I recently read an excellent article over at the Investigative Project On Terrorism and the good folk there have kindly said I can re-post some of it here. It’s an important story – do read and then share this information. And do visit the IPT’s superb site!
The article details how one of Obama’s top aides cheerfully shared a platform with people promoting Jihad, Anti semitism, homophobia, and Islamic terrorism. This is an abbreviated version of the original piece; the extra emphasis in italics and colour are mine:
A top aide to President Barack Obama provided a keynote address at last weekend’s 46th Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) national convention, a gathering that attracted thousands of people and also featured anti-Semitic, homophobic rhetoric and defense of the terrorist group Hezbollah.
In her remarks, Senior Advisor for Public Engagement and International Affairs Valerie Jarrett noted she was the first White House official to address ISNA. She spoke in general terms about interfaith dialogue and cooperation. She praised her hosts for “the diversity of American organizations, and ideas that are represented and will be debated” at the convention.
And she openly invited ISNA President Ingrid Mattson to work on the White House Council on Women and Girls that Jarrett leads.
The ISNA is an unindicted co-conspirator in a Hamas-support conspiracy and maintains significant leadership ties to its foundation 28 years ago by members of the Muslim Brotherhood in America. A more pointed statement also would have stood as a powerful retort to extremist sentiments offered in other segments of the conference.
While many panels featured criticism of U.S. policy and law enforcement, one stood out for its hate-filled rhetoric, and ISNA officials should have seen it coming a mile away. During a “meet the authors” session, Imam Warith Deen Umar, former head of the New York state prison chaplain program managed to:
Argue that key Obama aides are “Israeli,” proving Jews “have control of the world.”
Malign the motives of Jews active in the Civil Rights movement.
Portray the Holocaust as punishment of Jews for being “serially disobedient to Allah.”Insinuate that Hurricane Katrina was a result of tolerance for homosexuality.
Umar’s radicalism is no secret. He previously hailed the 9/11 hijackers as martyrs who were secretly admired by Muslims. He has called for violent jihad. In a January 2004 speech, he urged people:
“Rise up and fight. And fight them until turmoil is no more and strike terror into their hearts. You think there is no terror in Quran? It’s called [word unclear] read it in the 56th Surah of the Quran. There’s no lack of translation, there’s no mistranslation There’s not one Sheikh says one thing, no, it’s very clear. When you fight, you strike terror into the heart of the disbeliever.'”
He has a website promoting a past book, Judaiology, which features an excerpt describing “the inordinacy of Jewish power.” Jews, he wrote, are “an amazing people who can steal you blind as you watch. If you discover the theft, they can put you to sleep. If you wake up to them, they can put you back to sleep with mind games, tricks of fancy, smoke screens, and magic. Henry Ford almost uncovered them.”
Other choice comments of his included:
“It’s against the laws of Allah and against the laws of the Bible for homosexuality. And if you think the Quran talks about harsh punishment from Allah, you should read what the Bible says. I don’t have the time to go into it, but it’s in my book. The Bible is very hard on, he says, Allah says that the land itself is doomed. You wonder why things are happening in America are going to happen? You think that Katrina was just a blow of wind?”
“My conclusion is that there should be more jihad,” he said. “But people don’t want to hear that. They’re scared.”
This is the man responsible for the Muslim chaplain program in New York prisons for 20 years. He was forced out of that job after his praise for the 9/11 hijackers became known. This is who ISNA chose to showcase in a “meet the authors” panel and provide an unchallenged platform for.
Umar shared the microphone with another author who did not spew out bigotry, but who did cast Hezbollah as an innocent player. Cathy Sultan described her book, Tragedy in South Lebanon: The Israeli/Hezbollah War of 2006, as a history of “the tragedy of the repeated incursions and wars in South Lebanon, the complexities of the Lebanese politics.”
She made no mention of Iranian funding for Hezbollah or Syrian meddling in Lebanese politics or its suspected involvement in the assassination of former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri. Nor did Sultan describe indiscriminate Hezbollah rocket fire toward Israeli civilian communities, or the cross-border attack on an Israeli army base by Hezbollah that left three soldiers dead and two others kidnapped.
In response to a question, Sultan said: “Hezbollah still serves a role. I think that Lebanon is still under constant threat from its southern neighbor. And I see nothing wrong, as long as Hezbollah abides by certain rules and regulations; I see no reason why Hezbollah should not remained armed.”
The United States considers Hezbollah to be a terrorist group, and some experts consider it a bigger potential threat to the United States than Al-Qaeda.
The panel did not feature anyone with contrasting viewpoints to challenge Sultan or Umar. The program drew about 50 people, who sat passively during most of the remarks.
Umar’s books were available for purchase at the convention. Government agencies were represented with booths of their own, including the departments of Justice, State, Homeland Security, Commerce, the U.S. Navy and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID).
In Cairo, Barack Obama said:
“Threatening Israel with destruction — or repeating vile stereotypes about Jews — is deeply wrong and a hindrance to peace.”
But somehow, partnering with a group that invites the same thing is okay?
With thanks to the Investigative Project On Terrorism for allowing me to re-post this material.
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