Exclusive: Obama Administration Stacking the Deck with Islamists
by M. ZUHDI JASSER
April 15, 2009
As we try to understand where the Obama administration will fall with regards to the global threat of political Islam, the first few months have provided a number of hints, not least of which was the tenor of the recent visit to Turkey. It was painfully obvious after witnessing the length to which the Obama team went to avoid any substantive discussion on political Islam and the threat it poses to human rights abroad and domestically. Domestically, in the weeks preceding his trip, Islamists inside the Beltway began to more openly play their cards to what they obviously perceive to be a friendly administration. Groups like the Congressional Muslim Staffers Association (CMSA) are trying to establish themselves in a position of influence inside the White House, the House, and the Senate.
It’s the Ideology!
First just review some of the activities and commentary of Beltway Islamists since the transition and the Inauguration. On January 8th, the Congressional Muslim Staffers Association sent out an email announcing that they would be hosting an inaugural gala titled, “Muslim Inauguration Gala”. Guests included Congressman Keith Ellison, (D-MN), Cong. Andre Carson (D-IN), “Representatives of the Obama Administration”, Rev. Walter Fauntroy (DC-Delegate), Zaid Shakir and Hamza Yusef (of the Zaytuna Institute), Fmr. Capt. James Yee, Senegalese President Abduolaye Wade, CAIR Michigan Director, Dawud Walid, and Johari Abdul-Malik of the Muslim Alliance of North America. This list reads like a Who’s Who of leading Islamists in the United States, all of whom share the ideological framework of political Islam and the Muslim Brotherhood. One need not look far to see the types of ideas shared by these Muslims. For example, Mr. Johari Abdul-Malik spoke just last year at a July 2008 London conference of the “Radical Middle Way”. This Radical Middle Way, sadly British government supported, is an ideological outgrowth of the ideas of Sheikh Yusef Qaradawi, spiritual leader of the Muslim Brotherhood. Abdul-Malik stated the following about the Obama campaign and Islamist activism in a speech entitled “Can Muslims Trust Obama?”
Now Barak Obama has been able to identify himself as both black and white. When he’s in Chicago he’s black, when he’s in Kansas he’s white, and when he’s in Hawaii he’s Hawaiian [audience laugh]. He actually is Hawaiian because he was born there…”
“In the place that we live now the strategy for Muslim Americans now, is to place the priority of regime change in Washington. Because the White House was putting out this message that we need regime change in Iraq, we need democracy and freedom in Iran. Malcolm said ‘when they told me to go out and find the enemy I don’t have to go as far as Vietnam to find that enemy, I can find the enemy right here. So if we’re willing to fight for freedom there, then we ought to be able to fight for freedom here.’ So in America, we’re looking for regime change in Washington. And the only regime change that we can look forward to in the near future is to get the Democrats in the White House and put the Republicans, as Malcolm would say, ‘in the dog house’….”
After his speech, Mr. Abdul-Malik was asked whether it was permitted to vote in American elections according to Islam. In response he stated, “I could take the examples and say subhān Allah, how can you do that, it’s a Christian system and it’s unlawful. The Nagashi of Ethiopia, he was secretly a Muslim and head of State – that’s permissible.”
Mr. Abdul-Malik is actually very proud of the political tarring and feathering he does as an imam at a mosque (classical Islamism) in Northern Virginia and in fact predicts the utility of soon a Muslim candidate for a ‘full-fledged candidate for President”:
“I told some Muslims, you know, we should invite some of our political enemies to our rallies and meetings so that they can be taught and so we can say we love them, and let them say ‘no no no.’ And by the way, this really did happen. One candidate in northern Virginia came to the mosque and he was attacked by some conservatives, saying ‘why did you go to the mosque?’ and he said ‘no, I’m not with them at all-believe me-I’m not.’ It was political suicide for her, but we helped him. We put the tar on him, opened up a pillow case and waited for a wind to start blowing and feathered him right there. So I think the question of political accountability will be there for whoever wins…. our thought would be to run a full-fledged Muslim candidate for President. In which all the questions would not be about the economy, not about jobs, healthcare – it would be about Islam.”
“This is our challenge; to say ‘ok, I’m not a Muslim but I’m fascinated by the nation of Muslims and Islam and so on and so on... People of da’wa think that the outcome is to turn everyone into a Muslim and that will turn the tide. That was not the case in Yathrib, at the time of the Prophet (saw), it was not the case in Andalusia, it was not the case in so many civilisations that Islam had impacted upon. It took hundreds of years in some societies for Muslims to become 50% of the population but they had those four sections of the population to say ‘we will not have racists and bigots and sexists to have dominance over people who are fair minded, reasonable and rational… “
Abdul-Malik finally makes a very revealing statement about his prediction about the collapse of the United States government:
“For me, again, I’m not putting my faith in the Government. My faith is in Allah, I don’t believe in the Government. If I believed in the Government, then we would have been involved in the civil rights movement. Slavery – my people were slaves, I don’t know if you know that, we did not rely on the good will of the Government to get us out of slavery. We organised internally and externally to end slavery. Now what your idea would have been would be to get out of the abolitionist movement. Eventually the United States Government will fall under its own weight and you’ll be free”
Notice Abdul Malik’s reference to “Muslim nation”. Notice his reference to “regime change.” Notice the magic number of ‘50% Muslim’ where Abdul Malik’s Muslim political party (aka Muslim Brotherhood) can then control the electorate and enact their interpretation of “shar’ia’ law” as a majority in their mobocracy. This was just a peek into Abdul Malik’s beliefs. He is no small fish in the American Islamist community. He is a protégé of Siraj Wahhaj, the well known Islamist and unindicted co-conspirator in the 1993 WTC bombing. He is President of the Coordinating Council of Muslim Organizations (CCMO) and the outreach director for Dar-Al Hijra mosque in Northern Virginia. The CCMO represents more than 50 Muslim organizations and mosques in the D.C. area. This same group, true to Islamist separatist ideology recently signed a statement from the “grand pooba of Islamist organizations in the United States” (the American Muslim Task Force) suspending their relationship with the FBI. Hardly the action of a “mainstream Muslim group.”
Each of the invitees to the Muslim Inaugural shindig has a plethora of speeches and writings in the public space which documents their own transnational agenda of political Islam. Abdul-Malik told his colleagues long before how,
“…even under the pressures that you and I know about, the deen of Islam is growing because people see even within all of this struggle it is better to be a Muslim under these conditions than to be a kaffir under any conditions... before Allah closes our eyes for the last time you will see Islam move from being the second largest religion in America-that's where we are now- to being the first religion in America.”
Look into the comments and ideologies of others at this so-called ‘Muslim’ gala. These Islamist headliners have long been spreading their collectivist, socialist and oppressive ideologies of political Islam across the world.
It seems that no one is paying much attention to ideology anymore. Roll Call ran a piece discussing the gala quoting Kucinich and Ellison. They included this comment from CMSA coordinator and staff of Cong. Bill Pascrell (D-NJ), Assad Akhter, “People really want to believe in this president…it has a lot to do with who he is and the campaign he ran. He involved different groups, and they feel they had a part in this.” Revealingly, it did not seem to be very important to Casey Hynes of Roll Call to query any Muslim organizations who chose not to attend this gala.
Stacking the Deck
With that platform laid out, the CMSA also began a push during the transition to distribute a “Resume Book” of Muslims to offices on the Hill including the House, Senate, and the White House. The email from Mr. Saleh on November 20, 2008 stated,
“This is an important initiative that CMSA feels is greatly needed to promote the hiring of talented Muslim American staffers in the 111th Congress. It is CMSA's desire to provide Congressional Leadership, new Member Offices, and Committee Chairs with Resume Books that represents the diverse, highly educated, and young professional Muslim American community. This can only happen if a broad cross-section of the Muslim American community receives the "Request for Resumes."
In a subsequent email, Mr. Williams lists some of the positions sought to be filled including Chief of Staff, Professional Staff, Legislative Director, Legislative Assistant, Press, and Scheduling. A Chicago Tribune report of March 29, 2009 soft-peddled the move as “driven by community leaders…and bumped up two weeks ahead of schedule because White House officials heard about the venture” quoting J. Saleh Williams of the CMSA who put together the ‘book’ of around 49 names from a list of greater than 300 Muslims. This is an oddly soft piece from the Tribune considering many of the leadership of CMSA have worked closely with leaders of the Muslim American Society in D.C. and other Islamist groups which the same Tribune reporter exhaustively connected to the international movement of the Muslim Brotherhood (MB) in her November 19 2004 in her exposé on the MB in the United States.
Williams further told the Tribune that, “it was mostly under the radar…we thought it would put President Obama in a precarious position. We didn’t know how closely he wanted to appear to be working with the Muslim American community.” This group of Islamists is, here, openly telling reporters that they are advocating for placement in positions of influence “under the radar.” They do this with the appearance and false assumption that somehow all Muslims in the U.S. would be overjoyed by their activities and ideology. The report by Abdul-Ullah went on to also link other global Islamist ideologies for outreach to their resume book initiative including outreach to the Syrian and Iranian governments and Islamist complaints about the FBI’s counterterrorism efforts inside a few mosques.
Abdul Malik Mujahid of the Muslim Democrats also pointed to the example of Zalmay Khalilzad who was appointed as Ambassador to Iraq and then to the U.N. under the Bush administration as an example of someone they emulate. I have a sneaking suspicion Mr. Khalilzad would never have even entertained allowing his resume to be placed in a booklet which offers no other unifying ideas except being Muslim and advocates of political Islam.
Some could try to say that there is absolutely nothing wrong with an effort by any ‘faith group’ to place its ‘best and brightest’ in positions of influence in government. The point here is not to disagree with that sentiment at all. But this is not an effort by all “Muslims” but rather by Islamists. As anti-Islamist Muslims, the mission of the American Islamic Forum for Democracy (AIFD), is to point out that this group and other Islamists hardly represent a ‘diverse’ group of Muslim Americans and in fact this type of collectivization of Muslims only caters to the Islamist agenda. Most anti-Islamist and non-Islamist Muslims would likely be less than pleased to have Muslims who all arise from the Islamist ideological movement claim to represent “Muslim interests” or the “Muslim community” in the United States. One would be hard pressed to find any statements made by members and leaders of the CMSA against the Islamic state or the global movement and ideas of political Islam (i.e. the Muslim Brotherhood).
Affirmative action for Muslims
As made abundantly clear here at the outset, Mr. Abdul Malik and his colleagues at the Coordinating Council of Muslim Organizations (CCMO) of D.C and the CMSA have a long history of supporting Islamism and the advocacy of shar’ia law in society. Their statements are all part of the public record and easily discoverable. Forwarding a group of resumes under the heading of “Muslim” to House offices or the White House, I actually find rather offensive as a Muslim. Those who actually seek the integration and success of Muslims in the United States should do so not as a result of filling slots simply filled into quotas saved for “Muslims” but rather because they have achieved their success because of the merits of their work. I would hope that my children achieve their successes because of merit not because of their chosen faith and their minority identity.
At AIFD we have a mantra, which is that “we are Americans who happen to be Muslim rather than Muslims who demand to be American”. My parents came to the United States in the 1960s because they understood our nation to be a meritocracy and not one plagued with the inequities of political correctness which are more concerned with immutable characteristics of individuals such as race or religion than with real equality and merit. Islamists thrive on identity politics and the deceptive collectivization of Muslims into one “bloc”. This resume book and the Islamist interests of the CMSA feed into that mentality where the faith identity of Muslims is not a private matter of concern only in the mosque and at home. Their resume book is all about influence for Islamists under the banner of ‘being Muslim.”
The CMSA campaign feeds on the guilt of Americans who are concerned about discrimination and want to make sure that the tribal leaders of Islamist organizations have no means by which to point to any ‘paucity’ of Muslim representation in their administration or beltway leadership. It also feeds on the disenfranchisement of Muslims while telling them that such campaigns will correct that disenfranchisement. Under the banner of religion, these groups feign democracy and politics but actually put into place primarily the interests of political Islam.
Will the post-racial candidate be a post-racial President?
If the Obama administration or any group in leadership uses the fruit of this effort to fill their staff rolls they will be simply grabbing the lowest hanging fruit which showed up in a booklet on their desk quite by design. This, in fact, seems un-American from an administration which prides itself on being a “post-racial” candidacy which spent little time on identity politics and purported to want to focus on ideas. While being Muslim is not a race but rather a belief, the Islamist mindset of collectivizing all Muslims feeds into that same mentality of minority victimization which candidate Obama avoided.
My hope and prayer as an American and as a Muslim is that this administration, our President, seek candidates first on merit and then if some happen to be Muslim so be it. I may not agree with the ideology of the Obama administration, but from both sides of the aisle, we should be able to assume that no political leaders be advocates of Islamism since shar’ia law is incompatible with our Constitution. But to first choose from a booklet of resumes which are fed to them from Islamists is wrong any way you look at it.
After missing so many opportunities from the inauguration to Obama’s speech in Ankara, it is time for the Obama administration to make it clear that advocates of political Islam will not find a welcome home in their administration. Rather their administration should make it a domestic and foreign policy litmus test that the ideology of all its staff, whether Muslim or not, be anti-Islamist – that is advocates of liberty and freedom over the establishment of political Islam.