Last Sunday, the Dallas Morning News (DMN) had the temerity to publish a dossier, "U.S. torn over whether some Muslims pose threat or offer insight," on the controversy surrounding Louay Safi, a senior official at the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), who lectured on Islam at Fort Hood following the mass shooting by Major Nidal Hasan.
The Army brought Safi down to Fort Hood in December to lecture troops there about that 'peaceful religion', Islam. An Islam whose Quranic Canon compelled Hasan to fire 100 lethal rounds killing 14 and seriously wounding another 29 others at Fort Hood. Safi according to the DMN, even brought, what we called in an Iconoclast post 'blood money," a check for $10,000 promising another $100,000 to be paid to an Army benefit fund to console and comfort the survivors. It appears based on the DMN article that Safi and the ISNA have reneged on that promise.
Safi's lecture at Fort Hood prompted complaints and a letter signed by 13 Republican members of the House Anti-Terror Caucus led by Rep. Sue Myrick sent to Defense Secretary Gates requesting Safi and be removed from future lectures.
In their letter they laid out their concerns:
It has come to our attention that the Department of Defense has invited Louay Safi, a top official at the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), to give lectures on Islam to our troops at Fort Hood. If this is indeed true, we respectfully request that you end this practice.
According to the Justice Department, ISNA is a prominent member of the Muslim Brotherhood, an organization with a network of known and suspected Islamic terrorist organizations spread throughout the world. The Brotherhood and its partner organizations regularly espouse violent jihad and anti-Semitism.
More specifically, ISNA was identified by the Justice Department at the successful Holy Land Foundation terrorism financing conspiracy trial as an un indicted co-conspirator. Literature distributed by ISNA at its annual convention in Washington in July featured books and pamphlets portraying prosecution of terrorist and terror-supporters as "anti-Muslim bigotry;" revisionist history that denied Arab and Palestinian terrorist attacks against Israel; and anti-Semitic tracts.
Safi himself has been connected to an entity called the "Safa Group." Search warrants executed in 2002 were supported by an affidavit alleging its involvement in moving large sums of money to terrorist fronts. He was also caught on a 1995 FBI wiretap of Sami al-Arian. Safi was concerned that an executive order, issued by President Clinton prohibiting financial transactions with terrorist organizations, would negatively affect al-Arian. In April 2006, al-Arian pled guilty to a charge of conspiring to provide services to the Palestinian Islamic Jihad – a specially designated terrorist organization.
The Muslim Brotherhood is dedicated in its own words to "a kind of grand Jihad in eliminating and destroying the Western civilization from within and 'sabotaging' its miserable house by their hands." What better way to carry out its plans to "sabotage" our efforts than to have one of its own invited to lecture on Islam to the very troops called to defend this country against those the Brotherhood supports. We ask that you immediately stop any lecturing by Louay Safi or ISNA affiliated speakers.
The DMN clearly spent considerable resources and conducted wide ranging interviews and editorial reviews before publishing the Safi article. Here are some telling revelations:
But when The Dallas Morning News first inquired about the instructor, Louay Safi, military officials praised him. Only later did they say that Safi had been suspended from working on military bases pending a continuing criminal inquiry.
The Safi affair reveals the deep divisions within the U.S. government over how to combat terrorism and over what constitutes moderate Islam.
Safi is a senior official of the Islamic Society of North America, the country's largest Muslim organization. ISNA has been consulted for years by Washington and is described as a partner in the fight against terrorism. In addition to serving as ISNA's communications director, Safi runs its program certifying Muslim chaplains for work in the U.S. military and prison system. He publicly denounces terrorism and advocates peace.
Safi was also named by government prosecutors as an unindicted co-conspirator in one terrorism case in 2005. His last two employers were implicated in other government terrorism investigations while he worked for them. He was never charged, nor included among the targets of those investigations.
He is one of seven lecturers in the Army's Islamic education program, overseen by the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, Calif. Much of the work is contracted out to Huntsville, Ala.-based Camber Corp., the privately held firm that hired Safi.
The training on Islam is part of a broader military educational program for which Camber is paid about $17.7 million annually, Navy Commander Brenda Malone said. Camber spokeswoman Rivka Tadjer declined to comment, citing instruction from the military.
In January, military officials told the newspaper that Safi was under investigation and that his lectures had been suspended. The investigation, begun by the Naval Criminal Investigative Service, was recently referred to the Army, said Ed Buice, an NCIS spokesman. He would not elaborate, but other military officials said the inquiry began after a Dec. 3 complaint about ISNA. The complaint came in as Safi concluded three days of lectures at Fort Hood, which is still traumatized by the Nov. 5 massacre.
Also in 2007, an expert on Islamist ideology working on contract for the Pentagon repeatedly warned that the U.S. risked undermining its anti-extremist efforts by working with ISNA and similar organizations. "Despite a track record of self-serving denials with regard to extremism, ISNA continues to function as an important component of the Saudi/Muslim Brotherhood global network," analyst Stephen Coughlin wrote.
He named Safi as one example of the "numerous" connections between ISNA and the International Institute of Islamic Thought, the Virginia group raided in 2002, and he alleged that the institute was also a Muslim Brotherhood entity.
The ISNA launched a campaign in the American Muslim community demanding a retraction of the article They asked Muslims to contact the DMN news editor, Ms. Maud Beelman and the staff writer Brook Egerton and express their anger at the alleged 'misrepresentations and untruths' in the newspaper's investigations.
Here is what they posted on the ISNA website
The negative article by Brooks Egerton was published on the front page of the Sunday edition of the Dallas Morning News. ISNA appeals to members of the Muslim community in general, and the Texas Muslim community in particular, to let the newspaper know about their feelings regarding this negative presentation. Please make sure that you speak respectfully but firmly on this issue.
Please contact Ms. Maud Beelman, the DMN News Editor, and Brooks Egerton, the article writer, at the Dallas Morning News and request that the newspaper issue a retraction and allow ISNA to publish rebuttal on the DMN op-ed page.
We don't think Ms. Beelman or Mr. Egerton need reply to this threat from the ISNA. After all, as the DMN knows the ISNA was one of the Muslim Brotherhood fronts that was identified as an unindicted co-conspirator in the Dallas federal Holy Land Foundation trial. Moreover, the ISNA requested that that listing be deleted from the court record, which obviously failed.
In view of Mr. Safi's long rap sheet of dalliance with convicted felons like former University of South Florida Professor Sami al Arian, a fund raiser for terrorist group Palestinian Islamic Jihad, we think the . Camber, Inc. consulting arrangements with the Pentagon should be re-evaluated. The ISNA should be decertified as one of the three groups accrediting Muslim military and federal bureau of prisons chaplains. This should also be applied to the Hartford (Connecticut) Seminary chaplaincy accreditation program run by none other than ISNA President, Dr. Ingrid Mattson.
Those actions and the resurrected government investigation of Safi should address why the government aligns itself with such Muslim advocacy groups as the ISNA and pays them to mislead us by engaging in Stealth Jihad under the guise of promoting multi-culturali diversity. That is sheer bafflegab.