Middle East studies in the News
Will Obama's Administration Legitimize Islamic Supremacism? [on Ingrid Mattson]
by Jeffrey Imm
In March 2008, I challenged Sen. Barack Obama to expand on his August 2007 comments that terrorists "seek to create a repressive caliphate... To defeat this enemy, we must understand who we are fighting against, and what we are fighting for." In his August 2007 speech, Sen. Obama stated that terrorists "distort Islam."
But Barack Obama never recognized that such an Islamic supremacist caliphate is a central goal of the Islamic supremacist ideology itself. \Moreover, instead of demonstrating an understanding of the enemy and condemning those who support such an Islamic supremacist caliphate, thus far Barack Obama has continued to send signals to legitimize Islamic supremacist supporters.
During his campaign, it was learned that Barack Obama's church had promoted the Islamic supremacist Hamas organization in a church bulletin. During his campaign, Barack Obama had designated WINEP's Dennis Ross as his Mideast advisor; this same Dennis Ross was named as part of a U.S.-Muslim Engagement Project group that issued a report in September 2008 calling for engagement with the Islamic supremacist Muslim Brotherhood whose organization makes establish an Islamic supremacist caliphate part of their goals. The Muslim Brotherhood specifically calls for "Building the Khilafa" and "Mastering the world with Islam." This is the same Islamic supremacist "repressive caliphate" that Barack Obama claimed he was against in August 2007, and this is the same Muslim Brotherhood that has sought to undermine the United States from within.
Now, at Barack Obama's inaugural festivities, Ingrid Mattson, president of the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), will be offering a prayer at the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday morning, attended by the new president and vice-president. This is the same ISNA organization that was listed as an unindicted co-conspirator in the Holy Land Foundation trial (page 8, item VII.3), and that has been linked to the Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas during that trial. This is the same ISNA whose national conventions have included Islamic supremacists as featured speakers with a history of supporting such an Islamic supremacist caliphate, such as Siraj Wahhaj.
This is the same ISNA, whose featured speakers have included:
-- 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
This is the same ISNA that has hosted the Islamic supremacist Hizb-ut-Tahrir, a group that calls such a global caliphate, at such ISNA annual conventions. Ingrid Mattson's "inter-faith" experience includes divisive efforts to portray Christians as being enemies of Jews.
Moreover, as pointed out in Robert Spencer's commentary on Ingrid Mattson's role on the inaugural festivities, "Hamas Inauguration," this is the same Ingrid Mattson who appeared to defend the idea of an Islamic supremacist caliphate in an October 2001 CNN chat by stating that "the overthrowing of the caliphate... was a plan of European powers for many years. This deprived the Muslim world of a stable and centralized authority, and much of the chaos that we're living in today is the result of that."
Is Barack Obama's involvement with Ingrid Mattson and Dennis Ross the direction that Barack Obama plans to take in challenging those who "seek to create a repressive caliphate"? We need to hold Barack Obama responsible for this.
Regarding ISNA's Ingrid Mattson's speaking at Obama inaugural festivities, the Associated Press reported that "Linda Douglass, a spokeswoman for Obama's inaugural committee, would not discuss the case or say whether the committee knew about it. 'She has a stellar reputation in the faith community,' Douglass said Saturday night."
Rejecting Defeatism in Defending Equality and Liberty
When the Washington Times reported the story on Ingrid Mattson's involvement in the Obama inaugural festivities, angry readers voiced their outrage in the comments part of the story online. The Washington Times religion editor, Julia Duin, responded by writing that "Lots of react has come into our site – most of it negative – about Ingrid Mattson, the president of the Islamic Society of North America being given a role. I thought they could have made far worse choices, and Ingrid did preview herself, in a fashion, by appearing at an interfaith panel at the Democratic National Convention."
Certainly, Ms. Duin was correct in that it could have been worse. Instead of the president of an unindicted co-conspirator in terror trial, they could have chosen the head of an indicted terror conspirator, a convicted terrorist, someone from al Qaeda, or even Osama bin Laden. Yes, it could have been "worse." But that is hardly the point, is it?
Sadly, this acceptance of "it could have been worse" mentality provides a snapshot of exactly what is wrong with America today, and what we must dedicate ourselves to changing.
How much of the infiltration by Islamic supremacist appeasers and supporters in our military, law enforcement, foreign policy, counterterrorism community, homeland security, Congress, and our federal government – can be tied back to the slow, defeatist acceptance by too many that "it could have been worse"?
I am certain that Ms. Duin didn't even realize how defeatist her comments were, because defeatism has become so pervasive among many. But we cannot merely shrug our shoulders in acceptance of the gradual assimilation of America and democracy to accepting Islamic supremacism, or tolerate the legitimization of those ideologies that stand against equality and liberty.
In fact, some will always argue it could be worse. But our founding fathers did not look at Britain's tyranny and look to each other and say "it could have been worse," nor did those who confronted Nazi supremacists, nor did those who confronted white supremacists. They did not turn their hands upside down and shrug "it could have been worse."
Despite this, we can expect to hear more "it could have been worse" tolerance of the intolerable when it comes to accepting those associated with and supporting Islamic supremacism. We must not let "it could have been worse" become the epitaph for America's future and the future of equality and liberty.
Because when it comes to appeasing Islamic supremacists who seek to undermine equality and liberty, it couldn't be worse. America is under attack - at the very heart of who and what we are. This is not an attack on our buildings or on our people, but an attack on our identity and our inalienable human rights of equality and liberty.
Our responsibility for equality and liberty means that we can never accept excuses that "it could have been worse." Defeatism is not something those responsible for equality and liberty can accept. Defeatism is not the character of America or Americans. Americans don't accept "it could have been worse," but strive for "it could be the best."
We need a new era in America – of expecting the best, not tolerating the least or accepting the worst. To do this, we need to identify the Islamic supremacist enemy, and expect the best of America and America's leaders to confront Islamic supremacism. Others may embrace defeatism, but not America, and especially not now. We can and will demand the best of America and its leaders, including Barack Obama and his administration. It is our nation, not just our elected representatives' nation; we need to constantly remind them who makes the real decisions in America.
Yes, we can.
Fear No Evil.Note: Articles listed under "Middle East studies in the News" provide information on current developments concerning Middle East studies on North American campuses. These reports do not necessarily reflect the views of Campus Watch and do not necessarily correspond to Campus Watch's critique.
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