Inside Qatar’s $20+ million a year lobbying effort in Washington

U.S.-Islamic World Forum | Flickr

Conservative Review, by Jordan Schachtel,  Sept. 13, 2017:

The small Gulf nation of Qatar is investing millions of dollars into influential Washington, D.C., lobbying groups in order to rehabilitate its image with the American people and the Western world. As proven ties to terrorist groups and actors continue to mount, Qatar is now relying on an aggressive public relations campaign to solve its predicament.

Qatar is in the middle of a fierce diplomatic row with its neighbors over its alleged support for terrorist groups and its coziness with the terrorist regime in Iran. Neighbors such as Saudi Arabia and the UAE contend that Qatar is playing a double game with its allies, and the two nations have joined Arab nations in imposing a diplomatic and economic boycott of Doha.

Qatar refutes the allegations by claiming that they act as an intermediary for groups that would otherwise be unreachable to Western governments, such as the Taliban, al-Qaeda, and Hamas.

The diplomatic issue has put the United States in an uncomfortable position, given that Doha’s Al-Udeid Air Base serves as the headquarters of U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) and hosts over 11,000 U.S. personnel. But Qatar’s dealings with nefarious actors and clear-cut jihadists has not only infuriated neighbors, but caused many Americans (such as President Trump himself) to demand that our CENTCOM partner stop providing safe haven to terrorists and their enablers.

Time and time again Qatar has promised to address these concerns and rein in the extremist elements inside its borders. However, intelligence continues to trickle out supporting detractors’ claims that Qatar not only continues to support terrorists, but also has high-ranking members of its government and society involved in arming and funding jihadists in Syria, Gaza, and elsewhere.

Western officials have alleged that Qatar is not only the foremost supporter of Hamas and the al-Qaeda-connected Al Nusra front, but also the Islamic State.

Currently, according to the UAE government, there are at least six different entities and 37 al-Qaeda operatives living in Qatar. Ryan Mauro of the Clarion Project reports that “Qatar is so hospitable to Al-Qaeda that Osama Bin Laden advised his son, Hamza, to move there as he prepared to step into his father’s shoes.”

Qatar is currently home to Egyptian Yusuf al-Qaradawi, the spiritual leader of the Muslim Brotherhood, who has called for suicide bombings against American soldiers stationed in the Middle East. Moreover, Qatar has long been the established residence of the chairman of Hamas. In June, Interpol listed 26 terrorists residing in Qatar who were wanted by foreign governments for extradition.

Given that Qatar hasn’t shown much interest in reforming its most fundamentalist elements, the cash-rich ruling monarchy there has decided to dump millions of dollars into a P.R. effort in the United States to boost its image with the decision makers in Washington.

Qatar now has multi-million dollar lobbying contracts with seven different Washington lobbying firms. Lobbyists are tasked with smoothing over (whitewashing) Qatar’s record on various issues, from its troubling terror ties to its diplomatic positioning to even its relationship with the Jewish community (which is troubled by its overt support for Hamas, which seeks to wipe out the state of Israel).

Republican, Democrat, and non-partisan focus firms have been deployed to work on Qatar’s behalf. Politico reports that Qatar was spending over $1.7 million a month ($20 million annually) on its lobbying — and that was before it inked its seventh contract on Sept. 3 with Stonington Strategies.

Doha is also moving boatloads of cash over to D.C. think tanks, seeking to influence the debate within Washington’s academics and elitist society.

Between 2011 and 2014, Qatar pledged at least $21.6 million to the center-left Brookings Institution. In 2014, Qatar agreed to “donate” another $14.8 million over four years to Brookings. Scholars there have admitted on the record that they cannot take “positions critical of the Qatari government in papers,” accordingto The New York Times.

In addition to Brookings, the influential, relatively non-partisan Rand Corporation recently completed a decade-long partnership with Qatar.

While Qatar’s lobbying efforts are centered in Washington, they’re also determined to reach a broader audience in the academic world, through collaborative projects with some of America’s top universities.

With mounds of evidence showing direct ties to terror, and having a leadership that does not intend on entertaining true reform, it remains to be seen whether Qatar will succeed in efforts to pay its way out of its current image crisis.

Jordan Schachtel is the national security correspondent for Conservative Review. Follow him on Twitter @JordanSchachtel.

U.S. Islamists Claim Win Over Legislation Banning Funding to Terror-Tied Charity

Did House Speaker Paul Ryan just return a favor to his Islamist donors?

WND, by Leo Hohmann, Sept. 12, 2017:

Rack up a win for the Council on American-Islamic Relations and a network of other U.S. Islamist organizations controlled by the Muslim Brotherhood.

Not only has the Brotherhood thus far managed to avoid the Trump White House designating it a terrorist organization, but its U.S. affiliates still hold enormous sway over the Republican-dominated Congress.

The latest evidence of that fact played out on Capitol Hill last Thursday, in a stunning turn of events that received no coverage from the national media and elicited nary a peep out of the conservative media.

Islamic Relief Worldwide, or IRW, a United Kingdom-based humanitarian relief agency with a U.S. chapter, has received hundreds of thousands of dollars in U.S. federal grants in recent years, including $370,000 for the fiscal years 2015 and 2016. Quite naturally, IRW wants to keep the spigot of federal dollars flowing, despite the charity’s links to the terrorist group Hamas.

U.S. Rep. Ron DeSantis, R-Fla., introduced an amendment to the State and Foreign Operations Appropriations Act that would have banned all federal funding of IRW and its affiliates.

When they got wind of DeSantis’ amendment, CAIR and other Islamist groups blitzed members of Congress with a last-minute lobbying effort to vote against the amendment. House leaders capitulated, withdrawing the amendment last Thursday before it was even brought up for a vote.

As a result, Hamas terrorists will continue to have access to federal tax dollars.

IRW is an Islamist charity that has funneled money to Hamas and has ties to the extremist Muslim Brotherhood, according to the highly respected Islamist Watch project of Daniel Pipes’ Middle East Forum.

The Washington Free Beacon has also reported on the money flow from IRW to Hamas.

House Speaker Paul Ryan has accepted campaign donations from Islamists tied to CAIR.

Ryan on March 30, 2016, accepted a $1,000 check from Asad Malik, former board member of CAIR Michigan. Malik, the president and CEO of hotel company Amerilodge Group, also gave $500 that year to Rep. Mike Bishop, R-Mich., for his re-election campaign, and another $500 to the Michigan Republican Party, according to the Federal Elections Commission.

Islamic Relief Wordwide has a long history of promoting extremist ideology across both America and Europe and claims to have already received $704,662 in taxpayers’ money.

CAIR put out an action alert Sept. 7 for its supporters to call members of Congress and urge them to vote against the DeSantis Amendment.

A 2014 report by the Clarion Project showed multi-level links between IRW and Hamas, and/or with Muslim Brotherhood front groups such as CAIR, the Islamic Circle of North America, the Islamic Society of North America and the Muslim American Society, going back to another infamous Islamic charity organization known as the Holy Land Foundation. The HLF was designated as a terrorist organization and shut down by the U.S. government in December 2001.

History will not look kindly on those in government who indulge in such blatant willful blindness, said Philip Haney, a founding member of the Department of Homeland Security who co-authored the whistleblower book “See Something Say Nothing.”

“We are nearly 10 years past the time when claims of ignorance can be used as an excuse,” Haney said.

Azhar Aziz, current president of the Islamic Society of North America, or ISNA, is the former director of Fund Development for Islamic Relief-USA (a direct subsidiary of IRW).

‘Putting all of us at risk’

“The fact that representatives of CAIR and ISNA, both co-conspirators in the 2008 HLF trial, still have enough influence within the halls of Congress in 2017 to actually stop legislation designed to prevent the funding of yet another Muslim Brotherhood-linked charity organization, shows that members of Congress have abrogated their constitutional duty to protect American citizens from global Islamic terrorism, and put us all at further risk,” Haney said.

Robert Spencer, director of Jihad Watch for the David Horowitz Freedom Center, said nothing was learned from the 2007-08 Holy Land Foundation trial in which several Muslim Brotherhood operatives were sent to prison for their roles in funneling tax-exempt Islamic charitable donations to Hamas terrorists.

“The Obama administration quashed investigations of some of the ‘unindicted co-conspirators,’ notably CAIR,” Spencer told WND. “It was a one-off, and probably most current U.S. representatives have no idea what the Holy Land Foundation was, or that there was a trial, much less the implications of that trial”

What does this say about the current Republican-controlled Congress?

“That they’re an unprincipled gang of self-aggrandizers and clueless narcissists whose only interests are lining their pockets and getting reelected, not confronting hard issues or protecting the American people,” Spencer said. “Incredible disappointment that Trump has changed nothing.”

John Guandolo, former counter-terrorism specialist with the FBI who now works as a consultant to law enforcement with Understanding the Threat, said the news is not surprising. Washington is under the full control of globalists in both parties who consider it a top priority to deny the threat of the global Islamic movement.

Trump avoids mentioning Islam at 9/11 memorial events

He said he and his business partner were in New York for 9/11 ceremonies and was astounded at the concerted effort to conceal who the enemy was that attacked the U.S. that day 16 years ago.

“We were sad to see the president did not even mention this, or Islam, during any of his speeches when discussing the attacks of 9/11/01,” Guandolo told WND in an email Tuesday. “From our perspective, the purge of the current administration is complete.

“Counter-state actors like Paul Ryan, John McCain, Reince Prebius. Herbert McMaster and others have done their work well.”

Stopping this kind of influence over America’s own government is exactly why the Muslim Brotherhood – and its U.S.-based affiliates – should be designated as a terrorist organization, said Haney.

“And it’s why they should be banned from any further influence within America’s social, political and/or law enforcement arenas,” he said. “Other countries have already taken such measures; what are we waiting for, here in the land of the free, and the home of the brave?”

Also see:

Updated Sept. 13: U.S. Rep. Ron DeSantis’s amendment to block money going to Islamic Worldwide was not withdrawn, as it was never formally offered in the first place. “Due to Hurricane Irene (sic), I left Washington on Thursday to help my family and community prepare for the storm,” DeSantis said in a statement. “I was thus unable to offer my amendment, but remain committed to blocking taxpayer funds for organizations with ties to terrorist groups such as Hamas.”

The Strategy for Victory Begins with Sheriffs and Pastors

Understanding the Threat, by John Guandolo, Sept. 26, 2016:

Victory is word few people are using these days when discussing the war – a war against the entire Global Islamic Movement including ISIS, Al Qaeda and the hundreds of other jihadi groups and nation-states supporting them.

Some do not know we are in a war.  Others know but pretend we are not.

But some people know we are at war, know the enemy, and are willing to do whatever it takes to win.  This article is for those people.

surrender_of_lord_cornwallis-768x506

There exists in the United States a massive and growing conglomeration of hard-left/marxist organizations working with jihadi (“terrorist”) leaders and organizations – led primarily by the Muslim Brotherhood – preparing for battle at the ground level in America.  Our enemy has co-opted the elite class in America from both political parties who are providing direct support to them along the way.

When the threat organizations and supporters of the enemy movement are mapped across the U.S., it can be seen that a massive insurgency exists inside the United States.

A cursory examination of jihadi front organizations in America reveals there are now approximately 3,000 Islamic Centers/mosques in all 50 states (most of which are a part of the Muslim Brotherhood’s Movement), over 700 Muslim Students Associations (recruiting jihadis) on every university/college campus in the U.S., almost 200 Islamic Societies (all subsidiaries of the MB’s Islamic Society of North America – ISNA), and thousands of other organizations the Muslim Brotherhood has created since it published its Implementation Manual in 1992 dictating the types of organizations which must be created for the Movement to achieve its objectives.

The Brotherhood has organizations dedicated to working with the U.S. Congress (taking them on junkets to Saudi Arabia), at the State Legislature level (taking them on junkets to Turkey), at the local level with school boards and city councils, with Christian and Jewish organizations through the facade of “Interfaith Outreach,” and through many other channels.  President Bush implemented Sharia Compliant Financing measures during his time in office, thereby creating Islamic banking as an official part of the U.S. government – which necessarily funds jihad (“terrorism”).  Legal, media, social, and children’s organizations are all part of this network.

For many, the problem seems too big to tackle.  But that is not the case.

The remedy for an insurgency is a counter-insurgency.  In a counterinsurgency, the focus of the battle is at the local level.

At the local level, local police become the tip of the spear.

In order for local police to identify the jihadi network in their local areas, they must first understand the threat and be able to map it out.  Once they do this, they can rip it out by its roots.

UTT’s experience is that when law enforcement officers hear and understand the information in UTT’s programs detailing Islamic sharia and the jihadi network in the United States, they understand it at a deep and practical level.  Our enemies know this, which is why they work very hard to keep UTT and its programs from ever being heard by professionals in law enforcement or national security.

The most powerful law enforcement officers in America are Sheriffs.

In order for law enforcement to aggressively pursue the enemy, they must have the support of a community who understands the threat and agrees it must be dealt with.

Pastors are key leaders in this effort.  And herein lies the problem.

American Pastors have, for the most part, stood silent since 9/11 while hundreds of thousands of Christians all over the world have been – and continue to be – butchered, tortured, and slaughtered by the armies of Mohammad (ISIS, Al Qaeda, et al).  Many Pastors – of all faiths – have failed to speak truth into this evil that is destroying Christian communities across the Middle East, Africa, and elsewhere.  Many Americans are stunned by what they describe as utter cowardice by Christian leaders.

Renowned Islamic expert Bill Warner puts it quite succinctly:

“In Nashville, Tennessee we have a new clerical circumcision.  The ministers to be and the seminarians get their foreskin removed, their testicles removed, their backbone removed, and the frontal lobes of their brain removed.  It produces the perfect clergyman.  He smiles, is very pleasant.  But he grovels and can’t stand up on his back legs and support anything.”

This must change.  The faithful of America cannot passively sit by.  They must take an active role in pushing leaders in their churches to speak truth and take action or step down.

County by county and state by state, this war will be won at the local level.

Citizens must support Sheriffs who understand this threat and are willing to address it head on.  Those who lack the knowledge or courage need to be given an opportunity to do the right thing, but if they do not, they must be replaced with leaders who will speak truth and protect and defend their communities.

Here are a few things you can do:

  1.  Speak the truth about the threat.  Citizens who do understand this threat must get to work on educating others and never let an opportunity go by in public forums, county school board meetings, or other venues to speak truth about this threat and identify local leaders unwilling or unable to do their duties so they can be removed and replaced with leaders who will act boldly.
  2. Share resources with others.  Encourage people to use UTT’s resources to learn about the threat through our training programs, Newsletter, YouTube Channel, Facebook Page, and Twitter.
  3. Encourage your Sheriff.  Help your Sheriff by getting a copy of Raising a Jihadi Generation for him and sharing your concerns with him.  He will need to know the citizens are behind him.  Help other leaders in the community understand the threat and bring them with you to speak with the Sheriff.
  4. Speak to State Legislators.  For Sheriffs to do what is needed to identify and dismantle the jihadi network in America, they will need top cover at the state level to protect them from the DOJ and DHS’s assault which is likely to come on any community which uses facts to identify the threat and deal with it.
  5. Bring the UTT 3-Day Law Enforcement program to your area.  Contact UTT to bring our team to your area to train law enforcement officers, prosecutors, and others so they can identify and address the threat.
  6. Remove MSAs from College/University Campuses in Your Area.  The MSAs are MB organizations and are nodes of jihadi recruitment, propaganda, and hate on our campuses.  Alumni from colleges and universities in your area should join together to pressure these schools to shut down the MSAs.  One productive way to do this is to educate large donors about the jihadi network and the MSA’s role in it.  Get donors to commit to refuse to give any money to their alma mater until the school punts the jihadis (MSAs) from their campus.
  7. Identify organizations in the Community Supporting the Jihadis.  Many organizations in are bringing jihadis into your communities under the guise of “refugee resettlement.”  These include the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) and Catholic Charities, Lutheran Immigrant Aid Society (LIAS), World Relief Corporation, Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society, and many others.  Citizens need to shut off the spigot of funding to these organizations until they cease outreach to and support of jihadis and their organizations.
  8. Host a Viewing of Understanding the Threat to America.  Bring citizens together for a viewing of the DVDUnderstanding the Threat to America and have one of UTT’s leaders skype in and answer questions and give updates for them to detail what can be done at the ground level to identify and dismantle the jihadi threat in your area.

As in any war, the majority of people will not get involved.  It is up to the few who are willing and able to stand in the gap and defend the Republic.

You are needed now.

Do Loretta Lynch’s Ties with ‘Muslim Advocates’ Org Explain Her Whitewash of Orlando?

Muslim org influencePJ MEDIA, BY J. CHRISTIAN ADAMS JUNE 22, 2016:

Top Justice Department officials, including Attorney General Loretta Lynch, have worked with an organization dedicated to interfering with law enforcement efforts to monitor activities at the most radical mosques.

Lynch and DOJ Civil Rights Division head Vanita Gupta have appeared at gala events for an organization called Muslim Advocates. The George Soros-funded charity has badgered the New York City Police Department away from monitoring the most radical mosques in the city.

The organization is also responsible for rewriting training materials for federal law enforcement to decouple the role of radical Islam from terrorist acts. An inter-agency working group comprised of multiple federal law enforcement agencies in 2014 adopted this whitewash urged by Muslim Advocates.

The DOJ’s short-lived effort to airbrush Islam out of the 911 tapes from Orlando shows you how far they will go to twist the truth about what is causing these attacks. I appeared on Fox and Friends today to discuss the organization and the latest. (Video here).

Civil Rights Division head Gupta appeared at the sold-out annual gala event for Muslim Advocates in Millbrae, California. Muslim Advocates lobbies the administration heavily to oppose any link between terrorist acts and radical Islam, and opposes monitoring of radical mosques. Gupta told the crowd:

To anyone who feels afraid, targeted, or discriminated against because of which religion you practice or where you worship, I want to say this — we see you. We hear you. And we stand with you. If you ever feel that somehow you don’t belong, or don’t fit in, here in America, let me reassure you  you belong.

Muslim Advocates also conducts recruitment and training for lawyers designed to help FBI terrorist targets and interviewees navigate the interviews. Their annual report states:

Throughout the year we grew our internal volunteer referral list for FBI interviews. Today, the list is over 130 lawyers nationwide who are ready and able to assist community members contacted by the FBI.

The purported non-partisan tax exempt 501(c)(3) charity is conducting a campaign against corporations like Coca-Cola to hector them into not sponsoring the Republican convention in Cleveland.

Muslim Advocates gave Vanita Gupta their Thurgood Marshall Award “for her commitment to criminal justice reform and to holding perpetrators of anti-Muslim hate accountable” at the California gala.

Attorney General Eric Holder also appeared at a Muslim Advocates gala event on December 10, 2010.

(Banner photo from Facebook)

Muslim Brotherhood Day on Capitol Hill

Facebook

Facebook

The Hill, by Frank Gaffney, April 18, 2016:

On Monday, April 18, legislators’ offices will be visited by individuals associated with a group unknown to most lawmakers: The United States Council of Muslim Organizations (USCMO). In the interest of helping members of the U.S. Congress understand precisely who their interlocutors are, permit a brief introduction: The USCMO is the latest in a long series of front organizations associated with, and working to advance, the agenda of the Muslim Brotherhood in the United States.

Members of Congress should be clear about the true nature of that agenda. It is laid out most authoritatively in a document introduced into evidence by federal prosecutors in the course of the largest terrorism financing trial in the nation’s history, U.S. v. Holy Land Foundation et al. Written in 1991 by a top Muslim Brotherhood operative, Mohamed Akram, and entitled “The Explanatory Memorandum on the General Strategic Goal of the Group in North America,” this internal correspondence was meant for the eyes only of the organization’s leadership in Egypt. So, the document is direct and to the point: It explicitly states that the mission of the Muslim Brotherhood in North America is “destroying Western civilization from within … by [the infidels’] hands and the hands of the believers so that Allah’s religion is made victorious over all other religions.”

There are two other important facts legislators should know about Akram’s memo.

First, the document helpfully attaches a list of 29 groups under the heading “Our organizations and organizations of our friends: Imagine if they all march according to one plan!” A number of the identified Muslim Brotherhood fronts — and many others that have come into being since 1991 — are members of the U.S. Council of Muslim Organizations. Representatives and associates of such fronts will be among the Islamists in congressional offices on Monday.

Second, the memo describes in detail the Muslim Brotherhood’s favored technique for accomplishing its stated goal of “destroying Western civilization” — at least until such time as they are strong enough to use violence decisively: “civilization jihad.” This sort of jihad involves employing stealthy, subversive means like influence operations to penetrate and subvert our government and civil society institutions. (The successful application of these means have been chronicled extensively in the Center for Security Policy’s “Civilization Jihad Reader Series.”)

With the launch of the U.S. Council of Muslim Organizations in March 2014, the Muslim Brotherhood has secured a new instrument for its subversion: a self-described U.S. “political party” meant to dominate and mobilize Muslim voters across the country and get them marching according to one plan. The object is to elicit support for the Muslim Brotherhood’s demands from candidates and to help achieve what the Islamic supremacists would regard as favorable outcomes in the 2016 elections. (For more on the USCMO, its purpose and activities to date, see “Star Spangled Sharia: The Rise of America’s First Muslim Brotherhood Party.”)

Unfortunately, some members of Congress have already embraced the Council of Muslim Organizations. For example, two with longstanding ties to assorted Muslim Brotherhood fronts, Reps. André Carson (D-Ind.) and Keith Ellison (D-Minn.), spoke at the USCMO’s inaugural banquet in June 2014. Neither has disavowed the USCMO’s subsequent participation in anti-Semitic, pro-Hamas and pro-Muslim Brotherhood demonstrations and its fundraising on behalf of Islamic Relief USA, a large, U.S.-based Islamic supremacist charity.

Another reason lawmakers and their staffs should be leery of this new Muslim Brotherhood front group is its avowed intention to make common cause with radical non-Muslim entities like the Black Lives Matter movement. At a conference in December 2015 convened by two of the Muslim Brotherhood’s most virulent fronts, the Muslim American Society and Islamic Circle of North America, leading USCMO figures publicly discussed how they could impart lessons to African-Americans by holding up the Brotherhood as the community that staged revolutions across the world.

Congress is on notice: As long as organizations associated with Islamic supremacism like the USCMO and its member organizations dominate “Muslim Advocacy Day” on Capitol Hill, it will actually be Muslim Brotherhood Advocacy Day. And legislators should have nothing to do with either its participants or its programs.

Gaffney acted as an assistant secretary of Defense under President Reagan. He is the president of the Center for Security Policy in Washington. He serves as a foreign policy adviser to presidential candidate Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas).

Massachusetts Islamism

Gatestone Institute, by Samuel Westrop, April 4, 2016:

  • The response of “non-violent” Islamists to counter-extremism programs displays a master class in deception. The greatest mistake made by the Obama administration is to treat groups such as CAIR and the Islamic Society of Boston (ISB) as genuine representatives of the Muslim community.
  • Very few American Muslims believe that CAIR is a legitimate voice of American Islam. A 2011 Gallup poll revealed that around 88% of American Muslims said CAIR does not represent them.
  • It is little wonder that groups such as CAIR disparage genuine moderates. They perceive moderates as a threat to their self-styled reputations as representatives of American Islam. Many in them have learned to speak the language of liberalism and democracy in their pursuit of an ultimately illiberal and anti-democratic ideal.
  • Counter-extremism work is best achieved by marginalizing such groups — by freeing American Muslims from their self-appointed Islamist spokesmen, and by working instead with the genuine moderates.

A number of Massachusetts Muslim groups, led by Cambridge city councilor Nadeem Mazen, are currently spearheading a campaign against the Obama administration’s program, Countering Violent Extremism (CVE), which has designated Boston as one of its pilot cities.

From the government’s perspective, Boston was an obvious choice. The city has a long, unfortunate history of producing internationally-recognized terrorists, including the Tsarnaev brothers, who bombed the Boston marathon; Aafia Siddiqui, whom FBI Director Robert S. Mueller describes as “an al-Qaeda operative and facilitator;” Abdulrahman Alamoudi, the founder of the Islamic Society of Boston, and named by the federal government as an Al Qaeda fundraiser, and Ahmad Abousamra, a key official within Islamic State, whose father is vice-president of the Muslim American Society’s Boston branch.

During the past decade, in fact, twelve congregants, supporters, officials and donors of the Islamic Society of Boston alone have been imprisoned, deported, killed or are on the run in connection with terrorism offenses.

Despite these alumnae, a number of extremist Islamic organizations, such as the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR), have claimed that the government’s attempt to combat radicalization “targets American Muslims” and “undermines our national ideals.”

Cambridge city councilor Nadeem Mazen, who is also a director of CAIR’s Massachusetts branch, has spoken at a number of anti-CVE rallies, condemning the government’s approach as “authoritarian” because it included “violent practices like surveillance and racial profiling.”

In response, Robert Trestan, the Massachusetts director of the Anti-Defamation League (ADL),points out that the CVE program “is relatively new in this country. It’s not fair to judge it yet and be overly critical.” He added: “Nothing I’ve seen or participated in has gone anywhere near proposing or suggesting anything close to surveillance, crossing the line of people’s civil rights or profiling.”

What, then, is the basis for this opposition?

Critics of Nadeem Mazen look with concern at his opposition to policing that protects Americans from terrorist attacks. In May, Mazen voted against the Cambridge Police Department budget. He argued that the funding for SWAT teams and the police’s participation in CVE programs only served to “alienate the Muslim community.” The Cambridge SWAT team, however, played a crucial part in the arrest of Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev just hours after he and his brother murdered three spectators and injured hundreds at the Boston marathon.

Mazen has also taken part in protests against Boston police departments. Addressing a crowd of activists from a group named Restore the Fourth, Mazen claimed that police counter-terrorism units are part of a larger conspiracy to suppress free speech: “They are working very hard…in the background….but really, there’s never any need. … Some of the research is looking at free speech activists…like me. … It is that type of government operation, it’s that that is the best and the most evident hallmark of tyranny.”

Are Mazen and CAIR, then, simply free speech campaigners?

CAIR does not exactly have a reputation for liberal activism. It was founded in 1994 by three officials of the Islamic Association of Palestine, which, the 2008 Holy Land Foundation terror financing trial would later determine, was a front for the terrorist group, Hamas. During the same trial, the prosecutors designated CAIR as an “unindicted co-conspirator.” U.S. District Court Judge Jorge Solis concluded that, “The government has produced ample evidence to establish the associations of CAIR… with the Islamic Association for Palestine, and with Hamas.”

One of CAIR’s original Islamic Association of Palestine founders, Nihad Awad, is today CAIR’s Executive Director. Awad peddles conspiracy theories that the U.S Congress is controlled by Israel, and has stated that U.S. foreign policy was propelled by Clinton administration officials of a particular “ethnic background.”

The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) notes that CAIR has long expressed anti-Semitic and pro-terror rhetoric. The ADL adds that, “[CAIR’s] public statements cast Jews and Israelis as corrupt agents who control both foreign and domestic U.S. policy and are responsible for the persecution of Muslims in the U.S.”

In November 2015, CAIR, which in the Holy Land Foundation terror financing trial was determined to be a front for the terrorist group Hamas, organized a “lobbying day” at the Massachusetts State House.

Not all of Massachusetts’s Muslim groups have opposed involvement in the CVE program. In February, the Islamic Society of Boston (ISB), which is partly run by the Muslim American Society, took part in the White House’s summit on Countering Violent Extremism.

The ISB’s Director, Yusufi Vali, however, would later criticize the CVE program on the grounds that by focusing on radicalization rather than violence, the authorities were unfairly targeting Muslim-Americans simply because of their faith.

Instead, Vali has urged, the government should deputize responsibility for combatting extremism to groups such as his. Boston is a pilot city for the CVE program, he claimed, because of the “strong relationship” between law enforcement and institutions such as the ISB. Only the ISB’s version of Islam, Vali proposed, can “appeal to young people” and “win in the marketplace of ideas.”

But the ideology underpinning the Islamic Society of Boston itself is cause for some concern. In 2008, the Muslim American Society (MAS), which runs the ISB’s Cultural Center, of which Vali is also a board member, was labelled by federal prosecutors “as the overt arm of the Muslim Brotherhood in America.”

Religious leaders of the Muslim American Society have included Hafiz Masood, the brother of Pakistani terrorist Hafiz Saeed, who masterminded the 2008 Mumbai Massacre in which 164 people were murdered. While he was living in the Boston area, according to a Times of India report, Masood was raising money and trying to recruit people for his brother’s terrorist group. After being deported by the government for filing a fraudulent visa application, Masood has since become a spokesperson for Jamaat-ud-Dawa, a branch of his brother’s terrorist group, Lashkar-i-Taiba.[1]

The ISB itself was founded by the Al Qaeda operative Abdulrahman Alamoudi, who was jailed in 2004 for participating in a Libyan plot to assassinate Saudi Crown Prince Abdullah. The ISB’s other trustees have included prominent Islamist operatives, including Yusuf Al Qaradawi, the spiritual leader of the global Muslim Brotherhood.

In October, an event hosted by the ISB featured a number of extremist preachers. One of them, Hussain Kamani has cited Quranic verse and commentary to warn Muslims, “do not resemble the Jews” and has advised parents to “beat” their children “if they do not [pray].” In a talk titled ‘Sex, Masturbation and Islam,’ Kamani explains that a Muslim man must only fulfil his sexual desires “with his spouse…[or] with a female slave that belongs to him.” Those who commit adultery or have sex outside of marriage, Kamani further declares, must be “stoned to death.”

If one looks to European experiences with counter-extremism programs, some of which have been in place for over a decade, Yusufi Vali and the ISB have good reasons to lobby against a focus on radicalization. In Britain, under Prime Minister David Cameron, the government has come to the realization that some of the Islamic groups entrusted with counter-extremism initiatives are, in fact, part of the problem.

In a speech delivered in Munich in 2011, Cameron stated:

“As evidence emerges about the backgrounds of those convicted of terrorist offences, it is clear that many of them were initially influenced by what some have called ‘non-violent extremists’, and they then took those radical beliefs to the next level by embracing violence. … 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. As others have observed, this is like turning to a right-wing fascist party to fight a violent white supremacist movement.”

Groups similar to the ISB and CAIR, the Conservative government reasons, represent the “non-violent extremists.” These are likely the first stop on the “conveyor belt” path to radicalization: a young is Muslim exposed to anti-Semitism, excuses for terrorism and claims of victimhood and gradually becomes open to committing violent acts.

This insight was not without foundation. The previous Labour government, under both Tony Blair and Gordon Brown, partnered with British Muslim groups such as the Muslim Council of Britain (MCB), Britain’s most prominent Muslim group — similar in ideology to CAIR and the ISB — to counteract extremist ideas in the Muslim community. In 2008, however, the Labour government severed all relations with the Muslim Council of Britain after it emerged that the group’s deputy secretary general, Daud Abdullah, had signed a declaration supporting attacks against Jewish communities and the British armed forces.

By seeking the partnership of groups such as the ISB, the Obama administration risks making the same mistakes of Britain’s last Labour government. And, in time, the U.S. government will arrive at the same realization as the British government — that non-violent extremists do not offer an alternative to violent extremism; in fact, they make the problem worse.

But all this invites the question: why do some Islamist groups oppose CVE programs while others join in? Although the ISB backed out of the Boston CVE initiative, the Islamic Council of New England (ICNE) remains a key partner. As with CAIR and the ISB, the ICNE is part of the “soft Islamist” network — groups that emerged from Muslim Brotherhood ideology and which have learned to speak the language of liberalism and democracy in their pursuit of an ultimately illiberal and anti-democratic ideal.

In 2002, the ICNE hosted a conference with the Muslim Brotherhood academic, Tariq Ramadan, and the British Salafist, Abdur Raheem Green, a former jihadist who warns Muslims of a Jewish “stench,” encourages the death penalty as a “suitable and effective” punishment for homosexuality and adultery, and has ruled that wife-beating “is allowed.”

The ICNE has announced its continued involvement in CVE programs because “rather than obsessing about the insidious erosion of our ‘civil rights’, Muslims should focus on the more immediate risk of being blind-sided by the overwhelming tsunami of Islamophobia.”

While CAIR protests against CVE, the ICNE believes it can work with counter-extremism programs to its advantage. The ISB lies somewhere in the middle. And yet all these Islamist groups are key partners, mostly founded and managed by the same network of Islamist operatives.

Has the CVE program really caused such discord?

Again, the European experience offers some answers. Daud Abdullah, the former deputy secretary general of the Muslim Council of Britain, had his group work closely with the British government’s counter-extremism program, before later hosting an event with his other group, Middle East Monitor, which denounced the scheme as a “Cold War on British Muslims.” Similarly, the Cordoba Foundation, a prominent Muslim Brotherhood think tank, procured counter-extremism grants in 2008 only to run events condemning counter-extremism programs in 2009.

learn both to exploit and criticize counter-extremism initiatives to their benefit. By working in tandem, some Islamist voices accept government funds that legitimize them as leaders of the Muslim community and portray them as responsible Muslims concerned with extremism; while other Islamist groups oppose counter-extremism efforts in an effort to style themselves as civil rights champions and gain the support of libertarians on both the Left and Right.

The response of “non-violent” Islamists to counter-extremism programs displays a master class in deception. The greatest mistake, if it is one, made by the Obama administration is to treat groups such as CAIR and ISB as genuine representatives of the Muslim community. Very few American Muslims, it seems, actually believe that CAIR is a legitimate voice of American Islam. Accordingto a 2011 Gallup poll, around 88% of American Muslims said CAIR does not represent them.

As for the ISB, it operates under the aegis of the Muslim American Society, which claims to be a national group for American Muslims. A 2011 report produced by CAIR itself, however, demonstrates that a mere 3% of American mosques are affiliated with the Muslim American Society. 62% of mosques claimed that they were not affiliated with any organization.

It is little wonder that groups such as CAIR disparage genuine moderates. They perceive moderates as a threat to their self-styled reputations as representatives of American Islam. CAIR Massachusetts Director Nadeem Mazen has denounced counter-Islamist Muslim groups that “foist secular attitudes on Muslims” and promote ideas that “are being projected, imperialist-style on to our population.”

American Islam is diverse. No group can claim to represent either Massachusetts Muslims or American Muslims. Islamist bodies have imposed their leadership on American Muslims. As inherently political movements, they were best organized to style themselves as community leaders. When politicians in D.C ask to speak to the “Muslim community,” groups such as CAIR and the ISB step forward.

Counter-extremism work is best achieved, in fact, by the government marginalizing such groups — by freeing American Muslims from their self-appointed Islamist spokesmen, by working instead with the genuine moderates among American Muslims, and by recognizing the link between non-violent and violent extremism. European governments have finally understood this reality, but far too late. For the sake of moderate Muslims everywhere, let us hope American politicians are quicker on the uptake.

Samuel Westrop is Research Director for Americans for Peace and Tolerance.


[1] In 2001, United States Secretary of State Colin Powell designated Lashkar-e-Taiba a Foreign Terrorist Organization.

FBI Suspends Counterterror Program After Pressure from Fringe Islamic Groups

GettyImages-73534290-FBI-seal-640x480Breitbart, by Jordan Schachtel, Nov. 2, 2015:

The Federal Bureau Of Investigation has suspended the unveiling of a new counter-radicalization website designed for kids after fringe Islamic advocacy organizations said the anti-terror programming discriminates against Muslims.

The FBI website titled, “Don’t Be A Puppet,” was scheduled to go live Monday morning but has been suspended indefinitely after fierce opposition by Islamic groups, the Washington Post reports.

According to reports, the program was designed to lead children and teens through games that were designed to help them identify potential extremists. The FBI initiative also sought to help young men and women steer clear from the radical ideologies that lead people to join Islamic extremist groups.

A spokesman with the FBI told the New York Times late Sunday, prior to the program’s scheduled release: “The F.B.I. is developing a website designed to provide awareness about the dangers of violent extremist predators on the Internet, with input from students, educators and community leaders.”

Some Muslim leaders who were invited to beta-test the program were outraged that the FBI would take the time to develop counterterror initiatives.

“The greatest threat facing American schoolchildren today is gun violence,” Arjun Sethi, a Georgetown Law professor who was invited to screen the program over the summer, told the New York Times. “It’s not Muslim extremism.”

Members from the Arab-American Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC), a hard-line anti-Israel organization, were also invited to test the FBI program before it was rolled out.

Abed Ayoub, the ADC’s policy director, said his meetings with the FBI over the program were “very tense.” “If this is shown to middle and high-school students, it’s going to result in bullying of these children,” Ayoub said.

The Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC), a Muslim advocacy organization that wasfounded by members of the Muslim Brotherhood, applauded the FBI’s decision to suspend the program..

MPAC Policy Director Hoda Hawa said in a press release:

While we welcome efforts to promote the safety and security of our nation, tools like this that improperly characterize American Muslims as a suspect community with its targeted focus and stereotypical depictions stigmatize Muslim students (or those perceived as such) and can actually exasperate the problem by leading to bullying, bias, and religious profiling of students.

MPAC wrote a follow-up letter to the FBI, declaring that the bureau has no business “educating our youth on countering violent extremism.” Creating programs that attempt to counter Islamic radicalism “can lead to bullying, bias, misperception, as well as racial and religious profiling of students,” the letter added.

Also see: