Democratic presidential candidate Barak Obama’s appearance before a large evangelical congregation in Orange County over the weekend underscored an evident imperative of his campaign: Emphasize his Christian faith and put to rest insistent rumors that he secretly adheres to the Islamic creed of his father and youth.
The effort to minimize any grounds for fearing Obama has an abiding, if covert, attachment to Islam has prompted him to risk offending Muslims in order to avoid off-message controversies and photo ops. It is, therefore, curious in the extreme that he is giving a prominent role at next week’s Democratic convention to a leader of an organization identified by the Department of Justice as a Muslim Brotherhood front organization and an unindicted co-conspirator in a terrorism financing conspiracy.
Dr. Ingrid Mattson is the president of the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), an organization created by the radical, Saudi-financed Muslim Students Association. She will represent the Muslim community at the first-ever interfaith prayer service at a Democratic nominating convention.
Now, we know from the Holy Land Foundation (HLF) trial that ISNA is one of many Muslim Brotherhood-affiliated groups operating in America. We also know from a Brotherhood document entered into evidence in that case (which is currently being retried after the first prosecution resulted in a mistrial) that, “The work [of Brotherhood members] in America is a kind of grand jihad in eliminating and destroying the Western civilization from within, and 'sabotaging' its miserable house by their hands and the hands of believers so that it is eliminated and God's religion is made victorious over all other religions.”
The question is why would Barak Obama’s campaign – which has prevented Muslim women wearing headcoverings from being in the background of photographs with the candidate and which recently fired a Muslim-outreach coordinator who had ties to another unindicted HLF co-conspirator – allow itself to be put in such company?
Presumably, the response will be one heard from the Bush administration: ISNA is a large, “mainstream” Muslim-American organization that is an appropriate vehicle for outreach to that community. In fact, Deputy Secretary of Defense Gordon England and former Under Secretaries of State Nick Burns and Karen Hughes are among the senior U.S. government officials who have lavished praise on the group and legitimated ISNA by meeting with Dr. Mattson and others.
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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