Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., has been a successful businesswoman, a foster mom to dozens, a favorite of the tea party and a no-holds-barred conservative who supports traditional marriage, families, the American flag and limited government.
And she's been outspoken in her concern about Muslim Brotherhood influence in Washington and its threat to the nation's security.
For that, she's being targeted in an aggressive campaign by the left-leaning People for the American Way and major news outlets in her home state of Minnesota.
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But several top experts on Islam in America and the strategies of the Muslim Brotherhood, which aims to establish Islamic law worldwide, say instead of being targeted she should be praised.
Among the campaigns against Bachmann has been a petition by PFAW, a coalition featuring liberals such as Alex Baldwin and Norman Lear.
They are gathering signatures, reportedly 178,000 now, urging Republican House Speaker John Boehner to take away Bachmann's assignment to the House Intelligence Committee.
The petition states: "In service to ugly Islamophobic fear mongering, Rep. Michele Bachmann continues unabated in her unfounded and irresponsible attacks on dedicated public servants – a witch hunt that has targeted Huma Abedin, a key aide to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and now includes allegations that President Obama may be aiding the rise of global Shariah law."
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The signatories assert conspiracy theories and "religious McCarthyism should have no place in our government, especially in the House Intelligence Committee, on which Rep. Bachmann sits."
Asking Boehner to remove her from the committee, they argue members of the panel "are entrusted with classified information that affects the safety and security of all Americans."
"That information should not be in the hands of anyone with such a disregard for honesty, misunderstanding of national security, and lack of respect for his or her fellow public servants."
But Jamie Glazov, editor of Frontpage Magazine and author of the WND Books hit "United in Hate," contends Bachmann should be made the committee's chairman.
"We see a hero! Michele Bachmann. She's a hero. She should be chairing that committee," said Glazov, who holds a Ph.D. in history with a specialty in Russian, U.S., and Canadian foreign policy.
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His comments came as he was interviewed by Robert Spencer, founder of JihadWatch.org, who has written a dozen books, including several New York Times bests-sellers. Spencer repeatedly has expressed alarm over the growing influence of Muslim Brotherhood-related figures in the Obama administration.
Among his books is "Stealth Jihad: How Radical Islam is Subverting America without Guns or Bombs." In it, Spencer describes how Americans "unwittingly" advance the jihadist agenda "through endeavors designed to acclimate and subject us to Islamic law – just the way Osama bin Laden wanted it."
He said the strategy Bachmann has spotlighted is to "subvert the country from within – by gradually Islamizing America" with the "ultimate goal" of "nothing less than the adoption of Islamic law in the United States."
The infiltration already has been documented.
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Earlier this month in a move that affirmed the concerns of five much-maligned GOP members of the House, including Bachmann, and the evidence presented in an investigative book, an Egyptian magazine said six American Muslim leaders who work with the Obama administration are Muslim Brotherhood operatives who have significant influence on U.S. policy.
The report is from Egypt's Rose El-Youssef magazine, which on Dec. 22 said the six men turned the White House "from a position hostile to Islamic groups and organizations in the world to the largest and most important supporter of the Muslim Brotherhood."
The Egyptian article was translated and reported by the Investigative Project on Terrorism, or IPT.
IPT said that while the story is largely unsourced, it is significant because it raises the issue to Egyptian readers.
The article named Arif Alikhan, assistant secretary of Homeland Security for policy development; Mohammed Elibiary, a member of the Homeland Security Advisory Council; Rashad Hussain, the U.S. special envoy to the Organization of the Islamic Conference; Salam al-Marayati, co-founder of the Muslim Public Affairs Council, or MPAC); Imam Mohamed Magid, president of the Islamic Society of North America, or ISNA; and Eboo Patel, a member of President Obama's Advisory Council on Faith-Based Neighborhood Partnerships.
At the time, outspoken Republican congressman Louie Gohmert was pressing for an investigation of the Muslim Brotherhood's influence on the federal government, contending a probe is necessary because of the Obama administration's "horrendous decisions" in backing the so-called "Arab Spring" revolutions in the Middle East.
Gohmert was one of five Republican Congress members who stirred bipartisan controversy last summer by raising concerns about Muslim Brotherhood infiltration in the nation's capital.
The Muslim Brotherhood was established in the 1920s following the collapse of the Ottoman Turkish empire, with the intent of helping establish Islamic rule worldwide. Its stated goal for the U.S. is "a kind of grand jihad" aimed at "eliminating and destroying the Western civilization from within" so that "Allah’s religion is made victorious over all other religions.”
Fight back against CAIR's attack on First Amendment by making a contribution to WND's "Legal Defense Fund." Donations of $25 or more entitle you to free copy of "Muslim Mafia" – the book so devastating to CAIR the group is trying to ban it.
In 2009, the WND Books bestseller "Muslim Mafia: Inside the Secret World That's Conspiring to Islamize America" featured an internal Council on American-Islamic Relations memo written in 2007 that called for infiltrating the "judiciary, intelligence and homeland security committees" by, among other things, "placing Muslim interns" in Capitol Hill offices.
The book also uncovered new evidence that CAIR directly funded Hamas and al-Qaida terrorist fronts.
When the book was released, Rep. Sue Myrick, R-N.C., co-founder of the bipartisan House Anti-Terrorism/Jihad Caucus and a member of the House Permanent Select Committee On Intelligence, pointed out at a press conference in Washington that groups such as CAIR and the Islamic Society of North America "have a proven record of senior officials being indicted and either imprisoned or deported from the United States."
She noted evidence presented at the trial of the Texas-based Muslim charity Holy Land Foundation, convicted of funding Hamas, exposed CAIR, ISNA and others as front groups for the Muslim Brotherhood in the United States.
Myrick exposed the absence of a formal vetting process by Congress for screening radical Muslims invited to work or pray or speak at the Capitol. CAIR, consequently, placed a number of employees within the Capitol, including known terrorists and terrorist suspects.
CAIR Executive Director Nihad Awad, for example, invited al-Qaida terrorist Anwar Awlaki to speak and pray at the Capitol. Awad also helped get Awlaki into the Pentagon within months of Awlaki assisting the 9/11 hijackers, Catherine Herridge revealed in her book "The Next Wave."
Later last summer, Gohmert, along with Bachmann and three other Republican House members, pointed to Hillary Clinton's top aide, Abedin, as a possible Muslim Brotherhood influence on U.S. policy. The lawmakers asked the inspector generals at the departments of Homeland Security, Justice and State to investigate, prompting Democrats and Republicans to rush to Abedin's defense.
However, as WND reported, Abedin worked for an organization founded by her family that is effectively at the forefront of a grand Saudi plan to mobilize U.S. Muslim minorities to transform America into a strict Wahhabi-style Islamic state, according to an Arabic-language manifesto issued by the Saudi monarchy. Abedin also was a member of the executive board of the Brotherhood's Muslim Student Association.
The internal memo said Muslim Brotherhood members "must understand that their work in America is a kind of grand jihad in eliminating and destroying the Western civilization from within and 'sabotaging' its miserable house by their hands and by the hands of the believers so that it is eliminated and Allah's religion is made victorious over all other religions."
Gohmert and other advocates for an investigation of the Muslim Brotherhood's influence on the U.S. government argued a simple reading of security clearance guidelines in reference to Huma Abedin's family would warrant investigation.
The Center for Security Policy notes that security clearance guidelines for federal employees state a "security risk may exist when an individual's immediate family, including cohabitants and other persons to whom he or she may be bound by affection, influence, or obligation are not citizens of the United States or may be subject to duress."
Spencer joined in Glazov's concern about the petition against Bachmann.
"Bachmann's crime as far as People for the American Way is that she called for an investigation into Muslim Brotherhood infiltration into the United States government," Spencer said. "Why this would concern a far left group so much that they would not want Bachmann reappointed to the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence is an interesting example of the leftist-Islamic alliance and the fact that leftist elements in the United States are not only working with but are actively collaborating with and enabling Islamic supremacist groups in the United States."
The Spencer-Glazov discussion:
The PFAW petition ignores the Rose El-Youseff reporting that affirmed the presence of infiltrators in Washington.
Spencer wrote: "If [PFAW] really had any genuine concern for the American way, instead of calling for her removal from the Intelligence committee, the People for the American Way would be calling for Bachmann to be appointed to chair that committee, and to open the investigation into Muslim Brotherhood infiltration that is so desperately needed."
The petition has been accompanied by a series of attack articles launched by several media outlets.
Nick Wing of the Huffington Post pumped up the petition drive with an article denouncing Bachmann and claiming bipartisan criticism of her effort to investigate possible threats in Washington.
The piece gave voice to PFAW's agenda that intelligence information should not be given to Bachmann. But Spencer disagreed, noting the Egyptian confirmation of infiltration "shows that her request that an investigation of Muslim Brotherhood infiltration be opened was entirely reasonable, and not a manifestation of 'bigotry,' 'racism,' or 'McCarthyism' at all."
Further, the Minneapolis Star-Tribune recently has featured four negative stories about Bachmann over a period of three days.
A review of paper archives shows that editors spent nowhere near the same amount of negative attention on any of the other members of the Minnesota congressional delegation.
Requests for comment from Bachmann's office, as well as that of the office of Rep. Mike Rogers, chair of the House Intelligence Committee, did not generate responses.