The casual observer might think nothing of the candidacy of a fellow named Suhail Khan for election to one of two open seats on the Board of Directors of the American Conservative Union – the political Right’s largest and most influential grassroots umbrella organization. Certainly, for most Americans, the man’s faith would be of no interest. If the fact that Khan is an adherent to Islam were even known, it probably would be seen as an asset ¬– another Muslim-American seeking to become more involved in the political process just like, for example, Rep. Keith Ellison, the Muslim convert who recently won a Minnesota seat in the House of Representatives.
Something else appears to be at work here, however. The tip-off is the fact that anti-tax activist Grover Norquist, who sits on the ACU Board, is promoting Khan’s candidacy. Even that association, however, could be construed as nothing more than a calculated effort by a skillful conservative operative to insinuate a reliable ally into a useful post as the former struggles to overcome the damage done to his reputation and influence – and that of the Republican Party – by his scandalous collaboration with convicted felon Jack Abramoff.
Unfortunately, there seems to be another and more insidious motivation for the Khan candidacy – one of a piece with a longstanding, if largely hidden, Norquist agenda that I first documented in these pages over three years ago. In a 12,000-word report titled "A Troubling Influence," published on December 9, 2003 with a validating introduction by David Horowitz, I described the nature and extent of Norquist’s involvement in a political influence operation in the service of a number of Mr. Ellison’s co-religionists. Most, like Suhail Khan, have troubling ties to individuals and organizations with well-established sympathies for the ideologues known as Islamists. Some of the latter have been directly tied to terrorism.
An Incomplete Resume
How many ACU members will be aware of this background as they cast their votes for the two open Board of Director seats – a process that is supposed to be concluded today – is unclear. After all, most will probably be voting on the basis of nothing more than the highly sanitized resumé supplied together with the ACU’s on-line poll:
SUHAIL A. KHAN
Frank Gaffney Jr. is the founder and president of the Center for Security Policy and author of War Footing: 10 Steps America Must Take to Prevail in the War for the Free World .
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