Wednesday, March 17, 2010

America must learn from the UK about the future of Islamist subversion. Part II

by Steven Emerson


2nd part of 2

American Subversion

The same entryist methodology can be seen in the U.S., but the U.S. Islamist groups have not been nearly as successful as their British counterparts. Last spring, Esam Omeish sought to become the first Muslim elected to serve in the Virginia General Assembly. His campaign machine tried to erase Omeish's role as president of the Muslim American Society (MAS), a religious and political body created by Muslim Brotherhood members in the United States. He was defeated in the primary election.

Omeish had previously resigned from a state immigration panel to which he had been appointed after video shot by the Investigative Project on Terrorism showed him praising Palestinians for choosing "the jihad way to liberate your land" at a 2000 rally.

Just a few months before launching his candidacy, Omeish gave a sermon in which he described how Islam could fuel a "transformation, a real change" in society:

"We cannot allow the status quo to continue. We need an American Islamic movement that transforms our status, that impacts our society, and that brings forth the change that we want to see."

MAS's efforts to subvert the American political system have not stopped there. MAS has an active voter registration effort, employing Muslim Boy and Girl Scout troops to get out the vote in Virginia's 2006 Senate election. In and of itself, this is not problematic. Many civil society groups conduct voter registration campaigns and it is a perfectly legitimate and even admirable activity. However, MAS has clearly demonstrated an Islamist intent in its campaign. In 2008, it ran a program called "Voting is Power," which called voting a

"first step toward that political empowerment so vital to our ultimate goal of raising and developing exemplary citizens who will contribute to the greatness of our country, and whose convictions and dedication will illuminate the brilliance and beauty of the great message of Islam."

Other examples of subversion and infiltration abound. As is well-known to readers of this website, the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) has enjoyed cozy relationships with lawmakers, law enforcement, and civil society alike. They were close "partners" of the FBI and even ran their "sensitivity training." CAIR's own website brags:

"CAIR officials have met or regularly meet with US Presidents, members of the administration, members of congress, governors, mayors, members of state legislatures, county commissioners and others. Several CAIR affiliates have received proclamations and citations from mayors and county commissioners."

However, their relationship with the FBI finally soured when CAIR officials were unwilling to answer questions about their ties to Hamas.

The Islamist infiltration extends into the US military. Abulrahman Alamoudi, the former head of the American Muslim Council, was one the nation's most admired Muslim leaders. Despite his close ties to the Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas officials, he met with presidents, including President Bill Clinton, and presidential candidates, including then-Governor George W. Bush. Alamoudi and his associates - including anti-tax crusader Grover Norquist - are often credited with Bush's 2000 campaign promise to end a practice known as "secret evidence" that had long been used in criminal prosecutions, in accordance with the Classified Information Procedures Act, and in immigration proceedings.

Alamoudi - who once told the audience of a Chicago-area conference that Muslims would turn American into an Islamic country - founded the US military's Muslim chaplaincy program, which was never reviewed even after Alamoudi was sentenced to 23 years in prison for violating sanctions laws pertaining to Libya and engaging in an al-Qaeda linked conspiracy to assassinate then-Saudi Crown Prince Abdullah. The Muslim chaplaincy program endures under the control of the Islamic Society of North America - perhaps the most significant Muslim Brotherhood front group in the United States.


The " Tadarruj" Entryism of British Islamists

Abu Tala, an IFE activist, in a secretly filmed conversation explained the gradual nature of this campaign, praising the imam of the East London mosque for transforming the neighbourhood and his efforts to purge the local Muslim community of what he sees as un-Islamic practices. He stated, "Tadarruj means gradualism. He's done it gradually." The IFE has also infiltrated the UK civil service. In fact, the former head of the civil service Islamic association is an IFE activist.

In a conversation filmed secretly by a "Dispatches" undercover reporter, Abjol Miah, a senior IFE activist and Tower Hamlets councillor, explained, "We've actually consolidated ourselves. We've got a lot of influence and power in the council. Councillors, politicians." IFE allies on the council became rather bold. They unsuccessfully tried to cancel all meetings scheduled during the month of Ramadan. Then, according to Councillor Peter Golds, they sent around a message to non-Muslim councillors that suggested they should fast for Ramadan.

The IFE denies all of these allegations publicly, stating that it does not support extremism, nor does it seek to impose Sharia law or establish an Islamic state in Britain. It also denies infiltrating the Tower Hamlets Labour Party. Representatives claim they seek to aspire to good, engage in outreach, further the collective community endeavour, and seek fairness and goodness for all. And, they are waging an aggressive campaign against "libellous" and "grossly inaccurate" media coverage.

Defenders of the East London Mosque also make claims to moderation, but these are flimsy at best. This is a mosque that hosts an imam who encourages the mosque's congregation to play "Spot the Fag" and decries the "fag lifestyle." Taza Khan, another Islamic scholar lecturing at the mosque, explained to the audience, "Any woman who comes out of her house perfuming herself. Every single eye that looks at her…she's an adulterous woman." He continued, "A fornicating woman, a fornicating man - flog them one hundred times."

The program notes that these were just two of 20 "extremist speakers" its reporters recorded at the mosque over the last three years. Others included a spokesman for Taliban ally Gulbuddin Hekmatyar and Bilal Phillips - teacher to Ali al-Timimi, the convicted spiritual leader of the Virginia Paintball Jihad cell.

And the worst among them? Anwar al Awlaki - the Yemeni-American Muslim cleric who has allied himself with al-Qaeda in Yemen and provided spiritual sanction to the Fort Hood shooter and possibly guidance to Umar Abdulmutallab, the would-be Christmas Day bomber. The East London Mosque hosted Awlaki's talks via video link. As the London-based Centre for Social Cohesion originally reported, the mosque most recently hosted a video message from Awlaki in January 2009. When confronted with Awlaki's extremist views before the day of the message, a mosque spokesperson responded: "Mr Awlaki has not been proven guilty in a court of law. Everyone is entitled to their point of view"

Government outreach with the IFE and the East London Mosque are just two examples of the larger trend of empowering Islamism in the UK. British authorities have long turned a blind eye to extremism within their borders. During the 1990s, the so-called "covenant of security" was the unwritten agreement between the British state and Islamists based in what the French security services called "Londonistan." Under the terms of this agreement, the most dangerous Islamist groups and movements were allowed to operate freely as long as they did not launch attacks in Britain.

Many British Islamists viewed the covenant as shattered post-9/11 - especially due to British participation in the invasion and occupation of Iraq. This is how some Islamists justified the 7/7/05 London transit bombings, which killed 52 and wounded scores.

In the aftermath of the attacks, the British developed a strategy known as "Prevent," to counter the violent radicalization of "vulnerable communities" (read: Muslims). In this effort, the British state enlisted the help of dubious allies - namely groups tied intimately to the Muslim Brotherhood, Jama'at-e-Islami, and Salafism. These "allies" of the British state have included the East London Mosque and other IFE linked organizations, which have received government funding to prevent violent extremism.

Paul Richards explained in the "Dispatches" program: "Somehow it's all gone horribly wrong and somehow the very people who we should be saying are beyond the pale are in fact inside ministers' offices sitting around the table having cups of tea." He continued:

"If you are part of a revolutionary organization and you hold these views as part of a fundamental canon of belief, having a chat or a cozy cup of tea with a minister is not going to change your mind. But, being around that table, what it does do, is strengthen your hand with your own community."

The "Dispatches" documentary put it best and the parallels with the U.S. would be uncanny if we did not already understand that the Brotherhood operates by the same playbook in the West:

"The state doesn't seem willing or able to tackle this. The IFE and its allies are fond of saying that any attack on them is an attack on Islam, but it is Muslims themselves who are taking the lead and speaking out."

It is encouraging to see a well-sourced documentary that exposes the Islamist political agenda and shows the threats posed to British politics and to Muslims who happen to be uninterested in the toxic mix of religion and politics. There are plenty of Muslims in America who oppose the effort of national organizations to mix mosque and state. However, too often, their voices are overlooked and they are not given a chance to rebut Islamist ideology and political activity. When they do, the results can be shrill and hyperbolic.

Perhaps an American network will show the same temerity as Britain's Channel 4.



Steven Emerson is an internationally recognized expert on terrorism and national security and considered one of the leading world authorities on Islamic extremist networks, financing and operations. He now serves as the Executive Director of The Investigative Project on Terrorism, one of the world's largest archival data and intelligence institutes on Islamic and Middle Eastern terrorist groups.

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


No comments:

Post a Comment