By: Roger Aronoff
Accuracy in Media
The mainstream media never tire of attacking those who warn that the Muslim Brotherhood has established deep ties to the Obama administration and Hillary Clinton. That might just be because the media have forged their own intimate ties to the Muslim Brotherhood group, the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR). Preeminent figures who dare to contradict the narrative of the liberal media, arguing that the greater concern is terrorism or shariah law, not Islamophobia, are regularly cast as conspiracy theorists, and worse, outright racists.
The head of the Center for Security Policy (CSP), Frank Gaffney, has been repeatedly attacked by the media for his message that Americans cannot be forced to yield to shariah. On December 8th he said on CNN that CAIR has “been established in court to be a Muslim Brotherhood front organization” that associates with the Palestinian terrorist organization Hamas.
“The fact that nobody, including your guest recognizes that reality and suggests it’s a conspiracy theory or something to sort of try to obscure it is a scandal,” he told CNN’s Don Lemon. The other guest, Michael Weiss, a senior editor at The Daily Beast, declared that Gaffney’s words were “deranged hysteria masquerading as national security policy,” and likened his rhetoric to McCarthyism.
Each and every presidential candidate should be asked their opinion of the Muslim Brotherhood and its influence on the American government, we urgedback in September. “Should the Muslim Brotherhood be viewed as some benign, moderate organization?” we asked, “Or instead as the organization that spawned Al Qaeda and other significant terrorist organizations?”
“The Investigative Project on Terrorism (IPT) has provided a detailed analysis of several members of the Muslim Brotherhood (MB) who are official advisors to the White House or various agencies within the Executive branch,” we reported. “The question…is whether or not we should care about the influence of the MB on this and other administrations.”
CNN’s Don Lemon falsely maintained that there wasn’t a connection between CAIR and the Muslim Brotherhood. Instead, he broadcast a statement by CAIR Executive Director Nihad Awad.
“Shortly after CAIR’s founding in 1994, Nihad Awad, CAIR’s executive director, was videotaped publicly declaring support for Hamas,” wrote Kyle Shideler for Townhall.
Shideler, the Director of the Threat Information Office (TIO) at Gaffney’s Center for Security Policy, argues that this was a “televised ambush” of Gaffney. You can watch the complete segment at the Breitbart website and decide for yourself.
As Citizens’ Commission on Benghazi (CCB) member and head of the IPT, Steven Emerson, recently pointed out, “CAIR’s connections are not really matters of interpretation” because the FBI has “internal documents” demonstrating its strong ties to terror.
“The FBI read those documents and promptly cut off communication with CAIR ‘until we can resolve whether there continues to be a connection between CAIR or its executives and HAMAS, the FBI does not view CAIR as an appropriate liaison partner,’” writes Emerson. Yet, he observes, The New York Times continues to peddle CAIR’s “garbage.”
The Washington Post also peddles its own garbage about the threat of Islamophobia. Dana Milbank’s December 15 column in The Washington Post focused in part on how “Respectable conservatives long ago abandoned Gaffney, but Trump Made Gaffney Safe Again.” Watch out, conservatives, a “far-right provocateur” such as Gaffney may be influencing the presidential campaigns of Republicans Ben Carson, Carly Fiorina, Rick Santorum and Ted Cruz.
“The killers who plotted and executed the massacre in San Bernardino are no different than Islamic supremacists the world over,” writes Gaffney for the CSP on December 14. “For them, terror is one of the tools used to advance an agenda aimed at imposing worldwide the repressive politico-legal-military code they call shariah and establishing a global Caliphate,” he continues. “Other techniques employed by the granddaddy of all modern jihadist groups, the Muslim Brotherhood, involve more stealthy efforts to penetrate and subvert from within our civil society and governing institutions.”
As we have repeatedly noted, Mr. Milbank is the type of columnist who has built his career upon identifying conservatives that he believes he can belittle at a distance. He emphasizes others’ missteps or alleged hyperbole and conspiracy theories while ignoring his own biases. He makes no effort to challenge Gaffney’s claims about the Muslim Brotherhood, but instead relies on snarky, personal attacks. This plays into the mainstream media’s overall playbook, where the so-called mistakes made by conservative figures are unforgiveable and unforgettable. In Milbank’s world, President Obama, Hillary Clinton, and other liberals, of course, rarely err, but when they do, it is not a reflection on their character.
Neither, apparently, does Milbank err; he links to one of his prior columns that Accuracy in Media has thoroughly debunked.
“In other actions, this friend of GOP presidential candidates [Gaffney] has made allegations about Clinton aide Huma Abedin’s ‘deep personal’ ties to the Muslim Brotherhood and said Abedin (also a Trump target) may have advocated for laws against ‘sharia blasphemy,’” asserts Milbank, linking to his assessment of an “ugly” Heritage Foundation panel on Benghazi.
As we reported last year, Muslim advocate Saba Ahmed attended the Heritage Benghazi panel, after which Milbank accused the panelists of “ugly taunting” following Ahmed’s question. We later exposed Ahmed’s, and Milbank’s, false victimization story.
Mr. Milbank’s article also failed to note at the time that Ahmed ran her own lobbying firm, was a Democratic Party activist, and was close to the Portland, Oregon convicted Christmas tree bomber. Instead, Milbank described her as an American University student, which was also true. More recently she has re-invented herself as the head of something called the Republican Muslim Coalition, which appears to be little more than a website void of any substance. Yet she has made it onto the Fox News Channel’s “Kelly Files” with Megyn Kelly on at least two recent occasions.
Despite the continued misreporting, members of the CCB continue to sound the alarm about the Muslim Brotherhood’s inordinate influence under the leadership of President Obama.
“The Obama administration has already demonstrated its proclivity to side with the wrong party—al-Qaeda and the Muslim Brotherhood—in Libya and Egypt,”write CCB Members Pete Hoekstra and Clare Lopez. “We should not allow ourselves to become drawn into such mistakes again, especially when the ability of the West, Russia and Iran to fully destroy ISIS—or its jihadist ideology—is not entirely clear right now.” Hoekstra is the former chairman of the House Intelligence Committee.
Both CCB members Retired Admiral James “Ace” Lyons and Clare Lopez are with Gaffney’s CSP while simultaneously serving on the Commission. You can watch Admiral Lyons address the issue of the Muslim Brotherhood, after being introduced by Gaffney, at a CSP event. This video has been viewed more than 400,000 times.
Far from a conspiracy theory, the influence of CAIR and the Muslim Brotherhood upon this and future administrations must be confronted head on, whether members of the mainstream media choose to look the other way, or peddle CAIR’s lies.