4) Their faux “de-radicalization” efforts are increasingly irrelevant
As we saw in the terror cases of Ahmed Omar Abu Ali and the Pakistan 5 (among many others), it isn’t the marginal figures in the Muslim community that have decided to engage in terrorist acts, but the best and the brightest. Abu Ali, who was convicted and sentenced to life in prison for his role in an al-Qaeda plot to assassinate President Bush, was the valedictorian of his Islamic high school and a youth leader in his local mosque. Minneapolis resident Shirwa Ahmed, who became the first known American to conduct a suicide bombing, came from an upper middle class family and had attended college. If these individuals have proven impervious to “de-radicalization” efforts of these Islamic groups, why should we continue to listen to them at all?
One disturbing element has been the use of known extremists by the government as “de-radicalization experts.” Two examples I’ve already reported on. Yasir “Hoax of the Holocaust” Qadhi, who admitted to being on the terror watch list, was called upon by the National Counterterrorism Center to speak at one of their conferences on the topic of “de-radicalization.” Qadhi didn’t do so well, since would-be underwear bomber Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab attended several two-week programs sponsored by Qadhi’s organization, AlMaghrib Institute. Another “expert” regularly called upon by government agencies is Mohamed Elibiary, who, among other things, spoke at a Dec. 2004 conference honoring Ayatollah Khomeini, has publicly praised terrorist leaders, and threatened a reporter for the Dallas Morning News who exposed his extremism.
Which brings me to my final point.
5) These Islamic groups ARE the radicalization problem
It has long been obvious that the Islamic groups and leaders screaming the loudest about the upcoming congressional hearings are not part of the solution of Islamic radicalization, but part of the problem.
Just last week here at PJ Media I reported on one of the largest mosques in America, Dar al-Hijrah in the Washington, D.C., area, which has been a virtual terrorist factory. Another prominent Islamic group, the Muslim Students Association (MSA), has been cited in a NYPD radicalization report as a “radicalization incubator,” and in an article published last August I recounted nearly a dozen and a half MSA leaders (not members, but elected leaders of the group) who have been convicted or are currently facing trial on terror charges.
One of the witnesses testifying this week in the radicalization hearings is Rep. Keith Ellison, the first ever Muslim elected to Congress. But his colleagues on the House Homeland Security Committee might want to ask why he allowed the Muslim American Society, which has been cited in court documents by the Department of Justice as “the overt arm of the Muslim Brotherhood in America,” to fund his hajj trip to Saudi Arabia in 2008. MAS has frequently been criticized for indoctrinating its members in violent jihadist ideology. At least one MAS member, their former national spokesman Randall Todd “Ismail” Royer, took that ideology seriously and trained in terror camps in Pakistan before 9/11. He is currently serving a 20-year federal prison sentence as part of a jihadist network that intended to launch attacks against American troops.
In conclusion, the most charitable explanation is that these Islamic groups have a pathetic record on combating Islamic radicalism. But the evidence overwhelmingly leads to the conclusion that the Islamic groups so vocally opposed to the congressional hearings are the source of the radicalization problem, not its solution. While their rhetoric claims that they are opposing a “new McCarthyism,” an “anti-Islamic witch hunt,” and/or “a rising tide of Islamophobia,” their opposition is really driven by self-preservation in the face of leading members of Congress and an American public that are no longer willing to buy their excuses and justifications for Islamic extremism.