The Muslim Lobby as an Impediment to the US-Israel Relationship
by Raphael Israeli (July 2010)
Raphael Israeli NER Symposium Nashville from Jerry Gordon on Vimeo.
By the time the bulk of the Muslim immigrants arrived in the US after World War II, the idea of total assimilation which had been sought by their Christian predecessors of half a century earlier, namely absorption of a minority culture into an established Anglo-Saxon dominant ideal, and the new concept grew where the minority only takes on select aspects of the host culture and otherwise retains its original identity.
…non-Muslim Americans are now interested to know Islam. There are a number of signs: libraries have run out of books on Islam and the Middle East… English translations of the Qur’an head the American best-selling list… The Americans are showing increased willingness to convert to Islam since September 11… Thousands of non-Muslim Americans have responded to invitations to visit mosques, resembling the waves of the sea, one after another. All this is happening in a political atmosphere that, at least verbally, encourages non-Muslim Americans’ openness towards Muslims in America and in the Islamic world, as the American President has stated many times in his speeches.
Other Muslim spokesmen knew more details: Nihad Awad, the Chairman of CAIR, told a Saudi Daily that 34,000 Americans had converted to Islam after September 11, the highest rate in the US to date.
Muslims who acted as outside lobbyers in America, like the Saudis, after a brief period of shock and confusion, where they could not shed total responsibility for the incident, soon came to their senses and began to accuse others (Mossad, FBI, the Jews in general and other agencies) of the horror, or to “credit” the US for fully deserving the consequences of those horrifying events. In short, they expect that any incident, even if it reflects badly on Islam, should be fully taken advantage of to generate more “understanding” for Islam, so as to bring in its wake certain accommodations and privileges not granted to others. Thus, they achieve their larger aim to Islamize the public space in the country on any number of levels.
Domestic Muslim Lobbies
While the distinction advanced by some scholars between plain Muslims and “Islamists” is spurious (otherwise all Muslim organizations in the US would have been “Islamist”), inasmuch as Islam presents one set of doctrines, though with different degrees of observance, just like among Christians and Jews, it is important to emphasize that the widespread diffusion of moderate Muslims in America, those who have adapted to the American way of life, does not necessarily mean the concomitant existence of “moderate,” as compared to “extremist” Islam. Moreover, not all those active in Muslim lobbies and seeking to defend Muslim interests are necessarily Muslim “fanatics,” exactly as not all Jews active in AIPAC and other Jewish lobbies can be defined as “extremist” or even “religious” Jews. Their identification with their respective faiths’ interests and their pursuit of activites in this vein often derives from political or ethnic or social or economic or cultural motives. In fact, while part of the activities of the Muslim lobbies, unlike their Jewish counterparts, are geared to facilitate the spread of the faith, much of it is primarily calculated to enhance its stature and ameliorate its image, and especially to improve its political clout, either for its own sake or for countering what is perceived as the “powerful Jewish lobby,” which tends to skew American politics in favor of the Jews and Israel.
Ever since the Arab immigrants in America established their Arab National League (1938-42), and the Institute of Arab American Affairs (1945-50), the plight of the Palestinians became their core issue, after the Balfour Declaration (1917) was made good by the British for creating a national home for the Jews in Palestine. But the calamity of the Holocaust and the legitimation in the US of the Zionist designs soon dwarfed that plight, followed by the creation of Israel and then and its joining the western world against the imminent danger of communism. It was not until after the 1967 Six Day War that a new generation of activists founded the Association of Arab-American University Graduates which became the first organization to provide “accurate information about the Arab world and Arabs in the US, and to educate Arab intellectuals and political leaders about US policies and the US political process, and activism among American Arabs to get them to participate in politics”. It devoted its resources to political lobbying, attacks against defamation of and discrimination against Arabs and Arab-Americans. Other Arab organizations followed, notably ACCESS in Dearborn in 1971. But after the reinforcement of Muslim immigration to the US since the 1950’s, organizations of Muslims, which ultimately subsumed the Arabs, who were Muslim in their majority, mushroomed, including the Muslim Student Association in 1963, the Islamic Society of North America which had subsumed most of the functions of its predecessors in 1982. MPAC and CAIR are much younger- 1988 and 1994, respectively.
The organization was founded in Egypt by Hasan al-Banna in 1928, principally in reaction to the fall of the Ottoman Empire in WW I and the dissolution of the last Caliphate. It unabashedly declared its universal goal of Islamizing the universe, and making the banner of Islam flutter over the entire earth, and has given rise to radical Islamic groups among the Palestinians (Hamas), the Algerians (the Groupes Islamiques Armes), the various Gamaat and Islamic Jihad groups in Egypt, and ultimately the Taliban, al-Qa’ida, Lashkar a-Taiba and other radical and violent terrorist groupings in Asia. Since the 1970’s that tendency has expanded into western democratic countries, whose internal liberalism and tolerance ironically allowed the uninhibited spread of Muslim communities in Europe, America, Canada and Australia. As recently as 2004, Muhammed ‘Akef, the elected Supreme Guide of the Brotherhood, stated in no uncertain terms that he had complete faith that Islam will invade Europe and America, because Islam had logic and a mission. He also admitted that the invasion would not be achieved via bombs and armies, but that the westerners would “fall into the bosom of Islam out of conviction.”
What has become a most formidable Muslim lobby in the US, as part of the “Global Muslim Brotherhood” activities, was founded in 1991 in America. An explanatory memorandum of the “General Strategic Goal of the MB in North America” was promulgated on 22 May, 1991, which stated some goals and provoked some reactions:
1. The process of Muslim settlement is a “civilizatory-Jihadist process with all the word means. The Ikhwan 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 the hands of the Believers so that it is eliminated and Allah’s religion [Islam] is made victorious over all other religions. Without this level of understanding, we are not up to this challenge and have not prepared ourselves for Jihad yet. It is a Muslim’s destiny to perform Jihad and work wherever he is and wherever he lands until the final hour comes.
The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR)
For a long while, the Council whose acronym recalls that of AIPAC, its Israeli counterpart, was thought for many years to have been a partner of the FBI for reaching out to Muslims in the US. But unlike the pro-Israel lobby, which is a wholly American NGO geared to advance Israeli interests of Americans, as visualized by Americans, and for Americans, hence the wide divergence of its membership from all hues of American life, CAIR is comprised principally of Muslims who live in the US, without any particular ethnic affiliation and seeking to advance no specific cause of any country. In this regard, it operates more like the ADL, though the latter does not state in its title its concern with discrimination against Jews while CAIR does spell out its narrow focus on Muslims. Given that the identity of the group it promotes is religious, and that the religion involved is Islam, then at least since September 11, when all the perpetrators of the horror were identified as Muslims, CAIR sensed it had much to defend and much to apologize for.
The Jihadi Ideological Lobby
Most insidious amidst the Muslim efforts to transform the American environment to its liking has been the ideological penetration which is pursued not only via concrete and well-defined chartered organizations like MB and CAIR, but also by means of intangible and amorphic religious ideas and trends, like the Saudi Wahhabis and the Turkish Fethullah Gulen grouping, which exist as undercurrents of religious and political thought and exert their impact through budgets, educational networks, political lobbying and the like. While the Wahhabi current is often co-terminus with the all-powerful Saudi Lobby, the politically clout-less Gulen movement, relies solely on the fringe movements of the Jihadi type which cluster around activists who prefer the long haul with thorough groundwork to pave the way, to superficial and rapid success. In America, as part of what Robert Spencer has called “Stealth Jihad”
Gulen, who has been criticized as a puppet of the Erdogan government, which since its inception in 2002 has been subtracting Turkey from the American orbit and frustrating the American vision of a continuum of “a moderate Islam from the Balkans to Central Asia,” is particularly credited for his thousands of Islamic schools, at all levels, throughout the world and especially in Turkey where they have become a key element in solidifying the Islamic political agenda. For it has transpired that the Movement operates some 85 primary and secondary schools on American soil. The roster of the Gulen schools has been released to the public by the Patriotic Group Act. Those schools are often designated as “science academies” and are concentrated in Texas, Ohio and California, while others are scattered throughout the land, notably in Arizona and Utah, which host charter schools: the Daisy Education Corporation operates three schools in Tucson, under the rubric of the “Sonoran Science Academy,” and in Phoenix it runs an all-level campus with the same name. The Tucson Weekly published a report at the end of 2009 noting that the Sonoran Science Academy had been named the “charter school of the year” by the Arizona Charter School Association, but one dismayed parent, speaking for other parents too, who declined identification for fear of being intimidated by the Gulen movement, said they believed that the school had a hidden agenda to promote Gulen’s brand of Turkish nationalism.
In early 2009, the Beehive Science and Technology Academy, a high school in Salt Lake City, was similarly investigated by the Salt Lake Tribune, where it was reported that the Utah State Charter Board began the inquiry after following complaints from an alarmed parent that while the schools offered a regular program, they also had another mission – to promote certain Islamic beliefs. The inquiry also pointed to questionable financial transactions and hiring practices as proof of the school’s covert ties to Turkish Muslim preacher Fethullah Gulen. The Beehive Principal, Muhammet Frank Erdogan in Salt Lake City admitted such links for his school, and the Tribune found that many of the school’s teachers and founders supported Gulen’s ideals. A history teacher, Adam Kuntz, wished to teach the Holocaust in a WW II class, while the Principal wanted him to revise the plan, based on his questioning the conventional accounts of genocide. A parent, Kelly Wayment, was removed from the school board after he emailed other parents on the Gulen influence at school. He also complained that the teachers tended to be from Turkey and Central Asia, living on working visas in the US. Many are now asking how the Turks succeed in establishing this educational foothold in America, and in introducing religious and political indoctrination there.
As Spencer has pointed out, the teachings of Islam include the mandate to wage violent Jihad against unbelievers, but violence can be temporarily be set aside for strategic reasons, as “medicine for a particular time,” according to the vocabulary of the Jihadists. So, soft ways like indoctrination, “education,” propaganda and the like do not have to be regarded as an ideally elected way to persuade others by gentle means, something which would sound reasonable to western ears, but a pragmatic adaptation to an environment which is instinctively averse to coercive methods and would have otherwise rejected them out of hand. In other words, the means to apply Jihadi activities and to attain Islamic goals are not judged by their moral worth or unworthiness, but by their strategic desirability and tactical feasibility. They are working to introduce, gradually and in imperceptible ways, the hegemony of Islamic law into American society, expecting Americans to accommodate it without protest. Of course, they use the pretext of “Islamophobia” to demand “civil rights” for Muslims, thus transforming pluralistic and tolerant western societies into Muslim states, and using the high standards of equality, freedom of conscience, speech and assembly to take over those very notions and curtail them once they monopolize them.
Much of the activity and financial resources needed for soft Jihad, and indirectly in terrorism in America, are focused around the SAAR Network, which encompasses a complex corporate web of companies, “charities” and non-profit associations, sometimes also referred to as the SAFA group. The Network handles large-scale money laundering by terrorist organizations and social organizations with overlapping financial assets and executive personnel, seemingly deliberately designed to mislead and delude, and in that regard it controls the most sophisticated terror-funding mechanisms in the US. SAAR originated with a group of foreign Muslim scholars, businessmen and scientists from the Middle East and Asia who gathered in the US in the mid-80s. It was born in Virginia in 1983, but dissolved in 2000, to be replaced by SAFA Trust which is run by many who had been affiliated with SAAR. Federal investigations, according to Emerson, have found that about a hundred non-profit organizations, interrelated through corporate officers and holding companies, have entered in subsidiary relationships to facilitate the funding of terrorist organizations. Most of those organizations have the same individuals at their helms – specifically Middle Eastern nationals in Virginia with ties to radical Islamic groups that have been accused of fostering radicalism and supporting terrorist goals like that of the Hamas.
The Foreign Muslim Lobby
Underlying the activity of the Muslim lobby in the US has been the American widespread, if unjustified, self-accusing feeling that America must have perpetrated some horrifying deed against Muslims to make them hate Americans enough to obliterate so many of them on that day of September 2001. The apologetic stance adopted by many liberals and intellectuals in this respect only enhanced the daring of international Islam to advance more demands for repentance and redress, in an audacious reversal of turning the victims of terror to the culprits and its perpetrators to the “peaceful” party thereof. It is in that campaign of “peace,” which Robert Spencer refers to in his book, Stealth Jihad: How Radical Islam is Subverting America Without Guns of Bombs, where the danger of the Muslim lobby lies.
Saudi Arabia has been exploiting its new stature by imposing more audaciously its school curriculum and extremist Wahhabi mosque literature on the US arena, without an adequate American reaction, since the Saudi lobby has effectively silenced the American resistance. Thus, anti-Israel and anti-Jewish Saudi hate ideology has invaded American mosques and religious Muslim schools. A recent updated report by Nina Shea and Talal Eid
Pardoxically, Saudi Arabia’s enhanced open role on the “educational” and propaganda fronts in the US has also caused that country to be designated by the Obama Administration as one of the 14 countries whose nationals will face additional searches in airports, and whose past record had put it on the State Department black list for engaging in egregious violations, but the US has also invoked a “national interest” waiver on any actions (including sanctions), giving the Saudi state a free pass. Of course, both parties can claim in their defense that Riyad has itself been fighting terrorists, and in that she is the closest Arab ally of the US, so how can it be included in that list? The only problem is that “education” and indoctrination are ignored by official US agencies as “non-violent incitement” though they are recognized by all experts and security agencies as primary inducements to terrorist acts. So, Saudi “educational” programs in Saudi Arabia and worldwide continue unabated, though with some amendments, and are expanding with new facilities to open in Ireland and France, and enlarge the Islamic Saudi Academy in northern Virginia and the Khalil Jubran Academy in Brooklyn.
The Academic Lobby
A combination of the domestic lobby, with the tens of thousands of American Muslim students, studying or otherwise busy on campuses across the US, and of the additional tens of thousands of foreign Muslim students on the same campuses, creates not only an opportunity for both sorts of scholars to meet, to reinforce each other, to organize politically in force, and to ally on campus with anti-Semites or extreme leftists hostile to Israel and Jews, but also brings them under the one umbrella of the Muslim Student Association, usually financed by Saudi Arabia or other rich Arab states. Anyone who has experienced the activities of such Associations, the amount of energy, funds and planning they invest in luring neutral students to their camp and their militant colleagues to more forceful and more vociferous events, and the food catering, attention to detail, personal treatment of the ingathered and the forging of recurrent contacts with them, has come to appreciate the scope and the depth of this endeavor. A usually articulate guest speaker: a religious Muslim scholar, either immigrant to the US or naturalized, a successful Muslim businessman in the US, a diplomat or a scholar in a field where he excelled, are produced to the audience of students to both deliver his speech and answer questions. Muslim students stand guard at the exit, both to prevent disturbances and to take leave of the departing guests and ensuring their return to other events.
Exemplary of activities among academics, where young students are malleable and ready to try various new experiences, and often pick the cause of the underdog and identify with it, has been the intensive efforts made by Muslims on campuses right after September 11, to regain the hearts of their fellow Americans, by playing the victims of the situation instead of its perpetrators. Many of the Muslim academic lobbyists who are in this apologetic situation, cite “moral” arguments to encourage guilt among western intellectuals and civil rights activists who are sensitive to human rights issues. Thy invoke notions of humanity, freedom, democracy, equality and compassion, which ring familiar bells in liberal ears, and produce an inordinate amount of self-flagellation, remorse and self-inflicted guilt among naïve and well-meaning souls who do not comprehend that these very terms and notions mean different things to those who utter them, and are used only to subvert western conscience. This tactic works, because there are not a few Americans who cultivate their sense of guilt to the point of adopting the Muslim point of view lock, stock and barrel, militate for it at the detriment of their own national interests, apologize for their past deeds, express their dismay at their government’s policies and unwittingly mobilize their professional authority and human sensitivity in the service of the enemies of their own civilization, country and interests. As a consequence, they begin to speak of their own government as “imperialistic,” of their economy and international trade as “exploitative,” of their culture as “arrogant,” and of their sworn enemies as “kind,” “co-operative” “underdogs” who deserve sympathy, “victims” who merit redress, and as members of a worthy and misunderstood civilization. This is dhimmitude at its “best,” namely taking blows and punches and showing sycophantic gratitude for them.
Naturally, Muslim militants not only find solace and encouragement in these words of support from within their perceived enemies ranks, but also view them as “proofs” that their messages are being absorbed by their detractors, and that the time will come when the latter will see the light and convert to Islam. Instructive in this regard are the words of Dr Fatihi, a member of the faculty of The Harvard School of Medicine, who, following the September 11 drama, reported to the Arabic Press the following:
From day one, the media began hinting that Muslim and Arab hands were behind the event. We convened an emergency meeting of the Islamic Center in Boston and decided to organize blood donations, to be covered by the media… We all tried to hang on to any bit of information that would distance this criminal act from Muslim and Arab hands… For we wanted to prove our humanity, as we were attacked on all sides, and we were afraid that our preaching for Allah was set back 50 years in the US and the entire world…
On Saturday the 15th of September I took my wife and children to the largest church in Boston at Copley Square, to represent Islam there, at the invitation of Boston senators…We were welcomed as if we were foreign ambassadors… The senior priest defended Islam in his sermon and introduced me to the audience as the representative of the Muslim Association of Boston. Following the sermon, I read a statement of the heads of the Muslim religion who condemned the events [not the perpetrators], and explained the principles of Islam and its sublime teachings…
After that, I read translations into English of verses from the Qur’an… Those were moments I shall never forget, because the entire audience broke in tears when they heard the Words of Allah… One of them told me: ’I do not understand Arabic, but what you said certainly sounded like the words of Allah.’ Another woman left a note in my hand upon leaving the church in tears. It said: ’Forgive us for our past and present. Please continue to sermonize to us.’ Another person, also in tears, stood at the gate of the church and said: ’You are just like us, nay, better!’
On Sunday, 16 September, we issued an invitation to the public to visit the Islamic Center that lay between Harvard and MIT. We expected 100 visitors , but we had 1,000…, including University professors, priests, who were invited to speak, and all of them expressed solidarity with the Muslims [not with their victims]… There were many questions from the public who wanted to understand the teachings of Islam, not one of them was hostile. On the contrary, they were in tears when they heard about the lofty principles of Islam. Many of them had only heard of Islam through the incitement of the media. I was invited to repeat the same at another gathering in the church the same day, and the sights were the same…
On Thursday, a delegation of 300 Professors and students from Harvard, accompanied by the American Ambassador to Vienna, undertook a visit of the Islamic Center. They sat on the floor of the mosque… WE talked to them, explained Islam and cleared it from the suspicions that had been attached to it. I once again read from the Qur’an and their eyes filled with tears. Many of them were so excited that they asked to participate in the weekly classes that the Center holds for non-Muslims. Friday, 21st September, A Muslim delegation convened for a closed meeting with the Governor of Massachussetts, where the introduction of Islam into school curriculi was discussed, so as to avert racism against Islam, which originates from American ignorance of the Islamic faith…
This is an example of what is happening today in Boston and other American cities. Our proselytizing not only was not set back 50 years as we had feared, but those 11 days that have elapsed since September 11, were the equivalent of 11 years of proselytizing. I am writing to you today with full confidence that Islam will expand all over America and the entire world, Allah Willing, because the world is all too eager to know Islam.
In spite of campaigns of distortion launched by the Zionist lobby, which mobilizes many of the media to its service, there are signs that our intensive educational campaign is bearing fruit. For example, the number of converts has doubled since September 11… and many non-Muslims have evinced solidarity with Muslims in American universities. For example, dozens of non-Muslim female students at Wayne University have worn the veil in solidarity with Muslim students on campus and elsewhere…
Jewish organizations have called upon us to open dialogue with them, because they are afraid of the Christian-Muslim dialogue in churches, mosques and campuses. There are already positive fruits to the Christian-Muslim dialogue: a radio station has broadcast a sympathetic program about the suffering of the Palestinians…something that angered the Jews and they decided to boycott it, which in turn increased the pro-Muslim coverage… For example, the station interviewed young American female students who converted to Islam, through the efforts of the Boston Islamic Association… They hold advanced degrees from the Boston and Harvard universities, and they spoke about the greatness and might of Islam and the sublime status of women in Islam, which prompted their conversion into the faith.
Thus, the Muslim community in America in general, and Boston in particular, has become perplexing to the Zionist lobby. In fact, what the Qur’an said about them is true: ”They will be humiliated wherever they are found, unless they are protected under a Covenant with Allah… They have incurred Allah’s wrath and they have been affected with misery. That is because they have continuously rejected the Signs of Allah and were after slaying the Prophets without just cause, and this resulted from their disobedience and their habit of transgression.”Conclusions
While the Jewish lobby in the US has been seeking American interest and Israeli interest as part of the larger American one, the Muslim lobby has posted as its stated goal to prefer its interest over the American one, often to the latter’s detriment. While Jews regard themselves as part and parcel of America and contribute handily to its political, social, cultural and economic life, many Muslims view their presence there as an avant garde of a Muslim takeover, and therefore they act to weaken America and undermine it, in order to eventually destroy it and substitute for it their Muslim regime.
Jews regard America as the forefront of progress, democracy and freedom, but Muslims, as reflected in their organizations’ platforms, regard America as the pinnacle of retrogression, corruption and oppression, hence the need to fight it and obliterate it.
But while the Jews have only little and insignificant Israel to count on to accomplish their constructive and positive goals, the Muslims can rely on a vast Muslim, diversified and powerful world, rich with petroleum and petro-dollars, with intrigue and pipedreams, with Jihad and aggression, to sustain them in their destructive and subversive objectives.
It is incomparably easier for the Israeli Lobby in the US to gain the sympathy and the confidence of the American public and of policy and opinion makers, than can the Muslim Lobby ever dream to achieve. And that, not only due to the vast common grounds of democratic and liberal norms which unite both countries, and the Judaeo – Christian background which they share, but mainly due to the infallible reliability of Israel as an ally of the US under any circumstance. We remember the unfolding of the Iraq War, when such “allies” as Saudi Arabia, which was rescued from occupation by Iraq only a decade earlier, suddenly could not allow its American rescuers to use their air bases on Saudi land against a “brotherly Arab state,” or Turkey who had provided the main bases against Iraq during the Gulf War, suddenly turning sour under the Islamic regime of Erdogan, and refusing to open a second front from its territory, which was to shorten the war and save American lives. In a dire time of need, the US had to forego the second front from her NATO Ally’s territory and to compress all her forces in tiny Kuwait. But Israel allowed during those very hours the deployment of American troops on its land and the stockpiling of American weapons in its depots. In this vein, Israel’s invaluable technological advances have benefited America’s arms industries.
As long as the US is dependent on oil, both positively to fuel its industry and that of its allies, and negatively to prevent its takeover by rivals like China, the US will continue to turn a blind eye to the violations of human rights which radiate from Saudi Arabia and to the subversive Islamic revolution that is fed by the Wahhabi and other
One ought to heed Youssef Ibrahim’s warning regarding the Muslim-Saudi lobby in the US.
 Al-Hayat, (London) 11 November, 2001, MEMRI. Ibid.
 Al-Ayyam (London), 12 November, 2001.
 Anny Bakalian and Mehdi Bozorgmehr, Backlash 9/11: Middle Eastern and Muslim Americans Respond,
 Robert Spencer, Stealth Jihad, Regnery Publishing, Inc., Wash DC, 2009, pp. 16-18.
 Steven Emerson, Jihad Incorporated : A Guide to Militant Islam in the US, Prometheus Books, N.Y. 2006, pp.434ff .
 Robert Spencer, Stealth Jihad, Regnery Publishing, Inc., Wash DC, 2009, pp20-25.
 Robert Spencer, Stealth Jihad, Regnery Publishing, Inc., Wash DC, 2009.
 Robert Spencer, Stealth Jihad, Regnery Publishing, Inc., Wash DC, 2009, pp. 209-212
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