Leadership Group Figures Support U.S. Muslim Brotherhood Desire To Change Terrorism Language


During a Senate hearing on Thursday, two leaders of the Leadership Group of the U.S.-Muslim Engagement Project, an organization whose report promotes the agenda of the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood, expressed support for changing the language used to describe terrorism, a key objective of the U.S. Brotherhood. In her statement, former Secretary of State Madeleine K. Albright stated:

Western media are full of references to Islamic terrorism. But what does that mean? We do not portray the Oklahoma City bombing as Christian terrorism, even though Timothy MacVeigh thought of himself as a Christian. MacVeigh was guilty of mass murder – and there was nothing Christian about it. The same principle applies with Islam. When Muslims commit terrorist acts, they are not practicing their faith; they are betraying it.

Dalia Mogahed, Executive Director of the Gallup Center for Muslim Studies, concurred in her statement :

Our language must reflect the reality that the primary victims of violent extremism are Muslims abroad, and that they fear falling victim to political violence more than Americans do. We are, therefore, natural allies against this common threat. This will mean de-emphasizing the unquenchable demand for mainstream Muslims to condemn terrorism again and again as this assumes their co-membership in one group with the terrorists, instead of with us as fellow victims of the same crime. Use of terms like “Islamic terrorism” or “Jihadists” glorifies the terrorists with religious veneration, while fueling the very perceptions they work to exploit —that America is at war with Islam.

During her responses to questioning, Ms. Mogahed suggested using the term “Bin Ladenism” as a substitute for “Islamic Terrorism.”

Changing the language used to describe terrorism has long been one of the goals of the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood. In December 1999, for example, a leader of the Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC) stated:

‘There is no such thing as Islamic terrorism, just as there isn’t Christian terrorism or Jewish terrorism,” said Maher Hathout of the MPAC. ”There are Muslims who are terrorists, just as there are Christians who are terrorists.’

Previous posts have extensively discussed the importance of this issue to the U.S. Brotherhood. For example, one earlier post described a Department of Homeland Security memo urging employees not to use terms including ‘jihad,’ ‘jihadist’ or ‘Islamic terrorist’ in describing Islamic terrorists. The post observed that this proposed policy was in accord with global Muslim Brotherhood strategies attempting to control the use of language used in counter-terrorism efforts. Another post discussed  passages in the DHS memo further supporting the connection to the Muslim Brotherhood and noted that the memorandum was based on “recommendations from a wide variety of American Muslim leaders” and originated in a meeting with “influential Muslim Americans” As analyzed in another earlier post , the attempt by the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood to change terrorism language appears to be part of a larger strategy towards terrorism based on denial, deception, defense, and obstruction. As that post described the denial tactic:

DENIAL- Since the Brotherhood is pursuing Islamization and eventually Shariah (Islamic Law), it is necessary at all costs to deny that Islam as a religion has any connection to violence or terrorism. Of course, the Brotherhood represents Islamism as opposed to Islam in this regard but since the general audience does not understand that distinction, it is Islam which is the Brotherhood reference. They cannot afford to fail in this denial and the denial strategy is usually pursued through sophistry. That is, the Brotherhood claims that Islam is unfairly associated with terrorism while Christianity, Judaism, and other religions are not (e.g. Abortion bombers are not called Christian Terrorists) and/or that other religious terrorism is just as dangerous as Islamic terrorism.

It should be noted that with regard to Ms. Albright’s testimony, Timothy McVeigh described himself as an “agnostic” rather than a Christian shortly before his execution. In any event, the term “Islamic Terrorism” would appear to refer to the motivations and claims of the groups involved rather than their religious identity per se.

Previous posts have discussed the U.S.-Muslim Engagement Project which includes individuals associated with the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood such as Ms. Mogahed. The Leadership Group also includes other prominent former government officials such as Ms. Albright, Richard Armitage, former Deputy Secretary of State, and Dennis Ross, the former Mideast negotiator in the Clinton Administration. As one of the earlier posts discussed, a close reading of the report issued by the Leadership Group suggests that its recommendations, if adopted, would represent a significant advancement of the Muslim Brotherhood agenda in the U.S. The recommendations included:

  • Rebranding groups such as the Muslim Brotherhood as “activists”
  • Labeling the Muslim Brotherhood as a group which has “renouced violence”
  • Cessation of the use of any terms such as “Jihadists” which are said to link Islam as a religion with terrorism
  • Involving the “Muslim-American Community” as a birdge to the Islamic world

Video of the hearing can be found here.

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