Investor's Business Daily: Homeland Security: When dealing with Muslim leaders, Washington should borrow a page from Ronald Reagan's Soviet playbook: Trust, but verify. Many aim to deceive us, court evidence shows.
It's now believed that several leaders of the Muslim establishment in America last decade conspired to infiltrate the U.S. political system, change Middle East policy and gradually Islamize America. At the same time, they hatched a plot to fund overseas terrorists.
Of course, they couldn't do this out in the open. So they set up benign-sounding nonprofits and charities to "camouflage" their traitorous activities, say U.S. prosecutors who cite wiretap transcripts and other documents uncovered in a criminal probe of the Holy Land Foundation, the largest Muslim charity in America.
During a secret meeting at a Philadelphia hotel, the charity's president and other prominent Muslim leaders were recorded allegedly plotting ways to disguise payments to Hamas terrorists as charity.
"I swear by Allah that war is deception," said Shukri Abu-Baker, now on trial in the federal terror-funding case. "We are fighting our enemy with a kind heart. . . . Deceive, camouflage, pretend that you're leaving while you're walking that way. Deceive your enemy."
Another participant at the Hamas summit was the founder of the Council on American Islamic-Relations, or CAIR, the largest Muslim civil-rights group in the country and an unindicted co-conspirator in the terror-funding case.
Adding to Abu-Baker's point, Omar Ahmad compared the deception needed to fool the infidels with the head fake in basketball. "He makes a player believe that he is doing this while he does something else," Ahmad said. "I agree with you. . . . Politics is a completion of war."
The Islamist head fake has worked all too well over the past decade. Blind acceptance and validation of Muslim leaders with questionable loyalties hardly missed a beat in Washington even after 9/11.
Many were invited to the White House and Congress. The head of the FBI spoke at their conferences, calling them "mainstream" and "moderate." Many naive officials still confer legitimacy on them.
But what Muslim leaders tell us and what they tell Muslim audiences are often two entirely different things. The deception is astonishing. They've really played us for suckers.
Here are just a few examples:
All the while, Al-Arian was secretly running a U.S. beachhead for Palestinian terrorists. In a speech at a Cleveland mosque, he once thundered: "Let's damn America, let's damn Israel, let's damn their allies until death."
He's now a convicted terrorist.
He, too, strongly denounced terror. "We are against all forms of terrorism," he claimed. "Our religion is against terrorism."
Privately, however, he raised major funds for al-Qaida and was caught on tape grumbling that Osama bin Laden hadn't killed enough Americans in the U.S. embassy bombings.
Also, at a Muslim conference, he was recorded saying the following:
"Muslims sooner or later will be the moral leadership of America. It depends on me and you. Either we do it now or we do it after a hundred years, but this country will become a Muslim country. And I think if we are outside this country, we can say, 'Oh, Allah, destroy America.' But once we are here, our mission in this country is to change it."
Publicly, the imam denounced Islamic violence. "My position against terrorism and Muslim-inspired violence against innocent people is well known by Muslims," he said.
But privately, a darker picture emerged. Five days after the 9/11 attacks, he called them "legitimate" and rallied young Muslim men at his mosque to carry out more "holy war" and "violent jihad."
Al-Timimi even cheered the Columbia space shuttle disaster, calling it a "good omen" for Muslims because it was a blow to their "greatest enemy." He also said the U.S. "should be destroyed."
This high-profile moderate is also now behind bars, for soliciting terror and treason.
What other Muslim leaders are betraying our trust? Who else is "camouflaging" their radical beliefs and agenda with smiles and soft rhetoric?
To reach out to the Muslim community, we must deal with its leaders. But based on their proven track record of dissembling, we can no longer go on blindly trusting them.