations. Admittedly, commentators like Ramadan and Zizek know what they are doing. They have an agenda and will labor to advance it by any means at their disposal, whether by the verbal bludgeoning of a Zizek or the velvet sinuosities of a Ramadan. Brown is a typical propitiating academic. Others like Riedel and Saunders are merely hopeless ignoramuses, useful jihadiots (in National Post columnist Barbara Kay’s wonderful coinage), who have neglected to do their homework. Too lazy to read deeply, familiarize themselves with the complex itinerary of their subject and establish a solid and evidentiary historical foundation upon which to base a compelling judgment, they do enormous damage owing to their popular circulation in the media.

The events now unfolding in Egypt are important not only for the Egyptians, obviously, and not only for Western geopolitical calculations, but also for those of us who wish to genuinely understand the nature of the clash between Western democratic principles and radical theocratic structures of governance. This is no “age-old stereotype” but the very heart of the battle for the 21rst century.

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David Solway

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Amateur Hour at the White House

by Stephen Brown

As strikes in Egypt have spread, violence has increased and demonstrators have widened their area of protest in Cairo right up to the parliament building, the White House responded to Egypt’s continuing problems by pressuring the Egyptian government to cancel the country’s 30-year-old emergency law – in the middle of a national emergency.

Continuing the White House’s almost constant interference in Egypt’s internal affairs, Vice President Joe Biden telephoned his Egyptian counterpart, Omar Suleiman, on Tuesday and asked him to lift the emergency law, one of the most important tools the Egyptian government possesses to prevent the country’s slide into chaos and a subsequent Muslim Brotherhood takeover.

“The government has not taken the necessary steps that the people of Egypt need to see. That’s why more and more people come out to register their grievances,” said White House spokesman Robert Gibbs as justification for Biden’s request, although negotiations between the government and opposition have just begun.

The Biden phone call occurred after a week of foreign policy stumbling, which saw a scrambling White House, surprised by the disturbances in Tunisia and Egypt, waffle in its position regarding Egypt’s political situation. When the disturbances first broke out in the most important and populous state in the Arab world, the White House at first backed the Egyptian government, believing it could control the situation. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton even called the Egyptian regime “stable.”

But on Monday last week, US envoy Frank Wiesner asked Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak to resign, which Mubarak refused to do, since he rightly believed his resignation would lead to chaos. Then, on Tuesday, in another misstep; Obama personally phoned Mubarak and essentially told his Egyptian counterpart it was time to step aside. Mubarak once more declined to oblige, having just said in a speech to the nation he would step down in September. Mubarak’s refusal, however, prompted strong words the following day from Gibbs, who said: “Not September. Now means now.”

On the weekend, the White House, however, backtracked on its policy regarding Mubarak’s immediate removal. Clinton told journalists removing Mubarak too hastily would threaten the transition to democracy, while Wiesner, who had just asked Mubarak a few days earlier to step down, said at a conference in Munich: “President Mubarak’s role remains extremely critical in the days ahead.”

Shlomo Averni, a former Israeli diplomat, sums up the impression the Obama administration’s diplomatic confusion has made in a column he wrote that was excerpted in Asia Times:

Many in Israel have been shocked and dismayed by the inconsistency, bordering on amateurism, of the US response to events in Egypt. First the president, then Hillary Clinton, secretary of state, then again the president’s special envoy (Frank Wiesner) to Hosni Mubarak, have oscillated between distancing themselves from one of America’s staunchest allies and calling for him to step down, further calls for him to do it as soon as possible and then, taking a U-turn, endorsing an “orderly transition” headed by Omar Suleiman, his intelligence chief.

The Biden phone call represents another zag in the White House’s constantly shifting policy position. It indicates the administration has returned to its position of a quick transition, which probably also involves Mubarak’s leaving, or at least his removal from the levers of power, since he is the one most closely identified with this law. But besides the additional turmoil the law’s removal would bring to the already boiling Egyptian streets by lessening the security forces’ authority, it is astonishing the White house has not taken into consideration the other negative effects its lifting would have.

If Biden’s suggestion were heeded, the most dangerous consequence would involve the hundreds of religious extremists that were locked up in Egyptian prisons under the emergency law. Its cancellation would mean they would probably have to be released, which would only add gas to the Egyptian fire, possibly even ignite a terrorism campaign.

Al Qadea recognises the great, destabilising influence these prisoners would have on Egypt’s already volatile situation and places a high value in getting them out of jail. Al Qaeda’s Iraqi affiliate has expressed this priority by calling for attacks on Egyptian prisons to release their comrades. Egyptian prisons have already been stormed and, after heavy gun battles, dozens of religious extremists escaped. Al Qadea’s Iraqi branch has also called for the Egyptian protesters to wage jihad, the first such call by the terrorist organization.

Just as dangerous, the lifting of the emergency law would see a curtailment of the powers of the intelligence agencies that were responsible for putting the religious extremists in prison in the first place. Since these intelligence agencies are the Islamists’ true enemies in Egypt, the extremists would like nothing better than to see them weakened, so they can go about their sinister work of taking over the country. If Egypt is to experience a peaceful transition to a post-Mubarak government, it is essential that these intelligence agencies remain in place with their current powers intact.

To its credit, the Egyptian government did not acquiesce to Biden’s request to cancel the emergency law. Unlike the White House, it is familiar with Egyptian society and culture and is well aware of the danger this action would involve. Such a retreat would represent weakness to the regime’s opponents and lead to many other demands, which would precipitate a descent into chaos. One does not have to look any further than Pakistan and Somalia to realise Islamists thrive in chaotic societies. Egypt would be no different. The Muslim Brotherhood is waiting in the wings to take over. And it is not the non-violent, democracy-respecting, purely religious organization leftist and liberal media outlets are portraying it to be.

Biden’s misplaced phone call not only reveals the extent the Obama administration has turned its back on Egypt’s government, but it is showing the world it does not pay to be a long-time ally of America. In the New York Times, John Kerry, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, is quoted as saying the Egyptian crisis has caused America’s other allies to question “what sort of longevity there is to the notion of alliances.” Since coming into office in 2009, Obama has treated Israel shabbily and betrayed America’s allies in Eastern Europe in favour of Russia over the installation of an anti-nuclear deterrent. And in an unprecedented act of betrayal, it has recently been learned, Obama told the Russians the size of the British nuclear arsenal in exchange for their signature on the START treaty.

Interestingly, besides Israel, a New York Times story reveals it is America’s other Arab allies in the Middle East, Saudi Arabia, Jordan and the United Arab Emirates, who, also fearing instability, are asking Obama to go slow during the transition period in Egypt and “not to cut loose …Hosni Mubarak, too hastily, or throw its weight behind the democracy movement in a way that could further destabilize the region.” The Times story says “few voices have been as urgent, insistent or persuasive” as these. Since stability in Egypt is essential to regional peace, one can only hope the White House will listen to these voices from the Muslim world, since it appears to be deaf to all others.

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Stephen Brown

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CAIRing for the Muslim Brotherhood

by Joe Kaufman

The Egyptian regime of Hosni Mubarak is about to fall, and the leaders of the nation’s most vocal Islamist group, CAIR, couldn’t be happier. Is this sudden euphoria all about the bringing of “freedom” and “democracy” to the region, as they say it is, or is their happiness built out of something sinister? Given the radical background of these individuals, and given the background of the group itself, it is this author’s opinion that the reason is the latter.

On top of the homepage of the national website of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the following headline is read: “CAIR Asks Americans to Support Freedom in Egypt, Muslim World.” The statement is an entirely innocuous one. However, it comes from a group that has known ties to terrorist organizations, including the Muslim Brotherhood, a group which stands to gain substantially from the unrest in Egypt.

CAIR was founded in June 1994 by three leaders from the then-American propaganda wing of Hamas, the Islamic Association for Palestine (IAP). Upon CAIR’s establishment, the group immediately fell under the umbrella of Mousa Abu Marzook’s American Palestine Committee, of which the IAP was already a member. Marzook, at the time, was based in the United States as the global head of Hamas and a main cog of the Palestinian faction of the Muslim Brotherhood, from which Hamas sprang in 1987.

The hierarchy of CAIR has changed little from its IAP days. The original Executive Director, Nihad Awad, is still the Executive Director, and the original Communications Director, Ibrahim Hooper, is still the Communications Director. Considering this, one can surmise that the Islamist ideology of the group has remained intact as well, and no evidence has been provided to show that this is not the case.

This ideology is contained not only in the national organization, but also in its local chapters, where an innumerable amount of extremist statements and terror-related associations have been made and have been cultivated. So when leaders of these chapters discuss the riots in Egypt, as CAIR National has, in terms of “freedom” and “democracy,” we would be negligent if we did not question the sincerity of the statements and their true motives.

Ahmed Rehab is the Executive Director of CAIR-Chicago, one of CAIR’s main local offices. According to him, for the next month he will be residing in the city which houses the global headquarters of the Muslim Brotherhood (MB) – the place where CAIR gets its name from – Cairo.

While in Cairo, Rehab, who is originally from Egypt, has taken part in a number of demonstrations against the Mubarak government and has been blogging about his pseudo-peaceful experiences.

He wrote that he had joined the front lines of the protestors, during “Rage Friday,” and in at least one instance had, along with others, “broken through the police security line” and “pushed into the main square.” In another instance, he said that he and his friends “had to shake down a large iron fence to allow people to run for cover.” He saw armored vehicles that had been “torched,” and within one protest day which lasted eight hours, he “suffered two dozen tear gas fits.”

He said that his and others’ actions are “about reforming Egypt’s system of government.” He continued, “This is about the separation and independence of parliament and the judiciary from the executive branch and each other. This is about making the law supreme above and beyond whoever happens to command special powers or special interests.

“This is about ending corruption, incompetence, apathy, political monopoly and suppression of freedoms. This is about reclaiming the dignity of the Egyptian citizens. This is about transforming Egypt into a society that embraces political transparency and accountability, fair competition, merit, and opportunity.”

Rehab’s flowery language rings with the best of intentions. After reading his words, one could be left thinking that this individual dreams of an American-style liberty reaching Egypt’s shores. That is, unless he/she is aware of Rehab’s Islamist background, well past his association with the Hamas-related CAIR.

Up until February 2006, on his personal website, Rehab referred to the founder of the Muslim Brotherhood, Hasan al-Banna, as a “Contemporary Muslim Intellectual who influenced me” and described MB icon Sayyid Qutb, who is considered by many to be the father of the modern Islamic extremist movement, as his “Favorite Modern Personality.”

In keeping in line with the vitriol MB has for the nation of Israel, Rehab has openly attacked the Jewish state. On his site, he wrote, “I hate Zionism,” and about former President Harry S. Truman, whom he derogatorily refers to as “Harry S. Falseman,” he stated that he was one of the “worst Presidents,” because he was the “first to recognize Israel unjustly and unjustifiably.”

Given all of this, one can surmise that Ahmed Rehab’s reasoning in flinging himself head-first into these protests, in a country half-way around the globe – albeit the country he was born in – has absolutely nothing to do with freedom and democracy for the people of Egypt. To the contrary, it has to do with getting the Muslim Brotherhood, a group whose members are routinely tortured, imprisoned and ostracized by the Mubarak government, into power.

It has to do with throwing Hosni Mubarak, who is seen in the region as a key ally of Israel, out of power. It has to do with tearing down the fence that separates Egypt from Hamas in Gaza and tearing up any peace agreements that Egypt has with Israel. It has to do with bringing back the Islamic Kingdom or Caliphate that the Ikhwan (Brotherhood) believes was stolen from the Middle East by the West in the 1920s, which led to the creation of the Brotherhood.

For at least some of the people of Egypt, no doubt, they are longing for the freedom and democracy CAIR and Rehab speak of. But for CAIR and Rehab, themselves, it is nothing of the sort, and they are cynically exploiting the situation in Egypt to further their Islamist agenda.

For them, freedom and democracy are only words – merely a vehicle – leading towards the destruction of the West, as well as all her liberties, and the recreation of the Islamic Kingdom, throughout Egypt and beyond, which is why CAIR is asking Americans to support freedom in Egypt and the “Muslim World.”

As Turkey’s Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan once ominously stated, when comparing democracy to a street car, “You ride it until you arrive at your destination. Then you step off.”

The CAIR Car is just getting ready to be boarded.

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Joe Kaufman is the Chairman of Americans Against Hate and the founder of CAIR Watch. He has been responsible for the closure of at least one terror-related charity and has convinced a number of government officials to shun the Hamas front group, CAIR. In June 2009, he won a lawsuit brought against him by seven Dallas-area radical Muslim organizations

Beila Rabinowitz, Director of Militant Islam Monitor, contributed to this report.

Copyright - Original materials copyright (c) by the authors.

The Failure of British Multiculturalism

by Soeren Kern

British Prime Minister David Cameron says his country's long-standing policy of multiculturalism is a failure, and responsible for fostering Islamist extremism. In a speech to the Munich Security Conference 2011 on February 5, Cameron said: "Under the doctrine of state multiculturalism, we have encouraged different cultures to live separate lives, apart from each other and apart from the mainstream. We have failed to provide a vision of society to which they feel they want to belong. We have even tolerated these segregated communities behaving in ways that run completely counter to our values."

Cameron continued: "So, when a white person holds objectionable views, racist views for instance, we rightly condemn them. But when equally unacceptable views or practices come from someone who is not white, we have been too cautious, frankly -– frankly, even fearful –- to stand up to them…. This hands-off tolerance has only served to reinforce the sense that not enough is shared. And this all leaves some young Muslims feeling rootless. And the search for something to belong to and something to believe in can lead them to this extremist ideology…. What we see -- and what we see in so many European countries -- is a process of radicalization."

Cameron said a two-pronged approach is needed to neuter the threat of radical Islam in Europe. "I believe it is time to turn the page on the failed policies of the past. So first, instead of ignoring this extremist ideology, we -- as governments and as societies -- have got to confront it, in all its forms. And second, instead of encouraging people to live apart, we need a clear sense of shared national identity that is open to everyone."

On the first challenge of confronting and undermining radical Islam, Cameron said: "We must ban preachers of hate from coming to our countries. We must also proscribe organisations that incite terrorism against people at home and abroad. Governments must also be shrewder in dealing with those that, while not violent, are in some cases part of the problem. We need to think much harder about who it's in the public interest to work with. Some organisations that seek to present themselves as a gateway to the Muslim community are showered with public money despite doing little to combat extremism. So we should properly judge these organisations: do they believe in universal human rights -- including for women and people of other faiths? Do they believe in equality of all before the law? Do they believe in democracy and the right of people to elect their own government? Do they encourage integration or separation? These are the sorts of questions we need to ask. Fail these tests and the presumption should be not to engage with organisations -- so, no public money, no sharing of platforms with ministers at home. At the same time, we must stop these groups from reaching people in publicly-funded institutions like universities or even, in the British case, prisons."

On the second challenge of fostering a clearer sense of shared national identity, Cameron said: "Frankly, we need a lot less of the passive tolerance of recent years and a much more active, muscular liberalism. A passively tolerant society says to its citizens, as long as you obey the law we will just leave you alone. It stands neutral between different values. But I believe a genuinely liberal country does much more; it believes in certain values and actively promotes them. Freedom of speech, freedom of worship, democracy, the rule of law, equal rights regardless of race, sex or sexuality. It says to its citizens, this is what defines us as a society: to belong here is to believe in these things. Now, each of us in our own countries, I believe, must be unambiguous and hard-nosed about this defence of our liberty."

Cameron also said, "Europe needs to wake up to what is happening in our own countries." His comments echo similar observations made by German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who recently said that German multiculturalism has "failed utterly" and that more attention must be devoted to the integration of Muslim immigrants.

The public repudiation of multiculturalism by the leaders of two of Europe's biggest countries appears to signal a significant change in perspective, following decades of uncontrolled mass immigration -- particularly from Muslim countries -- that has transformed the political, social and religious landscape of Europe. It also signals the emergence of a nascent movement to question the reigning dogma of post-modern political correctness, which has encouraged immigrants to establish parallel societies within their European host countries. But influential Muslim groups in Europe will fiercely resist integration, and it remains to be seen whether European policymakers can do much to reverse the current trend toward separatism.

Cameron's comments follow the criticism of multiculturalism in Germany voiced by Chancellor Merkel, who told an October 2010 gathering of her center-right Christian Democratic Union (CDU) party that: "We are a country which at the beginning of the 1960s actually brought [Muslim] guest workers to Germany. Now they live with us and we lied to ourselves for a while, saying that they will not stay and that they will have disappeared again one day. That is not the reality. This multicultural approach -- saying that we simply live side by side and are happy about each other -- this approach has failed, failed utterly."

The debate over what to do about Germany's broken immigration system has been simmering for years, but began in earnest last August, when Thilo Sarrazin, a prominent German banker, and also a long-time member of the center-left Social Democratic Party (SPD), published a controversial book titled "Germany Does Away With Itself." That book broke Germany's long-standing taboo on discussing the impact of Muslim immigration by highlighting painful truths about the current state of affairs.

Many observers of contemporary Europe will applaud Cameron's call for integration, while others will question whether it is too little too late. Cameron's speech comes as the Washington, DC-based Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life released a new study titled "The Future of the Global Muslim Population" which forecasts that Britain's Muslim population will double to 5.5 million within the next 20 years.

According to the British government's Labour Force Survey (LFS), which were first published by the Times of London newspaper in January 2009, and later confirmed by Hansard, the official report of debates in the British Parliament, the Muslim population in Britain grew from 1,870,000 in 2004 to 2,422,000 in 2008, an increase of more than 500,000. During those four years, Britain's Muslim population multiplied 10 times faster than the rest of society. By contrast, the number of Christians in the country fell by more than two million during the same period.

As Britain's Muslim population grows, British society is being transformed in ways unimaginable just a few years ago. For example, Mohammed is now the most popular name for baby boys in Britain, according to new data released by the United Kingdom's Office of National Statistics (ONS).

At the same time, Islamic jurisprudence is spreading throughout Britain at an astonishing rate. At least 85 Islamic Sharia courts are now operating in the country, almost 20 times as many as previously believed. A recent think tank study titled "Sharia Law or One Law for All" found that scores of unofficial tribunals and councils regularly apply Islamic law to resolve domestic, marital and business disputes, many operating in mosques. It warns of a "creeping" acceptance of Sharia principles in British law. The study follows the outcry over remarks by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, who has said that Sharia law in Britain is "unavoidable."

Not surprisingly, Muslim groups in Britain are angry about Cameron's speech. Consider the Muslim Council of Britain (MCB), a British Muslim lobby group controlled by the Muslim Brotherhood that has been at the forefront of efforts to resist the integration of Muslim immigrants into mainstream British society. (The MCB recently pressured the British government into adopting Islamic law and giving Sharia courts full powers to rule on Muslim civil cases.)

MCB assistant secretary general Faisal Hanjra told BBC Radio 4's Today program: "We were hoping that with a new government, with a new coalition that there'd be a change in emphasis in terms of counter-terrorism and dealing with the problem at hand…. Again it just seems the Muslim community is very much in the spotlight, being treated as part of the problem as opposed to part of the solution."

Imam Abdullah al-Hasan of the East London Mosque says it differently: "Islam is here to stay in Britain. Islam is here to stay in Europe."

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Soeren Kern

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Thursday, February 10, 2011

Who Will Shape Obama’s Policy on Egypt?

by Ryan Mauro

The U.S. is almost certain to face an Egyptian government under the influence of the Muslim Brotherhood sometime this year. The Brotherhood and its apologists have long tried to influence the White House and will try to convince the media and the Obama administration that the Islamist group is moderate. And if the administration’s relationship with the Brotherhood’s allies is any indication, they’ll succeed.

The Obama Administration has signaled its acceptance of the Brotherhood in the next Egyptian government, with the State Department spokesman saying the group is “a fact of life in Egypt.” A secret meeting between a U.S. representative and the Brotherhood has been reported, though any communication has been denied. President Obama downplayed the threat from the Muslim Brotherhood in an interview with Bill O’Reilly on Sunday.

“I think that the Muslim Brotherhood is one faction in Egypt. They don’t have majority support in Egypt, but they are well-organized and there are strains of their ideology that are anti-U.S., there is no doubt about it,” he said.

The unrest and future change in government in Egypt will require an overhaul of U.S. policy towards the country, which will be shaped by whose advice President Obama listens to. According to Steve Emerson, the executive director of the Investigative Project on Terrorism, the administration has extensive relations with groups and leaders tied to the Muslim Brotherhood.

“The Obama Administration has opened its doors to Muslim Brotherhood legacy groups such as the Council on American-Islamic Relations, the Muslim Public Affairs Council, the Islamic Society of North America and other Islamic leaders who come from Muslim Brotherhood backgrounds,” Emerson told FrontPage.

Even before Obama came into office, he was choosing advisers with relationships to Brotherhood front groups. The director of his presidential campaign’s outreach to the Muslim community, Mazen Asbahi, resigned after he was criticized for frequently speaking for groups like those mentioned by Emerson and serving on the board of a trust alongside an imam tied to the Brotherhood and Hamas. In the first month of becoming President, Obama selected Ingrid Mattson, the president of the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), to take part in the inaugural prayer services. The federal government has designated ISNA as an “unindicted co-conspirator” in the Holy Land Foundation trial, and the Brotherhood’s internal documents identify it as one of its fronts.

Obama’s chief terrorism advisor, John Brennan, spoke alongside Mattson at New York University despite this designation. The senior advisor and assistant to the president, Valerie Jarrett, was the keynote speaker at ISNA’s 46th convention in July 2009.

President Obama chose Rashad Hussain to be his special envoy to the Organization of the Islamic Conference. He has long been a featured speaker at conferences by Brotherhood-tied groups in the U.S., and although he has condemned Hamas, he has called on the U.S. to build a Muslim coalition that is “not limited to those who advocate Western-style democracy, and avoid creating a dichotomy between freedom and Islamic society.” He has spoken for ISNA since being appointed, and has shared the stage with officials from the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), another Brotherhood-tied group that has been listed as an “unindicted co-conspirator” in the Holy Land Foundation trial.

One of the members of the President’s Advisory Council on Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships is Dalia Mogahed. She has been described as the “most influential person” in crafting Obama’s speech in Cairo to the Muslim world. She is a close colleague of John Esposito, perhaps the Brotherhood’s most prestigious apologist in the U.S. He gave expert testimony on behalf of the Holy Land Foundation during its trial and is a vocal defender of CAIR, ISNA and the other organizations tied to the Brotherhood.

Mogahed and Esposito worked together at the Gallup Center for Muslim Studies, where they produced a poll alleging that only 7 percent of Muslims around the world are radicalized and that their extremism derives from feeling threatened by U.S. foreign policy. A closer look at the survey shows that about 36 percent felt the 9/11 attacks were fully or partially justified. Like Esposito, she has defended CAIR and ISNA, saying “there is a concerted effort to silence, you know, institution-building among Muslims. And the way to do it is [to] malign these groups. And it’s kind of a witch hunt.”

In June 2009, Secretary of State Hilary Clinton invited Esam Omeish, who describes the Brotherhood as “moderate,” to take part in a conference call following President Obama’s speech to the Muslim world in Cairo. Omeish sits on the board of directors of the extremist Dar al-Hijrah mosque, which is closely connected to the Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas. Omeish used to be the president of the Muslim American Society, another Brotherhood front group. He has been recorded praising Palestinians that understand “that the jihad way is the way to liberate your land” and in 2004, he referred to the founder of Hamas as “our beloved Sheikh Ahmed Yassin.”

Officials have met with the Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC) on at least two dozen occasions, including Attorney General Eric Holder, the assistant director in charge of the FBI, and Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano. From January 27 to 28, 2010, leaders from ISNA, the Muslim American Society and MPAC met with Napolitano and other officials to be briefed on the agency’s counter-radicalization and counter-terrorism efforts.

MPAC has published a paper calling for the removal of Hamas, Hezbollah and Palestinian Islamic Jihad from the State Department’s list of Foreign Terrorist Organizations and its executive director, Salam al-Marayati, told the Arab press about “Islamophobia in the American government,” which is responsible for “spreading fear of Islam and distributing misleading generalizations against American Islamic organizations.”

The influence of Brotherhood groups in the government even extends to the FBI and military. An official from ISNA was asked to lecture U.S. troops at Fort Hood about Islam after the terrorist shooting took place. The FBI has also held meetings with top ISNA officials and is engaging the organization as part of its outreach to the Muslim community. Shockingly, the decision to use the ISNA came after the FBI decided to end its relationship with CAIR because of concerns over the organization’s ties to Hamas and designation as an “unindicted co-conspirator”—the same label applied to ISNA from the same trial.

A known member of the Muslim Brotherhood, Kifah Mustapha, was even given a six-week tour last year of FBI facilities including the National Counterterrorism Center and a training compound. Documents from the Holy Land trial show that he is a member of the Brotherhood’s secret “Palestine Committee” that set up organizations in the U.S. to support Hamas. A news report said he “pushed agents to fully explain everything from the bureau’s use of deadly force policy to racial and ethnic profiling.” The FBI says he had no access to sensitive information, but this incident shows how successful the Brotherhood has been in gaining access to the government.

The Muslim Brotherhood is going to work hard to pervert the West’s perception of its agenda. It will pose as a genuinely democratic group that opposes terrorism. Its opposition to U.S. foreign policy will be explained as a genuine representation of Muslim public opinion, rather than part of a long-term jihad. Their success will require having apologists in place in the government, academia and media to act as their publicists. And those publicists include some of the Obama administration’s senior officials and Muslim outreach partners.

Original URL:

Ryan Mauro

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CAIR's Self-Serving Third Jihad Complaint

by IPT News

The Council on American-Islamic Relations' protest that the documentary The Third Jihad smears Muslims reveals more about CAIR's desire to hide its record than any concern for the civil rights of Muslim Americans.

Unfortunately, however, that was enough for the New York Police Department to cave in to CAIR's demands and stop using the film in training programs for police officers. Now, New York's finest will have to look harder for evidence that the group claiming to look out for civil rights is actually working to stymie law enforcement efforts to stop terrorism.

Narrated by M. Zuhdi Jasser, a Muslim who challenges groups such as CAIR, The Third Jihad details how CAIR was created shortly after a secret 1993 meeting in Philadelphia involving members of the Muslim Brotherhood's Palestine Committee. Their goal was to lead opposition to the 1993 Oslo accords and generate support for Hamas, the terrorist organization that now runs the government in Gaza.

Records of that October 1993 conference, which was tapped by federal law enforcement officials, detail how CAIR's founders Nihad Awad and Omar Ahmad were present as the group discussed the need to create a pro-Hamas advocacy group that would not be tied publicly to Hamas.

Shukri Abu-Baker, then the president of the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development, a Hamas financial support arm, explained the idea. "We will form an organization for you to show the Americans that you are … [unintelligible]," he said. "It will be made up of some of our people, our beloved ones, and let's not hoist a large Islamic flag and let's not be barbaric-talking. We will remain a front so that if the thing happens, we will benefit from the new happenings instead of having all of our organizations classified and exposed."

In testimony, FBI case agent Lara Burns said CAIR was created after the Philadelphia meeting and pointed to an exhibit which shows CAIR listed on a Palestine Committee agenda within weeks of its 1994 creation.

The FBI cited that evidence in explaining why it cut off formal communication with the group. "Until we can resolve whether there continues to be a connection between CAIR or its executives and HAMAS," FBI Assistant Director Richard C. Powers wrote in April 2009, "the FBI does not view CAIR as an appropriate liaison partner."

The Third Jihad also shows CAIR officials refusing to denounce Hamas or Hizballah as terrorist organizations and cites an internal Muslim Brotherhood document submitted in the federal trial of the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development that shows how the Brotherhood wants to create a global Islamic state.

But CAIR refused to deal with the documentary's substance. Instead, it called it "notorious" and then devoted the rest of its press release to the same guilt-by-association tactics it accuses its opponents of using. It quoted CAIR-NY official Zead Ramadan comparing the documentary to the Nazi-era file Triumph of the Will and the silent movie Birth of a Nation, which romanticized the Ku Klux Klan. Ramadan also voiced his concerns to NY Police Commissioner Ray Kelly at a local Eid celebration. According to Ramadan, Kelly seemed concerned and said he would "take care of it."

Deputy Commissioner Paul Browne also took CAIR's side in the argument. "It was reviewed and found to be inappropriate," he said of the movie. "It was not approved for the curriculum. It's not shown for any purpose now."

Released in 2008, The Third Jihad's only flaw concerning CAIR is that it doesn't have enough information about the self-styled civil rights group. For example:

  • Last month, CAIR's San Francisco chapter posted an anti-FBI graphic on its website urging members not to talk to the FBI. It later removed the graphic and claimed it was a mistake.
  • The 2008 Holy Land Foundation trial publicized links between CAIR founders Nihad Awad and Omar Ahmad and the Palestine Committee, an umbrella organization of U.S. Hamas support groups. CAIR was listed itself as a component of the committee in internal documents.
  • The government named CAIR as an unindicted coconspirator in the trial, and the presiding judge ruled in a 2009 opinion that was unsealed last year that there was "ample evidence" tying CAIR to Hamas.

It's not the first time the NYPD has met CAIR's self-interested demands. In 2007, CAIR heavily criticized an NYPD report entitled "Radicalization in the West: The Homegrown Threat." Then-CAIR Chairman Parvez Ahmed said the report casted "a pall of suspicion over the entire American Muslim community" and labeled "almost every American Muslim as a potential terrorist."

Perhaps what CAIR really objected to was the report's analysis of the radicalization of former CAIR communications specialist Randall Todd Royer. A former U.S. Army soldier, Royer, as part of a 2004 plea agreement on weapons charges, admitted in a statement of facts to assisting others in "gaining entry to a jihad camp run by the Lashkar-e-Taiba in Pakistan," a U.S. designated terrorist organization. In 2004, Royer testified in the case of Virginia cell leader Ali Al-Timimi, in which he admitted to encouraging others to seek training from LeT during a secret meeting held only days after 9/11. Royer's terror-linked actions overlapped with his time served with CAIR, from 1997, to at least the beginning of October 2001.

In 2009, the NYPD amended the report to include a statement of clarification which called the New York Muslim community its "ally" and added "that the NYPD's focus on al-Qaida inspired terrorism should not be mistaken for any implicit or explicit justification for racial, religious or ethnic profiling" and that it should "not be read to characterize Muslims as intrinsically dangerous or intrinsically linked to terrorism." That wasn't good enough for CAIR. In a joint statement, the organization remained concerned that the report still contained "harmful stereotypes."

CAIR officials, it seems, have never seen a documentary, article or planned congressional investigation of radical Islam they consider "unbiased." Nor, it seems, have they found any law enforcement investigation of radical Islam worthy of their support. All of which makes it quite troubling that the leaders of the police department in the city most victimized by radical Muslim terrorists would roll over so easily.

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IPT News

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