BREAKING: Islam ‘Helped to Shape’ CIA Nominee John Brennan’s World View

January 9, 2013

As a college student in the 1970s, John Brennan, President Obama's nominee for CIA director, traveled in Indonesia where - he recalled in a speech in New York in 2010 - "despite my long hair, my earring and my obvious American appearance, I was welcomed throughout that country, in a way that is a reflection of the tremendous warmth of Islamic cultures and societies."

Brennan's Feb. 13, 2010 address to a meeting at the Islamic Center at New York University, facilitated by the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), provided an insight into his views on Islam, a faith which he said during the speech had "helped to shape my own world view."

Travels around the world over more than three decades had taught him about "the goodness and beauty of Islam," said Brennan, whose 25-year career at the CIA until 2005 included a stint as station chief in Riyadh.

"Like the president during his childhood years in Jakarta, I came to see Islam not how it is often misrepresented, but for what it is - how it is practiced every day, by well over a billion Muslims worldwide, a faith of peace and tolerance and great diversity."

In the speech, during which he drew applause after speaking in Arabic for more than a minute, Brennan used terms evidently designed to appeal to his audience, such as "Al-Quds" for Jerusalem, "Palestine" and "as the Qur'an reveals" - in keeping with the Muslim belief that the Qur'an was "revealed" directly by Allah to Mohammed through the angel Jibril (Gabriel).

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