State Dept. Embraces Islamic Cleric Who OK’d Killing Americans in Iraq, Called for Israel’s Destruction

PJ Media, by Patrick Poole, Feb. 6, 2018:

Last Thursday, Sam Brownback was sworn in as the State Department’s new ambassador for religious liberty.

Today — in his first official speech as ambassador — Brownback openly embraced a hardline Islamic cleric who authorized a fatwa in 2004 justifying the killing of Americans in Iraq, and another fatwa in 2012 calling for the destruction of the state of Israel.

Sheikh Abdullah Bin Bayyah’s past is no mystery to the State Department. For example, the Obama administration’s State Department had to repeatedly apologize in May 2014 for promoting Bin Bayyah as a moderate. However, the Obama administration then implemented a full-court press with the U.S. media and the D.C. foreign policy “Smart Set” to rehabilitate the image of the Mauritanian cleric.

The presence of multiple senior Trump State Department officials at an “interfaith” event in Washington, D.C. in support of Bin Bayyah’s efforts appears to confirm there will be no change. The Trump administration is continuing the engagement with Bin Bayyah they inherited from Obama — despite the fact that Bin Bayyah’s views on Israel are directly contrary to those of President Trump.

There is also an inherent contradiction in the Trump State Department embracing the interfaith efforts of an Islamic cleric who openly states on his website that Christians are going to hell. Bin Bayyah has also said that interfaith outreach to Jews in Arab lands should only be done with extreme caution — and only with Jews who oppose Israel.

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Zaytuna College Gains Accreditation Despite Islamist Ties

Imam Zaid Shakir leading prayers

Imam Zaid Shakir leading prayers

Zaytuna College has gained official accreditation to grant a Bachelor of Arts in Islamic Law and Theology despite founders’ extremist records.

Clarion Project, by ELLIOT FRIEDLAND, March 18, 2015:

Zaytuna College, an Islamist college in the US, has become an accredited institution of higher learning. It was accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges Senior College and University Commission.

It is now authorized to issue a Bachelor of Arts in Islamic Law and Theology.

There is nothing wrong with accrediting Muslim colleges in the United States (or anywhere else, for that matter). Yet Zaytuna specifically has a long history of inciting extremism and of relationships with terrorist supporting clerics that should be pause for thought before regarding the college as a respectable institution of higher learning.

Hamze Yusuf, the founder of Zaytuna College said in 1996:

“[America] is a country that has little to be proud of in its past and less to be proud of in the present. I am a citizen of this country not by choice but by birth. I reside in this country not by choice but by conviction in attempting to spread the message of Islam in this country. I became Muslim in part because I did not believe the false gods of this society, whether we call them Jesus or democracy or the Bill of Rights.”

He has never retracted these remarks.

Yusuf is also vice-President of the Global Center for Guidance and Renewal, an organization chaired by the radical cleric Sheikh Abdullah bin Bayyah.

Sheikh Abdallah Bin Bayyah is described on the Zaytuna website as being “one of the top jurists and masters of Islamic sciences in the world.”

Yet bin Bayyah has a lengthy track record of extremism. For example, in 2004 the International Union of Muslim Scholars, which he was then vice-chairman of, issued a fatwa imposing a “duty on every able Muslim in and outside of Iraq” to support attacks on US soldiers there.

In 2012 he said that donations to mujahedeen (people engaged in Jihad) count as zakat. In 2013 he said that Muslim leaders should give Hamas financial and military assistance to attack Israel.

It is not surprising that Sheikh Abdullah bin Bayyah is praised so highly on the Zaytuna website, since Hamze Yusuf studied under him, receiving an ijazah (an Islamic diploma of learning) from bin Bayyah.

For his part, Sheikh Abdulla bin Bayyah attended the first graduating class of Zaytuna College and delivered a series of lectures.

Zaid Shakir co-founded Zaytuna College and is the chairman of the board and the Student Affairs Committee of Zaytuna and has made various radical statements over the years.

In 2006 the New York Times reported that “he said he still hoped that one day the United States would be a Muslim country ruled by Islamic law.”

In a recording from 1992 he supported the idea of a unified Muslim Caliphate which would “undertake the jihad” against the “enemies of Islam.”

Furthermore both Yusuf and Imam Zaid Shakir have made intensely anti-Semitic comments in the past although Yusuf claims to regret them now.

After the Charlie Hebdo murders, Hamze Yusuf said on his blog about the victims that “They suffered the fate of a man who gratuitously calls another man’s mother a whore and is surprised when that man stabs him.” This was despite opening by condemning the violence.

He then proceeded to quote the co-founder of Charlie Hebdo, blaming the murdered editor Stephane Charbonnier or ‘Charb’ directly, saying: “Retaliatory murders for honor or otherwise are clearly wrong under Islamic law, or any other reasonable system of law, as they should be. But even the co-founder of Charlie Hebdo, Henri Roussel, blamed the editor for knowingly endangering the lives of his employees.”

Hamze Yusuf made the same argument in the aftermath of the murder of US Ambassador to Libya Chris Stevens, stating in a lecture that just as racial slurs are unacceptable, mockery of religious belief should be similarly forbidden.

Full 16 minute version found here.

The speech tacitly justified the murder of Ambassador Stevens by directly comparing racism to mockery of Islamic religious belief. He asks: “if you go down to East Oakland [in California, a black majority area] right now and you shout the n-word as a white man in East Oakland and somebody comes and stabs you, is anybody going to be surprised?”

He conflates the two situations by going on to say “we [Americans] don’t recognize that for believers [how Muslims refer to each other] when you die you lose your racial identity, but when you die you maintain your religious identity, this is how the Muslims understand it.”

Although he goes on to say “I’m not going to justify anything the Muslims did in their reactions,” his point has already been made.

Contrast this with the attitude of Muslim counter-extremism activist and former member of Hizb ut-Tahrir Maajid Nawaz, who recently persuaded the Liberal Democrat party in the UK to adopt a platform of the “right to blaspheme” at the party’s annual conference.

Other staff at Zaytuna College are also problematic.

Hatem Bazian is the Academic Affairs Chair of Zaytuna and chairman of American Muslims for Palestine, an Islamist group that holds conferences that are like a party for Islamic radicals.

One such conference had a special session on teaching children about its cause.

Bazian is seen in Clarion Project’s film The Third Jihad calling for an “intifada in this country that change[s] fundamentally the political dynamics in here,” comparing the needed intifada to the “uprising in Iraq” and the “intifada in Palestine.”

He has similarly accused the U.S. government of warmongering, racism and of trying to “target” the Muslim leadership at home.

Zaytuna College has problematic links with other speakers and organizations. The college hosted a guest lecture series which invited Dr. Tariq Ramadan, a leading Muslim Brotherhood affiliated academic in the West to speak.

Furthermore, both Hamze Yusuf and Zaid Shakid regularly speak at events organized by Muslim Brotherhood affiliated organizations, such as the Council on American Islamic Relations, which was designated a terrorist organization by the United Arab Emirates.

Any college with links to terror-supporting clerics and whose leaders have justified or minimized violent extremism should be subject to scrutiny. Whatever the desire to accredit the first Muslim college in the United States, Zaytuna College is not the right one.

If you wish to express your concern about the decision to accredit Zaytuna College, please contact the WASC Senior College and University Commission by email or call them (510) 748-9001.

The National Security “Not Top 10″ of 2014

obamalibya (1)By Patrick Poole:

With the world descending into chaos driven in no small measure by the incoherent, contradictory and frequently non-existent foreign policy of the Obama administration, it was difficult this year to narrow the field for this year’s biggest national security blunders. The task seemed so formidable, I nearly abandoned the endeavor.

But undaunted, I present to you the National Security “Not Top 10” of 2014, in no particular order.

(For past editions of my “Not Top 10”, see: 2012, 2011, 2010)

1) Befriending “moderate Al-Qaeda” in Syria:

There are some ideas so at war with reason and reality they can only exist in the fetid Potomac fever swamps of DC think tanks and foreign policy community. Such was the case in January when three of the best and brightest from those ranks published an article in Foreign Affairs (the same publication that in 2007 brought us the “Moderate Muslim Brotherhood”) contending that the US needed to “befriend” the Syrian jihadist group Ahrar al-Sham as some kind of counter to more extreme jihadist groups, like ISIS and Jabhat al-Nusra. The precedent they cited was the US failure to designate the Taliban (!!!) after 9/11.

Mind you, at the time they wrote this, one of Ahrar al-Sham’s top leaders was a lieutenant for Al-Qaeda head Ayman al-Zawahiri who openly declared himself a member of Al-Qaeda. After most of their leadership was wiped out in a bombing in September, they have gravitated closer to the jihadist groups they were supposed to counter and their positions have been bombed by the US – much to the consternation of other “vetted moderate” rebel groups. So ridiculous was their proposition that the original subtitle of their article “An Al-Qaeda Affiliate Worth Befriending” was changed online to “An Al-Qaeda-Linked Group Worth Befriending” in the hopes of minimizing the absurdity of their case.

2) Obama Administration deploys three hashtag divisions in response to Russian invasion of Ukraine.

As Ukrainians made their bid to free themselves from Russia’s interference, Putin responded by deploying tanks and troops into Ukraine in violation of the1994 Budapest Memorandum. Obama’s rejoinder was to give a speech and to deploy three divisions of State Department employees all armed with a #UnitedForUkraine hashtag. Hilarity ensued as the Russian Foreign Ministry counterattacked by hijacking the hashtag, prompting State Department spox Jen Psaki to decry, “Let’s hope the Kremlin will live by the promise of hashtag,” leaving many asking: Whiskey. Tango. Foxtrot.

3) Obama: ISIS is the “JV team”.

In January President Obama sat down for an interview with the New Yorker, and when asked about ISIS gains in Iraq, he likened them to the JV team, saying ““The analogy we use around here sometimes, and I think is accurate, is if a jayvee team puts on Lakers uniforms that doesn’t make them Kobe Bryant.” Those words came back to haunt him as ISIS surged in both Syria and Iraq, particular when Obama authorized missile strikes against ISIS in August. Even then Deputy National Security Adviser Tony Blinken defended the president’s “JV team” remark, saying they didn’t pose the threat to America as much as Al-Qaeda. A few week later, the Washington Post noted the attempts to spin the president’s statement. By September, Obama laughably claimed in an interview on Meet the Press that he wasn’t talking about ISIS in his New Yorker interview. But even the notoriously biased Politifact rated his walk-back as “false” and two weeks ago the Washington Post’s fact checker Glenn Kessler branded Obama’s “JV team” spin as “the lie of the year”.

4) State Dept Official denies Boko Haram targeting Christians.

Just weeks after the Nigerian terrorist group abducted nearly 300 Christian school girls in Chibok and committed them to sexual slavery, State Department undersecretary Sarah Sewall denied in a congressional hearing that Christians were being targeted. As I noted in an article here at PJ Media earlier this month on disturbing trends in Nigeria, the burning of churches and the abduction and murder of Christians continues to intensify, with more than 1,000 churches burned in just a few weeks earlier this year.

Readers might recall that this is the same State Department that in April 2012 was telling Congress that Boko Haram was not driven by religious ideology the day after the group bombed a church during an Easter service that killed 39 worshippers. Not only did the State Department vehemently defend not designating Boko Haram a terrorist organization, this year we discovered that they intentionally lied to Congress about the threat posed by the group. Having only designated them barely a year ago, 2014 has been Boko Haram’s deadliest year yet, with 9,000 killed, 1.5 million people displaced, and 800 schools destroyed. Nigerian authorities still complain that the Obama administration is reluctant to provide the country what it needs to fight the Boko Haram terror insurgency.

5) Homeland Security adviser’s pro-caliphate tweet used by ISIS recruiters.

Twitter proved to be the downfall of Homeland Security Advisor Council Senior Fellow Mohamed Elibiary, when he was unceremoniously let go by DHS in September following a long string of extremist social media statements. Critics, including myself, had noted Elibiary long history of promoting radical Islamic groups and publicly defending terrorist supporters. Things began to unravel when earlier this year he tweeted that America was “an Islamic country with an Islamically compliant constitution,” but the wheels definitely came off when he tweeted about the inevitability of the return of an Islamic caliphate – a statement that was later used by ISIS in their recruiting efforts. After his dismissal, which even international media took note of, I talked with Michelle Fields here at PJTV about Elibiary’s highly controversial tenure at DHS.

Read more at PJ Media

IPT Rebuts Apologist for Radical Cleric’s Column in The Hill Newspaper

Bin Bayyah (2nd L) released this photo on his website, showing the June 13 meeting with Obama administration officials including Gayle Smith (2nd R) and Rashad Hussain (4th L)

Bin Bayyah (2nd L) released this photo on his website, showing the June 13 meeting with Obama administration officials including Gayle Smith (2nd R) and Rashad Hussain (4th L)

by IPT News  •  Aug 28, 2013 at 5:47 pm

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