Michelle Obama and the Muslim Brotherhood
With the news that "[i]nfiltration of the federal government by members of the radical Muslim Brotherhood is worse than some have warned," it should come as no surprise that while Obama has been courting Muslim Brotherhood operatives, his wife has also gotten into the act.
According to the toolkit site,
"[t]he Let's Move! initiative, started by First Lady Michelle Obama, has an ambitious national goal of addressing the challenge of childhood obesity within a generation, so that children born today reach a healthy adulthood. Let's Move! engages every sector impacting the health of children and provides schools, families, and communities with simple tools to help kids be more active, eat better, and get healthy."
"[f]aith-based and neighborhood organizations have a unique and critical role to play in ending childhood obesity and addressing related issues of hunger. Your organizations are trusted leaders in your community, which makes you well-positioned to take action. Children learn many lessons about healthy living and well-being in faith- and community-based settings that set the foundation for their lifestyles as adults.
Let's Move Faith and Communities is designed to help faith-based and neighborhood organizations transform neighborhoods, engage communities, and promote healthy choices."
Consequently, towards the end of July 2011, IRUSA or Islamic Relief USA, "a faith-based disaster relief and development organization, celebrated the inauguration of its Summer Food Service Program ... at the An Nur School in Lanham, Maryland." The White House announced that IRUSA "ha[d] a collaborative partnership with the USDA's Center for Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships and that IRUSA ha[d] pledged to host 50 sites as part of a Michelle Obama initiative."
So while an FBI "agent confirmed that at least three operatives of the Egypt-based Brotherhood -- whose credo is 'Jihad is our way and death in the cause of Allah is our dream' -- have penetrated the Obama administration," the First Lady is now dealing with an organization that boasts of such people as Yaser Haddara who is a member of the IRUSA board since 2006 and its chairman until May 2011.
According to the IRUSA's own site, "Dr. Haddara was one of the developers and lead trainers for the Student Leadership Training Program that was jointly sponsored by the Muslim American Society and the Muslim Association of Canada. Dr. Haddara has been actively involved in several community organizations including the Islamic Society at Stanford University, the Muslim Community Association of the Bay Area, the Islamic Society of North America (Western Region), the Muslim American Society, and the Muslim Association of Canada."
One of the main front organizations of the Muslim Brotherhood, the Islamic Society of North America's "leadership does not accept Islamic practices that fall outside the version of Islam propagated by Saudi Arabia and the Muslim Brotherhood." Furthermore, in addition to terrorism, ... the Muslim Brotherhood [spreads] political Islam, which weds religion and politics into a potent force that clashes with pluralistic democracies."
According to the 2007 report entitled Extremism and the Islamic Society of North America, "ISNA is clearly connected to Islamic radicals and terrorist organizations, but it is not simply guilty by association -- its own ideology is marked by extreme social, political, and religious views."
Hence, "ISNA's ideology is its leaders' views of Islam within the context of religion and politics, where they believe in Islamic supremacy" as exemplified in the following statement: "[i]n considering the earth as an arena for Islam, Allah has promised its inheritance to His righteous people, and He has promised that Islam Will prevail over other religions."
So how does one reconcile this with IRUSA's CEO Abed Ayoub who claims that "IRUSA's mission is to alleviate suffering, hunger, illiteracy, and disease regardless of color, race, gender, or creed"?
Also troubling is the point that "[a]ccording to the most influential Islamic authorities, zakat (alms in Arabic) can be given only to Muslims." So how does this figure in Michelle Obama's outreach program?
Moreover, in January of 2011, Daniel Pipes described how "Islamic 'charities' squander money." He explained how the Islamic Society of North America's Canada branch had engaged in "gross mismanagement" whereby less than one-quarter of monies collected went to the Muslim recipients. Pipes further explained that "ISNA's management refused to give the auditor all the necessary documents" and thus it was not possible to follow "the trail of funds transferred from ISNA to other organizations[.]" Pipes ends his article by stating that "Islamic 'charities' already have a notorious reputation because of their ties to terrorism; this case shows that they must be watched for more venal problems as well."
Further nefarious associations go to the Islamic Relief Worldwide (IRW). IRW has had directors who are linked to the U.K. and European Muslim Brotherhood. One director was a former minister of religious affairs in the Sudan and also held numerous positions associated with the global Muslim Brotherhood. In 2006 the Israeli government announced "the arrest of an IRW worker for activities related to supporting Hamas." Moreover, "Islamic Relief was one of the founding members of the Union of Good." According to Steven Merley of the Hudson Institute, "[t]he Union of Good is a coalition of Islamic charities that provides financial support to both the Hamas 'social' infrastructure, as well as its terrorist activities. It is headed by global Muslim Brotherhood leader Youssef Qaradawi, and most of the trustees and member organizations are associated with the global Muslim Brotherhood. The Union of Good was banned by Israel in 2002 and was recently designated a terrorist entity by the United States[.]"
As far back as 2004, Daniel Pipes described the Muslim American Society (MAS) and explained "how it seeks to replace the Constitution with the Koran." Though the MAS "goes about its work quietly; it is none the less dangerous -- and perhaps more so -- for that."
In August 2010, the Muslim Brotherhood-associated "Coordinating Council of Muslim Organizations" (CCMO) brought Muslim leaders to attend a special workshop presented by the White House and U.S. government agencies (including Homeland Security) to "provide the groups 'funding, government assistance and resources." According to a post by Christine Brim at Andrew Breitbart's Big Peace, "the workshop [would] apparently provide special access for these Muslim Brotherhood organizations: the organizers pledge[d] to provide 'direct access' and 'cut through red tape.' And after the workshop an Iftar dinner (breaking the fast of Ramadan) commenced. The event was announced by the ISNA, an unindicted co-conspirator in the Holy Land Foundation terrorism finance trial."
Notwithstanding the concern about the Muslim Brotherhood connections, Meghan Clyne, editor of National Affairs at the Weekly Standard, asserts that while "[m]uch of what the [Michelle Obama] toolkit recommends is innocuous -- encouraging churches to host kids' intramural sports leagues, for instance. ... several sections illustrate the Obamas' strange understanding of the role of religious communities in America and suggest how, under this president, faith-based offices at the White House and in the agencies have changed their mission and purview."
For Clyne "[m]ost worrisome, ... are the administration's efforts to have congregations place themselves in the service of government as recruiters for the welfare state" ... and "[t]his approach is a marked departure from the original purpose of the White House faith-based initiative. Launched at the outset of President George W. Bush's first term, the initiative was largely intended to allow religious entities to compete on an equal footing with secular ones for grants to deliver social services. When it came to treating addicts, rehabilitating prisoners, mentoring children, sheltering the homeless, and, yes, feeding the hungry, the Bush administration argued that faith-based organizations often had better records of efficiency and compassion than government programs. But rather than reducing the public's dependence on government-run programs by empowering faith-based organizations, [the Obama] White House seems to view churches, synagogues, and so on as tools to increase reliance on programs designed in Washington."
"They're turning this on its head," said Rev. Richard Land, who handles public policy for the Southern Baptist Convention. The wisdom of the original faith-based initiative -- about which he was initially skeptical, Land explains -- was "to have people who live in a zip code making the decisions about what are the best ways to alleviate the problem in that zip code," rather than being pushed to follow some federal initiative. Under the Obama administration, Land said, "the White House says what your priorities should be."
It appears that political strategists in the White House are mindful of the demographics which "serve the President's electoral interests" in this faith-based program. Moreover, is it ever a good "idea for churches to provide platforms for politicians -- or First Ladies" no matter which political party? And, most troubling, "increased dependence on government [ultimately] services the interests of the party that represents big government," leading us farther down the road to less independence and decision-making.
So here's the mix: greater government interference coupled with possible Muslim Brotherhood influence even though the Muslim Brotherhood "is one of the most dangerous Islamic groups in the world today." Is this a recipe for disaster?
Eileen can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.