The Clarion Project has received White House documents that show that President Bush was scheduled to meet with Islamists linked to the Muslim Brotherhood on September 11, 2001. In a remarkably ironic turn of events, it was Islamist terrorism that stopped the meeting with Islamist radicals at the White House from happening.
The never-before-published documents substantiate the assertions that the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood gained access to the highest levels of the Bush Administration and the Republican Party, partly due to the help of Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform. The files help tell a shocking story of an Islamist political influence operation that reached the highest levels of the U.S. government.
The Center for Security Policy has a meticulously documented dossier on the topic, including first-hand testimony from the think-tank’s president. The Clarion Project has also told the story, including the history of Norquist’s Islamic Free Market Institute and its links to Islamists including the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood.
The White House documents show that President George W. Bush was scheduled to fly to Washington D.C. from Florida and meet with U.S.-based Islamists on September 11, 2001. A previous meeting with this group on March 5 was cancelled.
Bush and Secretary of Energy Spencer Abraham would meet privately with a select group of six Muslim and Arab “supporters” at 3:05 PM in the White House Oval Office, including two officials from Norquist’s Islamic Free Market Institute. Every single one of those six has strong connections to the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood.
This would be followed by a larger meeting with 16 activists who are described as representatives of the top 12 Muslim and Arab organizations, including four created by the Muslim Brotherhood. Also in attendance would have been 7 additional White House officials; three of which have served as officials with Norquist’s Islamic Free Market Institute.
We will examine the activists with this treasured high-level access in a moment. The purpose of the scheduled meetings with President Bush on 9/11 must first be understood to appreciate their significance.
Islamist Engagement with the GOP and Bush Campaign
The topics to be addressed in this meeting and with the larger group were classified evidence, racial profiling and the Middle East conflict. The agenda also emphasized that Muslims and Arabs are victimized by negative stereotypes, showing that the Islamists’ “Islamophobia” strategy was well underway before the 9/11 attacks.
The reference to “classified evidence” is important to be put into context.
Sami Al-Arian and the Islamist lobby successfully pressured the Bush presidential campaign and the Republican party into opposing the Clinton Administration’s use of classified evidence to detain immigrants on national security grounds. Al-Arian was later convicted of being a secret Palestinian Islamic Jihad terrorist operative. The practice was responsible for the detainment of Al-Arian’s brother-in-law and fellow Palestinian Islamic Jihad operative, Mazen al-Najjar.
Al-Arian was described as a “master manipulator” by the judge during his trial. The indictment of Al-Arian says he and his co-conspirators “did seek to obtain support from influential individuals, in the United States under the guise of promoting and protecting Arab rights.”
A document in his possession shows he ordered colleagues to “collect information from those relatives and friends who work in sensitive positions in government.”
Al-Arian’s operation, by his own admission, was essentially one with the International Institute of Islamic Thought (IIIT), a U.S. Muslim Brotherhood entity whose offices were raided in 2002 as part of a terrorism investigation. He later refused to testify to a grand jury investigating the group.
The FBI was warned in 1987 by an informant in the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood that IIIT was secretly working through “political action front groups” and planned “to peacefully get inside the United States government and also American universities.” According to former IIIT member Abdur-Rahman Muhammad, the group decided that accusations of “Islamophobia” would be thrown at opponents standing in their way.
IIIT is linked to the Islamic Free Market Institute founded by Grover Norquist. The St. Petersburg Times observed that “more than 50 targets of the raid were people and organizations connected to Norquist and the Islamic Institute.”
Al-Arian honored prominent Republicans including Norquist for joining his political causes including a ban on the classified evidence practice. Al-Arian repeatedly met with Norquist’s group, had a photo-op with then-Governor Bush during the 2000 presidential campaign and visited the White House.
The other key player was Abdurrahman Alamoudi, founder and board member of the American Muslim Council (AMC) that also lobbied heavily for Al-Arian’s cause. Alamoudi was later convicted on terrorism-related charges and was specifically linked to a Libyan regime plot to assassinate the king of Saudi Arabia.
AMC was part of a coalition named the American Muslim Political Coordination Council-Political Action Committee that endorsed Bush’s candidacy. The coalition said Bush “promised to address Muslim concerns on domestic and foreign policy issues.” It said one of the major reasons for the endorsement was the “accessibility” they had and his adoption of their position on the secret evidence issue.
The Bush presidential campaign returned a $1,000 donation from Alamoudi after he was videotaped declaring his support for the Hamas and Hezbollah terrorist groups. He later wrote in a letter from prison that was featured in the Grand Deception documentary that, “I am, I hope, still a member of the Muslim Brotherhood organization in the U.S.A.”
You can read more about the story of Islamist-GOP engagement and the Islamic Free Market Institute during this period here.
Bush’s First Meeting with Six “Supporters”
The Bush Administration documents do not specify what qualified the six attendees at the 3:05 meeting as “supporters” but presumably it was their work for the presidential campaign. The Islamist Money in Politics project shows that the Islamist lobby financially favored the Bush candidacy in 2000.
The following are the six individuals invited to meet with President Bush at the first meeting.
Dr. Muzzamil Siddiqui, President of the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) as its president from 1996 to 2000 and member of its board of directors. One of ISNA’s founders was Sami al-Arian and Alamoudi led ISNA’s political action committee in 1987.
ISNA has a history of Islamist extremism. A 1991 U.S. Muslim Brotherhood strategy memo lists ISNA as the first of its “organizations and the organizations of our friends” to “work in America as a kind of grand jihad…in eliminating and destroying the Western civilization from within.”
The Justice Department designated ISNA as an unindicted co-conspirator in the trial of the Holy Land Foundation, a Muslim Brotherhood front prosecuted for financing Hamas. ISNA was listed as an “entity” of the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood. A federal judge said in 2009 that the Holy Land Foundation “operated from within” ISNA. The leader of the Foundation emphasized using deception and interconnected networks to influence policy.
Siddiqui was a top Muslim World League official from 1976 to 1980. The organization is based in Saudi Arabia and is known as one of the major promoters of Wahhabism, a radical version of Islam responsible for inspiring terrorism.
In 1992, Siddiqui mosque featured the “Blind Sheikh” Omar Abdel Rahman as a guest speaker and Siddiqui acted as his translator. Rahman spoke about the need for violent jihad and raised money from the audience. Rahman was later convicted for his involvement in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing.
According to the Islamist Money in Politics project, two ISNA-linked officials donated $800 to Abraham’s Senate campaign in 1998 and 2000 and a third donated $300 to the National Republican Congressional Committee in 2001.
ISNA also attended the press conference where the American Muslim Political Coordination Council-Political Action Committee endorsed Bush for president.
Khaled Saffuri, a co-founder of Norquist’s Islamic Free Market Institute in 1998. The White House biography for him calls him a “veteran political insider” and former director for Government Affairs for the American Muslim Council (AMC).
Saffuri worked for Alamoudi since 1993 and he is also closely linked to IIIT founder and Vice President Jamal Barzinji. Federal authorities raided an interconnected network of Islamist entities in 2002 linked to Barzinji and IIIT. The affidavit said Barzinji is “closely associated” with Palestinian Islamic Jihad and Hamas. The Justice Department reportedly dropped a planned indictment of Barzinji.
Alamoudi, IIIT and other entities linked to Barzinji donated tens of thousands of dollars to the Islamic Free Market Institute, as did sources in Saudi Arabia and the Brotherhood-sponsoring government of Qatar. The Islamic Institute complained to the Treasury Secretary over the investigation into IIIT and the Barzinji-linked network in 2002.
Talat Othman, chairman of the Islamic Free Market Institute. He gave the invocation at the Republican National Convention in 2000.
He is the chairman of the board of trustees at Amana Mutual Funds. Barzinji is one of the founders and trustees of Amana. The federal investigation into IIIT found that another trustee is Iqbal Unus, another top IIIT official and former secretary-general of ISNA.
Another trustee of Amana is IIIT co-founder Yaqub Mirza. An FBI informant in 1988 identified Mirza and Barzinji as secret Muslim Brotherhood operatives. Mirza is an associate of senior Muslim Brotherhood member Yousef al-Nada. In 2012, Mirza met with Mohammed Morsi, the Egyptian president when the Muslim Brotherhood took over.
Barzinji, Mirza and Unus all had their homes raided in 2002 as part of a terrorism investigation, but no indictment followed. Al-Arian refused to testify about their organization.
Dr. Yahya Basha, president of the aforementioned American Muslim Council and former board member of the Muslim Public Affairs Council, a group founded by two Muslim Brotherhood members with a history of Islamist extremism. The White House’s biography of Basha states that the AMC is seeking the end of the “secret evidence” measure.
The document highlights how his AMC hosted Imam Siraj Wahhaj in 1991 when he made the first Islamic invocation before the House of Representatives. The White House was apparently unaware of Wahhaj’s long record of anti-American extremism and how that reflects upon AMC and Basha.
Basha donated at least $1,000 to the Bush presidential campaign in 2000 and $2,750 to the Senate campaign of Bush Administration Energy Secretary Spencer Abraham in 1998-1999. Abraham was scheduled to attend both meetings on 9/11.
Basha is today on the board of the Syrian Emergency Task Force. There is strong evidence that its executive director is a supporter of Hamas and has tweeted that he views Al-Qaeda less negatively than Israel. Several other officials are linked to the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood.
Dr. Amanullah Khan is listed as representing the Association of Pakistani Physicians but he was also Vice Chairman of the AMC. Khan met President Bush again on November 28, 2001 and complained about the detention of Sami al-Arian’s brother-in-law, according to an AMC press release. The statement claimed that Bush promised to review the case.
George R. Salem, President of the Arab-American Institute. The White House’s biography for him says he was chairman of Arab-Americans for President George H.W. Bush’s 1988 and 1992 presidential campaigns. He also led Arab-American outreach for the George W. Bush presidential campaign in 2000.
Salem was the lawyer for the Holy Land Foundation, the aforementioned U.S. Muslim Brotherhood entity that was shut down for financing Hamas later that year.
The leader of the Foundation, Shukri Abu Baker, was recorded by the FBI at a secret Brotherhood/Hamas meeting urging colleagues to hide their agenda using deception. In the words of one participant, their objective was “forming the public opinion or coming up with a policy to influence…the way the Americans deal with the Islamists, for instance.”
The Islamist group’s immediate response to its prosecution was to blame it on an Israeli conspiracy and warn the Bush Administration that the action “could create the impression that there has been a shift from a war on terrorism to an attack on Islam.”
Friends on the Inside: The White House Participants
President Bush was to finish the first meeting at 3:20 and move to the Roosevelt Room. The next 30 minutes would be spent meeting with a larger group of 16 Muslim and Arab activists, including the original six.
An additional seven White House officials would also participate:
- Senior adviser Karl Rove
- Director of the Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives John DiIulio
- Office of Cabinet Affairs Associate Director Ali Tulbah
- Office of Public Liaison official Suhail Khan
- Office of the Vice President Deputy Assistant for Domestic Policy Nina Shokraii Rees
- Energy Secretary Counselor Randa Fahmy Hudome
The makeup of the White House side displays the influence of Norquist’s Islamic Free Market Institute. The organization’s filings show that three of them have served as Institute officials.
Suhail Khan was a senior official at the Islamic Free Market Institute from 2000 to 2003, apparently serving simultaneously in the White House and in this Islamist-connected group.
He has strong familial connections to the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood, with his father being a founder and board member of ISNA and his mother serving on the board of the Council on American-Islamic Relations‘ branch in California. Khan worked for Republican Rep. Tom Campbell from 1995 to 1999 and fought for a ban on secret evidence in immigration courts, going so far as to visit Sami Al-Arian’s detained relative.
Khan still speaks at major events for the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood, including ISNA’s 2013 convention that was filled with extremist speakers. In one speech he gave at an ISNA conference in 1999, he called on the audience to emulate Mohammed’s early followers that prevailed in combat:
“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 where we – when we are fighting life’s other battles. … [W]hat are our oppressors going to do with people like us? We’re prepared to give our lives for the cause of Islam.”
Khan mentioned specific battlefields where Muslims must unite to defeat the “oppressors” of Islam: Palestine, Bosnia, Iraq and Kashmir. He also told Muslims that they were under siege in America from the government and society, claiming that harassment was commonplace and that mosques and Islamic centers were being burned and desecrated.
U.S. Muslim Brotherhood operative and later convicted terrorist Abdurrahman Alamoudi was so proud of Khan’s work that he presented him with an award in June 2001. In a prediction that would soon be fulfilled, Alamoudi said, “Some of you saw [Khan] in today the White House but inshallah [Allah willing], soon you [will] see him in better places in the White House.” Khan thanked Alamoudi and others who have been “very supportive” and knew his father.
Khan would later make the revealing and deceptive statement on video at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in 2011 that “there is no Muslim Brotherhood in the United States.” He also said on the Sean Hannity radio show that ISNA “is not a front for the Muslim Brotherhood” and denied having ever known Alamoudi.
By this time, the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood was well known and plenty of articles had been written about Khan’s affiliations with it. He appeared on the Rachel Maddow Show to denounce his critics and opponents of the “Ground Zero Mosque” project, falsely claiming that they feel “that being Muslim should be made illegal and a federal crime.”
Nina Shokraii Rees was a policy analyst for Norquist’s Americans for Tax Reform prior to 1997. The Islamic Free Market Institute listed her as an official in 2000.
Randa Fahmy Hudome is also listed as an Islamic Free Market Institute official in 2000. She was also Foreign Policy Counselor for Energy Secretary Spencer Abraham when he was a Michigan senator.
She was hired as a lobbyist by the Libyan regime from 2004 to 2007. She defended the relationship by saying it was compatible with U.S. interests and contributed to improvements in Libyan behavior.
She was a vice chair and board member of American Near East Refugee Aid (ANERA). ANERA has been accused of spreading anti-Israel propaganda while exempting Hamas and the Palestinian Authority from criticism for their human rights abuses. In 2007, federal funding for ANERA came under scrutiny because it partnered with Intel to build an “IT Center of Excellence” at the Hamas-run University of Gaza.
The Chosen 16 Muslim and Arab Activists
President Bush was scheduled to with 16 Muslim and Arab activists including the six “supporters” for a half-hour on September 11, 2001. The additional 10 listed on the schedule are as follows:
Abdulwahab Alkebsi, executive director of the Islamic Free Market Institute.
In 2007, Alkebsi said that democracy-promotion campaigns should include “moderate Islamists” because “you can’t have a democracy movement without Islamists in the Arab world.” The article quoting him is tellingly republished on the official Muslim Brotherhood website.
Omar Ahmad, co-founder and chairman of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) He was previously president of the now-defunct Islamic Association for Palestine, a pro-Hamas group that Muslim Brotherhood documents clearly identify as one of its fronts.
Ahmad’s former group is listed in a 1991 U.S. Muslim Brotherhood memo that says its network’s goal is to “work in America as a kind of grand jihad…in eliminating and destroying the Western civilization from within.” It lays out a non-violent strategy to influence U.S. policy.
Ahmad was at the secret 1993 Brotherhood/Hamas meeting that was wiretapped by the FBI, along with fellow CAIR co-founder Nihad Awad. Ahmad was recorded discussing how to use deceptive semantics to appear “moderate” while promoting the Islamist agenda to destroy Israel. A federal judge’s ruling said that the meeting was to discuss “goals, strategies and American perceptions of the Muslim Brotherhood.”
In 1998, a reporter attended a speaking engagement where Ahmad said Muslims should be “open to [American] society without melting (into it).” The reporter paraphrased Ahmad as saying, “Islam isn’t in America to be equal to any other faith, but to become dominant. The Koran, the Muslim book of scripture, should be the highest authority in America, and Islam the only accepted religion on Earth.”
In 2007, the Justice Department designated CAIR as an unindicted co-conspirator in the trial of the Holy Land Foundation and listed it as an “entity” of the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood’s secret Palestine Committee that was set up to advance the Hamas agenda. Ahmad is also personally named as a member of the Palestine Committee. Significant evidence links him to Hamas financing.
In another case, federal prosecutors said, “From its founding by Muslim Brotherhood leaders, CAIR conspired with other affiliates of the Muslim Brotherhood to support terrorists … the conspirators agreed to use deception to conceal from the American public their connections to terrorists.”
Last year, the United Arab Emirates banned CAIR as a terrorist group because of its links to the Brotherhood, promotion of terrorist groups, incitement and alleged links to terrorism financing.
CAIR belonged to the Islamist coalition that endorsed Bush’s campaign and Ahmad spoke at the press conference. The Islamist Money in Politics project finds that CAIR-linked officials donated at least $3,000 to the Bush presidential campaign and $5,000 to Abraham’s Senate campaign.
Dr. Maher Hathout, the late co-founder of the Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC). He and three of his colleagues were jailed in Egypt because of their membership in the Muslim Brotherhood. His brother and MPAC co-founder, Hassan, described himself as a “close disciple” of Brotherhood founder Hassan al-Banna and that he came to America to spread the “Islamic Movement” he inspired.
MPAC’s former political director was Mahdi Bray. He later became a top official in the Muslim American Society, which federal prosecutors said in a 2008 court filing was “founded as the overt arm of the Muslim Brotherhood in America.” Alamoudi confirmed, “Everyone knows that MAS is the Muslim Brotherhood.”
Bray accused Israel of “state-sponsored terrorism” after killing the spiritual leader of the Hamas terror organization in 2004 and said that the U.S. is waging a “war on Islam.” In February 2008, Bray traveled to Egypt to stand in solidarity with Brotherhood members being prosecuted by the ruling government.
MPAC had a history of extremism, including signing a statement pledging to work for the elimination of Israel. Hathout said on May 6, 2001 that “the United States in under Israeli occupation.” MPAC also criticized the U.S. designations of Hamas and Hezbollah as terrorist groups.
MPAC staunchly defended Alamoudi and Al-Arian and characterized their prosecutions as political persecution. MPAC sponsored the rally in 2000 where Alamoudi told a cheering audience that “we are all supporters of Hamas,” as well as Hezbollah.
Bray stood behind him, enthusiastically gesturing his agreement as the audience responded positively. Maher Hathout also spoke and predicted that a “general intifada” would result in Arab governments “flushed down in the cesspools of history of treason.” He described Israel as “butchers” and “an apartheid state against every fiber of the modern world.”
MPAC was a member of the coalition that endorsed the Bush presidential campaign.
Salam Al-Marayati, President of MPAC. He said in 1999 that Hezbollah’s attacks on Israeli soldiers are “legitimate resistance.”
On 9/11, al-Marayati immediately cast suspicion on Israel:
“If we’re going to look at suspects, we should look to the groups that benefit the most from these kinds of incidents, and I think we should put the state of Israel on the suspect list because I think this diverts attention from what’s happening in the Palestinian territories so that they can go on with their aggression and occupation and apartheid policies,” he said.
In 2012, MPAC President Al-Marayati was challenged in a radio debate to take an active stance against the Muslim Brotherhood. He replied that it was a “ridiculous suggestion” and “it’s not worth our time.”
MPAC and Al-Marayati’s public stances have changed significantly in recent years. Al-Marayati now criticizes Islamism as a “failed response” and the organization congratulated the Egyptian people when President Morsi (a Brotherhood leader) was overthrown.
However, it continues to slander U.S. Brotherhood opponents as bigots. Al-Marayati told a church audience in 2013 that there is an anti-Muslim network that is part of a “larger machine” of special interests that ‘want more contracts for more weapons to countries that only use these weapons against their own people or against civilians.”
MPAC also sponsored a conference in 2013 by American Muslims for Palestine, a radical group strongly connected to the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood that hosts Islamist speakers. Its leaders have expressed support for Hamas, destroying Israel and even calling for an “intifada” in America in 2004.
Al-Marayati’s wife, Laila, is the chairwoman of KinderUSA, a charity for Palestinian children.
Its advisory board includes Adam Shapiro and Huwaida Araf of the terror-linked International Solidarity Movement. KinderUSA briefly suspended operations in late 2004 due to an FBI investigation. Two of its co-founders were Holy Land Foundation officials and formed KinderUSA after the U.S. government shut it down.
In 2002, KinderUSA received $20,000 from the Hamas-linked KindHearts organization. After KindHearts had its assets frozen by the U.S. government, Al-Marayati wrote that “the Treasury Department is playing target practice with American Muslim charities.”
Salam Al-Marayati spoke at the Islamist press conference announcing the endorsement of then-Governor Bush for President.
Azizah Al-Hibri, founder of Muslim Women Lawyers for Human Rights. She was a board member of the American Muslim Council from 1991 to 1998. She’s been a consultant to the government of Qatar’s Supreme Council on Foreign Affairs. Qatar is a primary promoter of Islamism, including the Muslim Brotherhood.
Al-Hibri was a prominent activist in the cause against classified evidence and argued that those convicted of involvement in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing were victimized by the U.S. government.
After the 9/11 attacks, Al-Hibri defended the preaching of Muslim Brotherhood ideologue Sayyid Qutb. Her organization protested the post-9/11 investigations into the Brotherhood network in Virginia linked to Al-Arian, Alamoudi and IIIT. She said they were being targeted because of their faith.
In 2007, Al-Hibri said, “I think that Islamic fiqh is deeper and better than Western codes of law. I don’t prefer that the state codifies Islamic law because it would depend on and enforce one school of Islamic teachings.”
Laila Al-Marayati, the wife of MPAC’s President, was the Secretary of al-Hibri’s organization from 1996-1997.
Dr. Agha Saeed, chairman of the American Muslim Political Coordinating Council Political Action Committee that endorsed George W. Bush for President. He is also chairman of the American Muslim Alliance.
Agha Saeed has been under surveillance as part of the U.S. government’s counter-terrorism and counter-intelligence efforts. His emails were monitored by the FBI from June 2007 until at least May 2008. Saeed believes it is because of his political activism and friendship with Sami Al-Arian.
In 1999, Saeed spoke at an ISNA conference and said in his speech that the “United Nations has a resolution…which says… people in Palestine have the right to resist their oppression by using all means including armed resistance.” He stood by his position that Palestinians “have the right to resist by armed force” against Israel when peaceful methods fail.
The statements caused Hillary Clinton to return a $50,000 donation from one of Saeed’s organizations during her Senate race in 2000. She said his speech was “offensive and outrageous.”
Eric Vickers, board member of the American Muslim Alliance (AMA). AMA is a member of the Islamist coalition that endorsed Bush’s presidential campaign, and he spoke at the press conference.
Ziad Asali, President of the American Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee.
ADC was founded in 1980 by James Abourezk, the first Arab-American senator. He touts conspiracy theories that the U.S. government has been “bought off by the Israel lobby.” He has called Hamas and Hezbollah terrorists “resistance fighters,” a sentiment he reiterated in an interview with Hezbollah’s Al-Manar television station in August 2007. In the same interview, he stated that Zionists were behind the 9/11 attacks and that he “marveled” at the “courage and bravery” of Hezbollah during its war with Israel in 2006.
In 1994, then-President of ADC, Hamzi Moghrabi, said he didn’t consider Hamas to be a terrorist group because “I know many people in Hamas. They are very respectable…I don’t believe Hamas, as an organization, is a violent organization.” His successor, Hala Maksoud, said he was “shocked” that the U.S. considers Hezbollah a terrorist group. In 2000, Hussein Ibish, then ADC spokesman, described Hezbollah as a “disciplined and responsible liberation force.”
ADC does not have Muslim Brotherhood origins but works in concert with groups that do. ADC recently began working with the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) to register voters. ADC often depicts the prosecution of Brotherhood-tied individuals as acts of political persecution, sometimes deceiving its audience by leaving out key facts and names. It honored columnist Helen Thomas with an award after she told Jews to “get the hell out of Palestine” and saying “Congress, the White House and Hollywood, Wall Street are owned by the Zionists.”
W. Deen Mohammed of the American Society of Muslims. He is listed on the White House document as the leader of the Muslim American Society; not to be confused with the Muslim Brotherhood affiliate of the same name. Mohammed’s group splintered away from the Nation of Islam and its black nationalistic form of Islamism.
Peter Tanous, President of the American Task Force for Lebanon.
The chosen 16 Muslim and Arab activists were, in the words of the White House documents, “the top 12 Muslim- and Arab-American public policy and political organizations.”
Of the 12, 10 have pro-Islamist extremist records and/or belonged to the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood. Six were directly involved with Alamoudi and Al-Arian.
Of the 16 activists, 14 were part of the Islamist lobby and 8 had organizational ties to Alamoudi and Al-Arian.
The Islamist lobby spearheaded by Sami Al-Arian, Abdurrahman Alamoudi and the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood network had succeeded in convincing the Bush Administration that it was the legitimate representatives of the Muslim and Arab communities. And it was believed this community, led by these representatives, brought victory to the Bush campaign.
“Bush was elected President of the United States of America because of the Muslim vote,” Norquist said.
And now the Islamist lobby wanted to cash in. The three agenda items for their meeting with President George W. Bush were the promised end to using classified evidence in immigration court (thereby freeing Al-Arian’s relative), racial profiling and the conflict in the Middle East.
Unfortunately for the Islamist terrorists of Al-Arian, Alamoudi and the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood, the meeting would be spoiled by another group of Islamist terrorists: Al-Qaeda. The meetings were cancelled when the country came under violent Islamist attack.
The 9/11 Strategy Meeting
What happened after the meetings were cancelled is the subject of much controversy.
Frank Gaffney, President of the Center for Security Policy and Reagan Administration Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Policy, originally broke the story of a planned meeting on September 11, 2001 between President Bush and Norquist’s Islamist allies.
He’s been attacked countless times for this claim over the years. The Bush White House documents obtained by the Clarion Project verify his account and substantiate the broader concerns about Islamist campaigns to influence the Republican party with Norquist’s organization playing a critical part.
But the story does not end with the meetings being cancelled. Gaffney shared office space with Norquist at the time. He and his colleague J. Michael Waller claim they saw Norquist and Suhail Khan with a group of Islamists after the meeting was cancelled. Norquist denies even being at his office on that day.
Waller’s office had a common wall with the conference room where Norquist held his Wednesday meetings with conservative activists. Waller pushed the ceiling tiles up to listen in on this meeting on 9/11, which he described as a “damage-control” meeting to put the Brotherhood groups in the most positive light. Waller explained:
“Part of the discussion included how to condemn the 9/11 attacks and how not to condemn them because some of the people present wanted to justify some of the attacks; refused to condemn the attack on the Pentagon because it was a ‘military target.’
The general consensus was that they would condemn the attacks on innocent civilians with the implicit unstated understanding that this was not condemning the attack on the Pentagon.”
The Islamist lobby would present itself as the invaluable “moderates” whose involvement was required for fighting the War on Terror, in addition to delivering Republican party political success.
The post-9/11 policies of the Bush Administration severely strained the relationship, particularly due to the federal investigations and prosecutions of this Islamist lobby. The U.S. Muslim Brotherhood demonized the administration as persecuting innocent Muslims and waging a war on Islam; pushing the same inflammatory narratives these “moderates” claimed they’d counter.
This is similar to what we see today where the Obama Administration includes Islamists in its “Countering Violent Extremism” initiatives. The Islamist ideology and its propaganda create problems that Islamists then purport to be the answer for. And when their demands are not met, they accuse their opponents of “Islamophobia”— Democrat and Republican; Muslim and non-Muslim.
Norquist’s involvement in all of this has triggered an internal investigation by the National Rifle Association into his membership on their board.
Norquist has written several letters this year attacking Gaffney as a “stalker” whose claim has sparked death threats. Norquist describes those who believe Gaffney as “hopefully harmless idiots.”
Norquist denies being at the Americans For Tax Reform/Islamic Free Market Institute offices that day and refers to a speaking engagement in San Diego the day prior as evidence. Gaffney and Waller stand by their testimony and note that Norquist’s timeline does not preclude him from having taken a flight from San Diego to Washington D.C. for the meeting.
One other piece of context is necessary. The documents do not show that Norquist was scheduled to meet with President Bush, but that has no bearing on the Gaffney-Norquist dispute or on the overall issue. The meetings were exclusively for Arab and Muslim activists. This fact does not diminish the significance of the meetings and the role of Norquist’s organization.
None of Norquist’s letters express regret about working with the Islamists or even acknowledge legitimate concerns about the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood’s influence.
In fact, one of the letters reinforces the case that Norquist is responsible for elevating the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood’s influence. He points to how former Islamic Free Market Institute official Suhail Khan organized a trip to Auschwitz in 2010 that resulted in imams denouncing anti-Semitism and Holocaust denial.
At least five of the eight signatories to the statement belong to this same U.S. Muslim Brotherhood lobby. It includes:
- The aforementioned Muzzamil Siddiqi, chairman of the Islamist-dominated Fiqh Council of North America;
- Imam Mohammed Magid, Vice President of ISNA and leader of the ADAMS Center in Virginia that was investigated with IIIT;
- Sayyid Syeed, former ISNA secretary-general who said in 2006 that “our job is to change the constitution of America;”
- Imam Suhaib Webb, a former leader of the radical Islamic Society of Boston directly linked to the Muslim Brotherhood and founded by Alamoudi. Webb has also made various extremist statements;
- Yasir Qadhi, a Salafist radical who preaches that Islam “demolishes” American capitalism.
Siddiqi, Magid and Qadi also signed the letter that condemns ISIS but endorses Sharia governance (including its heinous hudud punishments), rebuilding the caliphate and jihad against Israel. The signatories include many figures connected to the Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas, providing yet another example of the “moderate Islamist” strategy in work.
Norquist also boasts that his Islamic Free Market Institute organized two conferences in Qatar, whose government is a terrorism-sponsoring Muslim Brotherhood ally and heavily financed his organization. He praised Qatar as an ally after 9/11 that has made “great strides” on human rights. His lobbying firm reportedly tried to publish op-eds putting a positive spin on the Qatari government.
The Bush White House documents obtained by the Clarion Project are shocking in how they display the historical irony of President Bush’s scheduled meeting with terrorist-allied Islamists on 9/11 of all days, but there are equally-shocking broader conclusions to be made.
The episode is reflective of a successful Islamist political influence operation and a seriously flawed vetting process that continues until present, with the Islamists at President Obama’s Countering Violent Extremism Summit and the choice of Muslim Brotherhood promoter Mohamed Elibiary as a senior Department of Homeland Security advisor serving as two examples.
The conclusion should not be that everyone involved is a secret Islamist conspirator or terrorist. It’s that skillful Islamists use relationships with persons of influence in both parties to promote themselves, advance their causes and impact policy.
On the Glenn Beck Show on March 26, Norquist said he formed the Institute to promote a progressive reformation in Islam that is more pro-American and against Sharia governance. Yet, it worked closely with the Islamists who are the exact opposite of that.
Norquist said he probably didn’t even know what the Muslim Brotherhood was at the time. It’s very hard to believe that anyone involved in Islamic issues would be ignorant of that very basic fact. The Islamism of many of Norquist’s partners was already public knowledge then and was almost definitely expressed in their private dealings.
If Norquist was ignorant then, he certainly he is not now. Unknowing partners of these Islamists should renounce them and detail their dealings so as to prevent them in the future. They should thank those who exposed them and make up for their errors by embracing Muslim activists who stand against Islamism.
To this day, Norquist has not expressed regret about working with the Islamists. He has not even conceded that their histories are unsettling. He acts as if the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood doesn’t even exist and ridicules those who say it does.
There is a bi-partisan problem when it comes to mistaking Islamists for “moderates.” The fight against Islamic extremism requires that those who made such mistakes wake up and act to correct their errors by challenging Islamism.
The treatment of the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood and other Islamists as treasured “moderates” must come to an end.