by FRANK J. GAFFNEY, JR.
March 18, 2009
On Friday, President Obama reiterated for the umpteenth time his determination to develop a "new relationship" with the Muslim world. On this occasion, the audience was the leaders of Saudi Arabia, Indonesia and the Philippines. Unfortunately, it increasingly appears that, in so doing, he will be embracing the agenda of the Muslim Brotherhood – an organization dedicated to promoting the theo-political-legal program authoritative Islam calls Shariah and that has the self-described mission of "destroying Western civilization from within."
As part of Mr. Obama's "Respect Islam" campaign, he will travel to Turkey in early April. While there, he will not only pay tribute to an Islamist government that has systematically wrested every institution from the secular tradition of Ataturk and put the country squarely on the path to Islamification. He will also participate in something called the "Alliance of Civilizations."
The Alliance is a UN-sponsored affair that reflects – as, increasingly do most things the United Nations is involved in – the views of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC). The OIC is made up of 57 Muslim-majority nations. Thanks to support from Saudi Arabia and its proxies, the Muslim Brotherhood has become a driving force within the Conference and their agendas largely coincide.
For example, in 2005 a communiqué issued after a summit in Mecca declared: "The Conference underlined the need to collectively endeavor to reflect the noble Islamic values, counter Islamophobia, defamation of Islam and its values and desecration of Islamic holy sites, and to effectively coordinate with States as well as regional and international institutions and organizations to urge them to criminalize this phenomenon as a form of racism."
Ominously, as part of its bid to "criminalize" Islamophobia, the OIC is seeking "deterrent punishments." It insists that not only freedom of expression but all human rights be circumscribed by the OIC's 1990 Cairo Declaration on Human Rights in Islam, which concludes with the caveat that, "All the rights and freedoms stipulated in this Declaration are subject to the Islamic Shariah." Translation: Liberties enshrined in the UN's foundational Universal Declaration of Human Rights are largely rendered null and void.
The demand that no criticism of Islam be permitted is the preeminent feature of the Muslim Brotherhood's efforts in the West. In fact, it is but the leading edge of the Brothers' bid to suppress public awareness of the threat posed by their program in societies that pride themselves on religious tolerance, thereby facilitating seditious penetration and influence operations by the Shariah-adherent.
A playbook for the latter can be found in a publication issued last fall by the U.S.-Muslim Engagement Project that is being aggressively promoted to the Obama administration and Congress by a number of its non-Muslim participants. Notably, former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright recently effusively presented the Project's book entitled Changing Course: A New Direction for U.S. Relations with the Muslim World to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Former Congressman Vin Weber did the same at Grover Norquist's weekly meeting of conservative activists last week.
Underwritten largely by George Soros' and other left-wing foundations, Changing Course seems to reflect predominantly the recommendations of groups the government has established are Muslim Brotherhood fronts, such as the Islamic Society of North America and the Muslim Public Affairs Council. Both are represented in the Engagement Project's "Leadership Group." Accordingly, its book calls for:
- "engagement with groups that have clearly demonstrated a commitment to nonviolent participation in politics" (read: the Brotherhood);
- "not equat[ing] reform with secularism, nor...assum[ing] that reformers who advocate some form of Shariah as the basis for the rule of law will inevitably abuse human rights or adopt anti-American policies";
- "not supply[ing] additional ammunition to extremists by linking the term ‘Islam' or key tenets of the religion of Islam with the actions of extremist or terrorist groups";
- Launching "an education program comparable in scale" to "the more than $7 billion" invested in the "post-Sputnik U.S. commitment to math and science education" to "education on Islam and Muslims, sustained over a decade or more, focused on teacher training and curriculum in middle and high schools, and colleges."
Emboldened by the promise of this influence operation and the apparent willingness of the Obama administration to embrace the Muslim Brotherhood's agenda – in part, if not in its entirety – the organization's assorted fronts in America are becoming ever more audacious. In response to a long-overdue decision taken by the FBI last year to terminate "sensitivity training" of its agents by one of the most prominent of these fronts, the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR), assorted Brotherhood groups and operatives reportedly intend to announce that Muslims will henceforth cease any and all cooperation with U.S. law enforcement until CAIR is rehabilitated.
Such a step would not only call into question the patriotism of the many Muslims in America who do not embrace the Brotherhood's Shariah agenda – something that would, presumably, be as offensive to them as it would be troubling to the rest of us. It could also expose those engaged in it to criminal charges of "misprision of felony," conspiring to withhold information from the authorities concerning terrorist operations and activities in the Muslim community.
The message should go forth: Friends of the Muslim Brotherhood are no friends of America. We follow their guidance at our peril.
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FamilySecurityMatters.org Contributor Frank J. Gaffney Jr. is president of the Center for Security Policy and a columnist for the