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Losses in Midterms for Candidates Who Supported Islamists

Yesterday’s congressional elections resulted in losses for numerous candidates who have supported American Islamists. The biggest defeat came in the form of the re-election of Michigan Governor Rick Snyder, who became the Islamists’ top target after he briefly endorsed Israel’s right-to-exist at a major Islamist conference.

 

Failure to Stop Michigan Governor’s Re-Election

In August, the Clarion Project reported on Governor Snyder’s decision to speak at the annual conference of the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), a U.S. Muslim Brotherhood entity whose events are full of radical speakers.

Snyder had resisted pressure to drop his speaking engagement and his office unbelievably defended ISNA as a moderate organization that accepts Israel’s existence. At the event, Snyder praised the Islamist-filled speaker lineup.

However, one sentence the governor uttered triggered a ferocious blowback: “I’m a strong supporter of Israel and believe in its right to exist.” Islamists close to ISNA blasted him as anti-Muslim and disrespectful. ISNA itself then issued an action alert calling on Muslims to contact his office.

Despite the Islamist backlash against him, Snyder was re-elected.

 

Illinois Governor’s Re-Election Bid Fails

A second blow to Islamist political influence was delivered with the defeat of Illinois Governor Pat Quinn.

Quinn had praised the Chicago chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), a U.S. Muslim Brotherhood entity with documented links to Hamas. CAIR’s executive director recently endorsed sharia governance and rebuilding a caliphate.

In December 2013, Quinn was the keynote speaker for the radical convention of the Islamic Circle of North America and the Muslim American Society, two groups with extensive histories of radicalism.

When Quinn was introduced, the speaker recalled meeting him at the Hamas-linked Mosque Foundation and declared, “This is the kind of governor that we support and that we like.”

 

Race for Maryland Governorship

A third defeat for the Islamists was the loss by of Lieutenant-Governor Anthony Brown in his bid to be Maryland’governor.

Brown spoke for a CAIR event in May even though official FBI policy prohibits participation in CAIR fundraisers due to its Hamas links.

Maryland’s current governor, Martin O’Malley, is a possible presidential candidate and CAIR has used O’Malley/Brown officials for fundraising, including even their attorney general.

The O’Malley-Brown administration also endorsed a $100-million mega-mosque project in Maryland supported by the Islamist government of Turkey. The project is also backed by ICNA and ISNA leaders.

O’Malley was also the chairman of the Department of Homeland Security’s Working Group on Violent Extremism that reviewed counter-terrorism training. The committee included officials from these same Islamist groups and produced Islamist-friendly guidelines.

 

Scott Brown Fails to Win Senate Seat

Former Massachusetts Senator Scott Brown failed to win his race for senator in New Hampshire.

In the summer of 2012, Brown was one of the Republican leaders who questioned the integrity of the five members of Congress who asked for investigations into the influence on the U.S. government of Muslim Brotherhood-linked individuals and activists.

At the time, Brown said accusations about Huma Abedin, who has documented Islamist ties and was then Secretary of State Clinton’s Deputy Chief of Staff, were “out-of-line” and have “no place in our public discourse.”  

 

Crist Loses Bid for Florida Governorship

Charlie Crist, who was the governor of Florida from 2007-2011, failed yesterday in a very tight race to return to that office.

As reported by counter-terrorism expert Patrick Poole, an Islamist cleric, Muhammad Musri of the Islamic Society of Central Florida, was on Governor Crist’s Faith-Based and Communications Advisory Council and on his 2010 Sunshine Consensus Committee.

Musri helped fundraise for the Hamas-linked Viva Palestina group, which is led by anti-American British activist George Galloway.

Crist also received $1,404 from three CAIR sources in 2010 for his failed Senate bid.

 

Possible Defeat of Virginia Senator Mark Warner

At press time, Virginia Senator Mark Warner leads by about half of one percent in a race that was written off as a shoe-in for him. There will almost certainly be a recount and a legal battle that will decide the election’s result.

In September 2011, Senator Warner sent a videotaped message of support to an event in Virginia that honored prominent Islamist Jamal Barinji, who was instrumental in setting up the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood network.

Barzinji was identified as a Muslim Brotherhood member by an FBI informant in 1987. He was a leader of the Brotherhood’s main American fronts. He was the president of the Muslim Students Association in 1972, a founder of the North American Islamic Trust and a senior leader of ISNA.

He was also the vice president of the International Institute of Islamic Thought and helped establish the radical Dar al-Hijrah Islamic Center. In 2003, Barzinji’s home was raided as part of a terrorism-financing investigation.

Special Agent David Kane said in a sworn affidavit that Barzinji is closely linked to the Palestinian Islamic Jihad and Hamas terrorist groups. The affidavit  says he held seven positions in other organizations under investigation and is close to Sami al-Arian, who was convicted of being a secret Palestinian Islamic Jihad leader.

The planned prosecution of Barzinji was dropped under the Obama Administration.

 

Senate Race in Georgia

U.S.-based Islamists and a Senate candidate Michelle Nunn’s failure to understand them became a major issue in the race in Georgia. She lost the campaign.

Nunn was put on the defensive after an internal campaign memo was leaked warning about attacks linking her to terrorists. It was an apparent reference to the relationship between Points of Light charity, an organization founded by former President George H.W. Bush of which she was the CEO, and Islamic Relief USA.

Islamic Relief has extensive Muslim Brotherhood ties and is accused by Israel of financing Hamas. The Israeli government even arrested its project director in Gaza in 2006 and says he admitted to working with Hamas operatives and fronts in Jordan and the Palestinian Territories. The charity also works closely with a Hamas affiliate in Turkey.

National Review Online broke the story that Points of Light tax filings show that, under Nunn’s helm, its entity named MissionFish certified Islamic Relief USA for donations through EBay. As a result, $13,500 flowed to the Islamist charity.

With that type of poor research, it isn’t a shock that a 2010 audit determined that Points of Light’s accounting was “not adequate to account for federal funds.”

 

D.C. Marijuana Ballot Measure

On Tuesday, the Clarion Project covered how the D.C. Muslim Caucus, an Islamist group, outrageously told Muslims that they are religiously obligated to cast independent thinking aside and vote for whomever the caucus endorses.

One of the demands of the D.C. Muslim Caucus was a rejection of the ballot measure to legalize marijuana. The caucus claims to represent the 20% of the Washington, D.C. population that is Muslim or that lives with a Muslim.

 

Preliminary results show that 64.6% of D.C. voters approved the measure and 28.4% voted against it, with 7% not picking a side.

 

Recipients of Islamist Donations

The Clarion Project listed 11 candidates who received donations from Islamists this election cycle based on data compiled by the Islamist Money in Politics project.

The candidates mentioned have not all supported CAIR or other Islamists, nor is there proof of each one’s knowledge of the transaction or source. Nonetheless, the small donations are relevant facts that must be mentioned because Islamists don’t donate to every candidate. These donations had a purpose.

As we previously wrote, four candidates that received donations from Islamist officials lost in their primaries.

The candidates who received small donations from Islamists and lost yesterday were: 

  • Arkansas Senator Mark Pryor; 
  • Michigan candidate Terri Lynn Land (whose opponent also had Islamist donations); 
  • Michigan candidate Bobby McKenzie;
  • Minnesota candidate Mike Obermueller;
  • West Virginia Rep. Nick Rahall;
  • Florida Rep. Joe Garcia

The candidates who received Islamist donations and were victorious yesterday include :

  • Minnesota Rep. Keith Ellison;
  • Indiana Rep. Andre Carson;
  • Virginia Rep. Gerry Connolly;
  • New York Rep. Charles Rangel;
  • Michigan Rep. Gary Peters (for Senate);
  • Florida Rep. Gwen Graham;
  • New Jersey Rep. Bill Pascrell;
  • Arizona Rep. Kyrsten Sinema;
  • Maryland Rep. Chris Van Hollen;
  • Michigan Rep. Daniel Kildee;
  • Pennsylvania Rep. Mike Doyle;
  • Illinois Rep. Adam Kinzinger;
  • Kansas Senator Pat Roberts;
  • Minnesota Senator Al Franken
  • New Jersey Senator Cory Booker.

At press time, it was unknown if California Rep. Mike Honda has won re-election, but victory is anticipated.

 

Conclusion

Candidates do not need to be Islamists themselves to be influenced by them. In some cases, they may not even know the extremist backgrounds of the Islamists courting them.

By appearing as “moderates” only interested in responsible civic activism, leaders from groups like CAIR are able to fly under the officials’ radar and influence policy and arrange mutually beneficial praises and photo-ops.

Of course, promises of donations, political support or positive media coverage add extra incentives.

It is our responsibility to inform these officials and candidates of their backgrounds. Those who don’t change course must be shown that that there is a political price to pay for their inattentiveness, selfishness and narrow-mindedness.

 

Ryan Mauro is ClarionProject.org’s national security analyst, a fellow with Clarion Project and an adjunct professor of homeland security. Mauro is frequently interviewed on top-tier television and radio.

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