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Jewish World Review
August 18, 2008
/ 18 Menachem-Av 5768
Obama's Islamist problem has nothing to do with his upbringing
Frank J. Gaffney, Jr.
Democratic presidential candidate Barak Obama's appearance
before a large evangelical congregation in Orange County over the
weekend underscored an evident imperative of his campaign: Emphasize
his Christian faith and put to rest insistent rumors that he secretly
adheres to the Islamic creed of his father and youth.
The effort to minimize any grounds for fearing Obama has an abiding, if
covert, attachment to Islam has prompted him to risk offending Muslims
in order to avoid off-message controversies and photo ops. It is,
therefore, curious in the extreme that he is giving a prominent role at
next week's Democratic convention to a leader of an organization
identified by the Department of Justice as a Muslim Brotherhood front
organization and an unindicted co-conspirator in a terrorism financing
Dr. Ingrid Mattson is the president of the Islamic Society of North
America (ISNA), an organization created by the radical, Saudi-financed
Muslim Students Association. She will represent the Muslim community at
the first-ever interfaith prayer service at a Democratic nominating
Now, we know from the Holy Land Foundation (HLF) trial that ISNA is one
of many Muslim Brotherhood-affiliated groups operating in America. We
also know from a Brotherhood document entered into evidence in that case
(which is currently being retried after the first prosecution resulted
in a mistrial) that, "The work [of Brotherhood members] in America is a
kind of grand jihad in eliminating and destroying the Western
civilization from within, and 'sabotaging' its miserable house by their
hands and the hands of believers so that it is eliminated and God's
religion is made victorious over all other religions."
The question is why would Barak Obama's campaign - which has prevented
Muslim women wearing headcoverings from being in the background of
photographs with the candidate and which recently fired a
Muslim-outreach coordinator who had ties to another unindicted HLF
co-conspirator - allow itself to be put in such company?
Presumably, the response will be one heard from the Bush administration:
ISNA is a large, "mainstream" Muslim-American organization that is an
appropriate vehicle for outreach to that community. In fact, Deputy
Secretary of Defense Gordon England and former Under Secretaries of
State Nick Burns and Karen Hughes are among the senior U.S. government
officials who have lavished praise on the group and legitimated ISNA by
meeting with Dr. Mattson and others.
The difference is that, for whatever reason, Sen. Obama clearly is
exercising care about his public associations with Muslims. Given that,
one would think that he would want, in particular, to avoid any actions
that could be described as a "third term" for a Bush administration that
has repeatedly embraced and allowed itself to be influenced by Muslim
Certainly, such would seem to be the message of Sen. Obama's cashiering
of Mazen Asbahi, his campaign's erstwhile Muslim coordinator. The
problem was not simply that Asbahi had served on a board with Jamal
Said, who the government chose not to indict but nonetheless implicated
in the HLF racketeering conspiracy in support of the terrorist group,
It was that the board on which Messrs. Asbahi and Said served was for a
company owned by yet another Saudi-funded, Brotherhood front and
un-indicted coconspirator: the North American Islamic Trust (NAIT). The
company, Allied Asset Advisors, is, as the Wall Street Journal put it:
"a subsidiary of the North American Islamic Trust...which is supported
financially by the government of Saudi Arabia, holds title to many
mosques in the U.S. and promotes a conservative brand of Islam
compatible with the ideology of the Muslim Brotherhood and also akin to
the fundamentalist style predominant in Saudi Arabia." NAIT is, in
other words, a powerful instrument in the Islamists' campaign to
dominate and radicalize the Muslim community in America. ISNA's Dr.
Mattson is an ex officio member of the NAIT board of directors.
Another problem for Sen. Obama would have been that Allied Asset
Advisors is one of a growing number of companies that engages in
Shariah-Compliant Finance (SCF). This practice ostensibly eschews
investments involving interest, pork, gambling and other activities
considered impure by authoritative Shariah advisors. Far from being
just one of many religious-based "socially responsible" investing
options, however, SCF is a vehicle for legitimating the Islamists'
repressive, totalitarian Shariah code and establishing its seditious
tenet that Muslims here will not be governed by the U.S. Constitution
Whatever the reasons for the Democratic presidential candidate's
sensitivities about the Islamic faith, he has an obligation to make
clear his attitude towards the Muslim Brotherhood, its mission in
America and his willingness to be associated with its front
organizations. It is still the case that most Muslims in this country
do not want any part of Shariah law. It behooves Sen. Obama to make
known now whether he is willing to embrace those who do, and his true
attitude towards their ambition to impose the Islamists' barbaric code
here through such subterfuges as Shariah-Compliant Finance.
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JWR contributor Frank J. Gaffney, Jr. heads the Center for Security Policy. Comments by clicking here.
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