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ISNA and MPAC Seek to Silence Steven Emerson at Congressional Hearing
Jeffrey Imm writes at Counterterrorism blog:
As mentioned in Andrew Cochran's July 28 posting, the Investigative Project on Terrorism's (IPT) counterterrorism leader Steven Emerson will be testifying on Thursday July 31 at a Congressional hearing on "Foreign Aid and the Fight Against Terrorism and Proliferation: Leveraging Foreign Aid to Achieve U.S. Policy Goals." This hearing will take place at the U.S. House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Terrorism, Nonproliferation, and Trade this Thursday at 10:30 AM ET in room 2200 of the Rayburn House Building.
In the past day, however, the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) and the Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC) have been working on a public relations campaign to silence Steven Emerson at this July 31 hearing. ISNA sent out an "Urgent Action Alert" to its membership calling for them to lobby Congressman Brad Sherman to either have "balanced, qualified testimony"... [or demand that] "the session be canceled." MPAC sent a similar letter to Congressman Brad Sherman and also issued "demands" calling for its membership to lobby for silencing Steven Emerson or for Congress to "cancel or postpone" the hearing. ISNA charges Steven Emerson with "Islamaphobia" [sic] and "hate mongering," while MPAC charges Steven Emerson with "bigotry." Not surprisingly, ISNA and MPAC don't support their accusations with any facts or specifics, just ad hominem name-calling to silence and discredit those who speak out against Jihad.
As reported tonight, Congressman Sherman refused to buckle under such lobbying efforts stating that "[t]his hearing will go on. We need to make sure that the State Department is not giving U.S. tax dollars to those on the other side in the war on terrorism."
ISNA's and MPAC's efforts to either silence Steven Emerson or ensure that an "expert" hand-picked by such pro-Islamic supremacist groups provides "balanced" [sic] testimony should be another wake-up call that such groups seek to not only impact the debate on Jihad and Islamic supremacist terrorism, but also control that debate entirely. Yet ISNA and MPAC remain unwilling to be accountable for their own organizations' and members' actions, statements, and ideological support.
Both ISNA and MPAC have a lot to explain about their own organizations and members.
ISNA remains an unindicted co-conspirator in the Holy Land Foundation terror retrial scheduled for August 18. But a few weeks before the retrial, ISNA's court-appointed attorneys now seek to delay the retrial, claiming that "they haven't been paid enough to present a good defense." Could that have anything to do with ISNA's legal defense's inability to challenge the authenticity of documents linking ISNA to the Hamas terrorist organization?
ISNA is also in the process of preparing for its annual 2008 convention scheduled to start on August 29, where it has announced that it will have such speakers as:
-- Muzammil Siddiqi - Steven Emerson reports that "when Siddiqi was President of the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) in 1997, his organization received special thanks from Hamas leader Mousa Abu Marzook, who wrote that ISNA supported him through his jailing and extradition process, writing that such efforts 'consoled' him." The report points out, "Siddiqi has made numerous pro-jihad statements in the past and has denied that 9/11 was carried about by Muslims." Muzammil Siddiqui has been a member of Fiqh Council of North America (FCNA), whose members have been connected to Islamic extremism and terrorism.
-- Siraj Wahhaj - a character witness for convicted 1993 World Trade Center terrorist "blind sheik" Omar Rahman, and a man who reportedly called for replacing the American government with a caliphate. This same Islamic supremacist Siraj Wahhaj is currently promoting ads for the New York subway system to "teach" people about Islam.
-- Abdallah Idris Ali - has been on the board of the American Muslim Council, an organization whose leaders have openly supported terrorist groups, such as Hamas
-- Ihsan Bagby: "we [Muslims] can never be full citizens of this country... because there is no way we can be fully committed to the institutions and ideologies of this country."
-- Zaid Shakir: "Every Muslim who is honest would say, I would like to see America become a Muslim country"
-- CAIR's Nihad Awad - historical supporter of Hamas terrorist group: "I am in support of the Hamas movement"
-- ISNA's Ingrid Mattson - charges that right-wing Christians "are really anti-semitic. They do not like Jews"
Yet ISNA dares to charge others with "hate mongering," while they cannot address their own organizations' statements, speakers, and activities.
ISNA is well aware of the history and criticism of such speakers, and the challenges to ISNA that these individuals represent an Islamic supremacist viewpoint. It is not a surprise to ISNA. ISNA simply does not care. They believe that they can bully public opinion to accept such Islamic supremacist ideologues, like it or not. Moreover, ISNA feels sufficiently empowered to try to silence those who would address the truth about the ISNA organization, such as Steven Emerson.
MPAC also has failed to address its leader's links to publications defending Islamic supremacist terrorist Osama Bin Laden. MPAC spokeswoman Edina Lekovic was managing editor for Al-Talib when it instructed Muslim readers to "defend our brother" Osama bin Laden, and "refer to him as a freedom fighter, someone who has forsaken wealth and power to fight in Allah's cause and speak out against oppressors. We take these stances only to please Allah." Edina Leckovic was named as MPAC's point of contact on a recent article by MPAC praising efforts by the government agencies to create a terror lexicon where the use of "Jihad" would be forbidden.
MPAC has lobbied to remove Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad, and Hizballah from U.S. terrorist group listings. For the past three years, MPAC has had a campaign to attack Steven Emerson. But MPAC is unable to respond to questions about its own organization.
The challenge by groups like ISNA and MPAC is not merely their efforts to silence Steven Emerson. Their challenge is really to any American who dares to speak the truth about Jihad, Islamism, and Islamic supremacism. Groups such as ISNA and MPAC may or may not silence any one individual. But we must make it clear to Islamic supremacists everywhere that they will never silence all of us who will defy the ideology of supremacism that is inimical to our freedoms, our values of equality and liberty, and our nation.