Muslim Brotherhood Influence Operations and the Conservative Movement
Note: In an email last week to the board of directors of the American Conservative Union (the group that runs CPAC), Frank Gaffney laid out the extensive case against Suhail Khan, a member of that group's board. In it, he discusses the vulnerability of the American conservative movement to influence operations from the Muslim Brotherhood. Here is the letter in its entirety.
14 January 2011
MEMORANDUM FOR MEMBERS OF THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS OF THE AMERICAN CONSERVATIVE UNION
FROM: Frank J. Gaffney, Jr.
RE: Muslim Brotherhood Influence Operations and the Conservative Movement
On Tuesday, you all received an e-mail from your fellow Board member, Suhail Khan. In it, he said he wants to “set the record straight” following several upsetting press reports – including a news article published by World Net Daily on 4 January 2011, an op.ed. by Paul Sperry in the New York Post on 11 January 2011 and several related videos.
In that correspondence and a series of interviews with left-wing media outlets and blogs, Suhail has attacked me and what he calls my “cohort” for expressing concerns about him, his family and his activities. Kahn’s comments provide what some would call a “teachable moment.” It is now imperative that each of you consider with care the actual facts of the matter so as to determine whether, as he claims in his e-mail, “the ACU has nothing to worry about.”
Let me say at the outset that, despite concerted efforts by Suhail and his supporters to portray this as a personal matter, that is not the case. It is a matter of national security, period. I will not respond to ad hominem attacks against me by him or others except to say they have no basis in fact. I trust that those of you who have known and worked with me for the past few decades will find such unsubstantiated calumnies discrediting not to their intended target, but to their perpetrator.
The issue before the ACU today is actually fairly straightforward: Has the conservative movement been subjected to a sustained and successful influence operation by individuals and organizations associated with the Muslim Brotherhood (MB or Ikhwan)? I believe it is demonstrable that the answer is “Yes.” Indeed, were that not the case, it would be remarkable. After all, every other significant element of our polity – notably, our government, academia, the media, the Left, religious groups and the U.S. financial sector – has been assiduously targeted by the MB for the purpose of disinforming, manipulating or otherwise neutralizing it.
That is the conclusion of an important new book, Shariah: The Threat to America that was published by the Center for Security Policy in November. It was authored by nineteen eminent national security practitioners and other experts, including: a former
Director of Central Intelligence, R. James Woolsey, a former Director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, Lieutenant General Ed Soyster, a former Deputy Under Secretary of Defense, Lieutenant General William “Jerry” Boykin, and former federal prosecutor Andrew McCarthy.
This group (which we dubbed “Team B II” in honor of a previous “exercise in competitive analysis” in 1976 that was much admired and utilized by Ronald Reagan) did not indulge in “conspiracy theories.” Rather, it drew extensively on the recognized authorities of Islam – the sacred texts, established traditions, scholarly consensuses, agreed interpretations and revered institutions – to lay bare an authentic conspiracy aimed at establishing worldwide the totalitarian, supremacist politico-military-legal program known as shariah.
Given your “need to know” whether the ACU and other elements of our movement have indeed been successfully targeted by the Ikhwan, I will have a complementary copy of Shariah: The Threat to America sent to you.
An Introduction to the Muslim Brotherhood
I urge you to read in particular the book’s lengthy section on the Muslim Brotherhood and its appendix, in which the MB’s strategic plan for America – an “Explanatory Memorandum on the General Strategic Goal,” dated 1991 – is reproduced in its entirety. This document was among the archives of the Ikhwan in the United States which were discovered by the FBI in a concealed sub-basement in a Northern Virginia home owned by a senior Brother/Hamas operative, Ishmael Elbrasse (currently an international fugitive after he jumped bail). In 2008, it was introduced into evidence by the Justice Department in Dallas in connection with its successful prosecution of the Holy Land Foundation, the largest terrorism financing trial in U.S. history.
The thrust of the Explanatory Memorandum – and, indeed, of the Muslim Brotherhood in America – is conveyed in its description of the MB’s mission as:
...A kind of grand jihad in eliminating and destroying the Western civilization from within and ‘sabotaging’ its miserable house by their [i.e., our] hands and the hands of the believers so that it is eliminated and God’s religion is made victorious over all other religions.
The Explanatory Memorandum also provides a roster of more than two-dozen organizations under the heading “A List of Our Organizations and the Organizations of our Friends.” This roster includes virtually every prominent Muslim-American organization in business at that time, and the progenitors of several that were subsequently founded, including the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR).
Another document found in the Elbarasse’s sub-basement also requires your review. It is entitled the “Phases of the World Underground Movement Plan” and it is reproduced at pages 124-125 of the Team B II Report. The following is a brief description of the phases of escalating violence, together with the MB author’s assessment of their status:
Phase One: Phase of discreet and secret establishment of leadership. This phase has already been implemented in this country.
Phase Two: Phase of gradual appearance on the public scene and exercising and utilizing various public activities. It [i.e., the MB has] greatly succeeded in implementing this stage. It also succeeded in achieving a great deal of its important goals, such as infiltrating various sectors of the Government. Gaining religious institutions and embracing senior scholars. Gaining public support and sympathy. Establishing a shadow government (secret) within the Government.
Phase Three: Escalation phase, prior to conflict and confrontation with the rulers, through utilizing mass media. Currently in progress.
Phase Four: Open public confrontation with the Government through exercising the political pressure approach. It is aggressively implementing the above- mentioned approach. Training on the use of weapons domestically and overseas in anticipation of zero-hour. It has noticeable activities in this regard.
Phase Five: Seizing power to establish their Islamic Nation under which all parties and Islamic groups are united.
With that background, and in the interest of genuinely setting the record straight, I wanted to share with you information about five topics: 1) the genesis of the Muslim Brotherhood’s infiltration of our movement; 2) Suhail Khan’s pedigree as a Muslim Brother; 3) the role he has played in the MB’s influence operation against conservatives; 4) an illustrative example of his efforts in this regard – prohibiting the use of “secret evidence”; and 5) Khan’s current, intensifying activities aimed at infiltrating and influencing the conservative movement.
(1) How the MB’s Infiltration of the Conservative Movement Began
As you may know, it was 1999 when I first discovered how the Muslim Brotherhood intended to destroy conservatives from within, by our hand, as part of what its strategic plan calls “civilization jihad.” Shortly after the Center for Security Policy sublet office space that year from Grover Norquist’s Americans for Tax Reform (ATR), a colleague brought to my attention myriad ties between an organization housed within ATR’s suite – the Islamic Free Market Institute (better known as the Islamic Institute or II) – and Abdurahman Alamoudi.
Even then, Alamoudi was known in law enforcement circles as one of the most prominent and influential Muslim Brothers in the United States. Today, he is known as a convicted jihadist terrorist and al Qaeda financier who is serving 23 years in federal prison on terrorism-related charges.
In the early 1990s, however, the Clinton administration saw fit to assign Alamoudi the responsibility for identifying, training and credentialing Muslim chaplains for the U.S. military and prison system. As is recounted in Shariah: The Threat to America (pp. 124-130), the Brotherhood operative sought to ensure that, in the event Al Gore did not prevail in the 2000 campaign, Alamoudi’s access and influence at senior levels of the U.S. government would be undiminished. That was accomplished to a degree that must have exceeded his fondest dreams when he succeeded in founding and staffing the Islamic Institute with Grover Norquist as its first president and Suhail Khan as a member of its board of directors.
Here are a just a few of the indisputable facts concerning the connections between Alamoudi and other prominent MB operatives on the one hand, and the II, Norquist and Khan on the other:
- Alamoudi provided at least $20,000 in seed money in checks drawn on a Saudi bank account to start the Islamic Institute.
- Alamoudi’s longtime and trusted deputy, Khaled Saffuri, became the II’s first executive director.
- Saffuri was also made the Muslim Outreach Coordinator for the Bush 2000 campaign. In the course of the campaign, Candidate Bush met with both Alamoudi and Sami al-Arian, another prominent Muslim Brotherhood figure who was subsequently convicted of running Palestinian Islamic Jihad out of his professorship at South Florida University.
- After the election, Khan became a staff member in the Office of Public Liaison in the White House with responsibility for selecting, among others, which Muslims would be allowed access to the President and his team. By that time, Alamoudi had become politically radioactive for his public professions in 2000 of support for two terrorist organizations, Hamas and Hezbollah. But many of his Brothers and close associates in the Ikhwan’s American fronts were still afforded access to the White House – a practice that continues to this day.
(2) A Son of the Brotherhood
One of the aforementioned videos shows Abdulrahman Alamoudi officiating at a June 2001 American Muslim Council (AMC) convention where Suhail Khan was presented with an award. In his welcoming remarks, the MB leader says with evident affection, in part:
We have with us a dear brother, a pioneer, somebody who really started political activism in the Muslim community. And somebody different. A young man, not old and grumpy like many of us, but a young man who pioneered from many, many young men and women who started political activism when it was a taboo for the Muslim community, no doubt about it.
When Suhail Khan started not too many people were aware that we had to do something. I am really proud to be with Suhail Khan. Some of you saw [him] in today the White House but, inshallah, soon you see him in better places in the White House. Inshallah. Maybe sometimes as vice-president soon, inshallah. Allahu akbar.
Suhail Khan is the son of a dear, dear brother who was a pioneer of Islam work himself. Many of you know his late father [Mahboob Khan] who was part of all kinds of work and...Suhail inherited from his father not only being a Muslim and a Muslim activist, but also being a Muslim political activist.
This statement is important for several reasons. It makes plain a longstanding personal connection between not only Alamoudi and the younger Khan, but also between the MB operative and Suhail’s late father. The latter was himself a senior figure in the Muslim Brotherhood who worked for many years with Alamoudi.
Relevant facts about Suhail Khan’s pedigree with the Ikhwan include the following:
- As Khan told an ISNA conference in 1999:
It is a special honor for me to be here before you today because I am always reminded of the legacy of my father, Dr. Mahboob Khan, an early founder of the Muslim Students Association in the mid-60s and an active member of the organization through its growth and development in the Islamic Society of North America.
- The Muslim Students Association (MSA) was, of course, the first MB organization in America. The Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) is today the largest Ikhwan organization in the United States and the elder Khan served as a member of its Majlis a’Shura (or governing council). The memory of Mahboob Khan is held in such high regard by the Brothers of ISNA that they give an annual service award in his name.
- The elder Khan was also a founder (not to be confused with the imam) of three shariah-adherent mosques in California. Their degree of shariah-adherence can be found in the company kept by their congregations: The one in Southern California, the Islamic Society of Orange County, was the site of a fundraising visit in December 1992 by Sheikh Omar Abdel Rahman, better known as “the Blind Sheikh.” The visit preceded by two months the first attack on the World Trade Center, which was masterminded by Rahman. Then, according to a lengthy investigative report in the San Francisco Chronicle published in October 2001, two self-professed members of a terrorist cell recounted how, in 1995, they brought Ayman al-Zawahiri, a top Muslim Brotherhood figure who is now Osama bin Laden’s Number 2 in al Qaeda, to Mahboob Khan’s al-Noor mosque in Santa Clara.
- It is instructive that Suhail’s mother, Malika Khan, is also active with a prominent Muslim Brotherhood front. She still serves on the board of directors of the California chapter of the Council on America Islamic Relations, an organization the federal government has tied to Hamas and that was an unindicted co-conspirator in the trial of the Holy Land Foundation conspiracy.
- The years-long and prominent involvement of both of Suhail Khan’s parents with the Muslim Brotherhood is relevant to the present question insofar as he has neither acknowledged the truth about the nature of his parents’ roles in the Ikhwan’s civilization jihad nor disavowed them. To the contrary, in response to Abdurahman Alamoudi’s warm introduction at the 2001 AMC convention, Suhail said, in part:
...Abdulrahman Alamoudi [was among those who] have been very supportive of me and I want to give them thanks. Many of you, of course, knew my father. He was someone who dedicated his life to the community and I've always felt that I have to work in the same – those footsteps. That this is something that's important for our country as Americans and it is something that I keep in my heart everyday.
- In another address to the ISNA annual convention in September 2001 – shortly before 9/11, Suhail Khan took evident pride in the leadership role his mother had played in a number of Muslim Brotherhood organizations:
She worked with her husband to establish organizations like the MSA, ISNA, CAIR, American Muslims for Global Peace and Justice. She worked hard to establish an Islamic center in Orange County. She worked hard to establish an Islamic center and MCA in Santa Clara, and she still works hard today. And, inshallah, I work for my mother and I work for you. There's a dream that is America. And, inshallah, with your work and your help, we will make that dream a reality. Inshallah.
(3) Khan’s Job
An insight into Suhail Khan’s view of the work he has to do for his mother and the like-minded in ISNA can be found in his speech to the Islamic Society of North America convention in 1999:
This is our determination. This is the fierce determination we must resolve to bear in every facet of our lives. This is the mark of the Muslim. The earliest defenders of Islam would defend their more numerous and better equipped oppressors, because the early Muslims loved death, dying for the sake of almighty Allah more than the oppressors of Muslims loved life. This must be the case where we -- when we are fighting life's other battles....
As the many oppressed said during the civil rights movement in the sixties, we must keep our eyes on the prize. The prize being almighty Allah's pleasure and blessing. The results of our effort are in his good hands. I have pledged my life's work, inspired by my dear father's shining legacy, and inspired further by my mother's loving protection and support to work for the ummah. Join me in this effort. Join hands with me in supporting the work of the many valuable organizations who have dedicated themselves to our protection, to our empowerment as a Muslim ummah. Together, hand in hand, we can work toward the cause of Muslim self-determination.
Such statements are not “cherry-picked” or quoted out of context in a misleading way. While other passages of his 1999 ISNA speech were somewhat less transparent, these were clearly meant to communicate the same theme as the rest: his solidarity not only with his parents’ legacy but with his Ikhwan audience. The same can be said of his unbroken association over many years with the MB’s myriad front organizations listed in the Explanatory Memorandum and their successors.
Khan reiterated his commitment to the umma (the Muslim nation) in 2001 – albeit in more euphemistic terms since he was, after all, by that time a White House official. Here is how he described it during brief remarks immediately preceding his aforementioned expression of gratitude to Abdurahman Alamoudi at the AMC conference that year:
I appreciate your good wishes and your honoring me this afternoon for this small, very small contribution that I have tried to make for our community and our country. As many of you know, I have long worked as hard as I can for the benefit and the rights of Muslims and anyone else who needs help. And right now, of course, the Muslim community – my family – is one that needs representation, needs help and support. So any way that I can, working with you, I hope, inshallah, that we can keep working together. And please pray for success and pray for the right outcome in so many challenges that we have facing us.
(4) What ‘Right Outcome’?
One of the “successes” Khan was presumably referring to was a victory he and the Muslim Brotherhood’s leadership in America had sought for years: a prohibition on the use of secret evidence, particularly in deportation proceedings. Another recently released video, shot at a 2001 ISNA conference Khan addressed, illustrates how aggressively, for example, Palestinian Islamic Jihad’s al-Arian was promoting such a prohibition.
The backstory is that al-Arian had been working to accomplish this goal for some time through legislation sponsored by then-Democratic Representative David Bonior of Michigan and then-Republican Representative Tom Campbell of California, for whom Suhail Khan worked prior to joining the White House staff.
In a speech at the ISNA conference in 1999 decrying “the federal authorities’” use of secret evidence, Khan exhorted the audience not to cooperate with law enforcement (this stance has been a hardy perennial among Muslim Brotherhood operatives, particularly since 9/11; CAIR’s admonitions in this regard have recently received notoriety). Khan declared: “A Muslim is a brother to a Muslim. Neither he harms him nor does he hand him to another for harm." He went on to urge his co-religionists to be “protectors of one another.”
Having failed to secure legislative relief, al-Arian extracted — thanks to Grover Norquist, Khaled Saffuri and Suhail Khan – a commitment in the course of the 2000 campaign from then-Candidate Bush as the quid pro quo for support from the “Muslim- American community”: In the second debate with Al Gore, Mr. Bush pledged that, if elected, he would order such a prohibition.
It is worth quoting at length al-Arian’s remarks and the repeated and insistent call to action he issued to the audience at the ISNA convention in 2001, as they provide a powerful insight into this particular influence operation:
There has been a lot of talk about the endorsement of President Bush. We did not—the brothers did not endorse him because of Palestine or Iraq. There was a single issue. That was the issue of civil rights to us. There isn't any ethnic group in this United States that was empowered politically before they won their civil rights battles. Whether we like it or not, that civil rights battle has been defined to us in the issue of secret evidence. We wanted to raise that issue to the full front of the national debate....We're able to do that to the point that everybody heard it on national T.V. Millions of people heard what is happening to us.
So far the president did not deliver on his promise. We must hold him accountable. The jury's still out whether he would or wouldn't. And whether he would, that would depend on our involvement. So I have a plan of action. I have a request, an appeal – a plea for everyone here. The White House has said that they will not issue a statement or a position before sometime in September. That means we have few days to work on this.
Our hope is to generate thousands of calls to the White House asking them to support HR 1266. Secret Evidence Repeal Act. Again, that's HR 1266. The bill that has been sponsored, chiefly, by Congressman Bonior. That bill has to receive the support, has to receive the support of the White House so that eventually it will become the law of the land where no secret evidence will ever be used against anyone, Muslims or otherwise. [APPLAUSE] Brothers and sisters, the White House main number is 202-456-1111. Again, that's 202-456-1111. Every single person here, everyone you know, must call that number. Phone calls are the best, that's number one. I'll give you the e-mail later.
You must call and say, please support the banning of secret evidence, please support HR 1266. We must get all Muslims, all our friends, all those who love the freedom and the freedom of association and everything that the Constitution stands for in the area of civil liberties and freedoms and due process. To make that one phone call, because then and only then we can say whether our involvement made a difference. The White House or the president’s e-mail is firstname.lastname@example.org.
Secondly, please visit your congressman. Make a delegation to – make a point to visit your congressman and if they are not a co-sponsor yet on the bill, they must co-sign. You must make your voices heard.
Thirdly, please visit your editorial boards in the major newspaper in your town or city and let them know about this issue. Let them take a position in the editorial section as well as in the op-ed pieces.
Unspoken was the immediate and time-sensitive reason Sami al-Arian and his MB team were so determined to deny law enforcement the ability to make use of secret evidence: His brother-in-law, Mazen Al-Najjar, was being held in a federal detention center awaiting deportation on the basis of secret evidence that showed him to be a co- conspirator in running Palestinian Islamic Jihad.
Al-Arian’s pressure campaign was clearly designed to strengthen the hand of the man who had taken this MB agenda item with him from Capitol Hill to the White House: Suhail Khan.
Evidently, it worked. President Bush was scheduled to fulfill this promise in a meeting attended by Grover Norquist and representatives of the various Ikhwan fronts. (Sami al-Arian could not attend in person, but was supposed to call in.) As it happened, the chosen day was September 11, 2001.
After the attacks that morning, the White House complex was closed and the invited MB representatives decamped to the conference room the Center for Security Policy shared at the time with ATR – a meeting I observed was attended by Grover Norquist and Suhail Khan. Shortly thereafter, President Bush started repeating the Muslim Brotherhood line: “Islam is a religion of peace”; “terrorists are trying to hijack Islam”; “jihad is a personal struggle, not holy war”; etc.
President Bush was also induced in the days that followed to receive a Koran in a private meeting with a senior Muslim Brother, Muzzamil Siddiqi, who had taken over Mahboob Khan’s mosque in Orange County. Siddiqi was subsequently invited to be the Muslim imam at the ecumenical national 9/11 memorial service on September 14, 2001. (Charles Krauthammer caustically noted that Siddiqi on that momentous occasion could not even bring himself to condemn terrorism.) Mr. Bush also paid a highly publicized visit to the Saudi mosque in Washington where he was photographed surrounded by prominent Muslim Brotherhood operatives, including Nihad Awad of CAIR and Khaled Saffuri.
One thing George Bush did not do on 9/11, however, was prohibit the use of secret evidence in deportation and criminal proceedings – a tool that became all the more necessary to law enforcement in the wake of that day’s murderous attacks.
Shortly thereafter, Suhail Khan left the White House and was given a political appointment in the office of the Secretary of Transportation. His relocation followed the San Francisco Chronicle report tying al-Zawahiri to Mahboob Khan’s al-Noor mosque in Santa Clara. The article described how “two confessed members of a Silicon Valley terrorist cell say they brought Osama bin Laden’s top aide to the Bay Area several years ago to raise money for terror attacks.” (The Chronicle has never retracted this investigative report.)
Suhail Khan spent the rest of the Bush administration in the Department of Transportation, ultimately serving as the Assistant to the Secretary for Policy. In that capacity, as was emphasized in his e-mail to the ACU Board, he had access to classified information. Given the Department’s portfolio and his responsibilities, that would presumably have included secrets concerning: the policies and operations governing the Transportation Security Administration, port, rail, waterway and highway security, the movement of nuclear weapons and other hazardous materials, etc.
As recent experience with the Obama administration’s “czars” made manifest, the background investigations and vetting process for individuals whom political superiors wish to have cleared cannot always be relied upon to screen out all those who should not have access to sensitive information and facilities.
That is true in spades for individuals who were granted meetings with the President and other senior officials at the behest of a gatekeeper like Suhail Khan. Indeed, the Secret Service was publicly rebuked by President Bush after it had Sami al- Arian’s son, Abdullah, removed from a White House meeting on 28 June 2001, evidently over security concerns arising from his dad’s ties to terrorism. Mr. Bush personally called the mother of the young man he had dubbed “Big Dude” and promised that nothing like that “would ever happen again.” The message thus sent to the intelligence and homeland security communities was chilling.
(5) Khan’s Recent Activities and Influence Operations
In recent years, Suhail Khan and his patron, Grover Norquist, have been seeking to influence conservative groups and meetings in ways that serve the interest of our enemies and help in the name of “unity” to fracture the conservative movement. Illustrative examples include:
- While a member of the Bush administration, Khan was elected to the Board of Directors of the American Conservative Union. At the time, I warned publicly against such a step in the aforementioned article in FrontPage Magazine. He would have you believe that the ACU’s voting membership carefully considered the arguments presented and found them unpersuasive or unfounded. Informed sources report, however, that most of the electors were actually unaware of those arguments. In the absence of such knowledge, those who have for years promoted Khan as an authentic conservative – notably, Grover Norquist – had little difficulty securing the necessary support for his candidacy.
- Khan’s ACU credentials have enabled him to “burrow in” and lay claim to more and more prominent roles in conservative circles. For example, he has been cast as the “moderator” on several CPAC panels, including a program in 2007 in which he precluded one of the nation’s foremost non-Muslim experts on Islam, Robert Spencer, from having equal time and his fair say in a debate with Dinesh D’Souzah.
- In 2009, Suhail presided over a panel on what defines a “conservative foreign policy” on which I turned out to be the only one who favored Ronald Reagan’s strategy of “peace through strength.” One can infer from comments he made to various left-wing media outlets/blogs following publication of the aforementioned article in World Net Daily that he has used his influence at the ACU to preclude me from having a speaking role at CPAC this year.
- Such blacklisting efforts certainly paid off when Geert Wilders – the courageous anti- shariah parliamentarian in the Netherlands who has been prosecuted by his government for “offending” Muslims – was supposed to receive at CPAC 2009 an award for his courage in defense of freedom. In the end, however, he was blocked from doing so and was relegated to making a presentation on the margins of the meeting. The question-and-answer session planned for the capacity crowd assembled to see him was abbreviated when several individuals associated with an ostensibly conservative Islamic organization styling itself “Muslims for America” were deemed by Wilders’ security detail to pose a possible threat.
- According to Seeme Hasan, the mother of Ali Hasan – a 2010 Republican candidate for State Treasurer of Colorado who announced in December that he was becoming a Democrat because of the “racism and bigotry” in the GOP, and whose family foundation provides the financial backing for Muslims for America – Suhail Khan will be representing her son’s organization at the upcoming CPAC 2011 conference.
- Thanks largely to Grover Norquist’s sponsorship, Khan has also been able to infiltrate other conservative circles. In addition to attending for years Norquist’s Wednesday meetings, he has recently been treated as a “conservative leader” by dint of his chairmanship of something called “the Conservative Inclusion Coalition,” which meets at the Americans for Tax Reform offices. He has taken to convening periodic meetings with young congressional staff members, some of whom work for legislators in positions of leadership.
- Since departing the Bush administration, Suhail has also tapped into the Brotherhood’s highly successful “interfaith dialogue” strategem for coopting and influencing the clerical leaders of other faiths. He has an affiliation with the increasingly Saudi-funded Institute for Global Engagement, on whose board serves John Esposito. Esposito is a prominent apologist for the Islamists, a stance that has been rewarded with his installation as the founding director of the $20 million-plus MB dawa (proselytizing) operation known as the “Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding” at Georgetown University.
As Khan noted in his e-mail to the ACU Board, this tie-in has afforded him an opportunity to cultivate relations with prominent and well-meaning evangelicals and clerics of other denominations, as well as one or more wealthy conservative philanthropist(s). One such occasion entailed an excursion he led to Auschwitz and Dachau in which Jewish and Christian clergy were accompanied by an assortment of Muslim Brotherhood operatives, including notably Muzzamil Siddiqi. He claims that the purpose of the trip was to bring attention to the scourge of Holocaust denial and anti-Semitism.
As there are few more assiduous practitioners of anti-Semitic behavior and Holocaust-denying than shariah-adherent Muslims, it is clear to all but the most naïve that this exercise – like the rest of the MB’s “bridge-building” – is actually about dawa and more effective influence operations, not weaning Suhail’s “cohort” from their immoderate views and toxic shariah practices. In fact, the Brotherhood’s revered spiritual guide, Sayyid Qtub, wrote in Milestones that “the chasm between Islam and [the unbelievers] is great and a bridge is not to be built across it so the people on the two sides may mix with each other but only so that [the unbelievers] may come over to Islam.” (Emphasis added.)
- In recent months, Khan has also been permitted to attend weekly lunches previously chaired by the late Paul Weyrich. I personally observed him use one such occasion for an influence operation on a congressional staff member for a senior Republican leader. After I showed an ad describing the history of triumphalist mosques built over the sacred ground of conquered peoples and the explicit ambition of the imam who wants to build one by Ground Zero to bring shariah to America, Khan quietly told the staffer that he knew Faisal Abdul Rauf, that the imam is actually a moderate and that I was falsely describing him and his agenda. Khan’s effort to run interference for Imam Rauf, by misrepresenting him as other than an MB operative, is a perfect example of the Ikhwan’s civilization jihad.
The Bottom Line
The foregoing litany comprises but a partial rendering of the problem we confront. Yet, it illustrates what a sophisticated, sustained influence operation looks like in an open society like ours. At a minimum, I hope you agree that it provides ample grounds for the American Conservative Union to “worry” about the extent to which it has been penetrated and manipulated by Suhail Khan and his enablers.
These individuals are now increasingly brazen in their aggressive pursuit of the Muslim Brotherhood’s overarching goal – eliminating and defeating our civilization from within, by our own hands. Such a divide-and-conquer strategy is certainly evident in, and being advanced by, campaigns these so-called “conservatives” have been mounting on behalf of initiatives that are anathema to most bona fide conservatives. For example, they seek to:
- close Guantanamo Bay and bring its detainees to the United States;
- bring Khalid Sheikh Mohammed to civilian trial in New York;
- repeal the Patriot Act;repeal the ban on homosexuals in the military;
- build the Ground Zero mosque;
- leave our borders insecure and promote amnesty for illegal aliens;
- cut defense spending; and
- bring the troops home from Afghanistan forthwith and without regard for conditions on the ground.
I respectfully suggest that such policy prescriptions and their predictable, destructive consequences require the American Conservative Union – as part of the soul- searching and reorganizing that has been necessitated by other issues in recent days – promptly to reach the necessary conclusion: For the good of the organization and the movement, this influence operation must be terminated at the earliest possible moment. In addition, its perpetrators must be removed from the Board of Directors and any other positions of responsibility they currently hold.
I appreciate that this recommendation is one few members of the ACU – or for that matter most other conservatives – relish contemplating, let alone acting upon. After all, it necessitates confronting and breaking fellowship with individuals who have been colleagues, and perhaps friends. For such reasons, my warnings about this danger have gone unaddressed by our community for over a decade, even as it has continued to metastasize.
Whenever I confront a hard problem like this, I think of my old boss and ask: What would Ronald Reagan do? In this case, we can be certain of the answer. As an
actor and union leader, Mr. Reagan confronted Communists who by the post-war era had thoroughly penetrated the American film industry and were seeking to undermine America through the influence Hollywood exercised. Mr. Reagan stood up to the Communists and their allies – despite enormous pressure to look the other way, the damage to friendships and no small risk to his own personal safety and that of his family.
Thanks in part to his inspiring example, conservatives across the country took it upon themselves to expose Soviet efforts to penetrate not only Hollywood but the nation’s politics by infiltrating Communist agents into various private sector institutions and the government. Back then, conservatives took the lead in educating the public and pillorying those who tried to excuse the problem away, or to attack the messenger.
Today, American institutions are being infiltrated by a different foreign but no less totalitarian enemy – adherents to shariah led by the Muslim Brotherhood. We can no longer ignore the fact that the conservative movement is one of those targeted institutions. Ronald Reagan and a generation of conservatives were vigilant and effective against the Communists. We must do no less now against the Ikhwan.
I would welcome a chance to discuss this matter with you, either individually or with other Directors.
In the meantime, thank you for taking this information aboard – and, I pray, to heart.
Frank J. Gaffney, Jr.
President, Center for Security Policy