Have Muslim Apologists Nothing More to Offer?
by Raymond Ibrahim
Hudson New York
March 14, 2011
From Congressman Keith Ellison’s emotional breakdown to Congresswoman Jackie Speier’s accusations of “racism,” last week’s hearings on Muslim radicalization have made it clear that those who oppose the hearings have little of substance to offer. Still, the tactics used by such apologists—namely, appeals to emotionalism and accusations of racism—are influential enough that they need to be addressed and discredited once and for all.
For starters, though it would have been unheard of generations ago and seen as a sign of instability, public crying is the latest rage for politicians. A 2007 Associated Press report puts it well: “Tears, once kryptonite to serious presidential candidates, today are more often seen as a useful part of the political tool kit”—and are thus indicative of an increasingly therapeutic society, one more interested in a show of catharsis than facts.
Yet, tears aside, if we wish to be objective for a moment, Ellison’s testimony—culminating with his choking up and leaving the hearing—contributes nothing to the topic of Muslim radicalization in America. Instead, it raises more questions about Ellison—a former Nation of Islam leader, mouthpiece for the Muslim Brotherhood front-group CAIR, and critic of the U.S. Constitution.
Indeed, arguing that “suit-and-tie” Islamists have penetrated Western societies and are manipulating the legal system to their advantage—including by imposing aspects of Islamic law, winning special privileges for themselves, and, of course, shutting down criticism of Islam—Daniel Pipes has singled out Ellison as representing a far greater threat to Western civilization than Osama bin Laden.
Did Ellison feign an emotional breakdown during his opening remarks to leave the hearing and evade follow-up questions from Congressman Peter King and others—concrete questions about Muslim radicalization that he preferred not to respond to—or were his tears sincere? Either way, it is not clear which is worse: another obfuscating politician, or a politician whose emotions so dominate him that he cannot carry out his responsibilities.
While we are on the topic of strategic-weeping, it is relevant to note that authoritative Muslim scholars, such as Ibn Hajar, recommend deceiving infidels with crocodile tears: “Revealing one thing while secretly planning another is the essence of deception; moreover, the hadith incites [Muslims] to take great caution in war, while [publicly] lamenting and mourning in order to dupe the infidels” (The Al Qaeda Reader, p.142). This is not to conclude that Ellison is taking lessons from Hajar, but that even the most rabid jihadists—not just American politicians—are aware of the power of tears as a ruse.
The other tactic that frequently arises and is in dire need of being laid to rest—permanently—is this business of trying to stifle any talk on Islam and Muslims by labeling it “racist.” One would have thought it was obvious, but apparently it needs stressing: race and religion have absolutely nothing to do with one another. Race is inherent, represented by physical characteristics; religion is learned, impacting the mind, regardless of race. Thus most major religions—especially Christianity and Islam—have adherents from all races and ethnicities.
Despite these obvious facts, uncritical thinkers like Congresswoman Jackie Speier—or simply garden-variety manipulators—constantly cry “racism” when Islam and Muslims come under scrutiny. This approach is ubiquitous: discussing the Fort Hood shootings, a former American soldier lamented that “When a white guy shoots up a post office, they call that going postal. But when a Muslim [namely, Nidal Hasan] does it, they call it jihad.” Notice the confusion; as if a “white guy” and a “Muslim” represent different races. (What if the person is a “white Muslim,” as in the instance of Hasan?)
Of course, if a person of any color goes on a random shooting spree, it would be racist to pin it on his race. But if a person of any color goes on a shooting spree—while waving the Koran, screaming Allahu Akbar, or otherwise rationalizing his actions in Islamic terms, as did Nidal Hasan—then we are talking about a shooting spree motivated by a learned ideology or worldview that has nothing to do with the shooter’s race.
And this is the whole point: tears and moral outrage aside, while it is important to recognize that not all Muslims are jihadists, it is equally important to acknowledge that all jihadists are Muslims—hence the need to delimit the hearings to the Muslim community. You will not find jihadists ensconced among neo-Nazis or other “radicals.” Moreover, as Peter King put it:
There is no equivalency of threat between al-Qaeda and neo-Nazis, environmental extremists or other isolated madmen. Only al-Qaeda and its Islamist affiliates in this country are part of an international threat to our nation. Indeed, by the Justice Department’s own record, not one terror-related case in the last two years involved neo-Nazis, environmental extremists, militias or anti-war groups.
Based on these initial hearings, it is clear that the apologists have little to offer. As Jennifer Rubin writes at the Washington Post, “The Democrats’ unhinged rhetoric and wild accusations did more to undermine their opposition to the hearings than anything King could possibly have said.” Yet crying tears or “racism!” is emblematic of a greater problem: politicians trying to appeal to the people’s emotions, not their reason—an approach that has historically had horrific consequences.
Raymond Ibrahim is associate director of the Middle East Forum.
Related Topics: Muslims in the United States | Raymond Ibrahim
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Ellison’s teary eyed performance should impress no one: this guy is a nasty piece of work.
Andrew G. Bostom (source)
Matthew Shaffer of NRO (as noted here by Ethel Fenig) exposed Keith Ellison’s mendacious taqiyya(Koran-sanctioned Islamic dissimulation) theater during the Congressman’s testimony at Thursday’s Homeland Security Hearings on American Muslim radicalization.
The next day, during a 3/11/11 interview with Bill Maher (on “Real Time With Bill Maher”), responding to Maher’s complaint that, “[Islam] comes from a hate-filled holy book, the Koran, which is taken very literally by its people,”Ellison invoked a deceitfully redacted extract of Koran 5:32, and the ostensible Koranic paean to “tolerance,” verse 2:256.
Ellison’s disingenuous response was predictable.
- Sultan Knish is also onto it, here: An Islamist’s Crocodile Tears
Following the murderous acts of jihad terrorism committed on September 11, 2001, Ibn Warraq highlighted the tragic irony of many apologists quoting selectively from Koran 5:32, “whoso slays a soul …shall be as if he had slain mankind altogether; and whoso gives life to a soul, shall be as if he has given life to mankind altogether”, attempting to demonstrate that the Koran disapproved of violence and killing. Here is the entire verse (5:32), quoted in full context, with the intimately related verse, Koran 5:33:
(5:32) Therefore We prescribed for the Children of Israel that whoso slays a soul not to retaliate for a soul slain, nor for corruption done in the land, shall be as if he had slain mankind altogether; and whoso gives life to a soul, shall be as if he has given life to mankind altogether. Our Messengers have already come to them with the clear signs; then many of them thereafter commit excesses in the earth. (5:33) This is the recompense of those who fight against God and His Messenger, and hasten about the earth, to do corruption there: they shall be slaughtered, or crucified, or their hands and feet shall alternately be struck off; or they shall be banished from the land. That is a degradation for them in this world; and in the world to come awaits them a mighty chastisement
[For direct comparison see, Mishna, Sanhedrin, IV, 5, “Thus was created a single man, to teach us that every person who loses a single soul, it shall be written about him as if he has lost the entire world, and every person who sustains a single soul, it shall be written, about him as if he has sustained the entire world”]
As Warraq noted, with regard to Koran 5:32/33, 1
The supposedly noble sentiments are in fact a warning to Jews. [2 see these commentaries as well] “Behave, or else” is the message. Far from abjuring violence, these verses aggressively point out that anyone opposing the Prophet will be killed, crucified, mutilated, and banished
Regarding the other pacific sounding verse Congressman Ellison cited, 2:256, it must be contextualized by Muhammad’s bellicose evolution within the Koran itself. But how, exactly? Abrogation is critical to understanding this evolution. Ali ibn Abi Talib—revered by Shiite Muslims and Islam’s 4th “Rightly Guided” Caliph—is reported to have told a pious Muslim companion, Abdul Rahman
“[C]an you differentiate between abrogating and abrogated verses” Abdul Rahman said, “no.” Thereupon Ali said “Thou art damned and causeth others to be damned.”
The Koran’s “verses of peace,” as cited by Ellison, and many other Muslim and non-Muslim apologists, most notably verse 2:256, “There is no compulsion in religion,” were all abrogated by the so-called verses of the sword. These abrogating verses of the sword recommend beheading or otherwise murdering and mutilating non-Muslims, and Muslim apostates. According to classical Muslim Koranic commentators verse 9:5 (perhaps the most infamous verse of the sword), “Slay the idolators wherever you find them, and take them captives and besiege them and lie in wait for them in every ambush…”, for example, cancels 124 verses that promote patience and toleration. And this doctrine of abrogation, necessitated by the many contradictions which abound in the Koran, originates as putatively taught by Muhammad, himself, at verse 2:106: “Whatever communications We abrogate or cause to be forgotten, We bring one better than it or like it. Do you not know that Allah has power over all things?”. This verse, in combination with verses* 16:101, 22:52, and 87:6, was elaborated into a formal system of abrogation (naskh in Arabic) by the greatest classical Muslim Koranic scholars and jurists, which entailed (p.72),
…the suppression of a ruling without the suppression of the wording. That is to say, the earlier ruling is still to be found in the Koran, and is still to this day recited in worship, but it no longer has any legal force.
The sacralized Islamic sources indicate that as the Muslim prophet Muhammad accrued political and military power, he evolved from a proselytizer and persuader, to a warrior, and dictatorial legislator. (i.e., a prototype jihadist; see for example, renowned contemporary mainstream Islamic cleric Yusuf al-Qaradawi’s, “The Prophet Muhammad as a Jihad Model”). Thus the sword and other similar Koranic verses—as per the linkage between Muhammad’s biography and the Koranic narrative—capture the Muslim prophet at his most dogmatic, belligerent, and intolerant. Muslims are enjoined to fight and murder nonbelievers—woe unto those who shirk these campaigns, but those who are killed fighting for the one true religion, i.e., Islam, will be rewarded amply in the afterlife.**
Thus it is reasonable to conclude that Keith Ellison’s deceitful pronouncements at Thursday’s Homeland SecurityHearings, this past Thursday, and one day later on “Real Time With Bill Maher,” are consistent with the Koranic doctrine of taqiyya, Islamic religious dissimulation. Al-Tabari (d. 923), author of perhaps the earliest and most important authoritative Koranic commentary, explains Koranic verse 3:28, which sanctions taqiyya, as follows (translation by Raymond Ibrahim):
If you [Muslims] are under their [non-Muslims’] authority, fearing for yourselves, behave loyally to them with your tongue while harboring inner animosity for them … [know that] God has forbidden believers from being friendly or on intimate terms with the infidels rather than other believers-except when infidels are above them [in authority]. Should that be the case, let them act friendly towards them while preserving their religion.
*Additional Koranic verses sanctioning abrogation:
16: 101: “And when We change (one) communication for (another) communication, and Allah knows best what He reveals, they say: You are only a forger. Nay, most of them do not know.”; 22:52: “And We did not send before you any messenger or prophet, but when he desired, the Shaitan made a suggestion respecting his desire; but Allah annuls that which the Shaitan casts, then does Allah establish His communications, and Allah is Knowing, Wise”;
87:6: “By degrees shall We teach thee to declare (the Message), so thou shalt not forget.”
**Additional Koranic verses sanctioning jihad, and jihad martyrdom:
47:4: “Now when ye meet in battle those who disbelieve, then it is smiting of the necks until, when ye have routed them, then making fast of bonds.”
9:29: “Fight those who do not believe in Allah, nor in the latter day, nor do they prohibit what Allah and His Messenger have prohibited, nor follow the religion of truth, out of those who have been given the Book, until they pay the tax in acknowledgment of superiority and they are in a state of subjection.”
4:76: “Those who believe fight in the way of Allah, and those who disbelieve fight in the way of the Shaitan. Fight therefore against the friends of the Shaitan; surely the strategy of the Shaitan is weak.”
8:12: “When your Lord revealed to the angels: I am with you, therefore make firm those who believe. I will cast terror into the hearts of those who disbelieve. Therefore strike off their heads and strike off every fingertip of them.”
8:38-39: “Say to the Unbelievers, if (now) they desist (from Unbelief), their past would be forgiven them; but if they persist, the punishment of those before them is already (a matter of warning for them). And fight them on until there is no more tumult or oppression, and there prevail justice and faith in Allah altogether and everywhere; but if they cease, verily Allah doth see all that they do.”
9:39: “If you do not go forth, He will chastise you with a painful chastisement and bring in your place a people other than you, and you will do Him no harm; and Allah has power over all things.”
4:74: “Therefore let those fight in the way of Allah, who sell this world’s life for the hereafter; and whoever fights in the way of Allah, then be he slain or be he victorious, We shall grant him a mighty reward.”
9:111: “Surely Allah has bought of the believers their persons and their property for this, that they shall have the garden; they fight in Allah’s way, so they slay and are slain; a promise which is binding on Him in the Taurat and the Injeel and the Quran; and who is more faithful to his covenant than Allah? Rejoice therefore in the pledge which you have made; and that is the mighty achievement.”
1. Ibn Warraq. Leaving Islam. Apostates Speak Out. Amherst, New York, 2003, p. 401.
2. The classical Qur’anic commentary of Ibn Kathir, and the 20th century commentary of Mawdudi confirm and validate the anti-Jewish attitudes expressed in Qur’an 5:32/33. From Ibn Kathir (Tafsir Ibn Kathir, Riyadh, Vol. 3, 2000, p.160), entitled, “Warning Those Who Commit Mischief ”:
This Ayah chastises and criticizes those who commit the prohibitions, after knowing that they are prohibited from indulging in them. [Like] [T]he Jews of Al-Madinah, such as Banu Qurayza, An-Nadir, and Qaynuqa..[Jewish tribes ultimately attacked, expropriated, expelled, and even massacred by Muhammad]
From Mawdudi (Towards Understanding the Qur’an. Vol. 2, pp. 155-56), who includes a contextual reference to Qur’an 5:30/31 as well:
God honored some of the illiterate people of Arabia and disregarded the ancient People of the Book because the former were pious while the latter were not. But rather than reflect upon the causes of their rejection by God, and do something to overcome the failings which led to that rejection, the Israelites were seized by the same fit of arrogance and folly which had once seized the criminal son of Adam [verses 5:30/31], and resolved to kill those whose good deeds had been accepted by God. It was obvious that such acts would contribute nothing towards their acceptance by God. They would rather earn them an even greater degree of God’s disapproval. Since the same qualities which had been displayed by the wrongdoing son of Adam were manifest in the Children of Israel, God strongly urged them not to kill human beings and couched his command in forceful terms.
The “land” (in verse 5:33) signifies either the country or territory wherein the responsibility of establishing law and order has been undertaken by an Islamic state. The expression “to wage war [fight] against Allah and His Messenger” denotes war against the righteous order established by the Islamic state.
Minnesota Fifth District Rep. Keith Ellison embodies the superficially odd alliance between Islamist forces and the left. He is not useful for much, but he is useful to illustrate the phenomenon. He is also useful to those who seek to minimize the threat posed by radical Islam to Americans.
Americans probably don’t need to be persuaded that the threat is real. The Christian Science Monitor reports that in the years since 9/11, the number of Muslim-American terrorism suspects and perpetrators has averaged about 16 per year. In 2010, the total was 20; in 2009, 47 Muslim-Americans committed or were arrested for terrorist crimes. Recall, just for example, — try hard — recent cases including Nidal Hasan, Abdulhakim Muhammed, Faisal Shahzad, Abdul Hakim Mujahid Muhammad, Colleen LaRose (“Jihad Jane”), Muhammad Hussain (formerly Antonio Martinez), and Mohamed Osman Mohamud.
One would think the seriousness of the problem posed to Americans by radical Islam would be self-evident. In Minneapolis, we have been contending with the disappearance of Somali immigrants who have been recruited by an Al Qaeda-linked group in their native country. What happens if and when they return to the United States?
As chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, Rep. Peter King is holding hearings this week on the threat posed by the radicalization of American Muslims. Their official title is “The extent of radicalization in the American Muslim community and that community’s response.” The hearings might seem to be overdue, but Ellison objects to them. According to Ellison, the focus on the threat posed by radical Islam is unwarranted. Ellison seems to think that terrorism is an equal opportunity employer, or something.
In an appearance on MSNBC that is posted here by RealClearPolitics, Ellison pointed out that King is an old apologist for the IRA. (I should think this would be to King’s credit in Ellison’s eyes.) King’s support of the IRA was misguided, tp say the least, but the IRA wasn’t targeting Americans. Ellison indicts King for hypocrisy; Ellison has a hard time dealing with King on the merits of the issue. Indeed, he hardly tries.
Ellison himself plans to testify at the hearings. If one’s record on related issues is relevant, as Ellison finds it useful to assert, one might want to consider Ellison’s background. There are a few items of interest in it.
Ellison’s background includes his work as a local leader of the Nation of Islam in Minneapolis, an ally of convicted gangster Sharif Willis, an agitator on behalf of cop killers, a supporter of SLA terrorist Sara Jane Olson (the former Kathleen Soliah), and a mouthpiece for the Muslim Brotherhood front group and unindicted Holy Land Foundation co-conspirator CAIR. See my Weekly Standard article “Louis Farrakha’s first congressman” and the companion Power Line post “Kieth Ellison for dummies.” I should think that these credentials detract somewhat more from Ellison’s credibility than King’s past support for the IRA.
“Juan Williams contributes to profiling and harassing Americans,” Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.) said.
misleading the audience… the clothes is not Juan’s exact point. the point is he is scared…. and honest enough to say it.
Juan for President. We need someone honest.
I don’t care what his fiscal slant is anymore. you wanna spend? fine… at least spend it on good things. don’t arm Muslim terrorists…
U.S. Veteran Dispatch
January 2007(first post)
Democrat Keith Ellison is now officially the first Muslim United States congressman. True to his pledge, he placed his hand on the Quran, the Muslim book of jihad and pledged his allegiance to the United States during his ceremonial swearing-in.
Capitol Hill staff said Ellison’s swearing-in photo opportunity drew more media than they had ever seen in the history of the U.S. House. Ellison represents the 5th
Congressional District of Minnesota.The Quran Ellison used was no ordinary book. It once belonged to Thomas Jefferson, third president of the United States and one of America’s founding fathers. Ellison borrowed it from the Rare Book Section of the Library of Congress. It was one of the 6,500 Jefferson books archived in the library.
Ellison, who was born in Detroit and converted to Islam while in college, said he chose to use Jefferson’s Quran because it showed that “a visionary like Jefferson” believed that wisdom could be gleaned from many sources.
There is no doubt Ellison was right about Jefferson believing wisdom could be “gleaned” from the Muslim Quran. At the time Jefferson owned the book, he needed to know everything possible about Muslims because he was about to advocate war against the Islamic “Barbary” states of Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia and Tripoli.
Ellison’s use of Jefferson’s Quran as a prop illuminates a subject once well-known in the history of the United States, but, which today, is mostly forgotten – the Muslim pirate slavers who over many centuries enslaved millions of Africans and tens of thousands of Christian Europeans and Americans in the Islamic “Barbary” states.
Over the course of 10 centuries, Muslim pirates cruised the African and Mediterranean coastline, pillaging villages and seizing slaves.
The taking of slaves in pre-dawn raids on unsuspecting coastal villages had a high casualty rate. It was typical of Muslim raiders to kill off as many of the “non-Muslim” older men and women as possible so the preferred “booty” of only young women and children could be collected.
Young non-Muslim women were targeted because of their value as concubines in Islamic markets. Islamic law provides for the sexual interests of Muslim men by allowing them to take as many as four wives at one time and to have as many concubines as their fortunes allow.
Boys, as young as 9 or 10 years old, were often mutilated to create eunuchs who would bring higher prices in the slave markets of the Middle East. Muslim slave traders created “eunuch stations” along major African slave routes so the necessary surgery could be performed. It was estimated that only a small number of the boys subjected to the mutilation survived after the surgery.
When American colonists rebelled against British rule in 1776, American merchant ships lost Royal Navy protection. With no American Navy for protection, American ships were attacked and their Christian crews enslaved by Muslim pirates operating under the control of the “Dey of Algiers”–an Islamist warlord ruling Algeria.
Because American commerce in the Mediterranean was being destroyed by the pirates, the Continental Congress agreed in 1784 to negotiate treaties with the four Barbary States. Congress appointed a special commission consisting of John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, and Benjamin Franklin, to oversee the negotiations.
Lacking the ability to protect its merchant ships in the Mediterranean, the new America government tried to appease the Muslim slavers by agreeing to pay tribute and ransoms in order to retrieve seized American ships and buy the freedom of enslaved sailors.
Adams argued in favor of paying tribute as the cheapest way to get American commerce in the Mediterranean moving again. Jefferson was opposed. He believed there would be no end to the demands for tribute and wanted matters settled “through the medium of war.” He proposed a league of trading nations to force an end to Muslim piracy.
In 1786, Jefferson, then the American ambassador to France, and Adams, then the American ambassador to Britain, met in London with Sidi Haji Abdul Rahman Adja, the “Dey of Algiers” ambassador to Britain.
The Americans wanted to negotiate a peace treaty based on Congress’ vote to appease.
During the meeting Jefferson and Adams asked the Dey’s ambassador why Muslims held so much hostility towards America, a nation with which they had no previous contacts.
In a later meeting with the American Congress, the two future presidents reported that Ambassador Sidi Haji Abdul Rahman Adja had answered that Islam “was founded on the Laws of their Prophet, that it was written in their Quran, that all nations who should not have acknowledged their authority were sinners, that it was their right and duty to make war upon them wherever they could be found, and to make slaves of all they could take as Prisoners, and that every Musselman (Muslim) who should be slain in Battle was sure to go to Paradise.”
For the following 15 years, the American government paid the Muslims millions of dollars for the safe passage of American ships or the return of American hostages. The payments in ransom and tribute amounted to 20 percent of United States government annual revenues in 1800.
Not long after Jefferson’s inauguration as president in 1801, he dispatched a group of frigates to defend American interests in the Mediterranean, and informed Congress.
Declaring that America was going to spend “millions for defense but not one cent for tribute,” Jefferson pressed the issue by deploying American Marines and many of America’s best warships to the Muslim Barbary Coast.
The USS Constitution, USS Constellation, USS Philadelphia, USS Chesapeake, USS Argus, USS Syren and USS Intrepid all saw action.
In 1805, American Marines marched across the dessert from Egypt into Tripolitania, forcing the surrender of Tripoli and the freeing of all American slaves.
During the Jefferson administration, the Muslim Barbary States, crumbling as a result of intense American naval bombardment and on shore raids by Marines, finally officially agreed to abandon slavery and piracy.
Jefferson’s victory over the Muslims lives on today in the Marine Hymn, with the line, “From the halls of Montezuma to the shores of Tripoli, we will fight our country’s battles on the land as on the sea.”
It wasn’t until 1815 that the problem was fully settled by the total defeat of all the Muslim slave trading pirates.
Jefferson had been right. The “medium of war” was the only way to put an end to the Muslim problem. Mr. Ellison was right about Jefferson. He was a “visionary” wise enough to read and learn about the enemy from their own Muslim book of jihad.
He is a fairly entrenched incumbent in a district drawn favorably for his party. That fact has helped U.S. Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN) raise more than $650,000 in his bid for a third term in Congress. That amount includes $173,000 in political action committee contributions from interests ranging from organized labor to health insurers and trial lawyers.
Among individual donors, Ellison – the first Muslim elected to Congress – enjoys strong support from Muslim Americans throughout the country, campaign finance records show.
That’s understandable. Tucked in among those contributions, however, are a handful of donors with a history of Muslim Brotherhood connections. For example, Ellison accepted $950 in contributions from Jamal Barzinji and another $1,000 from Hisham Al-Talib. And in late March, the Investigative Projec t on Terrorism has learned, Ellison attended a private fundraiser at the northern Virginia home of a man who led a group tied to the Muslim Brotherhood.
Barzinji and Al-Talib have served as vice presidents at the International Institute of Islamic Thought (IIIT), a Northern Virginia think-tank federal authorities suspect was part of a terrorist financing network. In addition, a previous FBI investigation concluded that Barzinji and Al-Talib were among U.S. leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood when they came here as students.
The Brotherhood, which also is called the Ikhwan, is an Egyptian-based religious/political movement that seeks to establish Islamic law as “the basis controlling the affairs of state and society.” Documents from an FBI investigation from the late 1980s show Barzinji included among “members and leaders of the IKHWAN.” He was the secretary general for the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) at that time.
ISNA was founded by Muslim Brotherhood members in the United States, records from that FBI probe and other investigations show.
Investigative records and trial exhibits also show that the organizations donors Barzinji and Al-Talib have been involved in and have helped finance criminal organizations including the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development and a think tank that served as refuge for at least four members of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad’s governing board during the early 1990s.
The IIIT was part of a network of Islamic companies and charities long suspected of financing terrorism. It was a principal financier of the World and Islam Studies Enterprise (WISE), a think tank run by Palestinian Islamic Jihad board member Sami Al-Arian. Fellow PIJ board members Basheer Nafi and current Secretary General Ramadan Shallah worked at the WISE think tank in the early 1990s through visas Al-Arian helped secure.
In 1992, IIIT President Taha Jaber Al-Awani wrote to Al-Arian, saying he considers Al-Arian’s think tank “an extension” of IIIT. “When we make a commitment to you or try to offer,” Al-Awani wrote, “we do it for you as a group, regardless of the party or the façade you use the donation for.”
According to an affidavit filed in connection with a 2002 search of the IIIT and related companies, the letter noted that others at IIIT, including Barzinji and Al-Talib, shared his assessment.
Ellison also received $1,000 from Esam Omeish, former president of the Muslim American Society (MAS), another group founded by Muslim Brotherhood members in the United States. The MAS Minnesota chapter paid Ellison’s travel expenses for a 2008 pilgrimage to Mecca.
During a 2000 rally, Omeish praised Palestinians for “choosing the jihad way” to liberation.
Other donors include Turkish Islamist Merve Kavakci, and Asad Zaman, principal of the MAS-run Tarek ibn Ziyad Academy in Minneapolis, and Aly Abuzaakouk, former executive director of the American Muslim Council and a former IIIT publications director.
He also received money from two men who were officers in the American Muslim Council (AMC). Its founder and longtime executive director, Abdurrahman Alamoudi, pled guilty to illegal transactions with Libya that included a plot to kill a Saudi crown prince. Alamoudi was a Muslim Brotherhood member.
Ex-AMC President Mohammed Cheema has given Ellison $1,250 for the 2010 election. When President Bill Clinton invited novelist Salman Rushdie to the White House in 1993, Cheema wrote to the President saying the move showed “a disregard for the feelings of 7 million American Muslims.” At the time, Rushdie faced a fatwa issued by the Ayatollah Khomeini for his novel, The Satanic Verses.
Another former AMC official, Yayha Basha, gave Ellison $500.
Ellison’s campaign finance reports are surprisingly devoid of donations from executives at the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), although this doesn’t mean CAIR won’t help him raise money. Executive Director Nihad Awad helped organize, and spoke at an intimate March fundraiser for Ellison at Omeish’s Virginia home.
It isn’t clear why Awad would play such a supportive role, yet not be listed as a donor to Ellison’s campaign. It may be that, of all the Islamist groups mentioned, CAIR may be the most politically risky today.
CAIR appears to be the subject of a federal grand jury probe and has been frozen out by the FBI out of concerns over the organization’s ties to Hamas. An FBI official explained the cut off in a letter last year. In February, a Department of Justice official spelled out the evidence in a Hamas-support trial that justified naming CAIR as an unindicted co-conspirator.
Ellison remains close to CAIR nonetheless. He spoke at three CAIR fundraising dinners last year and took to the House floor to defend the organization after another member made critical statements about the group.
Last fall, Ellison berated a Muslim critic of Islamist organizations such as CAIR and MAS. Rather than taking on specific criticisms made by American Islamic Forum for Democracy founder Zuhdi Jasser, Ellison accused him of fomenting bigotry against his own people.
“I think people who want to engage in nothing less than Muslim-hating really love you a lot because you give them freedom to do that. You say, ‘yeah, go get after them.'”
Politicians of all stripes deny being influenced by those who contribute to their campaigns. Contributors, they often say, want nothing more than good government and expect nothing in exchange for their money. Perhaps. In his two terms, Ellison has demonstrated repeated support for Islamist organizations and their issues, even serving as an attack dog against an anti-Islamist Muslim who advocates for the separation between mosque and state.
These contributions are a small slice of Ellison’s campaign war chest and hardly constitute the difference between a third term or defeat. By seeking them out, the congressman makes clear that he sees himself not as a representative of all American Muslims. Just like-minded Islamists.
The East Jerusalem expansions are not in accordance with international law,” US Rep. Keith Ellison told Arab News Wednesday. “East Jerusalem is a land that was acquired by conquest and occupation, and UN resolutions are clear; international law is clear – you cannot use warfare to expand your territories and colonize another country.
Only one party ethnically cleanses Jerusalem and it was not Israel. Jordan illegally occupied the country in 1948. There was the only occupation. The people of Jerusalem were mostly Jewish. The future of Jerusalem was to be decided by vote in the mandate before Jordan illegally took over with totalitarian rule and a xenophobic violent government. Keep in mind that the Saudis supported Hitler till 1945 and only changed their allegiance when it was clear he was losing. Why would we allow these men to lie in foreign governments. This is not the people of the United States speaking. Ellison represents a violent hypocritical interest.
vote for Lynne Torgerson in Minnesotta.
She wouldn’t have a human right where Ellison is speaking.
Did Ellison ask where are the churches in Saudi Arabia? Where are the synagogues? Where are the uncovered women? Hell, where are the women who drive?