Islam analyst and author Robert Spencer was scheduled to be honored at the upcoming Conservative Political Action Conference, better known as CPAC, for his widely read blog JihadWatch.org, but he won’t be in attendance, he says, because of a speech restriction sponsors of the award placed on him.
JihadWatch.org was the overwhelming winner of CPAC’s People’s Choice Award, sponsored by Right Wing News and TheTeaParty.net.
Spencer said he received confirmation of the award Saturday night from one of the organizers. He had been promised that as a result of his award, there would be an announcement and special promotions of JihadWatch.org.
But as time went on and there was no announcement of the award, and the promotions didn’t materialize, he contacted the organizer and learned there was a problem.
Spencer was told that one of the co-sponsors of the award, TheTeaParty.net, didn’t want to allow him to receive the award at CPAC next week unless he promised not to criticize two board members of CPAC’s hosting organization, the American Conservative Union: Grover Norquist and Suhail Khan.
“I told the organizer that I couldn’t agree to that,” Spencer said.
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Spencer has criticized Norquist and Khan for associations with radical Muslims, including Abdurahman Alamoudi, who is serving a 23-year sentence for his role in a terrorist plot.
The founder of Americans for Tax Reform, Norquist is perhaps the best-known conservative anti-tax campaigner, famous for persuading lawmakers to sign his no-tax pledge.
Norquist did not reply to a WND request for comment.
CPAC is a three-day event beginning March 14 in Washington, D.C., and WND-TV will provide live coverage . (Sign up now for the free programming and an email reminder of the broadcasts.)
As WND reported last week, a colleague of Spencer, Pamela Geller, creator of AtlasShrugs.com and a WND columnist, said she and her group American Freedom Defense Initiative, or AFDI, had been snubbed by CPAC.
Geller, who has drawn packed crowds at CPAC the past four years, blamed Norquist and Khan for her exclusion from the conference this year.
She said she applied to speak and was ignored.
Geller has brought well-known and controversial names to CPAC. In 2009, she featured Geert Wilders, head of the third-biggest political party in the Netherlands and an outspoken critic of the Islamization of Europe.
Asked by the CPAC organizer if he had planned to talk about Norquist and Khan when he accepted the award for his blog, Spencer said, no, he had not, but now he was compelled to do it.
“So that’s that,” he wrote. “The People’s Choice Blog Award is now the Grover’s Choice Blog Award. I will not be going to CPAC and will not be receiving this award.”
“Norquist and Khan are the controlling forces at CPAC,” Spencer wrote. “They have this year finally succeeded in barring AFDI from hosting an event about the Islamic supremacism they enable. And now they have overruled the People’s Choice for the winning blog, and made sure that one more voice exposing their unsavory activities will not be heard. This is the conservative movement in 2013.”
Spencer said that since he wouldn’t be talking about Norquist and Khan at CPAC, he would lay out his case on his blog.
Spencer noted Rep. Frank Wolf, R-Va., called out Norquist on the House floor in October 2011, citing documentation showing “he has deep ties to supporters of Hamas and other terrorist organizations that are sworn enemies of the United States and our ally Israel.”
In response, Norquist called Wolf’s speech a “hissy fit” and “a compilation of whack job criticisms,” arguing the congressman is one of only six Republican members of the U.S. House who has refused to sign ATR’s no-tax pledge.
Norquist’s firm represented Alamoudi in 2000 and 2001, Wolf sold his House colleagues, just two years before Alamoudi was convicted.
As WND reported in the month of Wolf’s speech, Norquist was a headliner at an Islamic leadership conference along with the director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations’ Michigan branch and the co-author of a report that slanders critics of radical Islam, including Spencer, Daniel Pipes and Steven Emerson.
Wolf had documentation that Norquist also was associated with terror financier Sami Al-Arian, who pleaded guilty in 2006 to conspiring to provide services to the Palestinian Islamic Jihad, which was involved in numerous terrorist attacks, including suicide bombings.
The Investigative Project on Terrorism reported Norquist, in an effort to mobilize votes from the country’s growing Muslim population, created the Islamic Free Market Institute in 1998 with Alamoudi.
Along with admitting to illegal transactions with Libya and being part of a plot to assassinate the then-crown prince of Saudi Arabia, Alamoudi was also found to be a long time secret financial courier for al-Qaida while he was routinely invited to the Clinton White House for receptions and meetings.
Khan, as former WND investigative reporter Paul Sperry has reported, was praised by Alamoudi in June 2001 when he accepted an award from him.
“We have with us a dear brother,” Alamoudi said as he prepared to honor Khan with a plaque. “I’m really proud to be with Suhail Khan. Some of you saw him today in the White House, but inshallah (Allah willing), you will see him in better places in the White House, inshallah.”
Khan thanked Alamoudi for being “very supportive of me.”
“I hope, inshallah, we can keep working together.”
Sperry note that just days earlier, Sen. Arlen Specter of the Judiciary Committee had cited a New York Post report documenting that Alamoudi had supported terrorists and “declared an interest in destroying America.”
Khan’s father helped found the Muslim Community Association in Santa Clara, Calif, a mosque listed in the Muslim Brotherhood’s own documents as one of “our organizations.” In the 1990s, according to the San Francisco Chronicle, the mosque hosted al Qaida leader Ayman al-Zawahiri as he toured the U.S. raising money.
Geller, meanwhile, has run an ad campaign to counter Islamic ads attempting to change the public’s perception of “jihad” as religious warfare.
“They’re attempting to fool Americans into thinking that jihad is about getting in your exercise and making friends,” she told Breitbart.com.
“My ads, in contrast, tell the truth about the jihad that too many Muslims believe in and act upon, and the only jihad that Americans need to be concerned about. They’re designed to tell the truth about jihad and lay bare CAIR’s deceptions and lies.”