The following are excerpts from a Clarion Project article entitled “Grover Norquist & Co. Build Islamist Influence in GOP“
How the GOP Came to Embrace the Muslim Brotherhood Lobby
Islamism is not a partisan issue. Special interests, major companies and foreign powers have long tried to affect both political parties—and the Muslim Brotherhood lobby is no different. Ten former senior officials, including a former CIA director, have issued a joint statement with meticulous documentation about how the Republican Party was and is influenced by this lobby.
In the 1980s, the FBI recruited a confidential source deep inside the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood lobby. He warned that the Brotherhood established a network of front groups including the International Institute of Islamic Thought (IIIT), Muslim Students Association, Islamic Society of North America and North American Islamic Trust. One of the chief objectives was to penetrate the U.S. government with sympathizers and IIIT already claimed success. The Brotherhood donated to campaigns on both sides of the political aisle and met with officials involved in foreign policy.
The U.S. Muslim Brotherhood drafted a secret plan in 1991 that defined its “work in America as a kind of grand jihad…in eliminating and destroying the Western civilization from within.” You may read articles I wrote in 2012 entitled, “The Project” and “The Project, Part Deux” on the subject.
The most senior elements of the Brotherhood lobby handled outreach to the Clinton Administration and both political parties, especially the presidential campaign of then-Texas Governor George W. Bush.
Sami al-Arian was a central figure. He admits having been a Muslim Brotherhood member from 1978 to 1982, but his involvement in the American lobby continued after that.
In 2000, Abdurrahman Alamoudi of the Muslim American Council was asked by an Islamic website how Muslims should “decrease the influence of the Zionist lobby on presidential candidates.” He said they must elect sympathetic candidates like Rep. Tom Campbell (R-CA). Rep. Campbell spoke at the Brotherhood lobby’s events and touted their causes.
Enter Grover Norquist. Norquist encouraged the Republican Party to take up the cause. GOP Rep. Campbell was one of the first to join in, going so far as to visit Al-Arian’s relative in jail.
In 1998 Alamoudi dispatched his closest aide, Khaled Saffuri, to team up with extremely influential Republican activist Grover Norquist to form the Islamic Free Market Institute. He has been called the “most powerful man in America” because of his ability to make Republican congressmen and candidates bend to his anti-tax platform.
Evidence suggests that Norquist’s passion was triggered by a personal conversion to Islam. His wife, Samah, is a devout Muslim. In 2008, they adopted a Palestinian baby from Bethlehem. When asked by author Paul Sperry if he converted, Norquist dodged the question by saying it is “personal.”
The effect on the GOP was immediate. Norquist’s Islamic Free Market Institute scored an endorsement from Republican National Committee chairman Jim Nicholson. GOP officials began meeting with the Institute, Alamoudi’s American Muslim Council and other Brotherhood entities.
Texas Governor George W. Bush announced his presidential campaign in June 1999 and his campaign reached out to Norquist.
Bush adopted the Brotherhood’s position against the use of secret evidence, calling it a form of “racial profiling” against Arabs during the second presidential debate. Talat Othman, then chairman of the Norquist/Saffuri group, gave the invocation at the Republican National Convention.
After the election, CAIR said that 72% voted for Bush, 19% for Nader and 8% for Gore. Another organization, the American Muslim Alliance, said over 80% went to Bush. Norquist and the Brotherhood lobby boasted that their Muslim outreach had swung the state of Florida for Bush.
“Bush was elected President of the United States of America because of the Muslim vote,” Norquist said.
The lobby’s access to Bush’s inner circle continued after he took office. Suhail Khan was given a position in the Office of Public Liaison and managed the White House’s interfaith relationships. In June 2001, Alamoudi’s American Muslim Council was given a briefing by Karl Rove.
Frank Gaffney, President of the Center for Security Policy and his colleague, national security expert Dr. J. Michael Waller, shared office space with Norquist when the 9/11 attacks happened.
Waller says he heard them discussing how to posture themselves after the attacks. Some of the participants felt uncomfortable condemning the attack on the Pentagon because they viewed it as a legitimate military target.
After the 9/11 attacks, the Bush Administration realized it needed to put moderate Muslim voices out front that would discredit the terrorist propaganda that the U.S. was waging a war on Islam and the Brotherhood lobby wanted to be the “moderate” face of the Muslim-American community and obtain all the influence that would bring.
Karl Rove, would later admit that he had not known of the extremist backgrounds of those Bush had embraced.
Today the Brotherhood lobby’s influence are reaching new heights under the Obama Administration, capitalizing on the ground it gained under the Bush Administration.
Norquist and Khan still work with the Brotherhood lobby, despite immense documentation of its extremism.
Khan said of the Fort Hood Attack, “it’s even more sad to see that there might be some who would use and exploit this tragedy for their political partisan and, worse, for their racist ends.”
Senator John McCain and his close friend, Senator Lindsey Graham view the Brotherhood as a partner and pushed the Obama Administration into retaliating against Egypt for overthrowing the Brotherhood’s rule.
The evidence of Islamist Muslim Brotherhood influence at the highest ranks of the Republican party’s apparatus is overwhelming.
Questions need to asked of all potential candidates, just where they stand on the Muslim Brotherhood.