Saturday, September 29, 2007

The Islamist Trojan Horse is already in place

Youssef M. Ibrahim

"We're fighting them there, so we don't have to fight them here" has become a hymn for the American right and an abominable lie to the left. But drowned out by all the noise is the fact that "they" are here already, having landed a long time ago and gotten very busy indeed constructing the American wing of jihad.

Have you watched the Arabic Channel, also known as TAC, which serves the New York region? Probably not, as most New Yorkers neither understand nor speak Arabic. But if you are among the estimated 1 million viewers — legal and illegal, new and old Arabic-speaking immigrants to the tri-state area — who tune in daily to Channel 507 on Time Warner Cable, this is what you can get:
• A daily dose of Islamic jurisprudence from an Egyptian sheik, Amr Khaled, who comes direct from Cairo as TAC's prime advocate of "peaceful jihad," on how the duty of every Arab-American is to become first, second, and only a member of the Muslim Ummah.
• A nightly helping of Syria's CNN-style digest of the world, sent fresh from a Damascus studio where the Iraq war is nothing but an American butchery of Arabs, and the Zionist regime in Jerusalem is just biding its time until it gets what it deserves.
• A sprinkling of Egyptian and Syrian soap operas (though TAC completely avoids footage of "Oriental" dancing and other "infidel" joys of life).

On its Web site, TAC says it is now 14 years old and serves the "Greater New York City Metropolitan area, including Jersey City, Bergen County, N.J., and Mt. Vernon, N.Y." through cable and satellite transmission.

TAC's ownership and funding are, to put it mildly, ambiguous. What is clear is that someone is funding this Islamist Trojan Horse already anchored inside the American fortress.

Another Islamist Trojan vehicle that was once quietly thriving in America — until it was shut down by presidential order in 2001 — is the now infamous Holy Land Foundation, whose recent prosecution by the American government is in its final phase.

At the Holy Land Foundation's trial in U.S. District Court in Dallas, the foundation and its many chapters stand accused of allegedly collecting some $57 million for radical Islamic causes and using the money as direct or indirect donations to the Palestinian Arab terrorist organization Hamas. Among other things, Holy Land is accused of allegedly organizing conferences and festivals with Hamas officials at which anti-Israel skits were performed as small children danced and waved flags. But the process was going on long before the Holy Land termination order and trial. It is naïve to not recognize the fusion between such militant proselytizing and the message spread by TAC.

Seemingly separate but unquestionably part of the same process of spreading militancy among immigrant Arab communities was the Debbie Almontaser episode of the Khalil Gibran School saga, in which what she saw as a benign use of the word "intifada" led to her being forced to quit as the school's principal. Neither Ms. Almontaser's project nor her unstated intention to create a Muslim school in Brooklyn under the guise of multiculturalism took place in a void. The common task among all these organizations and individuals is to instill the notion there are no Arab-Americans, only Muslim Americans.

What follows next, of course, is the "community's" eventual embrace of jihad against the values and policies of the majority infidel. This is what has taken place in Britain among native British subjects of Muslim origin.

For those who do not understand Arabic, of course, there is the new Al-Jazeera in English, whose slick, transplanted British broadcasters and directors are dedicated to expanding the notion that America and Israel are always aggressive and morally wrong.

Al-Jazeera in English is accessible via the Internet and gains greater access every day to satellite dishes and bigger audiences, all of it sponsored by our ally, the government of the tiny emirate Qatar.

While American law enforcement is getting pretty good at spotting violence that emerges in the style of another paramilitary attack, a friend in the national security community in Washington told me that there "are no vehicles nor a body of laws" to stop or monitor that other kind of slow implantation.

Yaroslav Trofimov, a Wall Street Journal correspondent and the author of two impressive books, "Faith at War" and "The Siege of Mecca," travels extensively across the Muslim world and has concluded, among other things: "Often, those with the most bloodthirsty ideas were the well-to-do and the privileged who have had some experience with the West, not the downtrodden and ignorant masses."

Maybe Congress should find a way to legislate asking such well placed outfits as TAC, Holy Land, and the Council on American-Islamic Relations a question: Who, pray tell, are you working for, gentlemen?



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