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Dec
19

RECOMMENDED READING: “State Department’s Continued Outreach To Radicals”

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The Investigative Project has published a new report titled “State Department’s Continued Outreach to Radicals” that looks at current and past U.S. Government support of U.S. Muslim Brotherhood groups. The report begins with a look at a 2011 visit to the U.S. by a group of unidentified Bulgarian Muslims and funded by the Department of State:

by Abha Shankar IPT News December 18, 2012 The Obama administration’s efforts to conquer hearts and minds in the Muslim world as part of its broader strategy to battle Islamist terrorism may be a laudable goal. But the administration’s continued pandering to radical Islamists both at home and abroad continues to baffle and frustrate opponents of political Islam and Islamist organizations. The administration has been swift to embrace newly-elected Islamist regimes in the Middle-East despite their violent and pro-jihadi rhetoric. Last month for example, it heaped praise on Egypt’s new Islamist leader Mohammed Morsi for helping broker a truce between Israel and Hamas after eight days of fighting. In lauding Morsi, the U.S. government overlooked statements supporting Hamas issued by Morsi’s colleagues in the Muslim Brotherhood and their celebration of rocket attacks on Israel. Morsi was a senior Brotherhood official for years before seeking office. This international outreach to authoritarian Islamist regimes bestows undue legitimacy on Islamists and renders democratic and secular opposition and dissident groups voiceless. The same flawed outreach is being pursued domestically. The latest example comes from a State Department-sponsored delegation last year of five Bulgarian Muslims who came to discuss the role of religion in the United States. Details of the trip, funded by the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs under its International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP), were obtained by the Investigative Project on Terrorism via a Freedom of Information Act request. The delegation hoped to ‘learn about the environment of religious tolerance in the U.S. and how religious groups function in a democratic society with a separation of church and state,’ records in the 379-page FOIA release show. It described meetings the delegation had with leading Islamist groups like the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) and individuals in Washington, D.C., Philadelphia, Salt Lake City and Chicago from Sept. 26-Oct. 14, 2011.

Read the rest here.

The report report goes on to discuss visits by the Bulgarian group to the Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC), the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR), and the Mosque Foundation of Bridgeview. MPAC and CAIR are well known parts of the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood.  and past posts have discussed the Brotherhood and Hamas ties of the Mosque Foundation. Past posts have discussed other examples of State Department support for the Global Muslim Brotherhood including paying for a visit by a French Muslim Brotherhood leader to the International Institute of Islamic Thought (IIIT) and sending a CAIR official to Mali. 

The IP also report goes on to discuss some of the post history of U.S. government support of the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood: 

The government’s outreach to radical Islamist groups and individuals is not new and has been ongoing for at least the past two decades under the Clinton and Bush administrations. Some of these Islamists include groups and individuals who have been convicted, indicted or designated unindicted co-conspirators in terrorism prosecutions in the U.S. The State Department spent $40,000 from 1992-2000 to sponsor Abdurahman Alamoudi to represent American Muslims in speaking engagements overseas. Alamoudi, a former head of the now-defunct American Muslim Council, was sentenced to 23 years in prison for illegal financial dealings with Libya. Alamoudi also confessed to being part of a Libyan plot to assassinate the then-crown prince of Saudi Arabia. The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) provided financial aid to the Hamas-tied Holy Land Foundation. In 2000, on discovering the agency was providing aid to a terror-linked charity, Thomas R. Pickering, then-Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs, ordered termination of HLF’s registration with USAID since it was found the partnership was ‘contrary to the national interests and foreign policy of the United States.’ Islamist apologist John Esposito has been sponsored by the State Department to travel overseas and talk about life for Muslims in America to international audiences. FOIA records obtained earlier by the IPT show Esposito traveled overseas several times between 1997 and 2007 on the State Department’s dime, including to Pakistan, Bosnia, and Croatia. Esposito has a track record of downplaying the threat from Islamist terrorism and has close ties to CAIR and the United Association for Studies and Research (UASR)—two Muslim Brotherhood front groups that were identified by federal prosecutors in the HLF trial as part of the Hamas-support network in the U.S. Esposito also served as a defense expert in the HLF trial and considers U.S.-based Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) operative Sami Al-Arian a close friend. A March 2009 State Department booklet, titled ‘Being Muslim in America,’ ostensibly seeks to debunk the myth that American Muslims are marginalized and do not form part of mainstream America. But at closer glance the booklet reads more like a pro-Islamist propaganda mouthpiece giving voice to standard Islamist grievances such as growing Islamophobia and racial profiling in post-9/11 America. More recently, the State Department sent MPAC’s founder and president, Salam al-Marayati, as its emissary to a human rights forum in Poland in October. Al-Marayati earlier alleged Israel as a suspect behind the 9/11 attacks and called Hizballah attacks ‘legitimate resistance.’ This is not the first time the State Department handpicked al-Marayati as its representative, sending him on a 2010 trip to Europe where al-Marayati spoke about free speech and religious freedom. 

The GMBDW believes that U.S. government support of the Global Muslim Brotherhood is far more extensive than currently realized. For example another post discussed leaked diplomatic cables showing that the U.S. State Department secretly financed Syrian opposition groups and related projects, including a satellite TV station whose news director may have a brother with ties to the Syrian Muslim Brotherhood. In 2007, the Wall Street Journal reported on moves by the U.S. Government to reach closer relations with the Syrian Muslim Brotherhood.

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