A new Islamist Watch article by David J. Rusin on the contribution of American Islamist groups and their officials to the implementation of Shari'a in the Middle East was published on July 31 by FrontPage Magazine:
Illustrating that the jihadist enterprise transcends all borders, American Islamist groups typically preoccupied with remaking the U.S. have been leaving their fingerprints on the campaign to exchange secular authoritarianism for religious authoritarianism in the Middle East. As these organizations labor stateside to nudge the governing class to embrace Arab Islamists at the expense of liberals — prompting Egyptian intellectual Essam Abdallah to lament that "the most dramatic oppression of the region's civil societies and the Arab Spring … is led by the powerful Islamist lobbies in Washington" — several of the groups' past and current officials have emerged as key players in the Middle East's new political landscape. The connections underscore that Islamists everywhere are united by a single goal: the imposition of Shari'a.
One of the prominent figures to embody these ties is Bassem Khafagi, who in March announced his intention to run for president of Egypt on behalf of the Freedom and Justice Party (FJP), an arm of the Muslim Brotherhood, which seeks to resurrect the caliphate and achieve "mastership of the world." He failed to get the nod, but his back story is intriguing nonetheless. Jihad Watch's Robert Spencer has pointed out that Khafagi once worked for the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) and is among its most notorious alumni. While serving as CAIR's community affairs director, Khafagi was arrested in 2003 as part of a terrorism support and recruitment probe targeting the Islamic Assembly of North America (IANA), of which he was a founder. The government deported Khafagi after he pleaded guilty to bank and visa fraud.
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