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Media Matters Wimpy Attack on my Rashad Hussain Article

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Posted on February 22 2010 11:38 am
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Media Matters has criticized my article on FrontPage Magazine about Rashad Hussain, the new envoy to the Organization of the Islamic Conference. Click here for my article and click here for the MM piece.

In their rebuttal, MM lumps me in with Cal Thomas, saying he wrote that Hussain is an anti-American radical that wants to damage or destroy the country. This isn’t quite true. Thomas cites Hussain’s affiliations with Muslim Brotherhood-connected groups in the U.S., and he is describing the ideology of the Muslim Brotherhood—which is indeed extremist and anti-American. He does raise the question about the Brotherhood’s attempts to infiltrate positions of power and says we need to ask ourselves if Hussain is part of that plan, but that is an honest question.

Readers will see that Media Matters doesn’t actually say any of my facts are wrong in the piece, but instead takes me to task for not mentioning the fact that conservatives have spoken at conferences sponsored by the same Brotherhood-connected groups. This was deviating too far from the topic at hand to be included in my article, but to make MM happy, let me say that I think that giving these forums legitimacy by speaking there is wrong unless the speaker uses his time to challenge some of the ideas pushed by the Brotherhood and its affiliates.

I’m actually surprised that MM took issue with my article. As Daveed Gartenstein-Ross  writes in his defense of Hussain, there are writers out there calling him “pro-jihadist.” I do not accuse him of such, and in fact commend him for referring to “Hamas terrorists.” I also note that the Brotherhood-affiliated infrastructure is so vast in the U.S. that it will be difficult to find Muslims to serve in government that haven’t had some interaction with them. Hussain did not hold any senior posts in these groups, and while any affiliation with them should be noted, it would be foolish to assume that everyone that has attended one of their events is a Brotherhood ideologue. Furthermore, Hussain has admitted to defending Sami al-Arian and has described his comments as “ill-conceived.”

My main issue with Hussain is that he advocates aligning with undemocratic Islamic forces so long as they oppose terrorism, which sets the stage for a relationship between the U.S. and the Muslim Brotherhood. Not all extremists agree with Al-Qaeda’s methods, and by voicing such disagreement they seem moderate by comparison. In my view, anyone supporting the establishment of a theocracy is extremist and should not be coddled by the West.

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