To Vet or Not to Vet Huma Abedin

In light of Rabbi David Saperstein's recent condemnation of Michele Bachmann's concerns about Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's closest aide, Huma Abedin, it is important to offer proof that Bachmann's concerns both are appropriate and are not emblematic of a witch hunt.

This proof is offered in the very detailed-oriented work of Andrew Bostom.  His recent 9,000-word article offers a comprehensive overview of the interlocking ties among Muslim Brotherhood operatives and proves that the Abedin family has very close and personal ties to the Brotherhood.  Thus, an investigation that would include "subpoena power and access to classified materials" is very much in order.

Can the "sins" of a father be visited upon a child?  This seems to be an implicit question swirling around the controversy.  In the case of an individual who will have access to the national security of the United States, it is, indeed, a very salient and critical question.  Furthermore, is there proof that Huma herself was involved in any activity associated with the Muslim Brotherhood?  Has Huma Abedin ever publicly renounced the Muslim Brotherhood or its aims?  Is she prepared to break ties with her very Muslim Brotherhood-connected family members?

Bostom analyzes how for the "past 33 years, Huma Abedin's family has been responsible for the editorial production of a number of journals from the Institute of Muslim Minority Affairs (IMMA)[.]"  All members of the Abedin family have been involved in this enterprise.  In fact, from 1996 to 2008, Huma was on the editorial board!  Recall that since then she has been at the side of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. 

But who are the individuals connected with the IMMA?  Bostom reminds the reader that Dr. Abdullah Omar Nasseef, chairman of the IMMA, is "the President of the Muslim World Congress and the Secretary-General of the International Islamic Council for Da'wa and Relief (IICDR)."  This includes a "large number of affiliated organizations, many of which are associated with the global Muslim Brotherhood, Hamas fundraising, or support for Al Qaeda."

IMMA's executive director, Dr. Ahmad Bahafzallah, served as secretary general of the Muslim World League (MWL).  The Muslim World League as well as the Muslim Brotherhood both espouse the strict Wahhabi form of Islam.  One of the senior Muslim Brotherhood figures, Kermal el-Helbawy, has "demanded the release of the terrorist Omar Abd Al-Rahman a.k.a. the Blind Sheik[,]" who was instrumental in the 1993 World Trade bombing.  El Helbawy's virulently anti-American remarks can be read here

Andrew McCarthy explains that "[i]n the pantheon of Islamic supremacism, there are few positions more critical than secretary general of the Muslim World League. In fact, one of the MWL's founders was Sa'id Ramadan, the right-hand and son-in-law of Hassan al-Banna, the Brotherhood's legendary founder."

Huma's mother, Saleha, has been very involved in the IMMA since its founding in 1979 by her husband Syed Abedin.  She is currently the director and editor-in-chief of the Institute's Journal of Muslim Minority Affairs (JMMA).  In addition, as chairperson of the IICWC or International Islamic Committee for Woman and Child, she is a fierce proponent of sharia law.  She advocates child marriage and female genital mutilation. 

Other board members of the JMMA include Zafar Ishaq Ansari and John Esposito.  Esposito has long been an "academic apologist for jihadism" and has said that Yusuf al-Qaradawi "embodied a reformist interpretation of Islam and its relationship to democracy, pluralism and human rights."  Qaradawi has denounced the United States and supported suicide bombing.  To those unfamiliar with sharia law, see here, and note that democracy and sharia can never be mutually inclusive.  Yet, Saleha Abedin concurs with Esposito's ideology.

Bostom's new source material, drawn from the most current issue of the IMMA journal, now known as the JMMA, highlights the deception and ongoing strategies that Muslim Brotherhood operatives employ in addressing the West.  In the section entitled "Islam Uber Alles and the JMMA Today -- Melding Tendentious 'Victimology' With Sharia Supremacism," Bostom focuses on the following:

  • Jihadists conveniently ignore the entire legacy of aggressive Islamic jihad.
  • Jihadists twist and deliberately misrepresent the ideas of objective analyses of Islam by such pundits as Bernard Lewis and the late Samuel Huntington.
  • Jihadists play upon ignorant Western guilt and call genuine concerns about Muslim terrorism "irrational reactions."
  • Muslim leaders such as Atif S. Siddiqui undermine the objective work of Dutch Orientalist C. Snouck Hurgronje and create "warped critiques" that evade the true character of Islamic terror tactics and global caliphate designs.

Particularly important for Westerners to understand is the linguistic convolutions concerning the concept of freedom in Islam and that of American democracy.  Without knowing this crucial difference, the West continues to make excuses for a sharia-based doctrine that "rejects basic freedom of conscience and expression."  For example, "Hurriyya, Arabic for freedom, and the uniquely Western concept of freedom are completely at odds."  Hurriyya means "being perfect slavery."

Thus, a Muslim must subordinate "his own freedom to the beliefs, morality and customs of the group as the only proper course of behavior."  Western concepts of freedom, liberty, and equality cannot exist in a sharia-dominated society which insists -- in fact, demands -- total compliance to a set of laws that run counter to any independence of thought or action.

Earlier in his paper, Bostom had enumerated the odious punishments for any infraction of sharia law.  Anyone who spurns the absolute truth of Islam can never have equality in the Muslim world.  Dhimmitude status is to be conferred upon them.  One need only read Soeren Kern's dispatches to see how Islam has adversely changed the judicial and religious landscape of Europe. 

Bostom warns his reader not to fall for the notion that Muslims are an oppressed minority.  This concept known as "Fiqh al-Aqalliyyat or Jurisprudence of Muslim Minorities" is really a methodology of aggressively overtaking the non-Muslim societies whose systems "are antithetical" to Islamic law. 

Former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton has asked "[w]hat is wrong with raising the question [concerning Huma Abedin's vetting.]  Why isn't even asking whether we're living up to our standards a legitimate level of congressional oversight?"

It is a particularly apt remark in light of Louay Safi, a Syrian-American Islamic leader who has been actively engaged with groups close to the Obama White House.  Safi has been involved in the Pentagon's Muslim military chaplain program as director of leadership development for the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA).  Safi was also responsible for teaching about Islam to American troops deploying to Afghanistan and Iraq.  Yet ISNA has been named an unindicted co-conspirator in the Holy Land Foundation case, which was the largest terrorism financing trial in American history.

Strange bedfellows, indeed.

Equally disturbing is that at the Global Muslim Brotherhood Daily Report, one learns that Safi became director of the political office of the newly formed Syrian National Council (SNC).  Please note that the Syrian Muslim Brotherhood and its Islamist allies have complete control of the SNC as testified in multiple media reports, including the New York Times.

How, then, does "someone who served as one of the Pentagon's top Islamic advisers turn up as a political leader for the Syrian Muslim Brotherhood front group [emphasis mine] waging a bloody civil war against the Assad regime?  In fact, this August 5, 2012 YouTube video of Cincinnati's Fox 19 Evening News Ben Swann further substantiates the misgivings about Muslim Brotherhood influence.

Safi's ties to the Muslim Brotherhood go back a long time.  In 2002, for example, Safi was working for the "International Institute for Islamic Thought, which was a primary target of a raid by the U.S. Customs Service of the Treasury Department, part of a widespread investigation into a financial empire funded by Saudi money but controlled and operated by U.S. Muslim Brotherhood operatives."

Then, in 2005, Safi was named as an unindicted conspirator at the trial of Sami Al-Arian.  At the time, a wiretap under a top secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act National Security warrant revealed that Safi was worried about how the designation of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PLJ) group would affect Al-Arian's work!  Though these questionable associations about Safi were known, Safi still became one of the Defense Department's two endorsers of Muslim chaplains.

Two years ago, former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich wondered why leaders from the left did not understand that the values they hold dear are in total opposition to sharia law.  Why is no one on the left speaking out against a sharia-based system that would stone gays, would make women second-class citizens, and that would basically bring the world back to the "tangible horrors" of communist totalitarianism but with a religious component? 

Since his 2010 speech, Gingrich has come to the defense of Bachmann and the other House representatives in their quest for a serious and formal congressional investigation regarding the overall extent of Muslim Brotherhood influence operations at all levels of the United States government.  It appears that these few brave representatives understand the machinations of Saleha Abedin, who, like other Muslim Brotherhood operatives, "combines transparent anti-Westernism with Islamic apologetics and triumphalism, disingenuously packaged as [an] ... appeal for 'dialogue and mutual understanding.'"

In reality, it is a form of militant exceptionalism that the West is supposed to accept.

Bostom's probing and "enumerating [of] salient examples that validate the concerns of Representatives Bachmann et al." make it patently clear why further investigation is obligatory.  His additional "bona fide justifications for such an inquiry" reveal the Abedin family's Muslim Brotherhood connections, the Pentagon adviser and jihadist Louay Safi, and the Muslim Brotherhood's "civilizational jihad" motivations" such that it would seem suicidal not to take Bachmann's concerns very, very seriously. 

The Muslim Brotherhood is dedicated to annihilating American values.  Why are we so blithely inviting the fox into the chicken coop?  As Gingrich has stated:

The National Security Five were doing their duty in asking difficult questions designed to make America safer. Their critics represent the kind of willful blindness that increasingly puts America at risk[.] ... Bachmann, Franks, Gohmert, Rooney and Westmoreland are showing a lot more courage than the defenders of timidity, complicity and passivity.

In light of all of the unfolding information, what compelling reason can anyone give as to why Huma Abedin shouldn't be properly vetted and her ties thoroughly investigated?

Eileen can be reached at

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