Today we learn that, months after 9/11, Anwar al Awlaki was invited to speak at the Pentagon so that members of the Secretary of the Army's staff could seek his advice as a "moderate Muslim." Yes, that's the same Anwar al Awlaki who was connected to 3 of the 9/11 hijackers, who would later exchange emails with disgraced US Army Major Nidal Hasan before he murdered his colleagues at Fort Hood, the same Awlaki who would meet with the Christmas Day bomber Omar Farouk Abdulmutallab, and the same Anwar al Awlaki who is now hiding with al Qaeda in Yemen. Awlaki is obviously a lot of things to a lot of people, but he is no moderate.
What does this tell us, aside from the fact that our government can't tell the difference between a moderate and a migraine? It tells us that we need to be much more skeptical of the advice we're receiving from our so-called experts on Islam.
I've just finished reading the January, 2008 guidance on "Terminology to Define Terrorists; Recommendations from American Muslims" from the Office for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties of the Department of Homeland Security. In this guidance, unnamed American Muslims tell the DHS what words should and should not be used to define the forces of Islamic conquest (my terminology, but you are welcome to use it.)
The first question that springs to mind is, what the heck is the DHS’s Office for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties, and how many terrorists have they captured lately? but since I don't really expect any answers to that, I'll go straight to the next question. Who are these experts, and why are we letting them dictate to us the words we can and cannot use to define the people and the ideology dedicated to separating our heads from our bodies?
When our political correctness and our ignorance about Islam prevent us from being able to distinguish between Anwar al Awlaki and Zuhdi Jasser ( a truly moderating influence - his website is http://www.aifdemocracy.org/ ) we have far more important things to worry about than whether describing al Qaeda as an Islamic terrorist organization will insult Muslims. Instead, we should call Islamic conquest what it is, and we should subject so-called experts who want to advise our government to a far more critical eye.
What we have done instead is thrown wide the doors of our government to wolves in moderates' clothing. These infiltrators, thanks to hefty contributions to influential government figures, developed access well in advance of 9/11 and then, after the attacks, offered themselves and their organizations to serve the US government in the cause of "Muslim outreach."
Are you finding this hard to believe? Search the internet for the name Abdul Rahman al Amoudi. You'll find that he enjoyed access to Presidents Clinton and George W. Bush, that he helped establish the Islamic Chaplaincy in the Department of Defense, and acted for years as an advisor to the Pentagon. He even spoke at a prayer service at the Washington National Cathedral in a ceremony honoring those killed in the 9/11 attacks. He was a prominent spokesman for moderate, pro-American Islam.
And oh yeah, he also pled guilty in 2004 to conspiring to kill the (then) Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, to conducting illegal financial transactions with Libya (He was caught with more than $300,000 donated by Qaddafi for the spreading of global jihad.) to gaining US citizenship unlawfully, and to impeding the administration of the IRS.
Al Amoudi is not the only "moderate Muslim advisor" who, after helping the US government shape policy, has turned out to be other than what he claimed. Hesham Islam, who was the senior advisor for International Affairs to Deputy Secretary of Defense Gordon England, was described by the Deputy Secretary as, "my interlocutor," and a man who gave him, "extraordinarily good advice in dealing with countries and people." It was solely that advice, which was instrumental in the firing of US Army Reserve Major Stephen Coughlin, who was the Pentagon's foremost expert on Shariah Law and Islamist doctrine. Only after the firing was it discovered that Mr. Islam had ties to the Muslim Brotherhood, and that he had taken certain artistic liberties, shall we say, when writing his curriculum vitae.
So is it too much to ask who are the experts who contributed to the DHS terminology guidelines? Why are they not named? Do they have ties to the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), or other HAMAS and Muslim Brotherhood-friendly organizations that are dedicated to imposing Shariah by lawsuit, and intimidation? Does their advice empower us and enable us to effectively define and describe our enemies (and I mean our enemies as distinguished from all Muslims) or does it hem us in and deprive us of useful terminology?
I'd love to believe that we're being smart about who we choose to advise us in these important matters, but when I hear about al Awlaki eating lunch at the Pentagon, I have a hard time maintaining my faith.