Reports On Creation Of Muslim Brotherhood Lobby In U.S. To Prevent Trump Administration From Designating The Movement A Terrorist Organization

MEMRI, by  C. Meital and H. Varulkar, March 16, 2017:

Introduction

Following Donald Trump’s election to the U.S. presidency, the issue of designating the Muslim Brotherhood (MB) a terrorist organization resurfaced. During and after his presidential campaign, Trump’s Middle East advisor Walid Phares repeatedly stated that the new president would act for the passage of a bill doing so. For example, following Trump’s September 2016 meeting with Egyptian President ‘Abd Al-Fatah Al-Sisi on the margins of the UN General Assembly, Phares told the Egyptian daily Al-Watan that Trump had promised Al-Sisi that he would promote a bill that is already before Congress that designates the MB a terrorist organization.[1] After the election, Phares reiterated these remarks to the press.[2]

Ted Cruz’s tweet

It should be mentioned that in November 2015, Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart (R-FL) announced that they had introduced a bill designating the MB a terrorist organization.[3] In January 2017, Cruz tweeted that he and Diaz-Balart had reintroduced the bill on this matter: “Proud to introduce Muslim Brotherhood Terrorist Designation Act w @MarioDB [Mario Diaz-Balart]. It’s time to call the enemy by its name.”[4]

In light of this bill, and in light of statements by Trump administration officials about its intent to promote it, the MB began preparations to confront the bill and prevent its passage. Launching a widespread informational media campaign, including the hiring of U.S. lobbying and legal firms, outreach to the press in the U.S., and dissemination of informational content aimed at improving its image in the West, particularly in the U.S., the MB attempted to convey that it is not a terrorist organization, but rather an ideological movement whose methods of operation are peaceful.

On the other hand, the Egyptian regime has been working to persuade the new U.S. administration that the MB is indeed a terrorist organization, as well as an umbrella organization for other terrorist outfits. In addition it was reported that Egyptian intelligence too had hired an American lobbying firm to improve the image of the Egyptian regime in the U.S.[5]Egyptian parliamentary representatives met in January 2017 with U.S. members of Congress to impress upon them the necessity of designating the MB as terrorist. Another visit by an Egyptian parliamentary delegation was scheduled for January but has apparently been postponed to April. Additionally, the Egyptian daily Al-Yawm Al-Sabi’, which is close to the regime, has in recent weeks been criticizing Western media, particularly The New York Times, for providing a platform for the promotion of MB ideas. The Egyptian press in general expressed criticism of the regime for failing to sufficiently counter the MB’s media campaign.

This report will review MB media efforts to counter U.S. legislative and legal moves to designate it a terrorist organization, efforts by the Egyptian regime and official media to prove that it does indeed engage in terrorism, and claims by Egyptian writers that the regime is not doing enough to combat the MB’s campaign in the West.

MB Works To Create U.S. Lobby

In fact, already in November 2016, immediately after Donald Trump’s victory in the U.S. presidential elections, the movement began preparing to counter U.S. moves to designate it terrorist. The Egyptian Institute for Political and Strategic Studies, which belongs to the MB and operates from Turkey under the directorship of Amr Darrag, who served as minister of planning and international cooperation in the administration of former Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi, published a document by Dr. Badr Shafi’i on November 26 with recommendations for the movement on how to deal with America’s intent to promote a terrorist designation of the MB. The recommendations include: Appointing elements within the movement to supervise these steps and make contact with experts on international relations; contacting politicians, clerics, and countries that could sympathize with the MB in order to improve its image in Congress; establishing a legal-media team and hold ties with members of Congress; hiring a U.S. law firm and public relations teams; and establishing a substantial Islamic lobby in the U.S., while strengthening ties with movements opposing Trump’s policy.[6]

Recommendations published by the Egyptian Institute for Political and Strategic Studies (Eipss-eg.org, November 2016)

In January and March 2017, the institute published two more documents by Shafi’i that also dealt with this issue, in which he reiterated his recommendations.[7]

In addition, in recent months, the Arab press in general, and the Egyptian press in particular, reported on MB efforts to prevent the Trump administration from listing it as a terrorist organization. Thus, for example, MB sources outside of Egypt told the daily Al-Shurouq that the global MB organization was conducting widespread activity to this end. According to these sources, the movement was being assisted by the governments of Turkey, Tunisia, and Morocco, and by the governments of countries where the MB has substantial parliamentary blocs such as Kuwait, Jordan, and Algeria. The sources also disclosed that the movement’s steps, not only in Egypt but in 82 countries around the world, as well as its contacts with members of Congress and senior U.S. writers and civil society organizations, are meant to prevent the decision.[8]

Evidence of these moves could be seen in comments by London-based MB official Mohamed Soudan, who said in late January that MB elements were speaking to American politicians, State Department officials, members of Congress, and academics, in order to explain the nonviolent history of the movement since its establishment in 1928.[9]

In other statements to the media, Soudan said that most of the MB’s contacts in the U.S. were done via a public relations firm, and added: “We will defend our history and the movement’s future with all possible legitimate and legal means.” According to him, the MB will not sit idly by but rather operate on all fronts and conduct meetings with all American parties in order to prevent a U.S. decision designating it a terrorist organization.[10]

On February 5, the Saudi website Elaph reported that the MB had signed a contract with an American lobbying firm, paying it $4.8 million to help it establish ties with Trump administration officials in order to improve its image in U.S. media. According to the report, the contract included organizing meetings with Trump administration officials, submitting documents on Egyptian government mistreatment of the movement and its members, publishing articles in American media, and providing platforms for movement officials in American print and TV media. Elaph added that elements close to the Obama administration had helped the movement sign the contract with this firm, whose officials include figures close to Obama’s election campaign  and to Hillary Clinton. According to Elaph, the firm employs dozens of former White House and State Department staffers who have extensive ties to members of Congress and political and strategic research centers in the U.S.[11]

Furthermore, former MB official Tareq Abu Al-Sa’ad claimed that as part of its efforts to improve its image in the U.S., the movement relies on specific American families who are members of the MB and have close ties to the U.S. administration. He mentioned a family which he said has ties to American officials and research institutes, as well as other MB officials that are expected to contact human rights organizations to help improve its image in Washington.[12]

One example of the MB’s efforts on this front is a New York Times article by Gehad Al-Haddad, a former Egyptian MB spokesman who was arrested in 2013 and is currently incarcerated in Tora Prison in Egypt. Gehad is the son of Essam Al-Haddad, an aide to former Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi.[13] In the February 22 article, titled “I Am a Member of the Muslim Brotherhood, Not a Terrorist,” Al-Haddad rejected claims that the MB was a terrorist organization, stating that its ideology stems from the Islamic interpretation based on social justice, equality, and rule of law. He stressed that despite the Egyptian regime’s hostility, the movement always fought for the weak in society and that it believes in democracy and pluralism, adding that during the Mubarak era, it even worked together with democratic movements to prevent him from bequeathing the presidency to his son Gamal. He added that the MB opposes violence and has always operated peacefully, and that violent movements that are said to have grown out of the MB actually left the movement because it could not accept their violent methods.[14] Elements close to the movement said it had chosen Gehad Al-Haddad to pen the article because he had held close ties with U.S. officials during Morsi’s presidency.[15]

Al-Haddad’s New York Times article (New York Times, February 22, 2017)

Another New York Times article on February 20, by Declan Walsh, argued that a terror listing for the MB, which has millions of followers, could have negative consequences, especially for countries where MB-linked parties are in power or are prominent in Parliament, with serious implications for domestic politics, American diplomacy and the broader fight against Islamist extremism.  It stated further that marginalizing this movement could mean discouraging some of its moderate branches that have won wide praise for their democratic engagement, while empowering jihadist groups. Moreover, the proposed designation would reaffirm Trump’s embrace of Egyptian President Al-Sisi, who has faced severe international criticism for Egypt’s dismal human rights record in recent years and its ruthless persecution of the MB.

It should be mentioned that on February 23, Al-Masri Al-Yawm quoted Mohamed Soudan as saying that the MB had managed to convince Congress to not designate it a terrorist organization. The report quoted Soudan as saying that the global MB organization had managed to hold contacts with administration and Congress officials and had used documents to convince them that the MB was not and would never be involved in terrorist attacks, and that it routinely issues condemnations for attacks that take place in most countries of the world.”[16] However, the following day Soudan denied the statements attributed to him by Al-Masri Al-Yawm, and posted an article from the Egyptian daily Al-Misriyyoun on his Facebook page with the comment: “I know nothing of this statement and these comments, and I don’t know where they (Al-Masri Al-Yawm) got this fiction.”[17]

Al-Sisi Regime Responds To MB Media Campaign

The Egyptian regime does not seem to working as intensively to promote the U.S. Congressional bill to designate the MB terrorist as the MB is to prevent such a designation. In January 2017, Mohamed Al-‘Orabi, former Egyptian foreign minister and current member of the Egyptian parliament’s foreign relations committee, and Ahmed Al-Fadaly, head of the Independent Party Current, attended President Trump’s inauguration, and also met with members of Congress and administration officials. They presented President Trump with a memo demanding quick action to designate the MB as terrorist. Al-‘Orabi said during the visit that the Egyptian parliament would soon launch a widespread campaign to advance this issue.[18]

However, besides this visit, and MP statements about their intentions to act on the matter, no actual measures are reported to have been taken to promote the U.S. Congress’s anti-MB bill.

In mid-January 2017, it was reported that a delegation on behalf of the Egyptian parliament’s Foreign Relations Committee would travel to the U.S. later that month to meet with members of Congress and deliver a report on “the MB’s violent and terrorist acts.” Tarek Radwan, a representative of the committee, said that attempts were being made to arrange a meeting between the delegation and Sen. Cruz and Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart.[19] The visit, however, apparently never took place. On March 6, it was reported that delegation would visit the U.S. in April.[20]

Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry, asked by the daily Al-Watan whether he had discussed the designation of the MB as terrorist during his late February 2017 visit to the U.S., responded: “I did not address this matter, but I told [U.S. officials] that it was important to note that the MB provides the philosophical and religious basis for radical ideology, and that we cannot combat terrorism [solely] by designating [organizations] in different ways, since all terrorist organizations are interconnected. Thus, [for example] even if ISIS is eliminated, new groups will continue to spring up as long as the source of radical ideology exists.” Shoukry added that the U.S. officials had grasped his point, that he was following the efforts of several members of Congress on the issue, and that the issue remains controversial.[21]

Egyptian Daily: New York Times Supports Terrorism, Slandered Egypt

In contrast to Egyptian officials, the daily Al-Yawm Al-Sabi’, which is close to Egyptian authorities and intelligence apparatuses, dealt extensively with the issue of designating the MB as terrorist, publishing a number of articles attacking the organization. It also criticized the U.S. media, particularly The New York Times, stating that it was enabling MB terrorism. On February 23, the day after The Times published Gehad Al-Haddad’s op-ed, Al-Yawm Al-Sabi’ published an article titled “New York Times Supports MB Terrorism, Publishes Article by Gehad Al-Haddad…”[22] On February 24, it published an article titled “Questionable MB Plot to Slander Egypt in Western Media… Islamist [elements]: Organization Spending Millions of Dollars to Spread Its Poison.”[23]

On March 2, Al-Yawm Al-Sabi’ published an article headlined “New Disgrace for New York Times: Paper Refuses to Publish Article Proving MB Terrorism; [Egyptian-American journalist and researcher] Michael Morgan after His Article Was Rejected for Publication…: ‘The Paper Has Become an [MB] Movement Platform and the U.S. Will Pay the Price.”[24]

Another Al-Yawm Al-Sabi’  article, published March 12, stated: “Since the onset of the June 30 [2013] revolution that ousted the MB regime, The New York Times has specialized in improving the MB’s image and slandering Egypt.” It quoted Islamic affairs expert Ahmed ‘Atta as saying that the MB International Organization secretary-general Ibrahim Munir Mustafa had paid global media outlets, chiefly the Times, $50 million to continue its attacks on Donald Trump because of Trump’s anti-MB stance.[25]

Al-Yawm Al-Sabi’ February 24 article attacking the New York Times

Egyptian Journalists To Al-Sisi Regime: Be More Decisive In Countering MB Media Campaign

Several Egyptian writers criticized the regime’s inertia in the face of the MB’s media campaign. On February 22, Al-Ahram columnist Ahmed ‘Abd Al-Tawab wrote that the MB’s media campaign shows that the movement fears being designated a terrorist organization. He wrote that it is “Egypt’s responsibility” in this matter, “due to its decades-long experience with MB crimes, to provide the Trump administration with information and historical and current evidence that will help it combat the movement on the legal, political, and cultural levels, in accordance with the human rights [principles] that the MB endangers…”[26]

Al-Ahram writer Muhammad Salmawi also wrote of the need for Egypt to step up its activity vis-à-vis the U.S. on the MB issue. In an article titled “The Voice of the MB – and Our Silence,” Salmawi wrote of his surprise  at Egypt’s feeble reaction to Gehad Al-Haddad’s New York Times article. The MB, he said, realizes that the way to influence American society is through public relations and lobbying firms, and the Egyptian regime needs to do likewise: “Those who follow the American press at this time cannot help but notice the intense campaign to improve the MB’s image and cleanse them of any blood spilled now or in the past in the name of Islam. This campaign has a specific goal – to stop the Trump administration from designating the movement a terrorist organization, thus fulfilling one of [Trump’s] campaign promises. To this end, the campaign twists facts with reckless abandon, made possible by the absence of an opposing viewpoint that could have corrected the erroneous information and responded to [the MB’s] notorious lies. How much longer will we remain silent in light of a campaign that has raised its voice and spread throughout the American media since the onset of the June 30, 2013 revolution?

“Last week I read the article by the former official MB spokesman [Gehad Al-Haddad], penned from his Egyptian prison cell and published by The New York Times. I was surprised that some of the few [Egyptian writers] who addressed this matter settled for pondering how such a message was smuggled out of prison in Egypt… The problem is not how it was leaked, but how we could not deliver a similar message [in Western media]…

“How easy it is to criticize security measures that allow messages to be smuggled out of Egyptian prisons and given to newspaper offices… in New York. How easy it is to step up measures against all the prisoners [as a result]. But the MB continues to be heard in the American press – while our position cannot be found in the international arena…

“First, we must examine how the other side managed to gain such a noticeable presence in Western media – and such an examination is not difficult. The ongoing publication of pro-MB positions in Western media, and [this media’s]  disregard for the Egyptian popular will, stems not from some global plot against us or global sympathy with the mother movement that birthed all the groups that accuse others of heresy – but mostly from [the MB’s] accurate grasp of how to operate vis-à-vis American social institutions, and of the active role played by large PR firms in society – whether in the press, the media, in Congress, or elsewhere…

“The way to actively operate in the U.S. is by arriving at an understanding with these large institutions – whether during a presidential or congressional campaign, or in the fight to influence decision-making circles by means of the press and media, or by means of members of Congress. Such a campaign is undoubtedly costly, but losing is costlier still…”

Salmawi, who is known for his antisemitic views,[27] added: “The Jewish lobby in the U.S. has already understood the power of the PR institutions and the influence they wield over American society on all levels. Using this and other methods, they control the political decision[-makers] in the U.S. The MB and the other international elements that fund them have [also] understood this. Is it not time for us to understand what our enemies already have?!”[28]

* C. Meital is a research fellow at MEMRI; H. Varulkar is Director of Research at MEMRI.

 

[1] Al-Watan (Egypt), September 20, 2016.

[2] Al-Ahram (Egypt), November 11, 2016.

[3] Cruz.senate.gov, November 4, 2015.

[4] Twitter.com/SenTedCruz, January 10, 2017.

[5] Rassd.com, March 5, 2017.

[6] Eipss-eg.org, November 26, 2016.

[7] Eipss-eg.org, January 28, March 3, 2017.

[8] Al-Shurouq (Egypt), February 8, 2017.

[9] Aa.com.tr, January 31, 2017.

[10] Elaph.com, February 5, 2017; Al-Masri Al-Yawm (Egypt), February 23, 2017.

[11] Elaph.com, February 5, 2017. Elements in Egypt affirmed the reports about the MB’s efforts to form a lobby. Gamal Al-Minshawi, an Islamic affairs researcher and former official in Al-Gama’a Al-Islamiyya, told the daily Al-Yawm Al-Sabi’ that the MB pays millions of dollars to foreign newspapers and news sites for positive coverage. Al-Yawm Al-Sabi’ (Egypt), February 24, 2017.

[12] Al-Yawm Al-Sabi’ (Egypt), February 17, 2017.

[13] Al-Yawm Al-Sabi’ (Egypt), February 24, 2017. It should be mentioned that in 2007-2012 Al-Haddad was director of the Clinton Foundation’s Climate Initiative in Egypt. Washingtontimes.com , September 18, 2013.

[14] New York Times (U.S.), February 22, 2017.

[15] Al-Yawm Al-Sabi’ (Egypt), February 24, 2017. It should be mentioned that after Al-Haddad’s article was published, a website close to the MB reported that Egyptian prison authorities had penalized him by placing him in solitary confinement. Rassd.com, February 27, 2017. MB associates also said that Al-Haddad and other MB prisoners manage to smuggle writings out of prison with the help of their lawyers, but an Egyptian security source said that Al-Haddad did not pen the article himself, and that smuggling such writings out of prison was impossible. Al-Watan (Egypt), February 23, 2017; Al-Yawm Al-Sabi’ (Egypt), February 24, 2017.

[16] Al-Masri Al-Yawm (Egypt), February 23, 2017.

[17] Al-Misriyyoun (Egypt), February 24, 2017; Facebook.com/FreedomJusticeFrMohamedSoudan, February 25, 2017.

[18] Al-Yawm Al-Sabi’ (Egypt), January 20, 2017; Al-Watan (Egypt), January 22, 2017.

[19] Al-Yawm Al-Sabi’ (Egypt), January 12, 2017.

[20] Motamemservice.com, March 6, 2017.

[21] Al-Watan (Egypt), March 10, 2017.            `

[22] Al-Yawm Al-Sabi’ (Egypt), February 23, 2017.

[23] Al-Yawm Al-Sabi’ (Egypt), February 24, 2017.

[24] Al-Yawm Al-Sabi’ (Egypt), March 2, 2017. Michael Morgan is an Egyptian-American researcher at the London Center for Policy Research, who promotes the designation of the MB as a terrorist organization.

[25] Al-Yawm Al-Sabi’ (Egypt), March 12, 2017.

[26] Al-Ahram (Egypt), February 22, 2017.

[27] In an article he published in the French-language Egyptian weekly Al-Ahram Hebdo, titled “Look for the Jews,” Salmawi criticized  the French law criminalizing antisemitism and Holocaust denial, stating that it does not forbid denying crimes against humanity but only crimes against six million Jews who “allegedly” suffered a holocaust during World War II. He also wrote that whoever wants to understand the connection between the Monica Lewinsky affair in the U.S., the trial against “French thinker” Roger Garaudy (who was convicted in 1998 of Holocaust denial) and the barring of Holocaust denier David Irving from several countries needs to “look for the Jews.” Al-Ahram Hebdo, Egypt, February 4-10, 1998.

[28] Al-Ahram (Egypt), March 5, 2017.

Muslim Brotherhood Ally Falsely Smears Senator to Block Terror Designation Bill

  (CQ Roll Call via AP Images)


(CQ Roll Call via AP Images)

Washington Free Beacon, by Adam Kredo, January 27, 2017:

An Islamic organization long accused of being part of the Muslim Brotherhood’s network in America has been caught trading in lies as part of an effort to ensure the Brotherhood is not designated as a terrorist entity in the United States, according to information obtained by the Washington Free Beacon.

The Council on American Islamic Relations, or CAIR, a Muslim advocacy group that was named by the U.S. government as part of a vast network supporting the terror group Hamas, recently launched an effort to block a bill that would formally designated the Muslim Brotherhood as a terror organization. Many other countries, including Israel and Egypt, have already approved similar legislation.

In its efforts to block the bill and smear Sen. Ted Cruz (R., Texas), the senator spearheading the designation effort, CAIR recently claimed that the bill “was written by a disgraced former FBI agent who has made a career out of bashing Muslims and Islam,” according to a CAIR press release.

CAIR officials claimed that this purported revelation stains the reputations of Cruz and former Congresswoman Michele Bachmann (R., Minn.), who helped draft the original bill.

“The fact that Senator Cruz’s current legislation has its origins in the conspiracy theories of a notorious Islamophobe serves to prove that the bill is designed as the basis for an anti-Muslim witch hunt, not as a legitimate defense of national security,” CAIR Government Affairs Director Robert McCaw said earlier this week.

The Free Beacon can now disclose that CAIR’s claims are false and that John Guandolo, the former FBI agent named by CAIR as the bill’s primary architect, played no role in crafting the legislation, according to sources with direct knowledge of the situation

“In response to the false claims of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) claiming that former FBI Agent John Guandolo was responsible for drafting my 2014 bill calling for the designation of the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist organization, I can state absolutely that Mr. Guandolo had nothing to do with the drafting of the bill, nor did anyone from my office seek his input,” Bachmann exclusively told the Free Beacon.

“Unable to address the findings of the bill, CAIR is engaged in a transparent attempt to attack this effort through smears and guilt by association,” Bachmann said.

When presented with Bachmann’s denial, CAIR spokesman Ibrahim Hooper moved to distance his group from the false claims, telling the Free Beacon, “Please contact [news website] WorldNetDaily. They made the claim.”

This, too, appears to be untrue. The original press release specifically attributes the information to CAIR.

“The Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, today revealed that the original draft of Sen. Ted Cruz’s (R-TX) controversial ‘Muslim Brotherhood Terrorist Designation Act’ was written by a disgraced former FBI agent who has made a career out of bashing Muslims and Islam,” the group wrote.

CAIR’s Hooper did not respond to further Free Beacon requests for comment on whether the organization would retract its claims and provide an apology to the lawmakers in light of new information from Bachmann.

CAIR has long attempted to distance itself from its alleged role in a massive terrorism case by the U.S. government against the now defunct Holy Land Foundation, which was found to be funneling money to Hamas terrorists in support of the Muslim Brotherhood’s network in America.

CAIR was identified as an unindicted co-conspirator in the case by the Department of Justice.

David Reaboi, a national security expert and political warfare consultant, told the Free Beacon that CAIR’s main drive is to stop the Muslim Brotherhood from being designated as a terror group.

“As the debate on the Brotherhood heats up, Americans shouldn’t be surprised to see those who’ve argued for decades that Hamas isn’t a terrorist group are also adamant that the Muslim Brotherhood isn’t one either,” Reaboi said.

“Designating the Muslim Brotherhood could do more to dismantle the infrastructure of Islamic terrorism in this country than any other single move by the Trump administration,” he said. “The Muslim Brothers have been involved in some way in nearly every U.S. material support for terror prosecution in the last several decades. That’s one reason why the Brotherhood’s allies in America have worked tirelessly to fight the government’s ability to stop those who give support to terrorist groups, too.”

CAIR: Cruz’s Muslim Brotherhood Bill Not About Terrorism

Nihad Awad, executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations. (Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images)

Nihad Awad, executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations. (Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images)

IPT, by John Rossomando  •  Jan 26, 2017

Texas Republican Sen. Ted Cruz’s bill seeking to classify the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist group is discriminatory leaders of the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) claimed at a press conference Wednesday.

“We believe it has little to do with national security or terrorism,” CAIR’s spokesman Ibrahim Hooper said.

He sees Cruz’s bill as part of a two-step strategy to designate the Muslim Brotherhood and attack groups and their leaders who “Islamophobes have falsely labeled as linked to the Muslim Brotherhood.”

Hard evidence, however, links CAIR and other American Islamist groups to the Brotherhood.

A phone book introduced at 2008 Holy Land Foundation (HLF) Hamas fundraising trial revealed that CAIR Executive Director Nihad Awad and fellow CAIR co-founder Omar Ahmad belonged to the Muslim Brotherhood’s Palestine Committee. This committee came into existence as part of the Muslim Brotherhood’s plan to support Hamas in America.

U.S. District Judge Jorge Solis noted in a 2009 ruling that the HLF trial evidence provided “at least a prima facie case as to CAIR’s involvement in a conspiracy to support Hamas.”

Awad defended the Muslim Brotherhood at the press conference, saying it has been “part in parcel of the democratic process” that it believes in democracy. Banning it for ideological reasons “is nothing short of shooting ourselves in the foot as the biggest democracy or the strongest democracy in the world,” Awad said.

Cruz’s bill would direct the secretary of state to tell Congress whether the Muslim Brotherhood meets the criteria for designation as a foreign terrorist organization. President Trump reportedly is considering an executive order accomplishing the bill’s objectives.

CAIR also protested Trump’s proposed executive order curtailing immigration and visas from majority Muslim countries such as Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Yemen and Iran. With the exception of Iran, all of these countries have barely functioning central governments and are in the midst of raging civil wars. It also contested President Trump’s order halting the processing of Syrian refugees and ordering the creation of safe zones inside Syria for them.

Awad cast the orders as anti-Muslim and bigoted.

“Never before in our country’s history have we purposely as a matter of policy imposed a ban on immigrants or refugees on the basis of religion or imposed a litmus test on those coming to this nation,” Awad said. “The orders will tarnish our image in the Muslim world, making us seem uncaring and hard-hearted.”

It’s not exactly without precedent. Early 20th century immigration laws barred those belonging to ideological subversives and polygamists from coming to the U.S. Ottoman authorities protested the latter for curtailing Muslim immigration to the United States.

Republicans Propose Bills Designating Iranian Guard And Muslim Brotherhood As Terror Groups

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Daily Caller, by Kerry Picket, January 12, 2017:

Two bills reintroduced in the Congress late Wednesday designated the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and the Muslim Brotherhood as terrorist organizations.

Texas Republican Sen. Ted Cruz re-proposed the two bills in the upper chamber while Texas Republican Rep. Michael McCaul and Florida Republican Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart dropped companion bills in the House.

The bills, according to a press release, will direct the State Department to hold accountable both the IRGC and the Muslim Brotherhood “two foreign entities that espouse a violent Islamist ideology with a mission of destroying the West. Both bills require a report on whether these organizations meet the criteria to be designated Foreign Terrorist Organizations, and if so, will enable the U.S. to take action that could stifle the funding they receive to promote their terrorist activities.”

McCaul introduced the IRGC Terrorist Designation Act in the House, which asks the State Department to designate the IRGC as a terrorist organization and Diaz-Balart filed legislation for the Muslim Brotherhood Terrorist Designation Act, which urges State to classify the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist organization.

The passage and adoption of such legislation would be very different from the Obama administration’s relationship to the Muslim Brotherhood, particularly in Egypt, where the administration supported the previous Muslim Brotherhood Islamist government headed up by Mohamed Morsi.

“I am proud to reintroduce these bills that would codify needed reforms in America’s war against radical Islamic terrorism,” Sen. Cruz said of the legislation. “This potent threat to our civilization has intensified under the Obama administration due to the willful blindness of politically-correct policies that hamper our safety and security.

Rep. Diaz-Balart agreed saying a statement, “I am proud to once again work with Senator Cruz to introduce this legislation in the 115th Congress. The Muslim Brotherhood continues to support terrorist organizations that are responsible for acts of violence around the world.” He added, “This bill would impose tough sanctions on a hateful group that has spread violence and spawned extremist movements throughout the Middle East. This designation is long overdue, and I look forward to working with the incoming administration and the appropriate committees to ensure that this bill becomes law. We have an incoming president who appreciates the threat of terrorism and has vowed to defeat it. Designating the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist organization is an important step in defeating violent extremists.”

The IRGC terrorist designation bill comes on the heels of reports that the U.S. and five other world powers that negotiated the nuclear deal with Iran announced delivery of 116 metric tons of natural uranium to the Iranian regime on Monday.

Rep. McCaul said of the IRGC legislation that “If a foreign organization looks like a terror group, operates like a terror group, and supports terrorism, then it should be called for what it is – a foreign terrorist organization.” He added, “As obvious as that seems, for years the IRGC has been allowed to operate clandestinely using front companies and illicit networks to evade formal designation. The Obama Administration has chosen to turn a blind eye to these activities for the sake of a flawed nuclear agreement which Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei stated publicly would not alter Iran’s behavior.”

Ted Cruz Endorses Donald Trump for President

Rhona Wise/AFP/Getty Images

Rhona Wise/AFP/Getty Images

Breitbart, by Michelle Moons, Sept. 23, 2016:

Sen. Ted Cruz has endorsed Republican nominee Donald Trump for President four months after dropping out of the race for president, returning to his work in the U.S. Senate, and beginning to campaign for re-election in 2018.

A statement from Cruz read:

This election is unlike any other in our nation’s history. Like many other voters, I have struggled to determine the right course of action in this general election.

In Cleveland, I urged voters, “please, don’t stay home in November. Stand, and speak, and vote your conscience, vote for candidates up and down the ticket whom you trust to defend our freedom and to be faithful to the Constitution.”

After many months of careful consideration, of prayer and searching my own conscience, I have decided that on Election Day, I will vote for the Republican nominee, Donald Trump.

I’ve made this decision for two reasons. First, last year, I promised to support the Republican nominee. And I intend to keep my word.

Second, even though I have had areas of significant disagreement with our nominee, by any measure Hillary Clinton is wholly unacceptable — that’s why I have always been #NeverHillary.

Six key policy differences inform my decision. First, and most important, the Supreme Court. For anyone concerned about the Bill of Rights — free speech, religious liberty, the Second Amendment — the Court hangs in the balance. I have spent my professional career fighting before the Court to defend the Constitution. We are only one justice away from losing our most basic rights, and the next president will appoint as many as four new justices. We know, without a doubt, that every Clinton appointee would be a left-wing ideologue. Trump, in contrast, has promised to appoint justices “in the mold of Scalia.”

For some time, I have been seeking greater specificity on this issue, and today the Trump campaign provided that, releasing a very strong list of potential Supreme Court nominees — including Sen. Mike Lee, who would make an extraordinary justice — and making an explicit commitment to nominate only from that list. This commitment matters, and it provides a serious reason for voters to choose to support Trump.

Second, Obamacare. The failed healthcare law is hurting millions of Americans. If Republicans hold Congress, leadership has committed to passing legislation repealing Obamacare. Clinton, we know beyond a shadow of doubt, would veto that legislation. Trump has said he would sign it.

Third, energy. Clinton would continue the Obama administration’s war on coal and relentless efforts to crush the oil and gas industry. Trump has said he will reduce regulations and allow the blossoming American energy renaissance to create millions of new high-paying jobs.

Fourth, immigration. Clinton would continue and even expand President Obama’s lawless executive amnesty. Trump has promised that he would revoke those illegal executive orders.

Fifth, national security. Clinton would continue the Obama administration’s willful blindness to radical Islamic terrorism. She would continue importing Middle Eastern refugees whom the FBI cannot vet to make sure they are not terrorists. Trump has promised to stop the deluge of unvetted refugees.

Sixth, Internet freedom. Clinton supports Obama’s plan to hand over control of the Internet to an international community of stakeholders, including Russia, China, and Iran. Just this week, Trump came out strongly against that plan, and in support of free speech online.

These are six vital issues where the candidates’ positions present a clear choice for the American people.

If Clinton wins, we know — with 100% certainty — that she would deliver on her left-wing promises, with devastating results for our country.

My conscience tells me I must do whatever I can to stop that.

We also have seen, over the past few weeks and months, a Trump campaign focusing more and more on freedom — including emphasizing school choice and the power of economic growth to lift African-Americans and Hispanics to prosperity.

Finally, after eight years of a lawless Obama administration, targeting and persecuting those disfavored by the administration, fidelity to the rule of law has never been more important.

The Supreme Court will be critical in preserving the rule of law. And, if the next administration fails to honor the Constitution and Bill of Rights, then I hope that Republicans and Democrats will stand united in protecting our fundamental liberties.

Our country is in crisis. Hillary Clinton is manifestly unfit to be president, and her policies would harm millions of Americans. And Donald Trump is the only thing standing in her way.

A year ago, I pledged to endorse the Republican nominee, and I am honoring that commitment. And if you don’t want to see a Hillary Clinton presidency, I encourage you to vote for him.

During the first Republican presidential primary debate, all the candidates on the stage were asked if they would support whichever candidate won the Republican nomination. Only Trump expressed at the time that he could not yet make that commitment. Cruz was on that stage. Eventually, each candidate present at the first debate made the pledge to back the Republican nominee. Cruz re-affirmed that pledge in March as the race tightened.

Trump invited Cruz to speak at the Republican National Convention in July, where Trump was officially named and accepted the Republican nomination for president of the United States. Rumors flew around the convention speculating on whether Cruz would seize the public opportunity to endorse Trump. But while Cruz congratulated Trump on winning the nomination and made several indictments of Democratic nominee-to-be Hillary Clinton and President Barack Obama, he stopped short of endorsing Trump, instructing those listening rather to “vote your conscience.”

That statement was made in this portion of Cruz’s RNC speech:

We deserve leaders who stand for principle. Who unite us all behind shared values. Who cast aside anger for love. That is the standard we should expect, from everybody.

And to those listening, please, don’t stay home in November. If you love our country…stand, and speak, and vote your conscience, vote for candidates up and down the ticket who you trust to defend our freedom and to be faithful to the Constitution.

Also see:

Cruz Tears Into DHS Chief Over ‘Systematic Scrubbing’ of Radical Islam During Contentious Exchange

C-SPAN 2 Screengrab

C-SPAN 2 Screengrab

The Blaze, by Jason Howerton, June 30, 2016:

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) grilled Department of Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson Thursday over the “systematic scrubbing of law enforcement and intelligence materials,” connecting the issue to the 2014 Fort Hood shooting and other attacks.

Cruz began by comparing the number of references to “Jihad,” “Muslim,” and “Islam” found in the 9/11 commission report to the number found in several of the Obama administration’s intelligence and counterterrorism materials.

“The word ‘jihad’ appears in that report 126 times, the world ‘Muslim’ appears in that report 145 times, the world ‘Islam’ appears in that report 322 times,” he said sternly. “And yet since that 9/11 commission report, different policies have come into effect. And as a matter of systematic policy, those terms are no longer allowed to be used in this administration.”

Johnson told Cruz repeatedly that he has no knowledge efforts to “purge” DHS material of references to radical Islam. The DHS chief went on to claim that conceding the Islamic State is connected to Islam only gives the terrorist group what it wants.

Cruz ultimately cut off Johnson to reclaim his speaking time.

“You’re entitled to give speeches other times,” Cruz said. “My question was if you were aware that the information has been scrubbed.”

Watch the entire contentious exchange below:

Cruz also pushed back against Johnson’s assertion that removing references to radical Islam is merely a “semantic difference.”

“When you erase references to radical jihad, it impacts the behavior of law enforcement and national security to respond to red flags and prevent terrorist attacks before they occur,” Cruz said.

The Texas senator suggested the Fort Hood shooting may have been one of those instances. When bluntly asked by Cruz if it was a “mistake” not to respond to the “red flags” in regards to Fort Hood shooter Nidal Hasan, Johnson accused Cruz of citing incorrect information.

“In one minute, I couldn’t begin to answer your question,” he said.

“Pick anything,” Cruz shot back. “Pick one thing, sir.”

“You’re assuming that the federal government in advance of the attack on Fort Hood saw all these different red flags. That’s not correct,” Johnson said.

That’s when Cruz got specific.

“Is it true or false that the Obama administration knew before the attack that Nidal Hasan was communicating with Anwar al-Awlaki?” Cruz asked.

“How are you defining the ‘Obama administration,’ sir?” Johnson said.

“The Federal Bureau of Investigation,” Cruz responded.

“The entire Federal Bureau of Investigation? I can’t answer that question sitting here,” Johnson answered.

“The answer is ‘yes’ and it’s public record, sir,” Cruz retorted.

Cruz went on to cite “red flags” missed in the Boston bombings and San Bernardino attack.

Two members of Congress accused of Muslim Brotherhood ties

tedcruzAmerican Thinker, by Carol Brown, June 29, 2016:

Covering the Senate hearings on Islamic terror, Tuesday’s HuffPo headline read: “Witness At Ted Cruz Hearing Accuses Congress’ Two Muslim Members Of Muslim Brotherhood Ties.” The teaser read: “This doesn’t normally happen on the Hill.” The teaser should have been: It’s about time.

I rarely venture over to the HuffPo, but I couldn’t resist reading their coverage:

In explosive testimony Tuesday, a witness before a Senate panel about Islamic terrorism accused the two Muslim members of Congress of having attended an event organized by the Muslim Brotherhood.

The charge was leveled by Chris Gaubatz, a “national security consultant” who has moonlighted as an undercover agitator of Muslim groups that he accuses of being terrorist outfits, and it was directed at Reps. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.) and André Carson (D-Ind.). At the heart of his accusation is the attendance by those two members at a 2008 convention hosted by the Islamic Society of North America — a Muslim umbrella group, which Gaubatz claims is a front for the Muslim Brotherhood.

HuffPo was eager to smear Chris Gaubatz, whose impressive undercover work inside CAIR is chronicled in his book Muslim Mafia. (To learn more about him, The Clarion Project has a short interview, here.)  The Huffpo continues:

“I attended a convention in Columbus, Ohio, in 2008, organized by Muslim Brotherhood group, ISNA, and both the Department of Homeland Security, and the Department of Justice Federal Bureau of Prisons had recruitment and outreach booths,” Gaubatz said in his testimony. “Both Congressman Keith Ellison, MN, and Andre Carson, IN, spoke at the Muslim Brotherhood event.”

Allegations that Ellison and Carson are secret Muslim agents with extremist leanings are usually found among fringe groups online, often discussed in dire tones on poorly designed websites. Rarely, if ever, do such sentiments get read into congressional testimony, with the imprimatur that offers.

Wow, this is why, as a rule, I don’t read the HuffPo. But seriously, the excerpt noted above highlights how behind the curve we are regarding the Muslim Brotherhood. The MB should have been declared a terrorist organization ions ago. Instead, they have been operating through countless front groups that are legitimized and lauded by leftist politicians and the media. As a result, no red flags are raised about anyone affiliated with these groups.

Responsibility for this rare instance lies with Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), who oversaw the hearing as chairman of the Judiciary Subcommittee on Oversight, Agency Action, Federal Rights and Federal Courts and whose staff likely saw the testimonies of the witnesses.

Oh, well. Leave it to Ted Cruz to invite someone associated with “fringe groups” that operate online using “dire” tones on “poorly designed websites.”

An aide to Ellison confirmed that he did attend the 2008 ISNA convention. He’s gone to a few of the group’s conventions, in fact. Carson’s office didn’t return a request for comment. But news reports show that both he and Carson led a discussion at the 2008 convention on how to mobilize Muslims politically. President Barack Obama has addressed the group as well, though only via a video recording.

Mobilizing Muslims politically. Hmm. I’m sure that’s perfectly innocent, right? And who can forget Obama’s video recording where he praised ISNA, Muslims, the fabulous halal food in his hometown of Chicago? (Warning: Don’t look in his eyes for too long.)

Critics of ISNA have insisted that these politicians have either turned a blind eye to — or explicitly embraced — the group’s affiliation with the Muslim Brotherhood, an affiliation that is based on ties some of the founding ISNA members have allegedly had to the hard-line religious organization. ISNA has long insisted that no such connection has ever existed.

“I can definitely tell you we are not Muslim Brotherhood. We are not affiliated with them at all and never were,” said Faryal Khatri, an official with ISNA. “That much I can reassure you.”

Well if an ISNA official has gone on record to assure everyone that the organization is not affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood in any way, that’s good enough for me! Mr. Khatri wouldn’t lie, would he?

ISNA is not the only group targeted by Gaubatz. In 2009, he told Talking Points Memo that he obtained an internship with the Council on American-Islamic Relations as part of an effort to secretly collect evidence against the group to be used in a book written by his father. The book, “Muslim Mafia,” alleged that CAIR, a Muslim advocacy group that works to combat Islamophobia, was a front for the Muslim Brotherhood.

In case there is any confusion, CAIR is a front group for the MB. Now if we could all stay focused on facts such as these, we might actually get somewhere.

And to those who think I might be a “fringe” person using a “dire” tone (surely AT isn’t one of those “poorly designed websites” to which HuffPo referred), I’m not just making this up. The MB told us who their front groups were in their Explanatory Memorandum during the Holy Land Foundation trial. Here’s the list. ISNA’s right on top.

Cruz’s office did not respond to a request for comment on Gaubatz’s allegations against Ellison and Carson or whether it had given either member a chance to respond. But the senator has displayed a tolerance for these kinds of conspiracy theories in the past.

Oh my goodness! I am kicking myself for reading through the entire HuffPo piece. “Conspiracy theories?” Anyone who thinks any of this is a conspiracy theory is on the fringe of reality. Dire, desperate, and dumb. (Whether they are affiliated with a poorly designed web site, or not, I couldn’t say.)

Before he suspended his presidential campaign, Cruz appointed known Islamophobe Frank Gaffney to his team of national security advisers. Gaffney, now head of the Center for Security Policy, has objected to Ellison and Carson serving on the House Intelligence Committee because he believes their Muslim faith could compel them to leak information to the Muslim Brotherhood. He has also accused Hillary Clinton aide Huma Abedin, and conservative heavyweights Grover Norquist and Suhail Khan of being closeted Muslim Brotherhood members.

When asked about his controversial selection, Cruz defended Gaffney as a “serious thinker” focused on “fighting jihadism across the globe.”

Frank Gaffney is a tireless warrior trying to inform the idiot masses on the looming threat before us. His work, and the work of his colleagues who sound the alarm day in and day out might one day save the lives of those who smear him as aall that they do n “Islamaphobe” (a fabricated word that has no actual meaning).

God bless Ted Cruz, Frank Gaffney, and everyone on the front lines of this fight of the ages.

***

And God bless David Reaboi and the folks at CounterJihad.com and centerforsecuritypolicy.org for all that they do to defend freedom! Everyone should go back and see the updates in their masterful coverage of Ted Cruz’s Willful Blindness hearing featuring running commentary and video clips!

The Senate Judiciary Committee is questioning Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson right now – Livestream

David Reaboi rips into the Huff Po’s propaganda:

Witness at Cruz hearing correctly accuses Muslim congressmen of Muslim Brotherhood ties, media in uproar

Jihad Watch, by Robert Spencer, June 29, 2016:

“Allegations that Ellison and Carson are secret Muslim agents with extremist leanings are usually found among fringe groups online, often discussed in dire tones on poorly designed websites. Rarely, if ever, do such sentiments get read into congressional testimony, with the imprimatur that offers.”

The media elites’ scorn for the unwashed masses is brimming over in this article: “fringe groups” who speak in “dire tones” on “poorly designed websites” couldn’t possibly be saying anything true or accurate, right? If your website design is poor, what you’re saying must ipso facto be false — not to mention “bigoted” and “Islamophobic”! And Ellison and Carson are not “secret Muslim agents with extremist leanings.” They’re just careless about appearing before groups with ties to Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood — and why should they care, when the mainstream media so eagerly runs interference for them instead of calling them to account?

But this really shouldn’t be so hard, even for a blinkered Leftist propagandist like Sam Stein of the HuffPo. He quotes Faryal Khatri of ISNA saying: “I can definitely tell you we are not Muslim Brotherhood. We are not affiliated with them at all and never were. That much I can reassure you.” But he doesn’t tell his hapless readers that ISNA has actually admitted its ties to Hamas, which styles itself the Palestinian arm of the Muslim Brotherhood. Nor does he bother to note that it wasn’t “fringe websites” or Frank Gaffney or Ted Cruz who identified ISNA as a Muslim Brotherhood front group; this designation comes from the United States Department of Justice, which classified ISNA among entities “who are and/or were members of the US Muslim Brotherhood.”

There is still more that Stein failed to notice in his haste to excoriate Cruz for “Islamophobia” and association with “poorly designed websites”: in 2008 Ellison accepted $13,350 from the Muslim American Society (MAS) to go on a pilgrimage to Mecca. The Muslim American Society is a Muslim Brotherhood organization: “In recent years, the U.S. Brotherhood operated under the name Muslim American Society, according to documents and interviews. One of the nation’s major Islamic groups, it was incorporated in Illinois in 1993 after a contentious debate among Brotherhood members.” That’s from the Chicago Tribune in 2004, in an article that is now carried on the Muslim Brotherhood’s English-language website, Ikhwanweb.

Andre-Carson-Keith-Ellison

“Witness At Ted Cruz Hearing Accuses Congress’ Two Muslim Members Of Muslim Brotherhood Ties,” by Sam Stein, Huffington Post, June 28, 2016:

In explosive testimony Tuesday, a witness before a Senate panel about Islamic terrorism accused the two Muslim members of Congress of having attended an event organized by the Muslim Brotherhood.

The charge was leveled by Chris Gaubatz, a “national security consultant” who has moonlighted as an undercover agitator of Muslim groups that he accuses of being terrorist outfits, and it was directed at Reps. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.) and André Carson (D-Ind.). At the heart of his accusation is the attendance by those two members at a 2008 convention hosted by the Islamic Society of North America — a Muslim umbrella group, which Gaubatz claims is a front for the Muslim Brotherhood.

“I attended a convention in Columbus, Ohio, in 2008, organized by Muslim Brotherhood group, ISNA, and both the Department of Homeland Security, and the Department of Justice Federal Bureau of Prisons had recruitment and outreach booths,” Gaubatz said in his testimony. “Both Congressman Keith Ellison, MN, and Andre Carson, IN, spoke at the Muslim Brotherhood event.”

Allegations that Ellison and Carson are secret Muslim agents with extremist leanings are usually found among fringe groups online, often discussed in dire tones on poorly designed websites. Rarely, if ever, do such sentiments get read into congressional testimony, with the imprimatur that offers.

Responsibility for this rare instance lies with Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), who oversaw the hearing as chairman of the Judiciary Subcommittee on Oversight, Agency Action, Federal Rights and Federal Courts and whose staff likely saw the testimonies of the witnesses.

Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) later addressed Tuesday’s hearing and defended Ellison.

“He is my congressman. He is a man of great patriotism,” she said, adding that he has advocated for additional funding for efforts to detect what attracts young people to join terrorist groups.

An aide to Ellison confirmed that he did attend the 2008 ISNA convention. He’s gone to a few of the group’s conventions, in fact. Carson’s office didn’t return a request for comment. But news reports show that both he and Carson led a discussion at the 2008 convention on how to mobilize Muslims politically. President Barack Obama has addressed the group as well, though only via a video recording.

Critics of ISNA have insisted that these politicians have either turned a blind eye to — or explicitly embraced — the group’s affiliation with the Muslim Brotherhood, an affiliation that is based on ties some of the founding ISNA members have allegedly had to the hard-line religious organization. ISNA has long insisted that no such connection has ever existed.

“I can definitely tell you we are not Muslim Brotherhood. We are not affiliated with them at all and never were,” said Faryal Khatri, an official with ISNA. “That much I can reassure you.”

ISNA is not the only group targeted by Gaubatz. In 2009, he told Talking Points Memo that he obtained an internship with the Council on American-Islamic Relations as part of an effort to secretly collect evidence against the group to be used in a book written by his father. The book, “Muslim Mafia,” alleged that CAIR, a Muslim advocacy group that works to combat Islamophobia, was a front for the Muslim Brotherhood….

Ted Cruz GRILLS Muslim Advocates president who SCRUBBED the FBI lexicon

Capture

The Rebel, by VICTOR LASZLO, June 29, 2016:

Farhana H. Khera, President of Muslim Advocates, is questioned by Ted Cruz June 28 during a congressional committee called, “Willful Blindness: Consequences of Agency Efforts To Deemphasize Radical Islam in Combating Terrorism”

In this video she tries not to answer the question as to why she pressed the Obama administration to expunge all language referring to Islamic Terror from security services such as the FBI’s lexicons.

It has been argued that the refusal to allow the FBI to pursue avenues of investigation based on terms such as “Jihad” or “Ummah” in the language found on surveillance materials directly led to the Boston Marathon bombing being carried out although the FBI were aware of the perpetrators and aware of the ideology they subscribed to.

Also very likely the San Bernardino attacks for the same reason.

Ms. Khera says in this video: “…Regardless of their race, religion or ideology”.

To discriminate on the basis of ideology is not the same as race.

In fact, ideology is what in rational times, societies based on reason would call “motive”.

Also see:

ISIS is a Footnote: The Real Threat is Sharia and Islamic Supremacism

CJ-white-logo (1)CounterJihad, by Shireen Qudosi · @ShireenQudosi | June 29, 2016

The battle against radical Islam isn’t an ‘over there’ fight confined to the wastebin landscape of some forgotten town. It’s a ubiquitous problem that takes place on American soil in two forms. The first is through direct jihadi attacks as we most recently saw in Orlando; the second takes the form of political warfare.

Yesterday, the battle of ideas took place on the floor of a Senate hearing spearheaded by Senator Ted Cruz. The “Willful Blindness” hearing, attended by Dr. Zuhdi Jasser, Philip Haney, and Andrew McCarthy among others, offered testimony to better understandbarriers to combating radical Islam.

Other witnesses included soft-Islamist Farhana Khera, President and Executive Director ofMuslim Advocates, who refused to admit that jihad or radicalization had absolutelyanything to do with radical Islam. In fact, Senator Cruz’s attempt to engage Khera in dialogue yielded a minimum of 6 instances of denial within five minutes, with Khera defaulting to a regressive left narrative that the conversation is somehow empowering ISIS.

National security consultant Chris Gaubatz debunks the myth of an all-powerful and seeing ISIS:

“The global Islamic movement is made of terrorist groups and nation states; all seeking to impose sharia.”

ISIS is a footnote at best, not the bogeyman that Islamists try to threaten free speech with. The real threat is sharia and a mindset of Islamic supremacism.

Testimony was also provided by Michael German, a fellow of the Brennan Center for Justice and a former FBI Special Agent. German sees radical Islam as a problem but not in the context we would assume is logical based on the facts and common sense. In the same line of thinking as Khera, German denounces a theological association with violent acts of terror under a political doctrine.

German’s reasoning fails. He is neither expert in nor a student of Islamic theology. Had he an objective mind and trained scholar in both academic and traditional Islam, he would see that Islam has become a highly political system that forms and orchestrates national movement. The version of radical Islam adopted by terror groups is not that different than the version of Islam adopted by Islamic states – and to go further – the version of Islam that Islamists identify with. All versions ultimately hold Islam as supreme, paving the way for what is an undeniable theological supremacy. In other words, Islamic supremacy. And that understanding of Islam is adopted by billions of adherents.

In the same vein of thought as Islamists, German believes “radical Islam” is used to smear a faith group. He further argues “collective national security [is not achieved] by undermining security of others.” For German, “Ideas cannot be killed and ideologies cannot be destroyed.” He points to Nazi ideology that while defeated, was not destroyed.

However, radical Islamic ideology can be challenged and destroyed…from within. A growing movement in partnership with allies is already underway by Muslim reformers. Reformers are the new wave of Muslim scholars appearing nearly a millennia after the original Muslim free thinkers, the Mu’tazilites. The waves of movement in Islamic critical thought from the time of the Prophet, through his passing, and till today, shows that Islam is not the monolith German and Khera try to depict.

Andrew McCarthy, a former Chief Assistant U.S. Attorney, understands Islam has seen a struggle to define itself from its earliest days. As McCarthy points out, Muslims “have not settled the question what is an authentic Islam.”

Dr. Zuhdi Jasser, a top North American Muslim Reformer, sees Muslim reformers “as the most essential head of spear in the battle against Islamic theocracy.” The largest collective of Muslim Reformers are presently in the United States.

“Ideas of freedom can happen in the laboratory of America,” adds Dr. Jasser. The West offers Muslim voices for humanity a level of freedom that is unmatched in any other part of the world, making Western Muslim reformers critical in this battle against radical Islam — particularly because truthful conversations on faith are painted as persecution, courtesy of the regressive left.

For McCarthy, the focus needs to shift to the supremacist interpretation of Islam that is fundamentally at odds with Western values. A clash of civilizations between Islam and the West is not a case of multiculturalism where room can be made for both. Islamic supremacism in its nature allows for only one ideology: its own.

So while German underscores that radical Islam is not a problem – that it is a misnomer – McCarthy points to history which shows us something entirely different. He summarizes that a struggle in Islam has been “ongoing for fourteen centuries supported by centuries of scholarship,” adding that “Islam is less a religion than a political radicalization with a religious veneer.”

McCarthy doesn’t see this as something the U.S. can fix, but it is something that we need to understand and not obscure – particularly because as Chris Gaubatz added, “We can kill every member of Al-Qaeda tomorrow, but it won’t end.”

Zuhdi Jasser added that America has “a sophisticated whack-a-mole system” of combatting terrorism. These are key assessment recognizing that ultimately we need to target the ideology and develop a system that moves beyond a fear of might trigger ISIS – a running theme for both Khera and German.

Khera along with German were both supported by Senator Dick Durbin who brought up a failed ongoing argument that needs to die: Westboro and the KKK are no more Christian than ISIS is Islamic. A cheap, tired trick, it shows a fundamental lack of knowledge about both Islam and Christianity.

Westboro and KKK are not acting in the footsteps of Jesus. However, ISIS is in many ways following the post-Medina violent warring behavior of its prophet, Muhammad. If we’re to see whether something is Islamic or Christian, we need to look at the verses and the leadership. Christianity did not have a violent Jesus and the teachings of Christ himself do not advocate violence. On the other hand, Islam has a violent version of Muhamad, which however justified in whatever context, is still violent and includes violent rhetoric that justified jihadi and supremacist agendas.

Germans builds on the back and forth highlighting Nazi Germany was defeated in part by criminalizing the ideology, something he feels can’t be done with Islam because the ideology can’t be scrubbed. I would argue we’ve already scrubbed so much: over 900 instances of references to jihad and Islam from official documents in what is a systematic purge of intelligence in a critical war.

Let’s go further still and get to the actual problem: the ideology. We need to do the same to political and violent doctrines in Islam, while supporting alternate voices found in reformers who are well on their way by outrightly challenging the theology or through grassroots efforts calling for modernized adaptations.

Also see:

Senate Hearing: While Feds Scrubbed References To Islam, Terrorists Escaped Notice

tedcruz

A Tuesday Senate hearing Sen. Ted Cruz chaired discussed the ‘willful blindness’ of Democrats’ approach to combatting Islamist terrorism.

The Federalist, by M.G. Oprea, June 29, 2016:

On Tuesday, Sen. Ted Cruz chaired an investigative hearing to determine whether law enforcement agencies are deemphasizing radical Islam while investigating terrorism in the United States. Its purpose, according to Cruz’s website, was to “investigate how the federal government has not only refused to appropriately identify the specific threat of radical Islam, but has sought to undermine the people and information who have sought to highlight the threat.”

Provocatively titled “Willful Blindness: Consequences of Agency Efforts to Deemphasize Radical Islam in Combating Terrorism,” the hearing comes just weeks after Omar Mateen shot and killed 49 people in an Orlando night club and injured dozens more. In his opening remarks, Cruz said, “the consequence of the willful blindness of a policy, that is a matter of administration policy, that refuses to acknowledge the threat, means over and over again this administration has allowed the threats to go forward.”

In the weeks following the ISIS-inspired terrorist attack, Democratic leaders and media elites once again tried to blame the attacks on everything under the sun other than Islamic radicalism. White Christians, Republicans, gun laws, and anti-gay bigotry are for liberals the worst culprits.

But it’s not just the mainstream media and the far-left selling this bill of goods. Incredibly, this rhetoric has been coming from our government. President Obama made a public statement in the days after the Orlando attack doubling down on his commitment not to speak about Islam when addressing any terrorist attacks, even when they are manifestly inspired or encouraged by ISIS or other Islamist ideology.

Denying Reality Gets People Killed

Last week, the FBI released a heavily redacted transcript of Mateen’s 911 call, in which he pledged his allegiance to ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. The FBI had scrubbed references to ISIS and changed his use of “Allah” to “God,” as though it were a translation rather than a transcript. Most damning of all, however, was the revelation that the FBI was aware of Mateen’s presence, had interviewed him three times in the past few years, and knew he belonged to the same mosque as Moner Mohammad Abusalha, the first American suicide bomber in Syria.

Of course, this latest foray into delusion vis-à-vis the relationship between terrorism and Salafist interpretations of Islam, or what Andrew McCarthy referred to in the hearing as “Sharia supremacism,” is preceded by a long history of the Obama administration’s systemic denial of this relationship. We saw similar reactions on the Left and in our government after the Charlie Hebdo shootings, a few weeks after which Obama held a summit on “violent extremism,” as though one can be violently extreme about nothing in particular. There were similar reactions after San Bernardino, Paris, and Brussels.

The hearing Tuesday was meant to shine a spotlight on what can only be described as a systematic and willful blindness to the reality that Islamist ideology is closely linked to terrorism and radicalization. This blindness is a natural consequence of the Obama administration’s reckless national-security policy of “countering violent extremism,” or CVE. McCarthy describes the CVE as “delusionally forbid[ing] the conclusion that radical Islamic ideology has any causative effect on terrorist plotting.”

Among those who testified was Philip Haney, a founding member of the Department of Homeland Security, now turned whistleblower. He described ongoing retaliation while working at DHS for investigations he ran that put the dots together for international Islamist groups that also worked within the United States. Haney was ordered by his superiors to redact the use of Islamic terms in 876 documents, something for which none of the Democrats at the hearing expressed even the slightest bit of concern. He surmises that had his work been allowed to continue, DHS very well could have been alerted to the San Bernardino shooters.

As Long As We Keep Saying It, It Will Be True

In the hearing, Cruz repeatedly brought up Nidal Hassan, the Fort Hood shooter, who was known to have visited radical Islamic websites and been in email contact with a radical cleric. This is important because Hassan’s terrorist attack was one of the earliest occurrences of the Obama administration’s insistence that there is no such thing as Islamic terrorism, because the White House fundamentally rejects the notion that Islam inspires violence. The military officially labeled the Fort Hood shooting “workplace violence,” despite what Hassan himself claims it was.

Another major point raised in Tuesday’s hearing was the scrubbing of terms like “Islam” and “jihad” in DHS training materials over the past several years. This was compared with the 9/11 Commission report, where Islam-related words showed up more than 100 times. Notably, one of the panelists, Farhana Khera, is president of Muslim Advocates, the organization that requested in writing that these training materials be “purged” of these “bigoted” terms.

Not surprisingly, Khera spent much of her time testifying in the exact kind of doublespeak that the hearing was there to discuss. She said dangerous political rhetoric regarding Islam is teaching Americans to fear and hate their Muslim neighbors, despite other panelists arguing that Islam is not a monolithic religion and that there are multiple interpretations, including violent ones, and that these, not the peaceful ones, ought to be condemned. But Khera wasn’t listening. She said she was disturbed by what the other panelists said, calling it “garbage.”

La La La, I’m Not Listening

Panelists like Chris Gaubitz, a national security consultant at Understanding the Threat Consulting Firm, pointed out that we could kill every member of ISIS and al-Qaeda, but without addressing the spread of sharia doctrine, Islamist terrorism won’t end. Dr. Zuhdi Jasser, founder and president of the American Islamic Forum for Democracy, urged an honest conversation about Islamist terrorism, arguing that by refusing to talk about it we are infantilizing Muslims by supposing they are too fragile to hear a frank discussion about Islam. According to him, “to say that Islam has no problems is just as problematic as saying Islam and Muslims are the problem”

Several Democratic senators tried to make analogies to the KKK and Christianity, arguing that just like we don’t call white-supremacist groups “radical Christians” neither should we call individuals and groups who perpetrate terrorist acts in the name of Islam “radical Muslims.” Meanwhile, Richard Cohen, president of the Southern Poverty Law Center, spent much of his time discussing how the focus on Islamic terrorism in the last 15 years has blinded us to the serious problems in our country with radical right-wing terrorists.

During the Senate hearing, Turkey’s Ataturk airport was attacked by suicide bombers, killing dozens, and al-Qaeda released a special edition of their English-language publication Inspire Guide urging lone-wolf attackers to target the “Anglo-Saxon community” so their acts won’t be misinterpreted as “hate crimes” but rather what they really are: religiously motivated terrorist attacks. How painfully ironic that Islamist terrorists are so flummoxed by the liberal West’s insistence on ignoring their motivations that they had to make an official statement to clarify things.

In the end, the hearing appeared an effort in futility. It seemed as though half the room lives in an alternate reality. But only one of those realities is real. And only one of them will win out in the end.

M. G. Oprea is a writer based in Austin, Texas. She holds a PhD in French linguistics from the University of Texas at Austin. You can follow her on Twitter here.

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Also see:

Willful Blindness: Senate Hearing on Efforts To Deemphasize Radical Islam in Combating Terrorism

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UPDATE 1:50PM. Live-stream of the hearing is available on CSPAN-3. Follow our #WillfulBlindness twitter list for the most comprehensive, minute-by-minute coverage, featuring our CounterJihad team.

By CounterJihad, June 28, 2016:

Today at 2:30 Eastern, Senator Ted Cruz will lead Congressional hearings into the damage caused to national security by the Obama administration’s attempts to downplay the threat from radical Islam. The hearing seeks to get to the bottom of the Obama Administration’s attempt to cover up the threat posed by radical Islam to U.S. national security. President Obama and other government officials have effectively diverted attention away from the global jihadist movement and covered up key linkages in various terrorist attacks.

We have seen this strategy throughout Obama’s presidency: from labeling terrorist attacks like the Fort Hood shooting as workplace violence (finally called incident terrorist attack in 2015), to the Benghazi incident when former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and others initially blamed the attack on an internet video, to the recent Orlando shooting where President Obama is shifting attention away from ISIS to gun control.

There is also a deliberate attempt to characterize individuals as “lone-wolf” terrorists to disconnect the individual from a broader terror network seeking to undermine U.S. security. Further attempts to disguise the real threat is evident in President Obama’s national security strategy “Countering Violent Extremism” (CVE) which National Review columnist Andrew C. McCarthy describes as an effort that “…forbids the conclusion that radical Islamic ideology has any causative effect on terrorist plotting.” Therefore, any terroristic activity executed in the name of Islam essentially has nothing to do with Islam. This handicaps our military, FBI, DHS and other federal authorities from going after individuals and groups who espouse radical Islamic ideology, which is a driver that leads individuals to commit violent terroristic acts. This also allows the penetration of Muslim immigrants who hold radical Islamic ideologies through U.S. immigration.

Worse yet, our federal government is taking advice from Muslim Brotherhood operatives like the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), who in the document An Explanatory Memorandum: On the General Strategic Goal for the Group explains their strategy for the Muslim Brotherhood in North America as leading a “grand jihad in eliminating and destroying Western civilization from within and ‘sabotaging’ its miserable house by their hands and the hands of the believers so that it is eliminated.” We can’t seek national security guidance from groups and individuals who want to subvert our government and the American way of life.

Senator Cruz’s office says that the panel will specifically focus on ways that the administration has sought to undermine its own investigators.

The hearing will examine the Obama administration’s refusal to attribute the terrorist threats we face with radical Islam, hobbling our ability to combat the enemy. The hearing will specifically investigate how the federal government has not only refused to appropriately identify the specific threat of radical Islam, but has sought to undermine the people and information who have sought to highlight the threat.

Speakers will include a number of former US investigators, including Andrew C. McCarthy, a former Federal prosecutor of radical Islamic terror cases, and Phil Haney, a former Homeland Security officer who has charged that his databases on the entry of radicals into the United States were destroyed by the Clinton State Department.  Michael German, also of the FBI.  Rounding out the panel will be speakers from groups such as the Southern Poverty Law Center and Muslim Advocates, who will defend the proposition that Islam is being mistreated by those who wish to tie it to terror attacks such as San Bernardino or the Orlando shooting.

Here at CounterJihad we will have full coverage of these hearings.  Please join us for live coverage, and be sure to tune in to the hearings themselves on CSPAN-3.

Ted Cruz to Hold Hearing on Cover-up of Islamic Terror by Obama Administration

cruzConservative Review, By: Daniel Horowitz | June 22, 2016

It’s been over a week since the largest terror attack on American soil in 15 years, yet nobody in Congress has successfully steered the discussion to the actual source of our perilous security situation. The Obama administration is covering up all connections of the Orlando shooter to known Islamic terrorists with the help of the Muslim Brotherhood advising DHS and the FBI.  Yet, all Republicans and Democrats want to discuss is guns. That is about to change.

Next Tuesday, June 28, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), who chairs the Judiciary Subcommittee on Oversight, Agency Action, Federal Rights and Federal Courts, will conduct a hearing investigating the willful blindness on the part of the relevant law enforcement agencies to domestic Islamic terror networks.  The subject of the hearing is “Willful Blindness: Consequences of Agency Efforts To Deemphasize Radical Islam in Combating Terrorism.”

Senators on the committee now have an opportunity to expose the Muslim Brotherhood influence within DHS and the FBI, their invidious “Countering Violent Extremism” Agenda, and their hand in covering up counter-terrorism investigations.

Senator Cruz hinted at the agenda he plans to pursue at this hearing in an op-ed for Conservative Review earlier this week:

President Obama’s politically correct reluctance to attribute the terrorist threat we face with radical Islam hobbles our ability to combat it by discouraging counterterrorism agents from taking radical Islam into account when evaluating potential threats. The examples of Fort Hood, Boston, San Bernardino, and Orlando demonstrate the harmful consequences of this administration’s willful blindness.

Just yesterday, Attorney General Loretta Lynch announced at a press conference that the motives of the Orlando jihadist might never be known and that “our most effective response to terror…is unity and love.”  This comes on the heels of the government’s attempt to redact any mention of Islamic rhetoric in the 911 call and DHS releasing another internal document scrubbing all references to Islamic terror. Just this week, the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), a front group for Hamas, was allowed to sit in on FBI interviews with members of the Fort Pierce mosque. The FBI was supposed to cut ties with CAIR, and DOJ was supposed to prosecute them in 2009 following the Holy Land Foundation trial, in which CAIR was implicated as a co-conspirator, yet they are granted full access to FBI counter-terrorism investigations.     How can Republicans let this stand for one day? Worse, they are validating the Democrat premise by obsequiously holding vote after vote on the non sequitur of gun control while our own government is willfully allowing Islamic terrorist sympathizers to operate freely within DHS and sabotage all investigations that would have prevented these attacks.

Phil Haney interview

This hearing will likely focus on which figures within the federal government worked to squelch any research connecting the dots between local Muslim Brotherhood officials, these individual terrorists, and foreign terror networks. Senators on the committee now have an opportunity to expose the Muslim Brotherhood influence within DHS and the FBI, their invidious “Countering Violent Extremism” Agenda, and their hand in covering up counter-terrorism investigations.  They can demonstrate how the federal government has hamstrung local law enforcement by refusing to cooperate and share information regarding jihadists living in their communities.

Most importantly, this is the first opportunity to finally change the narrative from the false discussion about guns, which has nothing to do with Islamic Jihad. Hopefully, this committee hearing will be the beginning of a concerted effort for the legislative branch to actually engage in some critical oversight of the perfidious actions within the top echelons of federal law enforcement.  The fact that GOP leaders in the House and Senate are not pushing multiple hearings and legislation dealing with this issue is scandalous, but unfortunately, not unexpected.

Reflections On The Eve of Another Republican Primary

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Fontpage, by David Horowitz,  April 25, 2016:

Americans are facing an existential threat from the Islamic jihad, a medieval savagery that even liberal polls indicate is supported by somewhere between 500 and 600 million Muslims. Islamic Iran openly calls for the extermination of the Jews and death to America; yet with two exceptions – Egypt and Azerbaijan – not a single leader among the 57 Islamic nations has distanced himself from these genocidal agendas. America’s president is more intent on lecturing the targets of the proposed genocides – Israel, Christians and his own country, than in condemning the regime that is proposing them. Worse yet, in an unprecedented treachery Obama has staked his legacy on providing Iran – the chief sponsor of global terror and the chief proponent of religious genocides – with a path to nuclear power and the gift of 150 billion dollars its rulers can use to finance their terrorist goals.

While Obama is nearing the end of his term of inflicting the most damage on his own country of any president in the 229 years since the Founding, the Democrats have come up with one candidate who is a lifelong supporter of anti-American causes, and another who has demonstrated her contempt for America’s security and for American heroes martyred through her Libyan derelictions. We have no southern border to keep terrorists and criminals out, and a Democratic Party that wants to keep it that way. We have over 350 Democrat-run sanctuary cities pledged to defy American law and provide safe havens to criminals and terrorists who have come here by stealth. The Democrats formally embrace racist lynch mobs in our streets, and racial agitators who threaten riots – “No Justice, No Peace” – if law enforcement officials targeted by them aren’t condemned in advance of the facts or even after the facts absolve them. And yet on the other side of the political equation we have a Republican Party whose leaders and their followers profess to love this country and act as its defenders but in the midst of a battle for their country’s future are at each other’s throats as though these threats – both external and internal – did not exist.

Republicans need to sheath the knives they have drawn for each other and instead focus on the enemy to the left.

Frank Gaffney: Saudis Waging ‘Economic Warfare’ Against U.S., Attack on Fracking Industry Was a ‘Hostile Action’

Andrew Burton/Getty Images

Andrew Burton/Getty Images

Breitbart, by John Hayward, April 20, 2016:

Center for Security Policy founder Frank Gaffney, a senior policy adviser for presidential candidate Sen. Ted Cruz, tells Stephen K. Bannon on Breitbart News Daily the importance of national security issues in the 2016 presidential race.

He also addressed the controversy over the release of intelligence pertaining to Saudi involvement in the 9/11 attacks.

Gaffney thinks Donald Trump’s overwhelming victory in the New York primary was a sign that national security issues are not receiving the proper amount of attention in this election cycle. “I think it’s the defining issue of our time, and we’re still finding ourselves preoccupied with celebrity politics and a lot of other distractions,” he said.

“For a couple of decades, really, if you think about it – I think going back to the end of the Cold War, such as it was – people have stopped thinking about national security,” he lamented. “We’ve been the world’s only superpower. We sent our military around, and it seemed to do decisive jobs, at least until fairly recently.  It was somebody else’s problem, not ours. Our job, as Karl Rove famously said, was to go shopping. This is the sort of genetic makeup of the body politic these days.”

Gaffney praised Breitbart News as one of the media outlets that was “helping people connect with the reality that, whether we’re interested in the war that is upon us – I think it is the war for the free world, a major focus of which is, of course, the global jihad movement – whether we’re interested in it or not, it’s interested in us.”

“We have got to get squared away on this,” he urged. “If we have four more years of this kind of policy of weakness, and emboldening our enemies, and undermining our allies, and the diminishing of our country, we’re toast.”

Gaffney said that all of the Republican candidates had signaled their understanding of the stakes for American security in the 2016 election, although their policy agendas are very different.

“There is a general recognition, I think, among the Republican contenders that more of the same is a formula for disaster for our country, on national security and homeland security grounds most especially,” he said.

Gaffney thought President Obama’s visit to Saudi Arabia was a good moment to release the long-classified “28 pages” of 9/11 intelligence related to the Saudis.

“This is a time, I think, for truth to the Saudis,” he said. “They have been playing a double game against us for a long time. They buy our weapons, they sell us oil, they like us to protect them. But the reality is that they are undermining us in many ways, including through various forms of economic warfare.”

“You know, they said explicitly when they were driving down the price of oil – which consumers like us appreciated, by lower gas prices – that they were doing it to destroy our fracking industry. That is a hostile action. They’re now talking about dumping Treasury bills, if they’re held accountable for what they did on 9/11, and I believe they were directly involved in 9/11. That’s an act of economic warfare as well,” Gaffney charged.

He also said the Saudis were acting to “facilitate and underwrite the jihad,” as long as the jihadis aren’t working to destabilize the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

“That’s an act of real warfare against us, and I think it’s time for the President of the United States to say so to them directly, and effect change there, one way or the other,” he said.

Breitbart News Daily airs on SiriusXM Patriot 125 weekdays from 6:00AM to 9:00AM EST.

You can listen to the full interview with Frank Gaffney below: