The Atlantic Whitewashes Islamist Groups in Abedin Controversy
After a week of evidence coming to light about the connections of Hillary Clinton’s Deputy Chief-of-Staff Huma Abedin to Islamist groups, the Muslim Brotherhood and internationally-designated terrorist enities, the response from the left is ridicule, misrepresentation, caricature and—on the most damning evidence—utter silence.
A cartoonish chart prepared by The Atlantic’s Serena Dai includes jaw-dropping distortions of Islamist groups—several being officially-designated terrorist groups—to make Abedin’s family and personal connections with them seem benign.
The blue dots populating “Alleged Connection between Huma Abedin, Muslim Brotherhood, and other things that are bad” are laughably incomplete. In her effort to paint these multiple and serious affiliations as a comical six degrees of separation to the Muslim Brotherhood (and provide talking points to that effect to others in the left media), Dai whitewashes the fact that most of the organizations listed can reasonably be considered Brotherhood fronts, or, at minimum, heavily populated by Muslim Brothers or ideological Islamist fellow travelers.
The controversy surrounding Huma Abedin—and, importantly, the extent to which her connections to Islamist groups, including the Muslim Brotherhood, alarmingly seemed not to factor into a background check—arise from letters to Inspector Generals of five departments written by a group of Congressmen Newt Gingrich recently dubbed the “National Security Five.” Examining these connections are crucial in light of the advice the Deputy Chief-of-Staff is giving to her boss, the Secretary of State, at a time when Islamist groups openly declaring jihad against America are being rewarded by the Obama administration with legitimacy in the political process.
Most egregiously, Dai’s chart omits the closest connection Abedin has to Islamist groups and individuals: she was, herself, an assistant editor of the Journal of Muslim Minority Affairs for seven years along with terrorism financier Abdullah Omar Naseef. The Journal and the Institute for which her father also worked, was the brainchild of Naseef, who found time to found the Rabita Trust (banned by US Treasury just after 9/11) and serve as secretary general to the Muslim World League (MWL), a group founded by the trusted deputy and son-in-law of the founder of the Muslim Brotherhood and, reportedly, one of al Qaeda’s prime sources of funding. When looking for a head of the Rabita Trust, Naseef turned to Wael Hamza Jalidan, who had, by then, been an associate of Osama Bin Laden in al Qaeda.
In other words, many of the people and groups with whom a man like Naseef surrounds himself (at minimum) tend to be what you’d call “problematic,” and a locus of these links should (again, at the very minimum) give a background investigator pause—or, more sensibly, ring the alarm bells—if he finds not one but several links to Naseef or people like him.
For example, Huma Abedin is linked to Naseef in several ways: (1) herself, through her employment at an organization Naseef founded and chaired, the Institute for Muslim Minority Affairs; (2) through her mother, who was also employed by Naseef’s IMMA; (3) through her late father, who served with Naseef as part of the Muslim World League; and finally (4) through her brother, a fellow at the Oxford Center for Islamic Studies, a group which includes Naseef as a board member. That’s a cluster of associations with merely one man, and that one man is a terror funder.
But let’s pause for a moment. These links are not “guilt by association”—a term the left has wrung of any meaning, transformed into an all-purpose self-satisfied comeback. As Andy McCarthy explains:
A person is not required to have done anything wrong to be denied a high-ranking government position, or more immediately, the security clearance allowing access to classified information that is necessary to function in such a job. There simply need be associations, allegiances, or interests that establish a potential conflict of interest… Government jobs and access to the nation’s secrets are privileges, not rights. That is why the potential conflict needn’t stem from one’s own associations with hostile foreign countries, organizations, or persons. Vicarious associations, such as one’s parents’ connections to troublesome persons and organizations, are sufficient to create a potential conflict.
In an effort to caricature the exhaustive research done by Walid Shoebat, Andy McCarthy, the Center for Security Policy, and others, the Atlantic proceeds to whitewash and downplay as uncontroversial the individuals and groups that the Abedin family is deeply connected with. A sampling:
Dai’s description for the group Abedin’s mother founded, the International Islamic Committee for Woman and Child (IICWC), is cynically deceptive: “Its website states a goal of defending women’s rights.” In Arabic, its website also recommends repeal of laws forbidding female genital mutilation, child marriage, and marital rape. For justification of these barbaric positions clearly in conflict with the mandate of “protecting women’s rights,” IICWC turns to Yusuf al-Qaradawi—the infamous Hitler-praising cleric who is considered to be the Muslim Brotherhood’s chief jurist. Oh, and according to the IICWC’s own website (again, in Arabic), Qaradawi was also the author of the group’s charter.
In addition, the Atlantic omits references to Women in Islam, the book Saleha Abedin and her IICWC published, translated into English and distributed through the Institute for Muslim Minority Affairs (IMMA), the organization with which Huma Abedin herself was employed. Excerpts of the book were published by the Center for Security Policy, including a chapter arguing for women’s participation in armed jihad, stoning or lashing for adultery, curtailing free expression based on what would benefit Islam, and more. To establish these positions—again, as far from a western notion of human rights as you can get—the book relies on extensive citations from opinions of Muslim Brotherhood figures like Qaradawi and Sayiid Qutb, the ideological inspiration for nearly every modern jihadist group, including al Qaeda.
Moving on, there’s the International Islamic Council for Da’wah and Relief (IICDR), which Dai refers to as a group that merely “connects various Islamic organizations.” You could say that. You could also say it was banned in Israel for funding Hamas as part of a scheme by the very same Qaradawi and his Union For Good. Saleha Abedin attended IICDR’s board meetings, and their own websites and publications acknowledge the linkage.
On to the World Assembly of Muslim Youth (WAMY), which Dia euphemistically says, “helps the social development of Muslim youth.” As Andrew McCarthy—who has published invaluable information on Abedin’s connections and putting them into context, recounts:
Its principal role is the indoctrination of young Muslims in supremacist ideology. As outlined in one of its pamphlets, Islamic Views, it aims to "teach our children to love taking revenge on the Jews and the oppressors, and teach them that our youngsters will liberate Palestine and al-Quds [i.e., Jerusalem] when they go back to Islam and make Jihad for the sake of Allah." As Matthew Levitt extensively details in Hamas: Politics, Charity and Terrorism in the Service of Jihad, WAMY has been a financial supporter of Hamas and al-Qaeda.
“An Islamic organization aiming to further the religion” is how Dai gingerly describes WAMY’s parent organization, the aforementioned World Muslim League (WML). Ian Johnson’s bestselling investigative book on the Muslim Brotherhood in the west, Mosque in Munich, details the development of the WML as an innovation of the Brotherhood at the highest levels, led by Said Ramadan.
And on and on.
This episode illustrates the extent to which the left is determined to downplay the explicit danger of well-funded Islamist groups and individuals, ranging from the ideological incubators of shariah and jihad to actual government-designated terrorist sponsors. Rather than being the hyper-partisan defense of Huma Abedin that the writer intends, this piece—and the accompanying chart—willfully contributes to a lack of understanding of groups like the Muslim Brotherhood that threaten our way of life, our freedoms, and our national security.
Even more, the hyperventilation on this issue by the likes of CNN’s Anderson Cooper, the evening lineup of MSNBC, John McCain, and Keith Ellison (who’s got his own Muslim Brotherhood ties) has the effect of legitimizing the Muslim Brotherhood and similar radical groups, effectively delivering the American Muslim community into its hands. If any criticism of the Brotherhood or its court-established front groups is tantamount to Islamophobia and is off limits, then our national security is in a perilous place. And, like their efforts to destroy anti-communists during the Cold War, we’ve got the left to blame.