Heeding the Times from Harry Antonides' Desk

Michelle Bachmann versus Keith Ellison

August, 2012

 

“I’ve come here in Cairo to seek a new beginning between the United States and Muslims around the world, one based on mutual interest and mutual respect, and one based upon the truth that America and Islam are not exclusive and need not be in competition. Instead, they overlap, and show common principles – principles of justice and progress; tolerance and the dignity of all human beings.…And I consider it part of my responsibility  as President of the United States to fight against negative stereotypes of Islam  wherever they appear.” (President Barack Obama, Cairo University, June 4, 2009)

While President Obama has beavered away at fundamentally transforming America for almost four years, as he promised/threatened to do, nearly all the focus has been on healthcare and the economy.  Meanwhile, the Obama Administration’s relationship with the Muslim world is undergoing a far-reaching change that has not received the attention it deserves -- thanks to the lack of critical reporting in the mainstream media.

Those who want to cast some light on these changes better be prepared for strong, even vicious opposition. Why would this be, especially since Obama promised that his administration would be a model of tolerance, transparency and impartiality? The reality is that his actions are in conflict with the promises he made during the 2008 election campaign. Deeds speak louder than words.

Obama’s New Priority

Obama’s speech in June 2009 to the Cairo audience, which included members of the Muslim Brotherhood, provides a telling clue to the radical changes he has in mind. The key sentence in that speech is the following:  “And I consider it part of my responsibility as President of the United States to fight against negative stereotypes  of Islam wherever they appear.”

We are now three years later, and the Obama Administration has imposed radical changes in its policies toward Islam.  Five Republican Members of the House Permanent Select Committee of Intelligence,  led by  Michele  Bachmann, have  initiated a discussion about that topic.

They have done so by raising questions about the vetting policies of Muslim staff members in key government positions and about the relationship between government agencies and radical Islamic groups such as the Muslim Brotherhood and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC).

 The five have written to the Inspectors General of the Departments of Defense, State, Justice, Homeland Security, and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence. The purpose of these letters was “to request a multi-department investigation into potential Muslim Brotherhood infiltration into the United States Government.”

Word soon spread about this letter, and Michele Bachmann was met with a barrage of vitriol   and character assassination. Her fellow Minnesotan and the first (of two) Muslim Congressmen, Keith Ellison,  was quick to attack  Bachmann and demanded that she back  up her request for this  investigating  with relevant facts.  On July 13, Bachmann answered Ellison with a 16--page letter of explanation backed by 59 footnotes. Following are just a few of the items mentioned in the Bachmann letter. 

She points out that government departments and agencies are advised by organizations and individuals that “the U.S. Government itself has identified in federal court as fronts for the international Muslim Brotherhood.” She finds it a matter of “genuine concern” that despite this known fact, the U.S. Government continues to associate with these groups.

Faulty Intelligence

On February 10, 2011, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper in his testimony  before the House Permanent  Select Committee  on Intelligence described the Muslim Brotherhood  as” largely secular.” He was obviously wrong and had to retract that statement.

 In contrast to Director Clapper’s testimony, FBI Director Mueller had this to say: “I can say at the outset that elements of the Muslim Brotherhood both here and overseas have supported terrorism. To the extent that I can provide information, I would be happy to do in closed session.”

 In fact, the largest terrorist finance trial -- the Holy Land Foundation  trial  in 2007-08 – had introduced  documents that stated that the Brotherhood is engaged in “a civilization Jihadists process ….The Ikhwan, the Brotherhood must understand that their work in America  is a kind of grand jihad  in eliminating  and destroying  the Western civilization from within…. The  9-11 Commission Report says we must address ideologies that give rise to Islamic  terrorism.”

 “…the Deputy Chief of Staff [of Hillary Clinton],  Huma Abedin,  has three family members – her late father, her mother and her brother – connected to Muslim Brotherhood operatives and/or organizations. Her position provides her with routine access to the Secretary and to policy making.

Bachmann insists that asking questions  about  highly based U.S. government officials  with known family connections  to foreign extreme  organizations is not to single out  Ms. Abedin, since such questions are raised  by the U.S. government  of anyone seeking a security clearance. She wonders what standards were used for Ms. Abedin’s security clearance.  

The Organization of Islamic Cooperation, an international organization of 57 countries, is determined to impose sharia worldwide. The agenda of the OIC is well known, it claims to be the “collective voice of the Muslim world,” the Ummah, and promotes the spreading of sharia worldwide. It interprets sharia law according to the “Cairo Declaration on Human Rights in Islam.”  This Declaration states in Article 24 that “all the rights and freedoms stipulated in this Declaration are subject to the Islamic shariah.”  

One of the objectives of the OIC is to safeguard the rights and religious identity of Muslim communities and minorities in non-member states. The 2010 OIC Observatory Report states that Muslims living in non-Muslim countries should not attempt to be assimilated since accommodation is the best strategy for integration. Bachmann observes:  “In other words, Muslims should be allowed to live in non-Muslim states without having to necessarily obey its laws.”

The OIC’s Win at the UN

The close ties between the OIC and the Muslim Brotherhood is not a secret. In 2010 and in 2011, the OIC organized “Islam and Muslims in America” conferences in Chicago,  which were  promoted by the Council on American-Islamic  Relations (CAIR)  where the keynote speakers were the OIC General Secretary as well as senior leaders of the  Muslim Brotherhood front groups  such as the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA). Both CAIR and ISNA were identified as Muslim Brotherhood entities in the Holy Land Foundation trial.

The Bylaws of the International  Muslim Brotherhood state:

“… the Muslim Brotherhood is an international Muslim Body, which seeks to establish Allah’s law in the land by achieving  the spiritual goals of Islam and the true religion….” It continues by mentioning:

“the need to work on establishing  the Islamic State,… Defend the (Islamic) nation against the internal enemies,…”

(These quotations from the Ikhwanweb.com have since been removed)

Bachmann writes that allowing a foreign governing entity to maintain ongoing relations with domestic front groups has security implications.  “And the evidence of collaboration between the OIC and the U.S.-based Muslim Brotherhood front groups needs to be investigated if for no other reason than to rule out what may reasonably appear to be questionable behavior from a national security perspective.”

Bachmann also draws attention to the attempts of the OIC to use the United Nations for imposing speech standards on non-Muslim countries. In 2005, the OIC promulgated the “Ten Year Program of Action” calling for the UN to “adopt an international resolution to counter Islamophobia, and call upon  all States  to enact laws to counter it, including deterrent punishments.”  (emphasis added)

Killing Free Speech

What may surprise many, Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State  has played a major role in  participating  in the ”Istanbul Process”  aimed at implementing  the  Ten Year Programme through  ratifying  the UN  Resolution 16/18. This resolution was drafted by Pakistan on behalf of the OIC and fulfills its objectives on defamation that the West had up until that time consistently opposed.

Secretary Clinton assured the OIC Secretary General that the U.S. would use “some old-fashioned  techniques of peer pressure and shaming” against those who choose not to submit to the new speech requirements. Bachmann observes that for the U.S to commit to a sharia-friendly agenda of speech control  “in violation  of the U.S. Constitution, raises considerable concerns about U.S. sovereignty --  concerns that must be addressed by independent authorities, such as the various Inspectors General.” 

 The Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), an umbrella organization of American Muslim groups, is the largest Muslim Brotherhood front in the United States. “There was sufficient evidence presented at the Holy Land Foundation trial to show that ISNA has an intimate relationship with the Muslim Brotherhood, the Palestine Committee, the terrorist organization Hamas, and the defendants in this trial.”

The Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC) and Muslim Advocates, two civil rights organizations, “exercise influence in ways that align with Muslim Brotherhood agendas.”  Last October, they joined several other Brotherhood front organizations by signing on to a joint letter that called for the creation of a “White House” “interagency taskforce” to conduct a “purge” of counterterrorism training materials.

These same organizations met with the Department of Justice Assistant Attorney General of the Civil Rights Division to call for “a legal declaration that U.S. citizens’ criticism of Islam constitutes racial discrimination.” Bachmann writes that this “call to subvert the First Amendment should have been challenged by the Department of Justice, but wasn’t. That is deeply troubling.”

Requests by the House Judiciary Committee from the Department of Justice and the FBI for all of the case evidence submitted during the Holy Land Foundation trial have been fruitless.

Bachmann writes that other “shocking” incidents have occurred, including the State Department’s decision to give a member of an Egyptian designated terrorist group a visa to enter the country and meet with National Security Council officials at the White House. This same person used this opportunity to call for the release of the “Blind Sheikh” Omar Abdel Rahman,  who is serving a life  sentence  for his role  in the  1993  World Trade Center bombing  and other planned  terror plots in the U.S.

Conclusion

There is much more in this letter that warrants attention not only of American citizens but also of the rest of us because we are directly affected by America’s response to treacherous Islam with a smiley face. (See Andrew C, McCarthy, “Questions about Huma Abedin,” National Review Online, July 21, 2012.)  

President Obama is obviously determined in interpret his task to “fight against negative stereotypes of Islam wherever they appear” so widely that he closes his eyes to the reality of supremacist Islam that is determined to establish Allah’s rule everywhere.

The current American election campaign is largely a distraction, preoccupied with slinging mud and spending millions on ridiculous ads. Meanwhile, political correctness serves as a cover for the Obama Administration to transform America by teaming up with people whose agenda is fundamentally alien to what is best about this country.

Bachmann and her four colleagues are raising an issue that goes to the heart of America’s existence as a free nation. The very fact that this took exceptional courage and that they have to brace themselves for the worst kind of slander tells you a lot about the precarious state of America. At the same time, they have done a good and honourable thing, deserving the gratitude of every person who treasures freedom and truth.

Harry Antonides

hantonides@sympatico.ca