WASHINGTON – Sometimes it’s easier to shoot the messenger.
Former Reagan administration defense official Frank Gaffney is still waiting for somebody to rebut his allegations that the Muslim Brotherhood, which seeks to impose shariah law around the world, is running an influence operation in Washington, D.C. Instead, he’s being called an anti-Muslim bigot.
After WND reported yesterday that Gaffney accused Muslim Republican Suhail Khan of “infiltrating” the Conservative Political Action Conference on behalf of radical Islamists, Khan and CPAC director Lisa DePasquale fired back with personal attacks on Gaffney in Salon and Politico.
In an article titled “CPAC also anti-Sharia,” Politico’s Ben Smith quoted Khan:
“‘It’s because I’m Muslim. It’s as simple as that,’ said Khan. ‘There’s no truth to it. It’s the latest iteration of anti-Muslim hysteria.’
‘His own diminished capacity – not only in CPAC, but in Washington politics in general – has really marginalized him. He’s looking for conspiracy,’ said Khan about Gaffney. ‘It’s anti-Muslim hysteria. This is not new. This is something that we’ll deal with. The Shariah canard is the latest iteration of that.'”
Khan delivered similar remarks through Salon’s Justin Elliott. In a piece titled “CPAC infiltrated by radical gays, radical Muslims,” Elliott wrote:
“According to WND, Khan is linked to radicals because his ‘father, Mahboob Khan, leader of a large mosque in Santa Clara, Calif., had allowed Osama bin Laden’s No. 2 man, Dr. Ayman al-Zawahiri, to raise money there.’
“In an interview with Salon today, Khan says this is nonsense. ‘Frank knows that many if not most of the things that he’s asserting are not true. He knows that I’m not a member of the Muslim Brotherhood. He knows that my parents are not involved in anything like that. My dad died 11 years ago. He was a high-tech engineer in the Bay Area.’
“He believes Gaffney is motivated by three things: ‘It’s raising money — the guy raises a ton of money. Secondly, there is no doubt there is … political hay to be made on this. This gives him relevance that otherwise he doesn’t have. Finally, I think there is just good old-fashioned bigotry.'”
“It’s interesting to see the outlets he’s chosen, Salon and Politico,” said Gaffney, president of the Center for Security Policy.
“These are part of a series of quotes from interviews that Suhail has been giving people on the left, each of which is more ad hominem than the last, none of which addressees the concerns we’ve raised in any substantive way. I guess it’s sort of par for the course and is consistent with the Muslim Brotherhood playbook to try to suppress information about the kinds of activities that promote shariah through the stealth jihad. All I can say is the substance of the concerns that I and others on Team B have raised in ‘Shariah: The Threat to America’ stand, and if anything are only made more compelling by the kind of response we’ve seen today.”
CPAC director Lisa DePasquale sent a statement defending the conference to Politico’s Ben Smith.
“‘The fact is that we will have a panel tentatively titled “Defining and Debating Shariah in America” at this year’s CPAC moderated by Cliff May of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies,’ emailed the American Conservative Union’s CPAC director Lisa DePasquale.
“She also expressed puzzlement at the attack on the head of a conservative Muslim group, Muslims for America, by the Reagan administration official Frank Gaffney.
“‘If what Frank says were true then, Suhail Khan is much more powerful than anyone ever imagined!’ she emailed.”
Gaffney responded with praise for May, a former New York Times foreign correspondent.
“Cliff May is a good man, a good friend of mine and I hope he’ll do a thorough job of illuminating the threat of shariah to the United States.
“On Lisa’s point, I hope that she and others at the ACU will read the Team B analysis. If she would do so she would have an appreciation for how influence operations work and in particular how this one is working. It’s not about being powerful, it’s about being skillful in pursuing the objectives of the Muslim Brotherhood that individuals like Suhail Khan have engaged in for decades now.”
CPAC officials did not respond to a request for comment. Khan has not answered WND’s request for a response to specific allegations by Gaffney and others.