Congressman Brad Sherman (D-CA), Chairman of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, Subcommittee on Terrorism, Nonproliferation, and Trade, responded yesterday to attempts by the Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC) to discredit a panel on State Department outreach to Islamic groups that appear moderate but which seem likely to be anything but (including MPAC itself). He declared:
“This hearing will go on. We need to make sure that the State Department is not giving U.S. tax dollars to those on the other side in the war on terrorism.” He added “The Muslim Public Affairs Council should apologize for the statements of its executive director on September 11, 2001.”
MPAC, ISNA and a constellation of other radical groups and individuals have been supported by the State Department. Perhaps Thursday’s testimony will signal a turning point, seeing the State Department implement stricter guidelines to avoid past mistakes and embarrassments, which have damaged America’s national security.
It is encouraging to see someone in Sherman’s position take the issue on so fearlessly and directly.
“I think one of the greatest fears of people in the United States is somebody may call you a racist…they may call you an Islamophobe,” he said in the hearing. “And what we’ve seen with some of these organizations is their message is clear: ‘Give us money or we’ll call you an Islamophobe’…that’s what they say to the State Department. What they say to us in Congress is ‘Don’t question the fact that we’re getting money or we’ll call you an Islamophobe.'”
Bravo, Sherman! Read it all: “Emerson Exposes Radical Ties of State Department Outreach Partners,” from IPT News, July 31 (thanks to Looney Tunes).