Perhaps the most baffling element to the U.S. government’s Muslim outreach since the 1990s is the steadfast refusal by its supporters to acknowledge the mountain of evidence that testifies to its catastrophic failure. What pathology can explain how prosecutors can identify Muslim leaders and organizations as supporters of terrorism in federal court, and at the same time high-ranking government officials embrace these same leaders and groups as moderates and heatedly defend their inclusion as outreach partners? The answer might only lie in the realm of theology and not psychology.
After al-Qa’ida cleric Anwar al-Awlaki was teaching on Islam in the Executive Dining Room of the Pentagon just weeks after three of his disciples had flown a plane into the same building; when the government had to admit that the State Department’s Muslim goodwill ambassador to the Middle East and frequent White House visitor, Abdul Rahman al-Amoudi, had been one of the top al-Qa’ida fundraisers at the same time he was certifying the Pentagon’s Muslim chaplains; and even when attorneys for Sami al-Arian went into federal court demanding discovery documents showing their client’s outreach meetings at the White House, the Department of Justice, FBI headquarters, and the House of Representatives Speakers’ Office; there was not even a moment of pause before the government picked up right where it left off. This continues in the cases of ISNA, MPAC, CAIR, Mohamed Majid, Salam al-Marayati, Louay Safi, Mohamed Elibiary, Yasir Qadhi, Nihad Awad, and many others.
Take, for example, the case of Kifah Mustapha. At the same time that the FBI Chicago field office was telling the Illinois State Police of Mustapha’s extensive history of supporting Hamas, even providing a videotape of him singing exhortations to violence and racial hatred, that same FBI office was processing and approving the imam’s security clearance to participate in the FBI’s Citizen Academy program, complete with tours of the FBI Academy at Quantico and the top-secret National Counterterrorism Center. When asked about the bureau’s contradictory messages on Mustapha by the media, the only response FBI Director Mueller could muster was, “I’m not going to talk about any particular individual.” No longer do these Muslim leaders have to shout down their critics; they now have cabinet-level officials, White House aides, and some members of Congress to do it for them.
The net result of the U.S. government’s Muslim outreach has not just been the empowerment of extremists at the expense of marginalizing authentic moderates. Now the Obama administration has institutionalized these relationships where the very extremists they have empowered and embraced are now dictating inherently dangerous public policy. Demands by their outreach partners now include purges, blacklists, book bans, star chambers, speech codes, mandatory reeducation and official retaliation against federal employees, with the White House standing up a task force authorized to enforce these measures across the federal government.
Without the slightest bit of irony these are all invoked in the name of the First Amendment. To prevent further embarrassment, terror-related investigations are being scuttled by the Department of Justice to protect the senior leadership of their official outreach partners, ignoring entirely what has already been said about them in court filings by DOJ attorneys and even rulings by federal judges. This “compulsory blindness” applied to our intelligence, homeland security, and law enforcement agencies are precisely why investigations into identified terror threats are being stopped in their tracks (Boston, Fort Hood, et al.) at the expense of American lives.
Equally as troubling are the doors that the White House has thrown open to members of terrorist organizations and international war criminals. Meanwhile, the Obama administration has cheered, if not actively encouraged, the “largely secular” Muslim Brotherhood takeover in many countries throughout the Middle East. Leaders of groups identified by the federal government as fronts for the Muslim Brotherhood are given top seating for presidential speeches and are welcomed into the Oval Office to offer their advice prior to presidential trips to the Middle East.
The legacy of the U.S. government’s Muslim outreach programs since the 1990s is a monument of failure by any measure. With more American lives and body parts strewn across American streets once again in Boston, these outreach partners threatening the health and legitimacy of our constitutional republic with their demands. It is clearly past time for Congress to ask whether this long since failed experiment should come to an immediate end.
Tuesday, August 20, 2013
Patrick Poole: US Government's "Muslim Outreach" Fronts For Islamist Terrorists