Tommy Robinson's Lesson for America
An interview with Paul Gosar - Analyzing the British case's relevance to the U.S.
Paul A. Gosar, D.D.S., a four-term Congressman Representing Arizona's 4th Congressional District, believes that the Constitution is the cornerstone of our Republic and pursues policies that allow for more individual liberty and less government involvement. As Vice Chair of the Oversight and Government Reform Interior Subcommittee, Dr. Gosar focuses his legislative work on government accountability and is the chairman of the Congressional Western Caucus.
Tommy Robinson is a British anti-Islamist activist who, in a miscarriage of justice, was arrested after covering a rape-gang trial. He was recently released from jail, thanks to the combined efforts of the Middle East Forum's Legal Project, a "Free Tommy" rally in London with over 10,000 supporters, and Congressman Gosar, who participated. The rally drew international attention to the case which championed the causes of free speech, freedom of religion, freedom of assembly, and the law's due process in safeguarding individual rights in liberal democracies. The congressman witnessed how the British government was held accountable to a public alarmed by the proliferation of prostitution-grooming thugs and rape gangs from a militant Islamist segment of the U.K.'s Muslim immigrant community.
The relevance of Robinson's case to all Americans is that Islamist militancy in the U.K., as well as in the U.S., must be identified and exposed for the sake of preserving American values. Sharia courts in the U.K., for example, have led to a bifurcation of British society and require regulation by the British authorities. A reformation within the Islamic religion can only gain traction if radical figures who suppress moderate Muslim voices and who claim to represent mainstream Islam in the U.S. are challenged by name and held accountable.
For Congress to achieve this accountability, Islamist organizations or institutions that oppose core American constitutional principles and support militant Islam must lose federal funding. One such organization requiring investigation by the Office of the Inspector General is Islamic Relief, the world's largest Islamist charity and a recipient of Western monies. Legislators who stand up on behalf of individual rights have the power of the purse to staunch the flow of money fueling anti-Western Islamism.
U.S. Muslim Brotherhood Below the Radar
An interview with Dr. Zuhdi Jasser - Designating a terrorist organization
M. Zuhdi Jasser, M.D., Founder and President of the American Islamic Forum for Democracy (AIFD) and author of A Battle for the Soul of Islam: An American Patriot's Fight to Save His Faith (Simon and Schuster, June 2012), served as both Vice Chair and Commissioner of the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF), and regularly briefs members of the House and Senate on the Islamist threat.
The American Islamic Forum for Democracy (AIFD) advocates for the preservation of the U.S. Constitution's founding principles of liberty and freedom through the separation of mosque and state, focusing on the Muslim Brotherhood threat in the U.S. Following his naval service, Jasser identified the voices speaking on behalf of his Arizona community as offshoots of Brotherhood legacy groups in the West. His observation of how Islamic theocrats rise to power in a vacuum motivated him to begin his grassroots activism to further global reform.
Jasser identifies the two major threats to the American Muslim community as the solidification of dictatorships by both Sunni and Shia theologians, and the complacency of the majority of American Muslims who remain silent in the face of Islamist forces like the Muslim Brotherhood which seek to undermine Western freedoms.
Despite Jasser's testimony before Congress regarding the global and domestic threats posed by the Muslim Brotherhood, it has yet to be designated as a terrorist organization by either Congress or the administration. The Western arm of the Brotherhood would wither if its global entities were to be designated as foreign terrorist organizations (FTOs). The reticence is due to the infiltration in the U.S. by countries like Qatar, which is closely affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood. For example, Qatar funds the Brookings Institution, a prominent think tank in Washington, D.C. which exerts considerable influence in the halls of power.
Qatar's influence extends to local levels in other states as well. The Qatar Foundation International (QFI) sponsors continuing education programs on the Middle East for Arizona's public-school teachers. The Arizona Department of Education, which hosts the programs, is the recipient of $450,000 in QFI donations. The programs' lesson plans for grades K-12 contain Islamist propaganda designed to influence American schoolchildren and feature antisemitic and anti-American material. The result is a revisionist version of history with the aim of advancing Qatari foreign policy.
From a foreign policy perspective, by hosting a U.S. military base, Qatar gives the impression that it is a U.S. ally, while Qatar's leading cleric, Yusuf Qaradawi, is banned from the West. Qaradawi, responsible for radicalizing al Qaeda operatives and advocating terrorism against American troops, is close to the ruling family and broadcasts a weekly program to 60 million followers. Despite the fact that Qatar's worldview has nothing in common with American principles, Arizona's local officials, with full knowledge of these indoctrinating educational materials, accept funding from a foreign hostile power whose values are antithetical to our own.
These are only two examples of how the corrosive influence of the Muslim Brotherhood's Islamist ideology is weakening America. How many more U.S. communities are accepting funding from Islamist sources, only to be manipulated by America's enemies?
American Taxpayers Fund Islamist Charities Tied to Terror
An interview with Sam Westrop - Exposing lawful Islamist groups
Sam Westrop, director of the MEF's Islamist Watch and senior fellow at the Gatestone Institute, was formerly the research director of the counter-extremism unit of Americans for Peace and Tolerance (APT). He also ran Stand for Peace, a London-based counter-extremism organization monitoring Islamists in the U.K. His writings have appeared in the National Review, National Post, and The Hill, and his television appearances include the BBC and al Jazeera.
Islamist Watch (IW) counters the lawful Islamist threat -- nonviolent Islamism advancing a totalitarian agenda through democratic processes by exploiting the West's own societal and civic functions. IW exposes these insidious groups, combats their infiltration, and empowers moderate Muslims who support democratic Western values and oppose Sharia law and Islamic theocracy.
Two of IW's investigations uncovered Islamist exploitation of government funding. The first exposed Islamic Relief (IR), an Islamist charity that is a conduit for many Western governments' international aid efforts. With branches in over 20 countries, IR is closely tied to the Muslim Brotherhood network. In the last 10 years, IR has received over $80 million from Western taxpayers. While IR is involved in genuine charitable work and cultivates influential friends in political and media circles, the charity is a charade, hiding its long history of financing terror and supporting extremism.
IR funding supports the Gaza Zakat Committee which is the social welfare arm of the Hamas government. The monies circumvent international terror finance laws and indirectly fund Hamas's terrorist activities. While there is an understanding in U.S. courts regarding non-material support for terrorism through charities and the fungibility of terror financing in U.S. law, legislation is necessary to deny funding to Islamist organizations and charities that finance the welfare arms of terrorist groups. A precedent was established by U.S. Supreme Court Justice and then-U.S. attorney Elena Kagan, who successfully argued that helping the extremist organization Hezbollah build homes also helped them build bombs.
IW's second investigation revealed that the Obama administration knowingly funded the Islamic Relief Agency (IRA, not to be confused with Islamic Relief Worldwide), an al Qaeda affiliate posing as a Sudanese humanitarian organization. The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) issued a grant to IRA in 2014, notwithstanding its designation as a terrorist group by the U.S. government in 2004. Met with a denial by government officials following IW's inquiries, IW successfully sued for the release of government documents proving the grant was indeed given to the IRA terrorist group. The government reversed their denial, citing error, and rescinded the grant.
However, the State Department and the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) in the Treasury Department then approved the transfer of a part of the grant to IRA anyway. Incredibly, the Obama administration used U.S. taxpayer monies to fund a group that worked with Afghani jihadists, al Qaeda affiliates, and Osama bin Laden-- the perpetrator of the 9-11 attacks.
IW's investigation of IR is but one example of negligence regarding government funding of not only Islamist organizations, but also potential terror affiliates like al Qaeda. IW is in the process of discovering the identity of the Washington officials involved to determine their motives and will publish its findings.
Summary accounts by Marilyn Stern, Communications Coordinator for the Middle East Forum