by Nonie Darwish, FrontPageMagazine, April 20, 2010
When President Obama spoke to the Muslim world in Cairo last June, a large portion of his guests were leaders and members of the Muslim Brotherhood. The speech was designed to please them more than supporting the reformist movement in Egypt and across the Muslim world.
The Obama administration has hired the first White House Muslim advisor, Dalia Mogahed, who helped with writing Obama’s speech. Mogahed is herself an Islamic ideologue who supports Islamic Sharia and denies any connection between radical Islam and terrorism. Mogahed, who was born in Egypt, has also been a firm defender of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) and the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA). Both of these US groups are tied to the Muslim Brotherhood.
As an American of Egyptian origin myself, I can tell who is a reformist and who is a radical Muslim sympathizer, and I do not think that Ms. Mogahed’s views are in any way supportive of a reformation in Islam or of its concept of jihad. To the contrary, she denies the existence of any problem with Islamic ideology and she acts in total harmony with the ideology of the Muslim Brotherhood. Her excuses are the same old excuses we Egyptians learned day in and day out in defense of Islamic jihad and in blaming others for misunderstanding of Islam. Her answers are always given with total confidence and conviction, as she tells her audience that any violent actions by Muslims have nothing to do with Islam. Never mind that Islamic mosques, education, art and songs all glorify jihad as a holy war for the sake of Allah.
Mogahed brings nothing new to Islamic propaganda but she certainly sounds interesting to Americans who are unfamiliar with this same old Islamic propaganda and who find it hard to question a religion. The truth about Mogahed is that she combines the good old Muslim sheikhs rhetoric with a better presentation that Americans can understand. Sheikhs never take any kind of criticism of Islam and they ridicule those who question Islam with statements like: “Who are you to speak for Islam? Leave the analysis to the experts on Islam.” Mogahed’s logic is very similar and, coincidentally, her book is entitled: “Who Speaks for Islam.” It is a meaningless title showing statistics that are designed to show that Muslims are different and are not all terrorists, which is no news.
Of course among Muslims there are good and bad people, like in any other group. What Mohahed refuses to admit is that reputable critics of Islam have nothing against Muslim people, but they correctly decipher that the problem stems from the ideology of Islam and its scriptures and commandments. What Mogahed refuses to discuss are the actual laws of Sharia, the history of jihad, the ideology and education that produced 9/11, Islamic imperialism, oppression of human rights, women and minorities. Her answers are usually simplistic, such as the argument that Sharia cannot be bad to women because the majority of Muslim women allegedly support Sharia? The bottom line of Mogahed’s propaganda is the same old complaint: that Islam is misunderstood and that Muslim people’s anger and violence is triggered by politics and not by religion. The problem with the West is all a misunderstanding, she argues, and with some education and sensitivity training the West will accept Islam as a religion of peace. Her position in the White House has given her a powerful opportunity to enhance the standing of radical Islamist groups in the eyes of our government instead of the reformists and anti-Sharia Mulsims.
I have recently heard a former Muslim critic of Islam state that he is no longer confident that the US government will protect his civil rights as long as there are people in our government such as Mogahed and others.
The empowerment of Radical Islam under the Obama administration has also emboldened the Muslim Student Association (MSA), which is merely an extension of the Muslim Brotherhood. The MSA has recently accelerated their efforts to silence any speakers who criticize jihad, Sharia or Radical Islam. Anti-Semitism is on the rise on our college campus, resulting in total disregard for freedom of speech aiming and the silencing of any pro-Israel speakers. This is achieved through constant unruly disruptions, such as what happened to the Ambassador of Israel, Michael Oren, at UC Irvine last February. Last October, students opposed to my views went as far as setting a fire in a bathroom next to the hall I was supposed to give my presentation in at Boston University. As a result, my lecture was cancelled.
To show more support to the Muslim brotherhood, last January, Secretary of State Clinton quietly signed an order admitting entry to the US to the grandson of the founder of the Muslim Brotherhood, Tariq Ramadan. The controversial Ramadan was formerly banned from entering the US by the previous administration. Among those who welcomed Ramada and participated in his first public appearance in the US was none other than Dalia Mogahed.
While the Obama administration went out of its way to show goodwill to radical Muslim groups, it has consistently ignored extending any support to the reform movements across the Middle East and that includes the student reform movement in Iran. The message from the US to reformists and pro-democracy and peace groups in the Middle East is not encouraging.
I am in contact with some Muslim reformists in Egypt who believe that the Muslim Brotherhood now has a friend in the White House. Totalitarian radical leaders such as Moammar Gaddafi of Libya, calls Obama ‘our son’ and urges support for Obama as a wise leader who is of Muslim descent. I guess it is nice to have the support of radicals and dictators in the Middle East, which might temporarily save us from another 9/11, but at what cost could that be? They will never abandon their jihadist aspirations. Radical Islamists will not accept anything less than for the US to abandon Israel and they now believe that Obama will do nothing if Israel is attacked. Because of this change in US policy, the head of the Arab League, Amr Moussa (from Egypt), has recently suggested improving relations with Iran as a new strategy in the region. This confirms that American power in the region is diminishing. America’s perceived weakness in the region brought by Obama will have serious and lasting consequences.
The Mulsim Brotherhood in Egypt has been empowered. This does not look good for Egypt’s future, especially at a time when Mubarak’s health is deteriorating. Egypt could fall to the Muslim Brotherhood rule, which will cement radical Islam in the whole region and which will empower Iran and radical Islam for generations to come.
President Jimmy Carter abandoned the Shah, which paved the way for the radical Islamist regime to take over. Obama is falling in the same footsteps of appeasing the Muslim Brotherhood and empowering it to take over Egypt.
The next US administration might find it very hard to please the Muslim world after the pro-Islamic Obama policies. How can an American Republican President be viewed in the future by the Muslim world when he does not bow to the Saudi King like Obama? If he or she has a policy with America’s best interests being a number one priority, will he or she be called Hitler by Islamists and by our media? Are we going to cheer when Islamists throw their shoes at our future American President simply for not supporting radical Islam? Will Western media call those U.S. leaders who want to protect America racists and bigots for not accepting the Muslim Brotherhood and welcoming them to shape policy in the White House? In terms of what Obama is doing today, that is something real to think about.