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Islamophobia: McCarthy’s Kansas Case Study Shows It’s Not The Real Problem

Our friend Andrew C. McCarthy, National Review columnist and prosecutor in the first Islamist attack on New York’s World Trade Center posted an interesting and revealing column about how the establishment media continually gets its coverage of Islam and Islamism wrong. 

In March, writes McCarthy, the Islamic Society of Wichita rescinded an invitation to Monzer Taleb, a longtime sympathizer of Hamas, the Palestinian branch of the Muslim Brotherhood and a formally designated terrorist organization under American law. Taleb was to speak at a fundraiser, but the Islamic Society canceled his appearance when community members protested and Representative Mike Pompeo (R., Kan.) publicly Monzer Talebraised questions about the matter.  

The Wichita Eagle covered the controversy. In Mr. McCarthy’s opinion, the paper’s reporting stressed the allegations of “Islamophobia” posited by Islamist sympathizers in reaction to the protests. The paper also focused on what it described as “a trend by anti-government militias of targeting Muslims.”  

The impropriety of a prominent Islamic organization’s decision to give a platform to an apologist for a terrorist organization seemed of, at best, secondary importance to the paper concluded McCarthy.  

Consequently, last Thursday (April 7), he submitted a proposed op-ed to the Wichita Eagle. This weekend, a member of the paper’s editorial board informed him that the paper believed it had adequately covered the matter and therefore had decided to decline his op-ed.  

Here are key excerpts with a link to the full post at the end:

The Muslim Brotherhood and its Palestinian branch, Hamas, which is a terrorist organization and has been formally recognized as such under American law for some 20 years, are on the wrong side of that divide. Representative Mike Pompeo did the people of Kansas — both non-Muslim and Muslim Americans — a great service by calling out the Islamic Society of Wichita (ISW) on its indefensible invitation to Monzer Taleb, a Hamas sympathizer, to speak at a fundraising event. 

As we proved in our terrorism prosecution in the 1990s, communities thus taken over by radicals become hubs for terrorist fundraising, training, and other means of material and moral support. Recent events in Paris and Brussels underscore that violent jihadism thrives in safe-haven communities that sympathize with the terrorists’ aims, or where people who might object are intimidated into silence. It is therefore essential to our national security, and to the ability of pro-American Muslims to practice their faith free from Islamist intimidation, that we identify, marginalize, and reject terrorist sympathizers. Representative Pompeo did just that. 

Monzer Taleb is not a closet Hamas sympathizer. He has been open and notorious in his support for this mass-murder organization that, by its charter, pledges to destroy Israel by violent jihad. As proof in the Holy Land Foundation case demonstrated, Hamas has acted on this pledge since its inception in the late 1980s. The principal activity of the Brotherhood’s network of American Islamist organizations has been to support Hamas. 

The Brotherhood backed Hamas and its intifada through “Palestine Committees” in the West. Taleb was a Palestinian Committee member. He even performed in a band that sang pro-Hamas songs — and, indeed, the band’s leader, Mufid Abdel Qader, was ultimately convicted of providing material support to terrorism and of money laundering. 

While it is gratifying that the ISW rescinded its invitation to Taleb, it is very disturbing that the invitation was extended in the first place. It takes less than three minutes of Internet research to learn about Taleb’s Hamas ties. It is doubtful such research should be necessary since those ties explain his popularity in radical circles. Rather than whining about “Islamophobia,” which only fuels suspicion that the ISW’s leadership is using the Brotherhood playbook, the ISW should alleviate concerns by condemning Hamas. To be clear, this does not mean they should condemn “terrorism” — the Brotherhood is always happy to do this because it rationalizes that Israel is the real terrorist. It means naming names: Hamas. 

Click the link to read Andrew C. McCarthy’s full article “‘Islamophobia’ Is Still Not the Problem: In Kansas, Another Case Study

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