One of the members of our “Team B” on the aforementioned report on the sharia threat is Patrick Poole, one of the country’s most informed authorities on the Muslim Brotherhood. He has an article at Human Events this morning about ruffled feathers at the Congressional Muslim Staffers Association.
What is the CMSA? As Patrick explains, it’s an internal Hill group organized to assure bipartisan congressional leadership that sharia and Islamist ideology are nothing to fret about. And why shouldn’t our top lawmakers listen to them? After all, CMSA is best known for its Friday services at the Capitol, for which the group brought in to lead prayers none other than Anwar al-Awlaki — the al Qaeda recruiter who ministered to the 9/11 hijackers, inspired the Fort Hood massacre, and may well have had a hand in the attempted Christmas bombing of a airplane in Detroit.
In one video clip of Awlaki leading prayers (the clip was unearthed by Steve Emerson’s Investigative Project on Terrorism), Patrick notes that we see Nihad Awad, a founder of CAIR (the infamous Muslim Brotherhood off-shoot identified by the Justice Department as an unindicted coconspirator in the recent Hamas financing case); Randall “Ismail” Royer, a CAIR official now serving a 20-year sentence after his terrorism conviction; and CMSA founder Jameel Alim Johnson, a one-time chief-of-staff to Rep. Gregory Meeks (D., NY). (Johnson tried in 2007 to arrange an Islamic conference on the Hill that was cancelled by Congress’s sergeant-at-arms when it was determined that some of the Islamists on Johnson’s dance card were known to be on terrorist watch lists.)
The influence of the CMSA raises nary an eyebrow in the halls of government, yet a report suggesting that we might want to take a harder look at the ideology that fuels the threat against our nation is thought controversial. All the more reason why we need the report.