The U.S. gov’t is letting Islamist groups and their global propaganda machines determine who has ‘credibility.’
By Ryan Mauro:
Newly declassified documents obtained by the Clarion Project show that personnel in the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI, or, for the ease of our readers,“National Intel”) were well aware of the work of anti-Islamist Muslim activist Dr. Zuhdi Jasser, acknowledged that he was promoting the right message, but chose instead to favor and work with pro-Islamist groups.
As our previous expose showed, when five members of Congress specifically asked National Intel about their relationship with the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), a U.S. Muslim Brotherhoodentity, National Intel falsely told the congresspersons that it did not use Muslim Brotherhood-linked groups and individuals for outreach. However, files show that such a relationship existed.
And while National Intel embraced groups with radical histories, Jasser, president of the American Islamic Forum for Democracy and author of A Battle for the Soul of Islam, was shunned. This happened even though one of Jasser’s writings was passed around National Intel as an example of the type of messaging that was needed.
Impact on National Security From Embracing Islamists
When MPAC released its counter-terrorism study, Building Bridges to Strengthen America, National Intel was excited and receptive. Multiple emails were exchanged within National Intel to spread word of it. The office staff was invited to a MPAC briefing about it on April 8, 2010.
Then a two-hour meeting was arranged with MPAC’s Governmental Liaison on November 18, 2010.
Unfortunately, information about the Muslim Brotherhood in MPAC’s study is limited to this idea: “Conservative groups like the Muslim Brotherhood pose long-term strategic threats to violent extremists by siphoning Muslims away from violent radicalism into peaceful political activism.” [emphasis added]
The study also disputes the notion that the Brotherhood acts as a “conveyer belt” leading Islamists to engage in terrorism. Instead, MPAC presents the Brotherhood as a “conveyer belt” leading awayfrom violence. The footnote for the sentence references an article titled, “The Moderate Muslim Brotherhood.”
On October 25, 2011, MPAC announced that Building Bridges was cited in the National Intel’s National Counter-Terrorism Center and the Department of Homeland Security policy document, “Countering Violent Extremism: Guidance and Best Practices.” It was the sole non-governmental organization source.
Noticeably, the language used by MPAC study about the Brotherhood is similar to the language used by Clapper in his January 2012 testimony to the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence.
During that testimony, Clapper stated: “Al-Qaeda probably will find it difficult to compete for local support with groups like the Muslim Brotherhood that participate in the political process, provide social services and advocate religious values. Non-violent, pro-democracy demonstrations challenge Al-Qaeda’s violent jihadist ideology and might yield increased political power for secular or moderate Islamist parties.”
When reading Clapper’s testimony, it’s easy to see the parallels between his opinion and those of the pro-Brotherhood groups that were advising his office.
MPAC also used its relationship with National Intel to complain about materials that it felt promoted “Islamophobia.”
For example, on July 11, 2012, MPAC’s Young Leaders Government Summit delegates met with National Intel and National Counter-Terrorism Center staff, including Principal Deputy Director of National Intelligence Stephanie O’Sullivan, National Intel’s Civil Liberties Protection Officer Alexander Joel and Matthew Rice of the National Counter-Terrorism Center Directorate of Strategic Operational Planning.
At that meeting, MPAC’s delegates complained about National Intel’s counter-terrorism policy plan titled, “Empowering Local Partners to Prevent Violent Extremism in the United States.”
The section they took issue with reads: “…communities—especially Muslim American communities whose children, families and neighbors are being targeted for recruitment by Al-Qaeda—are often best positioned to take the lead because they know their communities best.”
Virtually anyone reading this would view the statement as being pro-Muslim in nature. It states the factual problem — Al-Qaeda recruitment of Muslims — and says that Muslims are the solution. Further, it assumes that Muslims are also against Al Qaeda.
But for MPAC’s delegates, the mere acknowledgement that Al-Qaeda would like to recruit Muslim-Americans is offensive.
In a follow-up later on July 17, 2012, MPAC again criticized the policy plan because it “assumes that young American Muslims are susceptible to the threat” and that could cause their “marginalization.”
MPAC was also upset with a National Intel calendar that had photos of terrorists on it because it “disproportionately presented terrorists from Muslim majority countries. It also insinuated a problematic message: That only Muslims are terrorists.” The group warned of “unintended consequences” negatively affecting Muslims.
Read more at Clarion Project