Guess who said the following?
"The earliest defenders of Islam would defend their more numerous and better-equipped oppressors because the early Muslims loved death -- dying for the sake of almighty Allah -- more than the oppressors of Muslims loved life. This must be the case when we are fighting life's other battles."
I know I haven't asked a fair question. As Andrew McCarthy put it recently, "that leitmotif -- We love death more than you love life -- has been a staple of every jihadist from bin Laden through Maj. Nidal Hasan, the Fort Hood killer."
He isn't kidding. In 2008, as McCarthy notes, the "Supreme Guide" of the Muslim Brotherhood, Muhammad Mahdi Akef, while praising Osama bin Laden, urged teaching young people "the principles of jihad so as to create mujahidin who love to die as much as others love to live." In 2004, the 3/11 bombers in Madrid left behind a tape saying, "We choose death, while you choose life." MEMRI's Steven Stalinsky has noted the origins of this necro-parable in the Battle of Qadisiyya, 636, when the Muslim commander called for the conversion to Islam of his Persian enemies "for if you don't, you should know that I have come to you with an army of men that love death, as you love life."
Just to be sporting, here's more of the same mystery quotation: "What are our oppressors going to do with a people like us? We are prepared to give our lives for the cause of Islam."
Chilling, but not helpful, right? Similar death-cult code could come from any jihadist, from Mohammed Atta, in his night-before-9/11 instructions, to Anwar al-Awlaki, in his e-mails "ministering" to the underpants bomber, Umar F. Abdulmutallab.
But could it also come from a former Bush administration appointee? A board director of the American Conservative Union (ACU), sponsor of the C-PAC convention in Washington, D.C., where the newest batch of 2012 presidential hopefuls have been speech-o-flexing before 10,000 grassroots activists?
The surprise answer is yes. The former Bush official and ACU board member who I am quoting above is Suhail Khan, a protege, you might say, of the weirdly influential, not-very-conservative activist Grover Norquist. Khan's shocking quotation -- shocking, that is, for a classic conservative, but not for a classical jihadist -- comes from a 1999 speech Khan gave at another convention, that of the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA).
As Suhail Khan has said himself, his father, Mahboob Khan, helped found and was very active in ISNA. He said so in that same 1999 speech, further pledging as his "life's work, inspired by my dear father's shining legacy ... to work for the umma," which means transnational Islam. According to a key internal document of the Muslim Brotherhood, ISNA is a Muslim Brotherhood front, probably the largest one in America. Which means that no matter what CNN's Anderson Cooper ignorantly accepted from Khan as fact recently, Khan's father, Mahboob Khan, was part of the Muslim Brotherhood (MB or Ikhwan) in America.
That's right, America. The Brotherhood isn't merely an Egyptian movement committed to Islamic world government (caliphate) and Shariah (Islamic law); the Brothers are here. According to evidence introduced by the U.S. government in the 2008 Holy Land Foundation trial, MB claims 29 front and "friendly" organizations that include virtually every big Muslim organization such as ISNA and CAIR. Due to the mass suicidal reflex known as "Muslim Outreach,' representatives from these fronts are routinely invited into practically every American institution to pronounce on all things Islamic. What we're talking about is an influence operation to rival, or perhaps surpass, that of the communist Kremlin.
Are the ACU and C-PAC easier marks? I have read through and watched what is by now a compendium of literature on the subject, the lion's share on the subject by Frank Gaffney, a former Reagan Pentagon official who started tracking this phenomenon in 1999. I believe all the signs of an MB influence operation are there -- troubling signs that spell an ultimate transformation of C-PAC conservatism. Conservative leaders, the 10,000 activists and all those presidential hopefuls must ask themselves: At what point does MB influence become a liability for conservatives? After it's completely successful?