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The Muslim Public Affairs Council's War on Steve Emerson By: Robert Spencer
FrontPageMagazine.com | Wednesday, January 12, 2005


The Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC) has identified its chief enemy. At a conference on “Countering Religious & Political Extremism” held on December 18 (and later televised on C-Span), it distributed a 48-page booklet attacking not bin Laden, or Zawahiri, or Zarqawi, but anti-terrorism expert Steven Emerson. Entitled “Counterproductive Counterterrorism,” the booklet sought to frame opposition to Emerson as a national security issue: “In order to enhance the security of our country, it is necessary to expose the vocal minority of Americans who continue to exploit the tragedy of September 11 to advance their pre-existing anti-Muslim agenda.”

For months now, MPAC has been touting its new “National Anti-Terrorism Campaign” (NATC), garnering uncritical publicity in the media and even praise from government officials. The Campaign’s glossy brochure proclaims that “It is our duty as American Muslims to protect our country and to contribute to its betterment.” But like the old Whip Inflation Now campaign of the Ford Administration, the NATC is long on style and short on substance. It recommends, for example, that “All activities within the mosque and Islamic centers should be authorized by legitimate, acknowledged leadership…” That sounds great until one realizes that if a mosque is involved in terrorist activity, it is most likely with the complicity of mosque leadership — as per the Naqshbandi Sufi leader Sheikh Muhammad Hisham Kabbani’s 1999 testimony before a State Department Open Forum that eighty percent of American mosques were controlled by extremists.[1] The rest of MPAC’s recommendations are in the same vein, appearing to be more concerned about misbehavior by non-Muslim law enforcement officials in mosques than about the possibility of terrorist activity in those mosques. WIN buttons are one thing, but the consequences of false advertising by MPAC are much more deadly. Now with the publication of this new report, MPAC’s counterterrorism agenda seems to boil down to one substantive point: Steve Emerson, not Islamic terrorism, is the enemy.

It is very revealing that MPAC would think that Emerson is doing so much damage — to the security of our country, no less — as to call for such a response. Emerson’s anti-terror work has won accolades from across the political spectrum. Congressman Christopher Smith (R-NJ) says that “Steve Emerson deserves the highest prize — a Pulitzer or whatever it may be — for investigative journalism.” Richard Clarke, the controversial former National Security Council Counterterrorism official, has declared, “I think of Steve as the Paul Revere of terrorism.” He says that he would always go to hear Emerson speak, because “we’d always learn things we weren’t hearing from the FBI or CIA, things which almost always proved to be true.”[2] Andrew McCarthy, an Assistant U.S. Attorney who prosecuted the 1993 World Trade Center bombings, called Emerson “a valuable source of information and knowledge. And in terms of trying to find places to look for evidence, he’s a very good person to talk to. He’s got a lot of insight.”[3] A.M. Rosenthal, former managing editor of the New York Times, declared: “Steve Emerson is one of the nation’s best national security correspondents.  His investigative work on radical Islamic fundamentalism is absolutely critical to this nation’s national security.  There is no one else who has exhibited the same expertise, courage and determination to tackle this vital issue.” 

 

 In examining MPAC’s charges, MPAC has unwittingly revealed much about itself; to the extent  the government or media continues the charade of portraying it as a “moderate” group, it becomes troubling — and not just for Emerson. A close inspection of MPAC’s charges against Emerson reveals more about MPAC that it does about Emerson: MPAC has fabricated or spread outright falsehoods and smears, raising significant questions about what the organization’s real sentiments are regarding Islamic terrorism.

 

“Steve Emerson and his Investigative Project,” asserts MPAC, “are among those who scapegoat American Muslims, rather than provide constructive counterterrorism policy.” Yet on none of the forty-eight pages of “Counterproductive Counterterrorism” is there a single Muslim named whom Emerson has unfairly scapegoated. MPAC charges that in his work Emerson tars all Muslims with the terrorist brush, despite the fact that Emerson himself has repeatedly maintained that most Muslims have nothing whatsoever to do with terrorism or terrorist groups. In his acclaimed documentary Jihad in America, Emerson even asserted that “although the militants may claim to speak on behalf of all Muslims, Islam as a religion does not condone violence.  The radicals represent only themselves – an extremist and violent fringe.” But MPAC ignores all that and charges on, claiming that “whether on television, in newspapers, or magazines, Emerson relies on his fail-safe methods of increasing fear and suspicion toward American Muslims.”

 

For the record, Emerson’s landmark 1994 documentary revealed and exposed the existence of Islamic terror cells and leaders in the United States with uncanny accuracy. The film alleged an Islamic Jihad cell was operating in Tampa at the University of South Florida; in 2003, USF Professor Sami Al Arian was indicted in a 50-count conspiracy as head of the Islamic Jihad in North America.  Emerson’s film exposed the existence of Hamas fundraising and terrorist meetings; since 9/11, the government has initiated prosecutions and asset forfeitures against the Hamas infrastructure in the United States. The film alleged an ongoing post-1993 World Trade Center bombing Jihad conspiracy against US targets; the 9/11 attacks proved him right. The film alleged that radical Islamic charities were operating in the United States under false tax-deductible cover; since 9/11, the government has initiated the investigation and closing of various Islamic charities, and the arrest of their leaders on terrorism-related charges. The film alleged that behind closed doors, various mosques and Islamic schools were the venues of extremist exhortations to carry out Jihad against Jews and Christians; since 9/11, Emerson’s revelations have been confirmed dozens of times. The film alleged, showing never-before-seen video, that secret terrorist conferences featuring the top terrorists in the world had been held in the United States in the late 1980s and early 1990s; since 9/11, FBI and Justice Department prosecutions have revealed the existence of these terrorist conferences.

 

Even though the mountain of evidence he had when he made the film in 1994 revealed the extent of the massive clandestine infrastructure of militant Islamic groups in the United States, Emerson repeatedly affirmed in his narration and in on-camera interviews that militant Islam did not represent the vast majority of Muslims.

 

Because Emerson was so deadly accurate in pinpointing the murderous deception of  radical Muslim groups hiding behind veneers of false moderation, these very groups responded to the film by claiming that Emerson was attacking Islam and insisting that there was no evidence of any militant Islamic presence in the United States. MPAC joined other “mainstream” Islamic groups (often nothing more than reconstituted organs of Hamas or the Muslim Brotherhood, such as the Council on American Islamic Relations) in denouncing Emerson.

 

And because Emerson has been so much more effective since 9/11, behind the scenes and publicly, working with the government, Congress and the media in exposing and revealing the Islamic terrorist networks in the United States, MPAC and other Islamic “civil rights” groups have continued in their efforts at character assassination. 

 

However, in attempting to portray Emerson as an anti-Muslim bigot and a fraud, MPAC circulates  outlandish inaccuracies and demonstrably false information. Since 1994, Emerson has had to endure an unceasing campaign of slander and false accusations spread by radical Islamic groups, pro-Islamic writers and self-styled “reporters” who have done the bidding of these groups, politically-correct reporters and editorialists, apologists for militant Islamic groups, extremist left-wing groups and even ultra right-wing wackos. Because of the Internet, unfortunately, the slanders against Emerson continue to circulate long after they have been proven false.

 

MPAC accuses Emerson of engaging in “anti-Islam and anti-Muslim alarmist rhetoric” as long ago as the April 1995 Oklahoma City bombing; they quote him as saying that the bombing “was done with the intent to inflict as many casualties as possible…That is a Middle Eastern trait.”

 

If Emerson had really pointed the finger at Muslim terrorists, he would have been one of many commentators to do so in the days after the bombing. Those who actually did so on national news shows in April 1995 include former Congressman David McCurdy[4], former FBI official James Fox[5], international security expert Larry Johnson[6], the Washington Post, and the New York Times.[7]  In fact, FBI officials almost universally suspected Islamic terrorists in the first 24 hours after the attack. But even in criticizing Emerson’s comments, MPAC has distorted what he said. Emerson’s full statement was   different: “This was done with the attempt to inflict as many casualties as possible. That is a Middle Eastern trait and something that has been generally not carried out in this soil until we were rudely awakened to in 1993.”[8] The last part of the sentence, not quoted by MPAC, establishes that Emerson was talking about the tactics used in the attack, not who carried it out. If MPAC had wanted to present the truth, they would have seen that Emerson, following the arrest of the culprits behind the 1995 bombing, immediately stated that there was no evidence of any Middle East connection. Emerson has told me how he dissuaded Newsweek magazine editors on the Friday  following the bombing from doing a story about the connection to Islamic militants, turning down a $5,000 offer. Nor does MPAC quote a contemporaneous interview by Emerson in which he stated that “there is no specific evidence about which groups are responsible.”[9]

 

MPAC likewise plays fast and loose with the facts in its attempts to assail Emerson’s “professional credibility.” It cites a 1991 New York Times review of Emerson’s book Terrorist that says the book was “marred by factual errors” and political bias. It doesn’t mention the political bias of the review itself, or the fact that the only “factual errors” actually referred to in the review were “mistranslations of Arabic names” — again unspecified. Emerson’s documentary Jihad In America, we’re told, was “faulted for bigotry and misrepresentation” — with no specifics, of course, as to who exactly was misrepresented. Nor does MPAC reveal who did the faulting. Surely MPAC doesn’t mean Sami Al-Arian, the University of South Florida professor whose deep involvement with the terrorist group Palestinian Islamic Jihad were first revealed in Jihad In America — and who was finally arrested and indicted in 2003 for providing material support to the Islamic Jihad. MPAC could not be talking about CAIR, the group that morphed out of the Islamic Association for Palestine, and which was exposed by the film as part of Hamas’ network in the US —  characterizations affirmed in recent court decisions.

 

Conveniently, MPAC omits the fact that the documentary won the “Best Investigative Reporting Award in Print, Broadcast, or Book” from Investigative Reporters and Editors (IRE), an organization dedicated to fostering journalistic excellence. However, the MPAC report does find the time to quote Vince Cannistraro, a former CIA counterterrorism official, saying of Emerson’s work: “It’s total bull****. He’s trying to say people who move to this country and set up charities and think tanks and are associated with Hamas and Islamic Jihad and Hezbollah, that there’s some kind of connection between them and Sept. 11, that there’s a liaison or support network. He doesn’t know what he’s talking about...” Cannistraro’s venom was published in Salon magazine in March 2002, over eighteen months before the IRS revoked the tax-exempt status of three Muslim charities, the Benevolence International Foundation, the Global Relief Foundation, and the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development, because of their ties to Hamas and or Al-Qaeda.[10] One would think that by now MPAC would know whether it was actually Emerson or Cannistraro who was really purveying bull****, but evidently not. Cannistraro, as Emerson publicly revealed in a symposium in Tampa in 1995, had actually agreed to be a defense witness for the blind Sheikh Omar Abdel Rahman in his WTC-connected terrorism trial, but the judge disqualified him.  Instead, MPAC has consistently maintained that the terror arrests of leading figures in Islamic charities “bare [sic] strong signs of politicization,”[11] although in doing so the group has not hesitated to gloss over and misrepresent the evidence. MPAC claimed, for example, that former Global Relief Foundation Chairman Rabih Haddad was only “arrested for overstaying his visa.”[12] However, the FBI revealed in court papers that Haddad had been spotted at sites that “housed and supported terrorist organizations associated with al Qaida” in the late 1980’s and early 1990’s.[13]

 

Nonetheless, we are supposed to believe that it is Emerson who is careless with the facts.

“One example of Emerson’s journalistic sloppiness,” says MPAC, “is an August 2000 article in which he writes, ‘Terrorism experts say Hamas raises $10 million tax-free annually in the United States…’” MPAC dismisses such allegations as “wild claims” and complains that Emerson “fails to name actual sources” for them. But they don’t seem so wild or unsupported in light of testimony by Gary M. Bald, the Acting Assistant Director of the FBI’s Counterterrorism Division, before the Senate Caucus on International Narcotics Control on March 4, 2004. Bald testified that in 2002, the FBI blocked the assets of the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development (HLF), thereby “shutting down Hamas’ largest fund-raising entity in the US. The HLF had been linked to the funding of Hamas terrorist activities, and in 2000, raised $13 million.”[14] Emerson was wrong, all right: he underestimated Hamas’ take by three million dollars.

 

The MPAC report further faults Emerson for stating that terrorist groups established “a vast network of radical supporters running from Los Angeles to Boston.” The fact that jihad terrorists have been discovered and convicted all across the United States matters little to MPAC, which in its recent position paper on counterterrorism policy wondered  “whether alleged terror plots, such as those in Seattle, Buffalo, Portland, and Detroit, actually posed threats as serious as the government initially claimed them to be.”[15] Let’s see: in the Portland case, the jihad suspects told an FBI informant that they wanted to behead unbelievers, find “real” Muslim wives who would be willing to “blow something up,” and referred to Jews as “lampshades.” They pleaded guilty to traveling to Afghanistan and trying to join the Taliban.[16] Yes, clearly an exaggerated case. And in the Buffalo case, in which six Yemeni Muslims from Lackawanna, New York were persuaded to go to a terrorist training camp in Afghanistan, the Associated Press reported: “Friends say the six men were manipulated into going to the camp by high-pressure recruiters who came to their mosque with a message of religious service.”[17] Yet MPAC has the breathtaking audacity, in trashing Emerson’s book American Jihad, to claim that he “fails to prove his most rudimentary argument in American Jihad — that terrorists are exploiting our most cherished freedoms and using their own religious and political institutions to plan and execute anti-America terrorist acts.”

 

The accusations go on and on. MPAC claims that “following the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, he told CNN viewers that Yugoslavs were the likely suspects.” However, this is far from the “wild accusation” that MPAC makes it out to be. In fact, Emerson was the first to report that investigators were following Serbian leads in trying to find the bombers. This was widely reported at the time, and not only by Emerson. A March 3, 1993 Associated Press story noted that “investigators in the World Trade Center bombing are giving the most credence to a Serbian militant group’s claim of responsibility, an FBI official said Wednesday.” The next day, National Public Radio reported that “the FBI says a phone caller claiming to represent a Serbian group knew the site of the World Trade Center bombing before that news was public.” The day after that, the Christian Science Monitor stated: “Investigators in the World Trade Center bombing are said to be focusing on the first claim of responsibility received: a call from a Serbian group that knew the site of the blast before the public did.  ‘That’s the most likely direction and that's the first place they’re looking,’ said a Federal Bureau of Investigation official speaking yesterday on condition of anonymity.” On March 29, Newsweek added:

 

“Did the Muslim fundamentalists accused of bombing New York’s World Trade Center last month beat Serbian terrorists to the punch?  NEWSWEEK has learned that several weeks before the Feb. 26 blast, the FBI received credible intelligence reports that Serbian radicals based in Belgrade planned to plant a bomb in a New York City building.” Yet now that twelve years have passed and memories have dimmed, MPAC is trying to pass this off as evidence of Emerson’s unreliability. (Even so, if Emerson was as anti-Muslim as MPAC alleges, why would he have reported that the Serbs were under investigation rather than Muslims?)

 

Similarly, MPAC shakes its head over Emerson’s saying that a bomb had likely brought down TWA Flight 800 on July 17, 1996 (not 1994, as MPAC has it). But here again, Emerson was reflecting an opinion widely held at the time. The New York Times headlined a July 19 story: “Investigators Suspect Explosive Device As Likeliest Cause For Crash Of Flight 800.” Ten days later, another Times headline read: “Plane Split in Sky, Officials Say, Suggesting Bomb.” Financial Times published an article on July 30 headed: “US Likely to Confirm Bomb Caused TWA Crash.” 

 

But the most egregious evidence of MPAC’s venomous bias is the MPAC report’s reliance on one John Sugg. Sugg is currently writing for that beacon of journalistic superstardom, Atlanta’s Creative Loafing. But as a reporter in the late 1990s for the equally distinguished Weekly Planet of Tampa, Florida, Sugg — who has consistently defended Al Arian and other Islamic militants arrested for terrorism as innocent victims of a conspiracy by Emerson in manipulating the Justice Department and FBI — for years carried on a vendetta against Emerson — to the extent that Emerson finally sued Sugg for defamation. MPAC claims that “Emerson voluntarily withdrew the defamation lawsuit in May 2003, after failing to produce any evidence that Sugg’s report was false.”

 

This is, unsurprisingly, not quite true. Emerson did withdraw the lawsuit, but not because he couldn’t prove that what Sugg had written about him was false. Emerson explains: “My attorney showed in court that the allegations made by Sugg were demonstrably false. But in a post 9/11 environment, it was not worth my time and effort to pursue this any longer.”

 

But Sugg’s allegations, which form the most substantive portion of MPAC’s report, are simply false; the fact that they are featured so prominently in the MPAC report speaks volumes about the organization. That MPAC relies on Sugg, a discredited writer for a mall give-away weekly who has consistently claimed that the government’s investigations and prosecutions of Islamic terrorists in the United States are part of a racist conspiracy, reveals more about MPAC that it does about Emerson.

 

Sugg’s first charge is that Emerson misrepresented his own work as an FBI document and sold it under these false pretenses to two Associated Press reporters. However, no less an authority than former CIA Director James Woolsey has affirmed that Emerson did not write the document in question. In a statement, Woolsey said that he was personally acquainted with the actual author and had discussed the document with him — and “this individual is not Steven Emerson.”

 

As if that weren’t enough, Sugg also claimed (you can see why Emerson felt compelled to sue) that Emerson lied to a Senate subcommittee in 1998 when he testified that he had been informed by authorities that Islamic jihadists had sent out a hit squad to kill him.  MPAC, however, relied on Sugg’s claim that John Russell, a Justice Department spokesman, responded “No, none at all” to Sugg’s question “Is there any truth to the allegation of the assassination team?”

 

But here again, in relying on Sugg, MPAC has omitted the part that verified Emerson’s claim. Bert Brandenburg of the Justice Department’s Office of Public Affairs wrote a letter to the editor of the Weekly Planet on June 1, 1998. (Not surprisingly, that paragon of journalistic luminosity didn’t find it fit to print.) In it, Brandenburg notes that Russell, when responding to Sugg’s inquiries, made it clear to Sugg that his answers were “based on his conversation with someone in the Terrorism Section and that he did not have any knowledge of what statements other law enforcement officials may have made.” When Russell was deposed in Emerson’s case against Sugg, Emerson’s attorney asked him: “Did you make a statement to Mr. Sugg that there was no truth to the allegation” of the death threat? Russell answered, “No, I didn’t.” Russell explained that what he told Sugg was based on his checking with DOJ’s Criminal Division, and that he was not commenting on what other government agencies knew about the threat. But Sugg did not choose to share this information with his readers. In fact, Emerson revealed in American Jihad that the agencies involved in conveying the threat to him were the State Department’s Bureau of Diplomatic Security and the FBI, not the Department of Justice.

 

Brandenburg adds the coup de grace in his letter: “We have checked with the FBI and determined that the FBI did in fact receive information concerning a threat in 1995 and that they advised Mr. Emerson of the danger to his life.” And Sugg knew it. During the defamation suit, Sugg’s notes on his conversation with Brandenburg came to light. Sugg wrote: “threat is accurate, did establish, Bureau seemed satisfied.” Sugg thus clearly understood that Brandenburg had told him that the FBI knew the threat to Emerson was genuine.

 

What’s more, the former head of FBI Domestic Counterterrorism, Robert Blitzer, declared in a 1999 statement: “While I served as Special Agent-Section Chief of the Domestic Terrorism/Counterterrorism Planning Section, National Security Division, at the Federal Bureau of Investigation Headquarters, Mr. John Sugg telephonically contacted me. I believe this call was in the summer or fall of 1998. Mr. Sugg, among other questions, asked if journalist Steven Emerson had been the subject of a death threat. I confirmed to Mr. Sugg that a couple of years ago Mr. Emerson had been the subject of a death threat by a foreign terrorist group.”

 

Of course, when the MPAC report charges that “Emerson’s lack of precision leads him to conflate legitimate organizations that can help America and secure the homeland with others that are neither genuinely American nor transparent,” it becomes clear why MPAC is in such a froth about Emerson: because of what he knows about MPAC itself. In American Jihad, Emerson notes that when Abdurrahman Alamoudi of the American Muslim Council, who is now serving a 23-year prison sentence for a terrorism financing conviction, encouraged the Muslim crowd at an October 2000 rally cosponsored by MPAC to declare their support of the jihad terror groups Hamas and Hizballah, “MPAC’s Political Advisor, Mahdi Bray, stood directly behind Alamoudi and was seen jubilantly exclaiming his support for these two deadly terrorist organizations.” This was just three weeks after Bray “coordinated and led a rally where approximately 2,000 people congregated in front of the Israeli Embassy in Washington, D.C.” Emerson reports that “at one point during the rally, Mahdi Bray played the tambourine as one of the speakers sang, while the crowd repeated: ‘Al-Aqsa [Mosque] is calling us, let’s all go into jihad, and throw stones at the face of the Jews [sic].’”[18]

 

There is much more. Emerson’s Investigative Project has documented MPAC’s indefatigable and consistent opposition to the war on terror; its magazine The Minaret has dismissed key anti-terror operations as part of “[t]he American crusade against Islam and Muslims.”[19] Emerson has called attention to the fact that in a book called In Fraternity: A Message to Muslims in America, coauthor Hassan Hathout, who has served as MPAC’s President, is identified as “a close disciple of the late Hassan al-Banna of Egypt.”[20] MPAC’s magazine The Minaret spoke of Hassan Hathout’s closeness to al-Banna in a 1997 article: “My father would tell me that Hassan Hathout was a companion of Hassan al-Banna…Hassan Hathout would speak of al-Banna with such love and adoration; he would speak of a relationship not guided by politics or law but by a basic sense of human decency.”[21]

 

This is noteworthy because Hassan al-Banna founded the prototypical Muslim radical group of the modern age, the Muslim Brotherhood, in Egypt in 1928. The Brotherhood is the direct ancestor of both Hamas and Al-Qaeda. Al-Banna wrote in 1934 that “it is a duty incumbent on every Muslim to struggle towards the aim of making every people Muslim and the whole world Islamic, so that the banner of Islam can flutter over the earth and the call of the Muezzin can resound in all the corners of the world: God is greatest [Allahu akbar]! This is not parochialism, nor is it racial arrogance or usurpation of land.”[22] He told his followers: “Islam is faith and worship, a country and a citizenship, a religion and a state. It is spirituality and hard work. It is a Qur’an and a sword.”[23]

 

Do Hassan Hathout and MPAC also believe in “a Qur’an and a sword”? What Emerson and the Investigative Project have uncovered about them suggests at very least that the group should receive serious scrutiny. The fact that MPAC has singled out Emerson for such a focused and singular attack only lends credence to these suspicions. For how better to obscure the message than to discredit the messenger?

 

In 1995, Emerson wrote in response to critics of his statement about the Oklahoma City bombing: “The reason why these groups have singled me out is that they are trying to deny the existence of an Islamic terrorist network in the United States.”[24] That is no less true today, and clearly appears to be part of MPAC’s agenda in publishing this report: witness the classing as one of Emerson’s “wild accusations” the “declaration that Muslim terrorist sympathizers were hanging out at the White House.” It is hard to see this as a “wild accusation” given the fact that the now-jailed Abdurrahman Alamoudi, according to Daniel Pipes, “was a Washington fixture. He had many meetings with both Clintons in the White House and once joined George W. Bush at a prayer service. He arranged a Ramadan fast-breaking dinner for congressional leaders. He six times lectured abroad for the State Department and founded an organization to provide Muslim chaplains for the Department of Defense.”[25] Nor was Alamoudi the only one: Sami Al-Arian, who is now on trial on charges of being the head of Palestinian Islamic Jihad in the United States, attended a White House briefing by a senior Bush Administration official in June 2001.[26] In fact, in 1996 Emerson authored a series of op-eds in the Wall Street Journal that revealed that the Clinton Administration had repeatedly invited terrorist supporters, including Alamoudi, to events and receptions.

 

This is why MPAC’s attack on Emerson has much larger implications than the work of Emerson himself. MPAC excoriates Emerson for asserting that “political correctness enforced by American Muslim groups has limited the public’s knowledge about the spread of radical Islam in the U.S.,” but their anti-Emerson report is an example of just that. MPAC pines for a world in which the critics of radical Islam are silenced, and groups with shadowy ties to the global jihad will be able again to operate unimpeded. We can be thankful that the voices that have consistently warned us of the threat posed by militant Islam will not cower under MPAC’s pressure. But it is crucial to understand the real agenda underlying MPAC’s attack on Steve Emerson: MPAC’s agenda is to make  the world safe — safe for terrorists.

 

Of course, MPAC is entitled, under our freedoms, to deceive — as any self-respecting militant Islamic group would if it wanted to acquire political influence. But the real danger lies in the consequences of falling for that deception. Do all those elected officials, law enforcement agents and journalists who dutifully attended MPAC’s most recent conferences, touting MPAC’s “moderation,” really understand that they are granting legitimacy to a group whose agenda is exactly the opposite of “countering religious and political extremism?”

 

Robert Spencer is the director of Jihad Watch, author of Onward Muslim Soldiers: How Jihad Still Threatens America and the West (Regnery Publishing), and Islam Unveiled: Disturbing Questions About the World’s Fastest Growing Faith (Encounter Books), and editor of the forthcoming essay collection The Myth of Islamic Tolerance: Islamic Law and Non-Muslims (Prometheus).

 

Notes:

 

[1] Muhammad Hisham Kabbani, “Islamic Extremism: A Viable Threat to U.S. National Security,” speech at U.S. Department of State, January 7, 1999.

[2] Zachary Block, “One Man’s War on Terror,” Brown Alumni Magazine, November/December 2002.

[3] Ibid.

[4] CNN, April 19, 1995.

[5] CBS, April 19, 1995.

[6] PBS, April 20, 1995.

[7] April 20, 1995 articles cited in A Rush to Judgment, Council on American Islamic Relations, September 1995.

[8] CBS News, April 19, 1995.

[9] CBS, April 20, 1995.

[10]U.S. Suspends Tax-Exempt Status of Terrorist-Linked Charities,” US Department of State, Bureau of International Information Programs, November 14, 2003.

[11] “A Review of U.S. Counterterrorism Policy: American Muslim Critique & Recommendations,” MPAC, September 2003, page 47, http://www.mpac.org/bucket_downloads/CTPaper.pdf,  accessed July 12, 2004.

[12] “A Review of U.S. Counterterrorism Policy: American Muslim Critique & Recommendations,” MPAC, September 2003, page 59, http://www.mpac.org/bucket_downloads/CTPaper.pdf, accessed July 12, 2004.

[13] “Haddad: ‘I have been Railroaded,’” United Press International, May 2, 2002.

[14] Testimony of Gary M. Bald, Acting Assistant Director Counterterrorism Division, FBI, Before the Senate Caucus on International Narcotics Control, March 4, 2004. http://www.fbi.gov/congress/congress04/bald030404.htm.

[15] “A Review of U.S. Counterterrorism Policy: American Muslim Critique & Recommendations,” MPAC, September 2003, p. 55,  http://www.mpac.org/bucket_downloads/CTPaper.pdf, accessed July 12, 2004.

[16] “Recordings reveal Portland Seven’s brutal mindset,” KATU News, November 20, 2003, www.katu.com.

[17]Documents: ‘Highly valuable’ information from terror cell members,” AP, November 25, 2003.

[18] Steven Emerson, American Jihad: The Terrorists Living Among Us, Free Press, 2002. Pp. 210-211.

[19] Muzaffar Iqbal, “The American Calamity,” The Minaret, May 2002.

[20] “About the Authors,” Hassan Hathout, Maher Hathout, and Fathi Osman, In Fraternity: A Message to Muslims in America, The Minaret Publishing House, 1989.

[21] The Minaret, March 1998, p. 41.

[22] Brynjar Lia, The Society of the Muslim Brothers in Egypt, Ithaca Press, 1998. P. 79.

[23] Shaker El-sayed, “Hassan al-Banna: The leader and the Movement,” Muslim American Society, http://www.maschicago.org/library/misc_articles/hassan_banna.htm.

[24] Steven Emerson, “Why Islamic Extremists Were The First Suspects,” Washington Times, April 27, 1995.

[25] Daniel Pipes, “A Slick Islamist Heads to Jail,” FrontPageMagazine.com, August 3, 2004.

[26]Official: Terrorism suspect attended White House meeting,” CNN, February 23, 2003.


Robert Spencer is a scholar of Islamic history, theology, and law and the director of Jihad Watch. He is the author of eight books, eleven monographs, and hundreds of articles about jihad and Islamic terrorism, including the New York Times Bestsellers The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (and the Crusades) and The Truth About Muhammad. His latest book, Stealth Jihad: How Radical Islam is Subverting America without Guns or Bombs, is available now from Regnery Publishing.



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