Brookings Takes Both Sides of the Issue on Islamist Censorship

Part 3 of a 4-Part Investigative Series: Brookings Sells Soul to Qatar’s Terror Agenda

by Steven Emerson, John Rossomando and Dave Yonkman
IPT News
October 30, 2014

1081Brookings’ partnership with the Organization for Islamic Cooperation (OIC), in conjunction with its Qatari-backed Project on U.S. Relations with the Islamic World, sends a mixed message for a think tank that claims to want “a more open, safe, prosperous and cooperative international system.”

The OIC is a 57-government body (56 nations plus the Palestinian Authority) that constitutes the largest United Nations voting bloc.

Fighting against criticism of Islam and those who link the religion with violence under the banner of so-called “Islamophobia” features prominently in the OIC’s rhetoric and diplomacy.

“Freedom of expression … cannot be used as a pretext for inciting hatred … or insulting the deeply held beliefs of any community. It should respect the beliefs and tenets of all religions,” OIC’s “Seventh Observatory Report on Islamophobia: October 2013-April 2014” states.

Islamophobia under OIC’s definition even covers court-proven facts such as the use of zakat (charity) payments to fund terror, evidenced by the international body’s attack on FBI training materials that describes it as a “funding mechanism for combat.”

Zakat is the tithe Muslims must pay as a pillar of their faith. It may be spent on feeding the hungry or caring for the sick, but also for funding violent jihad. Muslim authors suchas Sheik Muhammad Ali Hashimi, a well-known author in the Arab world, teach that funding “jihad for the sake of Allah” is the most important use for zakat.

Court documents and classified State Department cables demonstrate that numerous charities such as Qatar Charity (formerly the Qatar Charitable Society), the Holy Land Foundation (HLF) and countless others have diverted zakat collections to benefit terror groups such as al-Qaida and Hamas. A 2012 UN Security Council report notes that the Taliban uses zakat collected from areas it controls to finance its operations.

Instead of unequivocally and unconditionally defending free speech, Brookings sends mixed messages, with some experts endorsing the OIC’s effort on Islamophobia and others condemning its excesses.

Brookings scholar Ahmet T. Kuru argued following the Sept. 11, 2012 terror attack in Benghazi, Libya that left Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans dead, that Muslims need “mechanisms and institutions” to prevent the dissemination of “anti-Islamic propaganda.” In this case, Kuru implicitly referred to the “Innocence of Muslims” video that the Obama administration and others blamed for triggering the attack.

“The Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) has taken some important steps forward in promoting respectful, civilized and effective ways of fighting Islamophobia. Their diplomatic attitudes, however, have yet to spread at the grassroots level,” Kuru wrote, contrasting the OIC’s efforts with those of violent Muslim protesters. “The recent incident also shows how counterproductive Islamophobia is. There are politicians and religious leaders in the United States and Europe who, unfortunately, promote Islamophobia.

“Western countries need to develop effective mechanisms and institutions to marginalize Islamophobes; that will be consistent with their principle of working against discrimination, as well as serving their interests in different parts of the world.”

Other Brookings scholars reflect this line of reasoning about the threat from Islamophobia and their perspectives similarly align with many of the OIC’s complaints.

A few years earlier, in a June 2007 article, former Brookings scholar Peter Singer cited former U.S. diplomat William Fisher, saying that “an unreasoning and uninformed Islamophobia” served as a new prejudice that threatened to undermine U.S. foreign policy and that it was rapidly becoming “implanted in our national genetics.”

Brookings scholar David Benjamin extended this line of reasoning in an Oct. 7, 2008 paper, stating that Islamophobia driven by “the religious right and talk radio” had undermined the integration of Muslims into American society. He claimed this compounded the effects with “dubious prosecutions.”

“Officials should denounce incidents of anti-Muslim sentiment quickly and vigorously,” Benjamin wrote.

The OIC’s diplomatic efforts against so-called Islamophobia have included applying pressure to governments and international bodies to criminalize free speech.

OIC’s war on free speech

Brookings invited then-OIC Secretary General Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu to speak at its annual U.S.-Islamic World Forum in 2006, 2011, 2012 and 2013 in Doha. The conferences drew intellectuals and policymakers from the United States and across the Muslim world, and serve as a major part of Brookings’ Project on U.S. Relations with the Islamic World.

Ihsanoglu’s organization for years has lobbied the European Union and the United Nations to outlaw criticism of Islam.

Read more

Deceptive Islamist Support for Nigerian Girls

Grover Norquist & Co. Build Islamist Influence in GOP

Grover at CPACClarion Project, by Ryan Mauro, Tue, March 4, 2014

How the GOP Came to Embrace the Muslim Brotherhood Lobby

Islamism is not a partisan issue. Special interests, major companies and foreign powers have long tried to affect both political parties—and the Muslim Brotherhood lobby is no different. Ten former senior officials, including a former CIA director, have issued a  joint statement with meticulous documentation about how the Republican Party was and is influenced by this lobby.

The Beginning

When the Muslim Brotherhood arrived in the U.S. in the 1960s, it recognized that violent action is counterproductive. Instead, it began political organizing so it could lead the growing Muslim-American community and use it to affect U.S. policy.

In the 1980s, the FBI recruited a confidential source deep inside the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood lobby. He warned that the Brotherhood established a network of front groups including the International Institute of Islamic Thought (IIIT), Muslim Students Association,Islamic Society of North America and North American Islamic Trust. One of the chief objectives was to penetrate the U.S. government with sympathizers and IIIT already claimed success.

The network was so impressive that Pakistani intelligence bred itsown influence operation from it in 1990 with the Brotherhood’s support. It donated to campaigns on both sides of the political aisle and met with officials involved in foreign policy.

The U.S. Muslim Brotherhood drafted a secret plan in 1991 that defined its “work in America as a kind of grand jihad…in eliminating and destroying the Western civilization from within.” It was not a doctrine of violence, but of activism based on aligning with non-Muslim political forces. It listed about 30 of “our organizations and the organizations of our friends” to accomplish it. This document was recognized as authentic by the U.S. Department of Justice as was introduced as evidence in the Holy Land terror financing trial.

In 1993, the FBI wiretapped a secret meeting of top Brotherhood operatives in Philadelphia. A key theme was deception and secrecy in support of their non-violent activism. In the words of one participant, the objective was “forming the public opinion or coming up with a policy to influence…the way the Americans deal with the Islamists, for instance.”

The Brotherhood decided that a new front with an apparently clean track record was necessary. Two of the participants in that meeting founded the Council on American-Islamic Relations the following year. By 1994, the infrastructure of the Brotherhood lobby was in place, though it would continue to expand with new organizations and name changes.

The Influence Peddlers

The most senior elements of the Brotherhood lobby handled outreach to the Clinton Administration and both political parties, especially the presidential campaign of then-Texas Governor George W. Bush.

SamiSami al-Arian was a central figure. He admits having been a Muslim Brotherhood member from 1978 to 1982, but his involvement in the American lobby continued after that. In a 1992 letter, al-Arianacknowledged that his organization and IIIT, the aforementioned Brotherhood front, were essentially one and the same. He was convicted in 2006 of the charge of conspiring to provide services to the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ), a specially designated terrorist organization.

Another central figure was Abdurrahman Alamoudi and his American Muslim Council. He developed intimidate ties to both political parties, despite his support of terrorist groups. In 2004, he was indicted on terrorism-related charges. He later wrote from his prison cell, “I am, I hope, still a member of the Muslim Brotherhood organization in the U.S.A,” as reported by the Grand Deception documentary.

In 2000, Alamoudi was asked by an Islamic website how Muslims should “decrease the influence of the Zionist lobby on presidential candidates.” He said they must elect sympathetic candidates like Rep. Tom Campbell (R-CA).

Rep. Campbell spoke at the Brotherhood lobby’s events and touted their causes. He became the example and was rewarded with political support and donations to his Senate campaign in 2000, including a fundraiser that brought in $35,000. The man guiding Campbell was Suhail Khan, his campaign coordinator in 1995 and press secretary and legislative assistant from 1996 to 1999.

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Ryan Mauro is the ClarionProject.org’s National Security Analyst, a fellow with the Clarion Project and is frequently interviewed on top-tier TV stations as an expert on counterterrorism and Islamic extremism.

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MAS Islamist Hugs for Hatred and Terror

farrBy Joe Kaufman:

It’s said that you wouldn’t want to wish serious illness on your worst enemy. Well, in December 2010, such an illness did indeed come to one of America’s worst enemies, Muslim extremist Mahdi Bray. Bray, then-Executive Director of the MAS Freedom Foundation, the former activist arm of the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood front, the Muslim American Society, suffered what was described as a “massive stroke.” Now, three years later, he is back doing what he does best, embracing hatemongers and getting involved in the pro-terror cause.

Johari Abdul-Malik is the Outreach Director of Falls Church, Virginia’s Dar al-Hijrah Islamic Center. He was brought in to head the mosque, after his predecessor, Anwar al-Awlaki, left the United States to become al-Qaeda’s leader in Yemen. Since Abdul-Malik has been employed by al-Hijrah, he has supported and/or defended a number of convicted terrorists, including one that plotted to assassinate Saudi Crown Prince Abdullah; one that plotted to assassinate President George W. Bush; and one who instructed his followers to wage war on the United States.

Abdul-Malik has a YouTube page, where he actively uploads videos. On September 25, he uploaded a 28-second one featuring himself and the Executive Director of the Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC), Salam al-Marayati. Marayati, who is close to the Obama White House, is a defender of Hezbollah and has previously suggested that Israel be named a suspect in the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon.

However, the main event of Abdul-Malik’s video short was Mahdi Bray and Louis Farrakhan, the controversial leader of the Nation of Islam (NOI), hugging and professing their love for one another.

Farrakhan is known for his inflammatory rhetoric against whites, Jews and homosexuals. He has called whites “potential humans [who] haven’t evolved yet.” He has referred to Jews as “satanic” and “wicked.” And he has called gays “degenerate.” Farrakhan’s group currently publishes a number of anti-Semitic books and DVDs for sale on its website, including such titles as ‘And the Jews Planned’ and ‘Jews Selling Blacks.’

The scene from the video is not the first time Bray has embraced such a vile individual as Farrakhan. In March 2009, a photo of Ahmed Yassin, the former spiritual leader and founder of Hamas who was killed in an Israeli airstrike, was uploaded to Bray’s personal web page found on what used to be a MAS Freedom website. [The MAS Freedom organization was shut down shortly after Bray’s stroke.]

The Muslim American Society was founded in 1992 by associates from the Muslim Brotherhood, including Mohammed Mahdi Akef, who would later become the international head of the Brotherhood. Given the radical roots of the organization, it stands to reason that Bray would cling to such extremism – as he did last month, when he attended an event sponsored by a group advocating for the restoration of the regime of Muslim Brotherhood leader Mohamed Morsi in Egypt. Morsi was taken from power by the Egyptian Military, which has since outlawed the Brotherhood, designating the Islamist group a terrorist organization.

As reported by Steve Emerson and the Investigative Project on Terrorism (IPT), also attending was ex-USF professor Sami al-Arian, who previously had been sentenced to prison for his role as a North American leader of Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) and is currently under a separate indictment for criminal contempt in another terrorism case.

Read more at Front Page

 

 

Al-Arian Resurfaces in New American Brotherhood Campaign

IPT EXCLUSIVE: Pro-Morsi Rally in D.C. A Grand Deception

by Frank Spano:

Interfaith Event Teaches That U.S. Is ‘Aiding’ Oppression

mpacBy Ryan Mauro:

The Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC) returned to All Saints Episcopal Church in Pasadena, California on May 5 to address the topic of radicalization in the wake of the Boston bombings. The church leader said there is a “crisis” of “Islamophobia” in America. MPAC denounced violence but said terrorism is a response to the U.S. “aiding and abetting oppression” at the behest of the military-industrial complex.

At the May 5 event, church leader Rev. Ed Bacon said that he “literally had my life changed and my thinking changed because of these two leaders,” referring to MPAC leaders Maher Hathout and Salam al-Marayati. He went so far as to say that the Islamic Center of Southern California, where Hathout is a spokesman and Muslim Brotherhood texts are used, is “my mosque.”

At the event, both MPAC leaders denounced terrorism and said Muslims must provide a counter-narrative to the violent themes that radicalize. Hathout said that too many Muslims are “soft” in confronting the radical ideas and have a “gang” mentality where they automatically side with other Muslims against non-Muslims.

However, Hathout said America is run by an elite minority beholden to lobbyists. He said that American democracy is threatened by “Islamophobia”  driven by supremacists who believe “the other” doesn’t deserve equal rights.

Al-Marayati rightly pointed out that there is an ideological struggle and reform in Islamic teaching is needed, but attributed the conflict to anger over the aggression of America and its allies.

“When a superpower is aiding and abetting oppression and there are grievances, and people react in a violent way, they [Americans] look at the violence and they say it is not time to deal with the grievances,” he said.

He claimed that there is a “cottage industry” of anti-Muslim activists that is part of a “larger machine,” including the military-industrial complex and special interests. These conspirators “want more contracts for more weapons to countries that only use these weapons against their own people or against civilians.”

MPAC held its last annual conference at this church, where Reverend Ed Bacon denounced “evangelical Zionism” as an evil on par with slavery. The church and MPAC held a press conference to declare their critics “right-wing extremists” who are “hateful.”

The critics noted that MPAC was founded by Muslim Brotherhood ideologues, including Senior Adviser Maher Hathout’s brother who was a “close disciple” of the group’s founder, Hassan al-Banna. Maher Hathout says he remains “very proud” of his time in the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood, but emphasizes it was 60 years ago. His brother said they came to the U.S. to spread the “Islamic Movement” of al-Banna.

After coming to America, one or both of the Hathout brothers was connected to the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood, as a 1989 document shows. MPAC has maintained a close alliance with U.S. Brotherhood entities ever since. In 1997, Maher Hathout promoted Hassan al-Banna as one of the “reformists,” along with other Islamists like Rachid al-Ghannouchi, who MPAC still hosts. In 1998 and 1999, he and al-Marayati legitimized Hezbollah’s attacks on Israeli soldiers.

In 2000, Hathout said a “general intifada” would overthrow Arab governments guilty of “treason” for not confronting the “butchers” of Israel. Around this time, MPAC started becoming more conscious of the language it was using. Hathout said he regretted the “harshness of my remarks” when they received negative attention, but not the message. Tellingly, a radical named Mahdi Bray continued to serve as MPAC’s Political Director.

Read more at Front Page