Worrisome softness on radical Islam

Ed Lasky
A worrisome portent disturbing attitudes in White House toward radical Islam surfaced yesterday, as an official participates in a broadcast discussion with the type of person who should be shunned.

This past week I wrote a column regarding how Obama chose people with checkered histories as members of his Office of Faith-based Initiatives, and speculated that there was potential that he would use this Office to fulfill a political agenda. After all, a president chooses appointees because they share his ideology and goals.

The column noted that the Office broke precedent and announced a goal to "create a working group of multi-religious and community organizations focused on the Palestinian conflict, to advise officials at the National Security Council and the State Department on a just resolution of the conflict".  

Now comes news that a Muslim member of the Office, Dalia Mogahed,  recently participated by phone in a BBC show hosted by a representative of Hizb uu-Tahrir, a group the State Department has condemned for its anti-Semitic , anti-Western ideology that officials said might generate support for terrorism. During the 45 minute discussion. Jacqueline L. Salmon writes in the Washington Post :
"callers variously condemned democracy, praised sharia law and advocated the restoration of the caliphate -- government inspired by Islamic law".

Mogahed claimed she was misled into participating and did not realize the nature of the group. Well...she is an expert on Islam so that may seem far-fetched. But beyond that point, during the 45 minute promotion of extremism why didn't she just hang up the phone? She claimed she "did not want to do anything dramatic". But by virtue of continuing to participate she did do something dramatic-she raised the credibility and the profile of an extremist anti-Western, anti-Semitic group. Only when her appearance became known in America did she justify her appearance by pleading ignorance and by coming up with a weak excuse why she continued to be on the show.

Keep an eye on this group.
A worrisome portent disturbing attitudes in White House toward radical Islam surfaced yesterday, as an official participates in a broadcast discussion with the type of person who should be shunned.

This past week I wrote a column regarding how Obama chose people with checkered histories as members of his Office of Faith-based Initiatives, and speculated that there was potential that he would use this Office to fulfill a political agenda. After all, a president chooses appointees because they share his ideology and goals.

The column noted that the Office broke precedent and announced a goal to "create a working group of multi-religious and community organizations focused on the Palestinian conflict, to advise officials at the National Security Council and the State Department on a just resolution of the conflict".  

Now comes news that a Muslim member of the Office, Dalia Mogahed,  recently participated by phone in a BBC show hosted by a representative of Hizb uu-Tahrir, a group the State Department has condemned for its anti-Semitic , anti-Western ideology that officials said might generate support for terrorism. During the 45 minute discussion. Jacqueline L. Salmon writes in the Washington Post :
"callers variously condemned democracy, praised sharia law and advocated the restoration of the caliphate -- government inspired by Islamic law".

Mogahed claimed she was misled into participating and did not realize the nature of the group. Well...she is an expert on Islam so that may seem far-fetched. But beyond that point, during the 45 minute promotion of extremism why didn't she just hang up the phone? She claimed she "did not want to do anything dramatic". But by virtue of continuing to participate she did do something dramatic-she raised the credibility and the profile of an extremist anti-Western, anti-Semitic group. Only when her appearance became known in America did she justify her appearance by pleading ignorance and by coming up with a weak excuse why she continued to be on the show.

Keep an eye on this group.