Editor’s note: Below is David Horowitz’s speech at CPAC 2011:
Our country finds itself at a troubling crossroads. We confront challenges from forces that are opposed to its very existence as the nation our founders created. These forces are secular and religious and are poised to attack the foundations of our nation both at home and abroad. In facing them conservatives have a special responsibility as a patriotic vanguard dedicated to the principles that have made America what it is, and who are willing to confront the enemies that seek to destroy her.
At home the adversary calls itself a progressive movement but its goal is to transform America into a socialist state, which would mean the destruction of our liberties. For as the founders warned, there is an ineluctable conflict between liberty and equality. You cannot make men equal without taking away their freedom. The founders devised a Constitution designed to thwart what they called “wicked schemes” to take wealth from one segment of the population and distribute it to another.
Our political parties are now divided between those on the left who want to use the state to redistribute wealth and those on the right who want to protect individual liberty, between those who want to expand government and those who want to limit it.
Here is my advice. You cannot defeat the forces who want to expand government merely by arguing that government is wasteful and inefficient and that the private sector accomplishes tasks better. We have already enlisted those who understand the benefits of the private sector. The only argument that will persuade others is the argument that government is destructive and hurts the people it is intended to serve.
I will give you one example. One of the largest government programs that virtually everyone supports is public education. But public education administered by government is destroying the lives of millions of poor and mainly black and Hispanic children every year. Half the children in our urban public schools drop out before they graduate and half of those who do graduate are functionally illiterate. Stop the government from destroying the lives of millions of poor black and Hispanic children by giving full tuition education vouchers to every child. Take government out of the school business. Vouchers are the civil rights movement of the 21st Century. That is an argument that can persuade the unpersuaded.
We are also faced both at home and abroad with an existential enemy in political Islam. Political Islam is a totalitarian movement that seeks to impose Islamic law on the entire world through the seizure of states by stealth and electoral means insofar as possible, and by terror where necessary, and sometimes by a combination of the two. There are hundreds of millions of believers in political Islam, and it is growing force within the Islamic world itself.
In Egypt, 85% of the population is on record approving of the death penalty for apostates who leave Islam. The same people also believe that the death penalty for defectors from the faith is a form of democracy and religious freedom. There is nothing new in this apparent contradiction. Communist totalitarians also worked through the electoral process wherever possible and through violence when necessary. They called the police states and gulags they created “people’s democracies.” The Soviet Constitution was described by its creators and by the progressive movements that defended it as “the most democratic in the world.”
The Muslim Brotherhood, which is the fountainhead of political Islam and has spawned 12 terrorist armies including al-Qaeda and Hamas is a political force in Egypt that is also willing to participate in elections and in the civil institutions of society. The Holy Land Foundation, a creation of the Muslim Brotherhood was the largest Islamic charity in America until it was raided by the FBI and put on trial in Texas for funding Hamas. One of the documents seized in a concealed basement at the Foundation headquarters and put into evidence by the FBI was the Muslim Brotherhood’s plan for America. The stated goal of this plan was to “destroy the American civilization.”
The plan called for building a secret leadership in America and for the creation of a series of Brotherhood front groups that would appear to be participants in America’s democracy until the time came when and where force would be necessary to accomplish the Brotherhood’s goals.
When I read the document, it reminded me of the Communists in America who were on trial for conspiring to overthrow the government, which they surely were, but who described themselves as Jeffersonian democrats. I knew several of them personally, including one who went underground to prosecute the violent revolution. Thanks to the imprudent tolerance of our courts, their convictions were all overturned.
The front groups that the Muslim Brotherhood set up were identified in the captured document. Among them were the Muslim Students Association, the Islamic Society of North America, the Muslim American Society, and the Council on American Islamic Relations or CAIR. The latter was set up to be a so-called civil rights organization whose purpose was to use the American Constitution to advance the Brotherhood’s aims. The Communist Party had several similar fronts, including the Emergency Civil Liberties Committee and the Committee for the Protection of the Foreign Born as well.
The late Mahboob Khan was an American Muslim, a member of the Muslim Brotherhood and one of the founders of the Muslim Students Association. He was also instrumental in creating the Islamic Society of North America. Mahboob Khan’s widow today sits on the board of one of the regional organizations of the Muslim Brotherhood front CAIR.
Mahboob Khan also founded three mosques in California, which preach the totalitarian doctrines of the Brotherhood. In 1993 Mahboob Khan and one of his mosques hosted the “Blind Sheik” Abdul Rahman just two months before the Sheik’s terrorist group blew up the World Trade Center, killing six people and wounding more than a thousand. In 1995 Mahboob Khan and his mosque in Santa Clara, California hosted and held a fund-raiser for Ayaman al-Zawahiri, a member of the Brotherhood and the number two man in al-Qaeda after Osama bin Laden.
The Muslim Brotherhood has been wildly successful in its plan to become part of America’s civil culture and to infiltrate the institutions of America’s civil government, including the White House and both political parties, and the conservative movement as well. Suhail Khan is the proud son of Mahboob Khan and his protégé, as he is also the protégé of the convicted terrorist Abdurahman Alamoudi.
Sponsored by his longtime patron Grover Norquist, who has been a pillar of the conservative movement, Suhail Khan was given a White House appointment in the Bush Administration and facilitated Alamoudi’s access to the president. Suhail then became an Undersecretary of Transportation where he received a top security clearance. With Grover’s support Suhail has also been made a board member of the American Conservative Union and was the moderator of a panel on Religious Liberty yesterday at this event.
Suhail Khan used his offices in the Bush White House with Grover’s connivance to carry water for the terrorist Sami al-Arian in an attempt to ban the use of secret evidence in terrorist trials – a proposal that thanks to Grover’s immense political influence was actually endorsed by President Bush and was only thwarted by the 9/11 terror attacks.
Over the last ten years the influence of the Brotherhood has spread throughout our government. There is nothing new in this sad reality. In 1938 Whittaker Chambers attempted to warn President Roosevelt that one of his White House advisers, Alger Hiss, was a Soviet agent. When Roosevelt was given Chambers’ information, he laughed and disregarded it. Alger Hiss remained as the president’s adviser until the House Un-American Activities Committee flushed him out.
In the midst of the current crisis in Egypt, our biggest ally in the Middle East, both Secretary of State Clinton and the present director of national intelligence have given the Muslim Brotherhood an imprimatur as a peaceful, moderate and democratic organization. FBI directors appear at the annual dinners of CAIR, and the president has appointed members of the Islamic Society of North America to top positions in the Department of Homeland Security.
Frank Gaffney has been the courageous bringer of the bad news about Grover Norquist and Suhail Khan to the board of the American Conservative Union. Many good conservatives on the board have refused to believe the evidence of Suhail Khan’s Brotherhood allegiances and agendas. They are of the opinion that Suhail’s public appearances with Alamoudi and the Muslim Brotherhood fronts took place a decade ago, and that he doesn’t promote violent agendas. I understand this. My parents were Communists in the heyday of Stalin. The Party’s slogan was not “Bring on the dictatorship of the Proletariat” or “Revolution Now.” But that is what they believed. The slogan of the Communist Party was “Peace, Jobs and Democracy.”
As for the question of whether Suhail Khan believes now what he openly said then, my answer is this. When an honest person has been a member of a destructive movement and leaves it, he will feel compelled to repudiate it publicly and to warn others of the dangers it poses. This is a sure test of whether someone has left the Muslim Brotherhood or not.
I urge conservatives to school themselves in the nature of the Muslim Brotherhood and the networks it has spawned. And to be vigilant against its spread into the ranks of the conservative movement and the government of the country they love.
Editor’s Update: See David’s rebuttal to Suhail Khan’s response here.