The director of a group founded by members of the Muslim Brotherhood was among the first to signal strong objection to President Trump’s nomination of Mike Pompeo to succeed Rex Tillerson as secretary of state.
Pompeo’s co-sponsorship of a bill to designate the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist organization when he was a congressman no doubt was on the mind of Nihad Awad, executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, when he slammed the current CIA director as having “a long record of anti-Muslim bigotry.”
“By ousting Secy. of State #Tillerson and replacing him with the inexperienced #Pompeo, @realDonaldTrump has undermined US diplomatic standing on the world stage–again. Pompeo has a long record of anti-Muslim bigotry,” Awad tweeted.
President Trump announced Tuesday Tillerson’s dismissal as secretary of state and his decision to nominate Pompeo to replace him.
Awad, according to FBI evidence submitted in a Hamas-funding trial, was among the Muslim Brotherhood leaders who established a propaganda arm of Hamas in the U.S. that was shut down and later formed CAIR.
Pompeo had CAIR in mind when he warned in a radio interview that there are “organizations and networks here in the United States tied to radical Islam in deep and fundamental ways.”
“They’re not just in places like Libya and Syria and Iraq, but in places like Coldwater, Kansas, and small towns all throughout America,” Pompeo told host Frank Gaffney, a former Reagan defense officials who now leads the Center for Security Policy in Washington.
In January 2017, Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, and Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart, R-Fla., re-introduced bills in the Senate and House that would require the State Department to inform Congress “whether the Muslim Brotherhood meets the criteria for designation as a foreign terrorist organization.”
A document published internally by CIA analysts in January 2017 warned that a terrorist designation “may fuel extremism” and damage relations with U.S. allies, insisting the Brotherhood had “rejected violence as a matter of official policy and opposed al-Qa’ida and ISIS.”
But Pompeo and his allies in Congress have pointed out that violent jihad is only one tactic of the Muslim Brotherhood in its effort to establish Islamic law worldwide.
As WND has reported, the Muslim Brotherhood’s motto is: “Allah is our objective. The Prophet is our leader. The Qur’an is our law. Jihad is our way. Dying in the way of Allah is our highest hope. [Allah is greater!].”
Founded in Egypt in 1928 by Hassan al Banna, the Brotherhood sought to revive the crumbled Islamic empire, or caliphate, led by the Ottoman Turks.
“It is the nature of Islam to dominate, not to be dominated, to impose its law on all nations and to extend its power to the entire planet,” al-Banna wrote.
The top leaders of al-Qaida, including the late Osama bin Laden, Khalid Sheik Muhammad, Muhammad Atta, the blind Sheik Omar Abdel-Rahman and current leader Ayman al-Zawahiri, were all members of the Muslim Brotherhood.
In 2004, the FBI raided a Muslim Brotherhood house in northern Virginia and confiscated a document called “An Explanatory Memorandum for the General Strategic Goal for the Brothers in North America,” which outlined the Muslim Brotherhood’s strategy to take over America “from within.”
WND reported last September that CAIR’s Awad was among the U.S.-based leaders who publicly mourned the death of a former chief spiritual guide of the Muslim Brotherhood, Mohamed Akef.
CAIR itself was designated by the Department of Justice as an unindicted co-conspirator in the plot to fund Hamas. CAIR also was designated by the Gulf Arab state United Arab Emirates as a terrorist organization. The group has sued a co-author of a WND Books exposé, “Muslim Mafia: Inside the Secret Underworld That’s Conspiring to Islamize America,” which documented the group’s ties to the Muslim Brotherhood. More than a dozen CAIR leaders have been charged or convicted of terrorism-related crimes.
While CAIR has complained of the unindicted co-conspirator designation, as WND reported in 2010, a federal judge later determined that the Justice Department provided “ample evidence” to make the designation, affirming the Muslim group has been involved in “a conspiracy to support Hamas.”
Tillerson: ‘Terrorism in its many forms’
Last August, CAIR welcomed the resignation of presidential adviser Sebastian Gorka, who was known for naming “radical Islamic” terrorism as the prime terror threat faced by the United States and the Western world.
In his resignation letter to the president, Gorka said the fact that those who drafted and approved Trump’s Aug. 21 speech on increasing U.S. military involvement in Afghanistan “removed any mention of Radical Islam or radical Islamic terrorism proves that a crucial element of your presidential campaign has been lost.”
At the time, Tillerson reacted in an interview with Chris Wallace on “Fox News Sunday,” asserting Gorka was “completely wrong.”
“It shows a lack of understanding of the president’s broader policy when it comes to protecting Americans at home and abroad from all acts of terrorism,” Tillerson said.
“Terrorism has manifested itself in many types of organizations. The president has charged us to develop policies and tactics both diplomatically and militarily to attack terrorism in its many forms, wherever it exists in the world, and wherever it might present a threat to the homeland or Americans anywhere. This means that we need to develop techniques that are global in their nature.”
Gorka responded to CAIR, which had been lobbying for his removal, in a tweet of his own.
“I’ll have to add this to my Resume. Given that CAIR was an unindicted coconspirator in the largest terrorist finance trial in US history.”
CAIR also has accused Trump of racism and religious bigotry for his executive order to temporarily stop receiving immigrants and travelers from a handful of countries known to produce Islamic jihadists.
In a press release Tuesday, CAIR further criticized Pompeo for holding “Islamophobic views” and having been “associated with an anti-Muslim hate group.”
The reference was to Act for America, which describes itself as a grassroots national security organization with 750,00 members across the nation. The group, led by anti-Shariah activist Brigitte Gabriel, honored Pompeo in 2016 with its National Security Eagle Award.
Pompeo also was a speaker at the Center for Security Policy’s “Defeat Jihad” summit in 2015, which sought to “rebut the thesis” of President Obama’s upcoming “Countering Violent Extremism Summit.” Obama’s policy, the Center for Security Policy said, held that the United States “faces hostile forces whose identity, motivations and capabilities are defined by an opaque euphemism: violent extremism,” rather than by Islamic supremacism.
In the spring of 2016, Pompeo spoke out when the Islamic Society of Wichita, which is in his former congressional district, invited Sheik Monzer Taleb to speak, calling the imam a supporter of terrorism.
A spokesman for the Islamic Society’s spokesman insisted the charge was “completely untrue.”
But Taleb is on video declaring “I am Hamas,” and also was named a co-conspirator in the Hamas-funding case in Texas.
M. Zuhdi Jasser, an observant Muslim who advocates against Islamic supremacism, wrote for National Review at the time that Taleb “is a notorious figure in the Muslim community, bringing controversy — and hate — wherever he goes.”
Jasser, founder of the American Islamic Forum for Democracy, praised Pompeo for speaking out.
“There is nothing more American, more pro-Islam, and more pro-Muslim than taking a stand against the extremist and anti-Semitic hate spewed by Islamist individuals like Sheikh Taleb. In fact, this tough love is what every Muslim community needs to pursue on its own, long before their elected representative have to intervene.”
Muslim Brotherhood leader Magdy Shalash recently reminded supporters the aim of the Brotherhood is a global state ruled by Shariah, or Islamic law. Shalash praised the “Ottoman Caliphate,” which ruled for five centuries until World War I, since it “eliminated a state of pluralism and fragmentation in name of a plurality of Islamic countries.”
Muslim Brotherhood statements in Arabic have differed from statements in English.
After a deadly Palestinian terrorist attack in Jerusalem last July, the Brotherhood called, in Arabic, for an violent uprising, or Islamic intifada, against Israel.
“The Muslim Brotherhood stresses that defending holy places, and blood and goods is a Shariah duty and a duty to every Muslim, which cannot be ignored except by a traitor or someone submissive,” the statement said, according to a translation.
Last July, Pro-Palestinian groups and Muslim Brotherhood affiliates in the United States organized anti-Israel protests throughout the country, which featured anti-Semitic chants and radical statements.