Election 2008 proved historic on a number of levels, but one milestone passed without the recognition it deserves. When the Electoral College convened on December 15 to ratify the citizens’ choice of Barack Obama as the next president, Jafar “Jeff” Siddiqui of Lynnwood, Washington, became the first known Islamist to cast an electoral vote.
Siddiqui — a real estate agent, former chairman of the Islamic School of Seattle, and founding member of the American Muslims of Puget Sound activist group — was named a Democratic elector after his impromptu speech at the state party convention, in which he pledged to fight “the hate and bigotry that are being promoted in this country.” The Post-Intelligencer gushed, “His mission is to counteract the image of Muslims as fanatical terrorists and extremists that, he believes, is propagated in the media, popular culture, and even the government.”
Yet Siddiqui has a long record of airing his own extreme views in local papers and the American Muslim magazine, a truth that was noted by an alert blog but predictably ignored by the mainstream press at the time of his appointment. As detailed below, Siddiqui is a textbook “lawful” Islamist who dreams of imposing at least one element of Sharia on the West: curbing speech that is critical of Islam. In keeping with the Islamist modus operandi, he also paints opponents of radical Islam as Nazis, portrays America as oppressive, denies the religious rationale of Muslim terrorists, and insists that Muslims are victims even when they take part in violent aggression. These factors should have more than disqualified him for the privilege and responsibility of serving on the Electoral College, a key safety valve in the selection of the commander-in-chief.
Siddiqui put himself on the map in 2002, when he sought to derail a talk by Middle East scholar Daniel Pipes at the University of Washington. Slandering him as a “rabid Muslim/Arab hater” who might soon “be in the same company as Hitler,” Siddiqui led a campaign urging organizers to “withdraw your sponsorship or, at the very least, publish a letter expressing regret over this sponsorship. You can also invite a member of the Muslim community to speak for about ten minutes after Pipes has had his day bashing us.” Professor Edward Alexander refused, explaining that under the First Amendment “there is no requirement that a lecture touching on radical Islam must be ‘answered’ by an Islamic radical.”
Siddiqui’s discomfort with free speech resurfaced in 2006, as he chastised Denmark for not prosecuting the publishers of the infamous Muhammad cartoons. Nor was he pleased about Obsession: Radical Islam’s War Against the West being distributed via U.S. newspapers in 2008. Despite purporting to back free speech “without preconditions,” he argued that it “stops at the production of the DVDs” and that “dissemination and promotion of the same is no longer an exercise of freedom of expression” — a disturbingly narrow view of First Amendment rights.
In line with other Islamists, Siddiqui smears all who combat radical Islam. Obsession is “like Hitler’s idea of how to generate hate and violence.” Dutch MP Geert Wilders is “a blond Aryan who would make Nazis proud.” Conservative radio hosts are “on the same track as Hitler.” Anti-Sharia attorney David Yerushalmi’s ultimate goal is to “strike all mosques and all Muslims down.” Most hyperbolically, the designation of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) as an unindicted co-conspirator in a recent terror financing trial is “akin to the Germans pulling in every Jewish head of household to the village square, to find out who killed their soldier and then listing all those Jews as ‘unindicted murderers.’”