“To start, there is no group calling itself the “Muslim Brotherhood” in North America. Instead, a few hundred sophisticated, politically savvy and well-funded supporters in Canada have over the past 50 years created vocal and visible organizations that represent a very small part of the Muslim community.”
– Lorenzo Vidino, director of the program on extremism at George Washington University
The below article covers a presentation at a Canadian Senate committee by Lorenzo Vidino . See our comments following the article excerpt as to the disconnect we see with his message.
Beware of the Muslim Brotherhood, expert warns
From: The Ottawa Citizen
By: Ian Macleod, May 16, 2015
Authorities should be concerned about the unseen hand of the Muslim Brotherhood gripping sections of Canada’s diverse Muslim community, says a U.S. security expert.
The movement has planted its revivalist interpretation of Islam, political ideology and activism among some Muslims here and sees itself as a minder and broker between them and the rest of society, Lorenzo Vidino, who specializes in Islamism and political violence, told the Senate’s national security committee recently.
“They basically aim to be the gatekeepers to Muslim communities, that whenever politicians, governments or the media try to get the Muslim voice, if there were such a thing, they would go through them, sort of the self‑appointed leaders of Muslim communities,” he said.
Vidino is director of the program on extremism at George Washington University and author of The New Muslim Brotherhood in the West (Columbia University Press, 2010). He sees no direct links to terrorism among the group’s western supporters. In fact, some work to prevent violent radicalization, he said.
COMMENT/ANALYSIS: The headline is certainly sound advice, but …..
With that said, the article claims that the Muslim Brotherhood does not actually exist as a group in North America. The cited expert, Lorenzo Vidino, advises that the threat comes from “an informal network where you have strong links based on personal and financial connections, and at the end of the day what matters the most: ideology. They all embrace a certain world view.”
Vidino makes a point of downplaying the threat posed, seeing no direct links to terrorism by western supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood .
This certainly conflicts with well documented past terror funding investigations such as Global Chemical/International Islamic Relief Organization, Benevolence International Foundation , SAAR, and the Holy Land Foundation – all tied to Muslim Brotherhood interests.
Even if fundraising is not considered a direct link, Vidino appears to have overlooked the testimony he provided before the U.S. House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, subcommittee on Terrorism, HUMINT, Analysis, and Counterintelligence on April 13, 2011:
In the United States, argue pessimists, someone like Abdurahman Alamoudi exemplifies this approach. In 1990, upon finishing his graduate studies in Boston, Alamoudi settled in Washington D.C., where he co-founded the American Muslim Council (AMC), a small but influential Muslim Brotherhood-linked lobbying group. Alamoudi soon became a staple of Washington life, establishing good relationships with both Republican and Democratic administrations and even managing to lobby Congress to host, for the first time in history, the opening invocation from an Islamic leader. The Department of Defense put Alamoudi in the powerful position of training and vetting the imams who attend to the religious needs of American Muslims serving in the military. His organization was praised by the FBI as “the most mainstream Muslim group in the United States,” and the State Department appointed him as a goodwill ambassador.
Washington’s establishment considered Alamoudi a successful, representative and moderate Muslim leader who could be a spokesman for the American Muslim community. In 2003, however, this veneer collapsed. An investigation triggered by a routine customs control at London’s Heathrow Airport showed that Alamoudi was involved in a murky al Qaeda-linked plot to assassinate Saudi Crown Prince Abdallah. Alamoudi later pled guilty to all charges and is now serving a 23-year sentence. Wiretaps and recordings that emerged after his arrest showed that Alamoudi had consistently praised al Qaeda, Hamas, and Hezbollah in private and in various public gatherings. Although the height of Alamoudi’s fall make his case unique, critics argue that Alamoudi’s ability in advancing his agenda while displaying a moderate façade when interacting with Western elites is hardly an exception but rather the Brothers’ standard modus operandi.
For most, being involved in an Al Qaeda plot to assassinate someone would certainly be a direct link to terrorism.
In regards to a Muslim Brotherhood presence in North America – or lack there of – the Ottawa Citizen article continues with …
To start, there is no group calling itself the “Muslim Brotherhood” in North America. Instead, a few hundred sophisticated, politically savvy and well-funded supporters in Canada have over the past 50 years created vocal and visible organizations that represent a very small part of the Muslim community. They exert a disproportional influence over mosques, schools and spaces where Muslims come together, said Vidino.
This is a concept Vidino had pushed in a 2011 brief, “The Global Muslim Brotherhood: Myth or Reality“. Relying on information provided by Muslim Brotherhood leaders in Egypt and the Middle East he wrote:
Entities belonging to the “global Muslim Brotherhood” work according to a common vision but in complete operational independence. There are consultations and constant communication, but each is free to pursue its goals as it deems appropriate. Therefore the global Muslim Brotherhood is today most properly identified not as a group or even a loose federation, but simply as an ideological movement, in which different branches choose their own tactics to achieve their short-term goals in complete independence.
This claim ignores the documentation discovered during the Holy Land Foundation investigation that included an organizational phonebook and the Explanatory Memorandum On the General Strategic Goal for the Group in North America , a portion of which reads (we added the bold/underlined):
One: The Memorandum is derived from:
1 – The general strategic goal of the Group in America which was approved by the Shura Council and the Organizational Conference for the year [I987] is “Enablement of Islam in North America, meaning: establishing an effective and a stable Islamic Movement led by the Muslim Brotherhood which adopts Muslims’ causes domestically and globally, and which works to expand the observant Muslim base, aims at unifying and directing Muslims’ efforts, presents Islam as a civilization alternative, and supports the global Islamic State wherever it is”.
The Global Muslim Brotherhood Daily Watch countered the conclusions in Vidino’s 2011 brief with:
Vidino cites no actual evidence for the assertion that the Global Muslim Brotherhood is simply an “ideological movement” whose entities have “complete operational independence.” Even more concerning is that he does cite various proclamations from Brotherhood sources such as self-described foreign minister Youssef Nada or the Muslim Brotherhood website, all of which would have us believe that the Global Muslim Brotherhood is nothing more than “a common way of thinking.” However, it should not have to be repeated that the Brotherhood is, at it heart, a covert organization and their are few reasons to accept and many reasons not to accept their statements about themselves at face value. Where actual evidence exists, it points to a far more sophisticated organizational structure than admitted to by the Muslim Brotherhood itself.
We concur with the Ottawa Citizen headline – not so much the body of the article.
RELATED INTEREST: Report raises concerns of Muslim Brotherhood’s links to Canadian groups – (5/2014)
The “bacon story” will probably not be the last report of a cultural clash in this area of New England.
We indicated in our original report that a quick search did not disclose a mosque/masjid or Islamic center in the town of Winooski. A 2010 census indicated the city population was 7,267. Several days later, Peter Wilson wrote in the American Thinker:
Unfortunately, Winooski is home to a number of Muslims whose religion teaches them that pigs are filthy animals. Like Jules in “Pulp Fiction,” they do not dig on swine.
Winooski’s Muslim population is mainly Somali Bantus, originally black Africans from southeast Africa, brought north by Arab slave traders (but that’s another story). Many Bantus fled to Kenya during the Black Hawk Down period of anarchy in the early 1990s, and in 1999, the United States admitted 12,000 as refugees.
According to the Burlington Free Press, the Vermont Refugee Resettlement Program resettled the majority of Somali refugees in Winooski, which has “a large number of relatively inexpensive rental units near jobs and public transit.” In 2009, “About a third of the students in the Winooski public-school system [were] English language learners… up from about 20 percent of the student population four years ago.” Note that ten years after their arrival, the refugees’ children remain “English language learners.”
A more detailed search on our end disclosed the following:
Somali Bantu Community Association of Vermont, Inc.
325 Main Street, Suite 8
Winooski, VT 05404
Islamic Society of Vermont
Suite 1, 182 Hegeman Ave
Colchester, VT 05446
Vermont Refugee Resettlement Program
462 Hegeman Ave, Suite 101
Colchester, VT 05446
While Wilson’s article focuses on Somali refugees, the area’s Muslim population is more diverse. The town of Colchester is about 5 miles north of Winooski, VT and is the location of the Islamic Society of Vermont and the Vermont Refugee Resettlement Program. According to a 2014 news report, there are about 3,200 Muslims living in Vermont, many being refugees from Bosnia, Iraq, Somalia and Syria. Most arrived under U.S. resettlement programs and reside in Chittenden County, VT. This county includes the cities of Colchester, Winooski, as well as Burlington – the state’s largest city.
Vermont media coverage of the state’s growing Muslim population tends to have a positive spin, usually focusing on cultural diversity. There have been a few exceptions:
• Bosnian refugee Edin Sakoc, 54, of Burlington (a naturalized U.S. citizen) is currently facing charges of lying to immigration authorities about his involvement in war crimes as well as bribery. The Burlington Free Press reported:
A Bosnian war crimes suspect living in Burlington has been accused of trying to bribe people in his homeland who witnessed what he allegedly did, federal prosecutors in Vermont say in a new court filing.
“The government has been informed by some of its Bosnian witnesses that defendant attempted to bribe witnesses through intermediaries for testimony favorable to the defendant,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Eugenia Cowles and Matthew Singer, a senior federal trial attorney in Washington D.C. claim in a motion filed with U.S. District Court in Vermont last week.
Edin Sakoc, 54, is facing charges he lied to immigration officials by denying, when he entered the United States in 2001 as a refugee, that he committed any crimes while in Bosnia.
He also allegedly repeated the lie in 2007 when he applied to become a naturalized U.S. citizen. If found guilty, he could be deported. Sakoc has pleaded not to the charges.
According to court filings, Sakoc raped a Bosnian Serb woman in July 1992, aided in the murders of two elderly men who were under her care and set fire to their family home.
• In 2010 Ali Abdi, a Somali refugee residing in Burlington, was convicted of sexual assault on a 9-year-old girl. Of note is that part of his defense was based on having a “different cultural background”. According to www.wcax.com:
Ali Abdi was sentenced Wednesday to 20 years to life in prison for sexual assault on a 9-year-old girl, despite pleas to the judge from two of his children.
Abdi had taken off during his trial, and was captured out of state. The jury was not told he ran away. He was convicted.
Abdi’s lawyer argued that the case has to be viewed as different from others, because Abdi comes from a different cultural background– he is a Somali Bantu. His lawyer, Erik Smart, told the judge that Abdi fled Somalia and spent 13 years in a refugee camp before arriving in Burlington. Smart says the Somali Bantu community has forgiven Abdi.
“I would venture to say this community views this crime differently than our own community would,” Smart told the court.
Following an appeal, in 2012 a new trial was ordered for Adbi because the Vermont Supreme Court opined that, “a juror might have been influenced by information about Somali culture he found on the Internet.”
• A 2012 article in Seven Days Vermont reported that despite being listed as one of the “safest cities in America”, crime is increasing in the city of Burlington, VT. One of the instances cited:
In one case, a 24-year-old Somali immigrant was robbed and stabbed by his alleged accomplices over their share of the loot from a series of thefts. On August 19, Ahmed Hirmoge stumbled into the Champlain Farms at South Winooski Avenue and Main Street at 4:20 a.m., bloodied from stab wounds. He told the clerk someone had “jumped” him behind the convenience store and took his cellphone, bicycle, leather jacket and $130 in cash.
According to police, Hirmoge said he knew the guys who robbed him: They were all breaking into cars the weekend before and scattered when a Burlington police cruiser rolled by. Hirmoge told police he went to the gas station to “get a drink” and ran into his cohorts there, who collected their share of the “proceeds” by force.
Within hours, police had arrested two teenagers for assault and robbery: Connor Fitzgerald, a 17-year-old high school senior from South Burlington with a tattoo on his neck that reads “wild boy”; and Tam Mai, a 16-year-old with a criminal record that began when he was just 10.
COMMENT/ANALYSIS: As we previously reported, since 2008, refugees from predominately Muslim countries have accounted for over 50 percent of refugee admissions to the U.S. each year. Emergency allocation increases are being requested based on the current situation in Syria and Iraq. It would be a safe assumption that Vermont Refugee Resettlement Program will be handling a share of the future influx of refugees, placing them in the Chittenden County, VT area. The “bacon story” will probably not be the last report of a cultural clash in this area of New England.
We recently reported on a story about Sneakers Bistro and Cafe, a Vermont restaurant that took down an ad for bacon after a Muslim woman complained that it it offended her. The sign read, “Yield for Sneakers Bacon”.
Now several days later, the restaurant is feeling quite a backlash. From USA Today:
A Winooski restaurant’s decision to take down a bacon advertisement has become the center of an online backlash.
“It’s blown up beyond all imagination,” City Manager Katherine “Deac” Decarreau said in an interview Monday.
Last week, Sneakers Bistro and Cafe removed a sign reading “Yield for Sneakers Bacon” from a garden at the Winooski Rotary after a woman who described herself as “a vegan and a member of a Muslim household” called the sign offensive in a post on Front Porch Forum.
“Given the large number of Muslim families in Winooski, as well as many others who do not eat pork for a variety of reasons, it seems unnecessary for this insensitive business sign to be at the city’s main crosswalk,” she wrote. The woman also complained that the sign “clutters an already dangerous crosswalk.”
The volume of negative comments over the decision to remove the sign was apparently significant. The restaurant’s phone voicemail was full early Monday afternoon and the owner found it necessary to remove their Facebook page. In response, an individual apparently not affiliated with Sneakers created a page named, Tell Sneakers Bistro How You Really Feel.
The Burlington Free Press reported:
The restaurant’s reviews on Google and Yelp have also taken a hit, with more than 50 recent one-star reviews referencing the controversy. Some of the Yelp users hail from as far away as California and Hawaii.
In regards to the original complaint about the bacon ad, Decarreau made the statement:
As I read her post, her request came as a vegan, not as a Muslim
** 8/27/2014- FOLLOWUP II
Islamic activists count on this attitude to make inroads towards the goal of reshaping western society to reflect their vision of what it should be.
VERMONT RESTAURANT REMOVES BACON SIGN DUE TO MUSLIM OPPOSITION AND SAFETY CONCERNS
by Michelle Moons, August 23, 2014
Local Winooski, Vermont restaurant Sneakers Bistro has removed a sign that read, “Yield Sneakers Bacon” citing opposition from a Muslim community member and safety concerns.
The sign was put up as part of a city program that allows businesses to post an advertisement in an area where they have helped maintain city flowerbeds. The sign that read “Yield Sneakers Bacon” was removed after a woman, identifying herself as a Muslim, posted in an online community forum, stating she was personally offended by the sign, according to a WPTZ News report. WPTZ wrote that the woman who complained online called the sign “insensitive to those who do not consume pork.”
COMMENT/ANALYSIS: This incident is only a small bump in the news cycle but demonstrates a trend in the U.S.: appeasement of a small Muslim minority. While the restaurant stated that there was also a safety issue involved in the decision to remove the sign, what triggered the removal was a complaint by a Muslim woman. In a broader scope, Islamic activists count on this attitude to make inroads towards the goal of reshaping western society to reflect their vision of what it should be. Once again, political correctness is being used as a weapon.
On a side note, a quick search did not disclose a mosque/masjid or Islamic center in the town of Winooski. Current estimates place the Muslim population in the U.S. at around 0.6%. It would be a safe assumption that it is significantly less in Winooski, Vermont. The 2010 census indicated the city population was 7,267
** 8/26/2014- FOLLOWUP
** 8/27/2014- FOLLOWUP II
As a result the top three spellings alone accounted for the names of 7,445 boys, easily beating the second most popular name Oliver which got just 6,949.
Muhammed Is Britain’s Most Popular Boys Name
By: Andre Walker, 15 Aug 2014
As exclusively reported by Breitbart London last week, Muhammed has been crowned Britain’s most popular boys name in figures published by the Office of National Statistics (ONS) today. The name of the Muslim prophet beat Oliver as the most popular boys name chosen by parents in Britain in 2013.
As a result of the way the statistics are put together, the name does not appear to have won, as the ONS classifies each of the different spellings as a different entry on the list. This means that “Muhammad” came in 15th with 3,499 children but “Mohammed” was 23rd with 2,887 and “Mohammad” was 57th with 1059 given the name.
As a result the top three spellings alone accounted for the names of 7,445 boys, easily beating the second most popular name Oliver which got just 6,949. Also the statistics are only published for the top 100 names, so the even more obscure spellings of Mohammed are likely to push the total even higher.
News that Mohammed is the most popular boys name in Britain was first exclusively reported on Breitbart London following a leak at the ONS last week. At the time, Mohammed was already the most popular boys name in London by some considerable margin.
The scale of the result is likely to leave the public shocked, although much of the mainstream media are expected to focus on the official ONS results. As a result, they will report that Mohammed only came in 15th, ignoring the multiple entries. In previous years, media outlets in Britain have not aggregated the various spellings and have only published the top 20 names, which makes it seem like traditional names remain dominant.
COMMENT/ANALYSIS: Add this to the laundry list of trends changing the face of Britain as Islam gains ground in Western culture.
*While Breitbart is claiming this as an exclusive, it should be noted that U.K.’s MailOnline published a similar report back in 2010.
Carry-on … nothing to see here …. (cough)
Twitter Agrees to Block ‘Blasphemous’ Tweets in Pakistan
From: New York Times
By: Robery Mackey, May 22,2014
At least five times this month, a Pakistani bureaucrat who works from a colonial-era barracks in Karachi, just down the street from the former home of his country’s secularist founder, Mohammed Ali Jinnah, asked Twitter to shield his compatriots from exposure to accounts, tweets or searches of the social network that he described as “blasphemous” or “unethical.”
All five of those requests were honored by the company, meaning that Twitter users in Pakistan can no longer see the content that so disturbed the bureaucrat, Abdul Batin of the Pakistan Telecommunications Authority: crude drawings of the Prophet Muhammad, photographs of burning Qurans, and messages from a handful of anti-Islam bloggers and an American porn star who now attends Duke University.
The blocking of these tweets in Pakistan — in line with the country-specific censorship policy Twitter unveiled in 2012 — is the first time the social network has agreed to withhold content there. A number of the accounts seemed to have been blocked in anticipation of the fourth annual “Everybody Draw Muhammad Day” on May 20.
COMMENT/ANALYSIS: The impact of having a company that is Sharia compliant holding the purse strings is obvious.
CAIR, along with other Muslim groups, complain about
a documentary that might offend visiting Muslims.
Apparently offending 9/11 families is not a concern.
Museum of Islam Planned for Mosque Site Near WTC
By: NBC Los Angeles
On: Wednesday, Apr 30, 2014
The developer who once proposed a mosque and Muslim community center near ground zero now plans a museum devoted to Islam at the same site.
Sharif El-Gamal said in a statement he wants to build a three-story museum “dedicated to exploring the faith of Islam and its arts and culture.”
He said he commissioned French architect Jean Nouvel to design a 5,000-square-foot museum. The building also would include a sanctuary for prayer services and community programs.
It’s unclear how El-Gamal would fund the project.
Spokesman Hank Sheinkopf would only say that El-Gamal would initially finance it himself and hoped to find other benefactors.
No timetable was given.
Buildings at 45 Park Place and 51 Park Place, two blocks from the World Trade Center site, would need to be demolished first.
COMMENT/ANALYSIS: And CAIR, along with other Muslim groups, complain about a documentary that might offend visiting Muslims. Apparently offending 9/11 families is not a concern.
A recent report out of Syria indicates that Senator McCain’s definition of “moderate” may not be in line with the rest of the American public ….
Also seen in the picture is Mouaz Moustafa, an individual that was involved in the Libyan and Egyptian uprisings and appears to work as the good Senator’s handler in navigating the region. More on Moustafa HERE.
As President Obama pushes for support in regards to a military strike against Syria’s Assad regime, Senator McCain has become his cheerleader on the right.
Appearing on the talking head circuit, Senator McCain is proclaiming the Syrian rebels the U.S. is supporting to be “moderate”.
(Robert Spencer provides his opinion on the use of “Allahu Akbar” HERE)
A recent report out of Syria indicates that Senator McCain’s definition of “moderate” may not be in line with the rest of the American public ….
Brutality of Syrian Rebels Posing Dilemma in West
From New York Times
By C. J. CHIVERS, September 5, 2013
The Syrian rebels posed casually, standing over their prisoners with firearms pointed down at the shirtless and terrified men.
The prisoners, seven in all, were captured Syrian soldiers. Five were trussed, their backs marked with red welts. They kept their faces pressed to the dirt as the rebels’ commander recited a bitter revolutionary verse.
“For fifty years, they are companions to corruption,” he said. “We swear to the Lord of the Throne, that this is our oath: We will take revenge.”
The moment the poem ended, the commander, known as “the Uncle,” fired a bullet into the back of the first prisoner’s head. His gunmen followed suit, promptly killing all the men at their feet.
This scene, documented in a video smuggled out of Syria a few days ago by a former rebel who grew disgusted by the killings, offers a dark insight into how many rebels have adopted some of the same brutal and ruthless tactics as the regime they are trying to overthrow.
As the United States debates whether to support the Obama administration’s proposal that Syrian forces should be attacked for using chemical weapons against civilians, this video, shot in April, joins a growing body of evidence of an increasingly criminal environment populated by gangs of highwaymen, kidnappers and killers.
NOTE: the video mentioned in the article can be viewed from the above link – it is very graphic.
COMMENT: Soviet communists had their media proponents in free Europe and the Americas. They were coined “useful idiots”. The Islamists certainly have theirs. The good senator’s judgement should definitely be questioned.
- Meet the Syrian Islamist Organization Controlling Senator McCain’s Agenda (counterjihadreport.com)
- McCain played phone game in Senate (bbc.co.uk)
In an interview with American journalist Jeffrey Goldberg, to be published this week in The Atlantic magazine, King Abdullah of Jordan states:
Stopping the Islamists from winning power was now “our major fight” across the region, he said. He repeatedly mocked the Muslim Brotherhood, the pan-Arab Islamist movement behind the largest opposition party in the Jordanian Parliament and Mr. Morsi’s governing party in Egypt, calling it “a Masonic cult” and “wolves in sheep’s clothing.” And he accused American diplomats of naïveté about their intentions.
Full article can be read at: King Abdullah of Jordan Has Criticism for All Concerned – NYTimes.com.
- His Majesty King Abdullah of Jordan Holds an Audience. (royalcorrespondent.com)
- His Majesty King Abdullah II of Jordan to Meet With President Barack Obama. (royalcorrespondent.com)
Your Houston News
By MELECIO FRANCO, March 18, 2013
A woman who was driven out of her country by radical Islamic forces is now on a personal crusade to warn Americans not to let happen to America what happened to hers.
New York Times bestselling author Brigitte Gabriel spoke on the rise of Islamic radicalism in local communities on March 14 at The Nathaniel Center in Kingwood.
She is the author of “Because They Hate” and “They Must Be Stopped.”
Gabriel explained that she grew up in Lebanon during the time when it was the only Christian nation in the Middle East. Radical Islamic forces invaded the country and she was forced to live in a bomb shelter from the age of eight to 17.
“My only crime was being born a Christian,” she said.
Gabriel recalled that during that time, she did not know if she would die as she went out to fetch water each day from a ditch while watching out for snipers. She said that each day, she and her family members would say good bye to each other as they left their home for food or water because they did not know if it would be the last time they would see each other.
“We would think that America would see what was happening to Christians in Lebanon and come and save us but nobody came,” she said.
Eventually, Gabriel was able to leave Lebanon and go the United States. While her country was taken over by radical Islamic militants, she told the audience that America is also under attack from an enemy within that is using public schools and colleges to indoctrinate children and students to be more accepting of Islam.
“We have a problem when a faith-based group is responsible for over 80 percent of terrorist plots and terrorist attacks in the U.S.,” she said. “The radical minority is driving the agenda.”
COMMENT: Brigitte Gabriel lectures nationally and internationally about terrorism and current affairs. Her website is ACT! for America Education