During his presidential campaign, in an effort to combat the Muslim terrorists, whether from home-grown or from abroad, Donald Trump called for a “total and complete shutdown on Muslims entering the United States,” in addition to an increased surveillance of mosques, which breed hatred toward Americans. In 2016, speaking in Youngstown, Ohio, Trump said that defeating Islamism would require a battle against its underlying ideas: “We must also speak out forcefully against a hateful ideology that provides the breeding ground for violence and terrorism to grow.” He went so far as to say during a CNN interview: “I think Islam hates us.” Trump also vowed to work with genuine Muslim reformers and establish a commission on radical Islam to protect America’s borders from Islamic terrorism. Its proposed mandate included a profound study in order to explain the core convictions of radical Islam, chart how Islamists recruit and deploy jihadists, and to examine political correctness. Three years into his term, what has President Trump done to follow up on these promises?
Trump did implement the 90-Day Travel Ban that was to “temporarily” bar travelers from Iraq, Iran, Sudan, Somalia, Syria, Libya and Yemen. Yet none of those countries is the birthplace of terrorists who committed recent attacks in the United States connected to extremist Islamist ideology, unlike Qatar, Egypt, Pakistan, and as America was reminded with the deadly naval base shooting last Friday, Saudi Arabia — incidentally, the kingdom was the only nation among all the embassies in Washington, D.C. that did not lower its flag on 9/11; then-candidate Donald Tump in 2016 suggested that Saudi Arabia was responsible for the 9/11 tragedies.
Putting aside the Travel Ban or the taking out of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi — something he claims credit for even though in like manner when Obama had Osama bin Laden killed Trump said Obama should not have gotten any recogntion — Trump’s war on Islamism has thus far been rhetoric and reneged propaganda as Islamists have only flourished under his watch, especially because of his love affair with the Saudis and his open support and friendship with Turkish President Recep Erdogan.
From the outset of his presidential inauguration, Trump administration officials have met and continue to embrace prominent Islamist groups and operatives. On the second day of Trump’s presidency, a traditional service held at Washington National Cathedral to mark the inauguration featured a sermon from Mohamed Magid, imam of the All Dulles Area Muslim Society (ADAMS) and former head of the Islamist-founded Islamic Society of North America (ISNA).
It should be known that in 2002 federal agents raided ADAMS because of its involvement in a terror-financing network. In 2007, federal prosecutors named ISNA an unindicted co-conspirator in the largest terror finance case in U.S. history, leading the Justice Department to cancel events at which Magid would be present. Although many observers claim the cleric has since moderated, Magid still works closely with some of America’s most extreme Islamist activists. In 2018, at the ADAMS annual dinner, he hosted and shared the stage with Siraj Wahhaj, the imam of the at-Taqwa mosque in Brooklyn, who has denounced non-Muslims and “Satanic” America, and has advocated jihad and the killing of adulterers. Yet both ISNA and ADAMS continue to enjoy federal contact.
The U.S. Institute of Peace continues to host Magid. Sam Brownback, the administration’s ambassador at large for international religious freedom, and Mark Green, head of the U.S. Agency for International Development, have tweeted their delight upon visiting ADAMS and meeting with Magid. While Brownback and Department of Education officials continue to speak at ISNA events, the Pentagon still requires that clerics applying for its chaplaincy program have secured the endorsement of ISNA — a policy criticized by leading Democratic Party senators Chuck Schumer and Dianne Feinstein as early as 2003.
Fast forward to these past few months, in September the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) held its Faith Based Community Safety and Security Symposium at the White House. Oussama Jammal, secretary general of the Islamist U.S. Council of Muslim Organizations (USCMO) attended, along with representatives of the Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC). They were among 180 participants representing faith-based communities, the federal government, and state and local governments who participated. Vice President Mike Pence spoke at the event — the symposium focused on security at mosques and “other” places of worship in the wake of recent white supremacist terror attacks at mosques and synagogues in America.
As reported by John Rossomando of Investigative Project on Terrorism, in May then-Acting DHS Secretary Kevin McAleenan last May urged that MPAC be included in a Homeland Security Advisory Council’s Subcommittee on Faith-Based Organization Security. A month later, MPAC promised to work with the terrorist-linked Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) and other Islamist groups to formulate mosque safety recommendations to DHS.
In fact, U.S. Customs and Border Protection agreed to send its officers to a training session in October hosted by CAIR’s Chicago chapter. The session “gave an overview of Islamic faith traditions, illustrated the rich diversity of the Muslim community, and delved into the rise of Islamophobia and how bigoted policies, including the Muslim Travel Bans, affect Muslims and other marginalized communities,” CAIR Chicago said in a statement.
Zuhdi Jasser, President of the American Islamic Forum for Democracy (AIFD), said: “We’ve been saying for the past ten years these are the last people the U.S. government should be consulting on matters of mosque security because they are dyed-in-the-wool Islamists … This is a denial of the fact that their Islamism is upstream from that of the more militant Islamism.” Islamist support for militant jihadists in Syria, together with their effort to alienate Muslims from the rest of America, make this evident,” Jasser said.
The aforementioned Jammal’s USCMO is an umbrella group that includes groups with links to the Muslim Brotherhood, including CAIR, American Muslims for Palestine (AMP), the Muslim American Society (MAS), ICNA Relief, Helping Hand Relief and Development (HHRD) and Falls Church, Virginia’s Dar al-Hijrah Islamic Center, all of which have supported terrorists. But they, too, have participated in Trump administration outreach events, such as when U.S. Customs and Border Protection agreed to send its officers to a training session in October hosted by CAIR’s Chicago chapter — the session “gave an overview of Islamic faith traditions, illustrated the rich diversity of the Muslim community, and delved into the rise of Islamophobia and how bigoted policies, including the Muslim Travel Bans, affect Muslims and other marginalized communities,” CAIR Chicago said in a statement.
President Trump’s Special Envoy for the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIL James Jeffrey gave the keynote address at a gala dinner last March sponsored by the Syrian American Council (SAC). The SAC helped convince the U.S. State Department that Salafi jihadists in northern Syria were “moderate.” SAC condemned the Obama administration’s 2012 classification of al-Qaida’s former affiliate Jabhat al-Nusra as a terrorist group.
Many of the SAC’s leaders belonged to the Syrian Muslim Brotherhood, according to Molham al-Droubi, a key Brotherhood leader. A 1992 phone book of the international Muslim Brotherhood seized by federal investigators listed SAC founder Talal Sunbulli as a member. State Department officials also attended a July discussion on Syria co-sponsored by the SAC and the Erdogan-linked Turkish Heritage Organization.
State Department, National Security Council and Department of Defense officials also have met with Mouaz Moustafa, executive director of the Muslim Brotherhood-linked Syrian Emergency Taskforce (SETF), and members of his group. Moustafa advocated that the U.S. embrace a faction called the Islamic Front, an al-Qaida influenced jihadist coalition that sought to replace the Assad regime with an Islamic State. SETF pushed the State Department to engage with the Islamic Front. Obama’s ambassador to Syria, Robert Ford, met with the Islamic Front at the end of 2013.
While Islamists remain the beneficiaries of federal largesse, reformist Muslims do not appear to have been embraced at all despite Trump’s 2016 pledge. Simultaneously, as reformist writer and activist Shireen Qudosi said: “Since Trump’s presidency, American Islamists have been ascending to political power and winning the cultural narrative [such as U.S. Rep. Ilhan Omar] tied to a larger effort to undermine American sovereignty.”
Throughout his presidential campaign Trump promised change on the Islamic front. He even dared state the name of a threat whose very existence the Obama administration preferred to deny. But beyond the welcome change in rhetoric, there has been a consistent lack of action. Yes he has continued his predecessor’s policy in keeping U.S. troops in the Middle East. Yet by simultaneously continuing to seek assistance from “American” Islamist groups, just like Obama, in addition to saliently sustaining that the Saudis act in America’s interest, the Trump administration has given both legitimacy and political clout to those who hate us and seek to undermine Western democratic values, consequently further advocating their theocratic goals of Islamizing our society.
N. B. I invite you to take a look at my book Islam: Religion of Peace? The Violation of Natural Rights and Western Cover-Up. Everything you want to know about Islam and how to confront the Islamization of society is in it.