A few weeks ago, the left-leaning Texas Independent interviewed Mustafaa Carroll of that state’s branch of the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) on Rick Perry’s relationship with local Muslim communities there. Carroll complained about Perry reaching out to the relatively moderate Ismaili Shia at the expense of groups like his own (with substantial links to the Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas), saying Perry, “may feel safer with [Muslim] minority groups with less connectivity.” From there, Salon’s Justin Elliott could not resist flipping the story on its head in order to rattle bloggers and their readers who are rightly concerned about Shariah, jihad and the Islamist agenda of the Muslim Brotherhood.
Unfortunately, as I described in “Perry is not the 5th column candidate” this weekend at Pajamas Media, some took the bait. A few writers unleashed hell on Perry, probably not realizing that the governor’s relationship with the Ismailis could be used to further alienate and minimize CAIR, ISNA, and other Muslim Brotherhood-linked unindicted coconspirators in American’s largest terrorism financing trial. I argued that this lack of “connectivity” to groups that promote political Islam and Shariah was a smart move on Perry’s part:
The goal of CAIR and other Muslim Brotherhood-linked groups is to get Perry — and every candidate of both party — to engage with them as the authentic voices that represent American Muslims. In this way, these groups would be able to shape a narrative on national security that introduces counterfactual issues and obscures the nature of the enemy we fight: jihadists fighting to implement shariah law. Rather than attack Perry’s relationship to the Ismailis, anti-jihad activists should encourage the governor and his team to reach out to the newly-formed American Islamic Leadership Coalition to better educate themselves on these issues from this group’s unabashedly pro-American and anti-shariah perspective.