The Muslim Brotherhood's mask is slipping in Egypt. Small "d" democrats there and elsewhere are alarmed by top Brotherhood officials who now aver openly what has been utterly predictable: Once in power they will impose shariah - the totalitarian, supremacist politico-military-legal program practiced in Saudi Arabia, Iran, Somalia, Sudan and increasingly elsewhere.
The prospect that the most populous Arab nation - one that sits astride the strategic Suez Canal and has a vast American-supplied arsenal - is heading in such an ominous direction is made all the more remarkable since evidence continues to accumulate that the Obama administration has been enabling the rise of the Ikhwan (as the Muslim Brotherhood, or MB, is known in Arabic). Consider a few data points:
In May 2009, President Obama insisted that MB representatives be prominently in attendance when he addressed "the Muslim world" at Cairo's Al-Azhar University. As former federal prosecutor Andrew McCarthy has observed, the message of American legitimization of the Brotherhood was unmistakable.
Wikileaked cables make clear that the U.S. government was working with Muslim Brotherhood and other opposition parties to bring down the Mubarak government long before the so-called "Arab Spring" of 2011.
Within days of demonstrations erupting in Tahrir Square and elsewhere in Egypt, President Obama was calling for his Egyptian counterpart's immediate removal from power - the sort of statement he has studiously refrained from making in Iran or Syria where demonstrations have gone on longer, and been far more bloodily repressed.
The cumulative effect of such actions has been to encourage events and a vacuum of power that predictably would redound primarily to the benefit of the most organized, disciplined and ruthless faction. In Egypt - as in much of the Muslim world - that is the Muslim Brotherhood.
It seems that Team Obama's enthusiasm for the Ikhwan in Egypt is neither an isolated event nor an accident. As the Center for Security Policy's recently released Shariah: The Threat to America illuminates, the Brotherhood has since 1963 operated a growing number of front organizations tasked with mounting highly effective influence operations in the United States. According to the MB's own strategic plan, their mission here is "a kind of grand jihad in eliminating and destroying the Western civilization from within."
In the past week, we have been given chilling insights into the success of such operations by Justice Department officials who spoke on condition of anonymity to one of Shariah: The Threat's co-authors, counter-terrorism expert Patrick Poole. In two different articles published at Pajamas Media, we learn how U.S. government "outreach" to the Muslim-American community has become a vehicle for empowering and protecting enemies of this country - and affording them opportunities they systematically exploit with the goal of "destroying [us] from within."
Of particular concern is Poole's revelation that political appointees in the Obama-Holder Justice Department have been responsible for "quashing" the prosecution of some of the Brotherhood's operatives and organizations. According to one DoJ source, the reason the U.S. Attorney in Dallas was not allowed to pursue the planned indictment of MB individuals and entities previously listed as Unindicted Co-Conspirators in the Holy Land Foundation trial was "a political decision from the get-go." The source added: "The administration would look like absolute fools. It's kind of hard to prosecute someone on material support for terrorism when you have pictures of them getting handed awards from DoJ and FBI leaders for their supposed counter-terror efforts."
This act of what appears, at best, to be obstruction of justice may not be an isolated incident. In his April 16 column at National Review Online, Andy McCarthy surmises that the suppression of the Holy Land 2.0 prosecution and the absence subsequently of any similar efforts to stop material support for terrorism could have their roots in the President's 2009 paean to Islamists and other Muslims in Cairo.
On that occasion, Mr. Obama promised to ease U.S. "rules on charitable giving [that] have made it harder for Muslims to fulfill their religious obligation" of zakat (or tithing). Yet, McCarthy rightly notes the only "rules" that might fit that description are ones prohibiting funding of terrorism - a "charitable" contribution shariah requires its adherents to make - and it appears that Team Obama no longer will enforce them.
If there is any good news, it is that Rep. Sue Myrick (R-NC) last week became the latest congressional leader to launch a series of hearings aimed at examining the Muslim Brotherhood, abroad and here. In an interview on Secure Freedom Radio Monday, she made clear her intention to have the Terrorism Subcommittee of the House Intelligence Committee clarify the true nature of the Ikhwan and to explore, if necessary in classified sessions, its successes in penetrating and influencing our government. Chairman Myrick said, "I am very concerned how this is all playing out internally....This something that most people don't have a clue...it's not on their radar screen....This will undermine our way of life if we don't get a handle on it."
It is indeed time to "get a handle" on the Muslim Brotherhood and the threat it poses to "our way of life." The place to start is with rigorous congressional investigations of the Ikhwan's myriad front organizations and the effectiveness of their influence operations in warping our understanding of the threat they pose and in thwarting our efforts to defeat it.
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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