How curious. At the very moment the threat posed to U.S. interests by the toxic Islamist organization known as the Muslim Brotherhood is becoming ever more palpable, a top Senate Democrat seems determined to suppress Americans’ understanding of that menace.
Even the New York Times is now acknowledging the obvious: The principal beneficiary of the forced departure of an Egyptian dictator, Hosni Mubarak - a double-dealing leader who nonetheless passed for a reliable U.S. ally in the hall of mirrors that is Mideast politics - will likely be the Muslim Brotherhood. That means an organization explicitly committed to waging jihad to achieve the worldwide imposition of the Islamic politico-military-legal program its adherents call Shariah will soon run the most populous Arab Muslim nation; control the strategic Suez Canal, through which 5 percent of the world’s oil passes every day; and be armed with a vast, American-supplied arsenal of sophisticated and modern weapons.
Unfortunately, a similar outcome may be in store for Libya, whose so-called “rebels” and “freedom fighters” appear actually to be drawn from the ranks of the Brotherhood, its spin-off known as al Qaeda or other Islamist factions. Some of those to whom we are now providing air cover and perhaps soon armaments are said to have returned home from Iraq where they were, until recently, trying to kill U.S. forces. Variations on the basic theme of MB fomenting and exploiting “Arab Springs” may also play out shortly across the Mideast, from Tunisia to Saudi Arabia, from Syria to Yemen.
It would seem under these ominous circumstances, it would behoove Congress to maximize public exposure to the true nature and intensifying threat posed by the Brotherhood and its associates not only elsewhere, but in the United States as well. Instead, Sen. Dick Durbin of Illinois, the second-ranking Democrat in the U.S. Senate, will be holding a hearing Tuesday that appears calculated to obscure rather than illuminate this problem.
In an interview Monday on Secure Freedom Radio, Steven Emerson, executive director of the Investigative Project on Terrorism and one of the country’s top counterterrorism experts, described this event as “the anti-King hearing.” Whereas Rep. Peter King, the chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, sought to assess the problem of extremism emanating from the Muslim American community, Mr. Durbin evidently hopes to promote the line touted by the Muslim Brotherhood and its myriad front groups, associates and apologists: Mr. King and others like him are the problem, not jihadist Muslims. Instead, it is the “racism,” “bigotry” and “Islamophobia” to which followers of Islam are subjected that is the real danger.
In fact, an analysis of FBI hate crimes data just published by the Center for Security Policy (centerforsecuritypolicy.org/p18663.xml) clearly refutes the notion that Muslims are being victimized in America because of their faith. Jews are eight times more likely to be victims of such crimes.
Mr. Emerson explained that this perverse role is the rule rather than the exception with Mr. Durbin: “He has been in bed with radical Islam for the last eight years. … He has aligned himself with the [Muslim Brotherhood-Hamas-linked] Council on American-Islamic Relations, sent them letters of congratulations, agreed to speak to their banquets, fundraised for them, and most recently paid a visit to the Bridgeview Mosque, which … is … one of the largest mosques in the United States. … It is considered the senior center of Hamas activity in the United States, led by Imam Jamal Said. [He] was listed as an unindicted co-conspirator in the Holy Land Foundation case … against the fundraisers for Hamas, all of whom were convicted.
“In [a] picture [taken at the mosque], which was printed in the Bridgeview Mosque newsletter online, it shows [Mr. Durbin] with eight people, six of whom are actually allied with Hamas. Five of whom have been listed as unindicted co-conspirators [in the Holy Land trial]. And four of whom have made statements calling for the killing of Jews.”
Scarcely less troubling are Mr. Durbin’s choice of witnesses. They include “civil rights activist” Farhana Khera, who Mr. Emerson recounts has discouraged Muslims from cooperating with law enforcement, and retired Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, who is a prominent participant in interfaith dialogues manipulated by the largest Muslim Brotherhood front in the United States, the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA).
Unfortunately, the narrative Mr. Durbin is advancing has been taken up by some in government who should know better. For example, Mr. Emerson told me in his interview that Michael Leiter, the director of the National Counterterrorism Center, prompted serious questions about his fitness to serve in that front-line capacity by announcing recently at a closed, $4 million conference that “Al Jazeera was his favorite television station, radical Islam was only a nuisance, a tiny problem, and that Islamophobia was the biggest problem we faced.”
Were the Congress and the nation more generally to adopt this narrative - to the effect that the greatest danger facing the nation emanates from efforts of those seeking to inform our countrymen about the threat posed by the Muslim Brotherhood and other adherents to Shariah - it would hand the Muslim Brotherhood perhaps its greatest bloodless victory to date: acquiescence to the sort of Shariah blasphemy laws that forbid any expression that offends Islam.
This act of submission will greatly compound the willful blindness that is facilitating the Brotherhood’s stealth jihad here at home, even as it and its allies make immense strides abroad. Will Mr. Durbin’s colleagues sit idly by as he contributes to such a wholly unacceptable outcome? Will the rest of us?
Frank J. Gaffney Jr. is president of the Center for Security Policy (SecureFreedom.org), a columnist for The Washington Times and host of Secure Freedom Radio, heard in Washington weeknights at 9 p.m. on WRC-AM (1260).