When I published my commentary “Perry’s Problematic Pals” in the American Thinker Monday, the reaction was swift. I had pointed out that Texas Gov. Rick Perry “is a friend of the Aga Khan, the multimillionaire head of the Ismailis, a Shiite sect of Islam that today proclaims its nonviolence but in ages past was the sect that gave rise to the Assassins,” and that “last March, Perry gave a speech in Dallas in the company of Grover Norquist of Americans for Tax Reform.” In response, detractors emphasized the peacefulness of the Ismailis and criticized me for making so much of Perry’s speaking at the same event with Norquist. But there is more here that reflects poorly on Perry than they realize.
First, Norquist. Yes, all Perry did was give a speech in partnership with Grover Norquist, and promote it on his website. Norquist heads up Americans for Tax Reform, and Perry’s tax-cutting message is redolent of Norquist’s influence. But Norquist also has deep and extensive ties to Islamic supremacists and jihadists, as I showed in the first commentary. That raises legitimate questions about whether or not Perry knows about, or cares about, or even endorses, that activity by Norquist. I certainly would refuse to speak at the same event in partnership with Grover Norquist — let alone promote it on my website. Shouldn’t Rick Perry have, too?
Grover Norquist’s background is no secret. His tax mask has worn thin. It was old five years ago. Grover Norquist is toxic and should be persona non grata in the Republican Party. He is a front for the Muslim Brotherhood. And has been exposed as the recipient of huge donations from a Brotherhood figure who is now in jail for financing terror activity. I don’t want to see a GOP presidential candidate palling around with Grover and his thugs. I want a presidential candidate to declare that he will appoint an attorney general at the Department of Justice who will press forward immediately with the prosecutions of the co-conspirators named in the Holy Land Foundation trial, the largest terror funding trial in our nation’s history. I want a presidential candidate who is unafraid of the stealth jihadists in our midst, and who will vow that he will clean out the infiltrators.
There are legitimate questions about the Aga Khan, also. The Ismailis are peaceful, yes, and the Aga Khan Foundation is an established Islamic charity. But the Aga Khan Fund for Economic Development is also part-owner of the Pakistan-based Bank al-Habib, which Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl’s widow Mariane sued in 2007 for damages relating to its funding of al-Qaida and involvement in the murder of her husband by Islamic jihad terrorists. She dropped the suit later that year without explanation, except to note that the Habib Bank had never answered her charges.
And then on Aug. 26, 2008, the Aga Khan Development Network made a proud announcement: “The Syrian Government and the Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN) yesterday signed three landmark agreements designed to strengthen collaboration in the areas of microfinance, healthcare, and cultural tourism.” Syria’s Prime Minister, Mohamed Naji Al-Otri, and the Aga Khan signed the agreements. The agreements involved recognition of the First Microfinance Institution, or FMFI, part of the Aga Khan Agency for Microfinance, “as the first microfinance institution to operate in the country.” Between 2003 and 2008, it spent $40 million to develop business in Syria.
Investigative reporter Mark Mitchell observes that “the Aga Khan Foundation’s membership and supporters also include top military officers in Syria, such as General Moustapha Sharba, who had a hand in the early stages of the covert nuclear weapons program that Syria was developing with help from North Korea (and probably Iran).” Sharba is in this photo with Ismaili leaders; the full identification of the people pictured is on this page under “82001971.”
The Aga Khan Development Network is doing all this in partnership with the Syrian government that is now firing on its citizens, and for years has allowed the jihad terror groups Hamas and Hezbollah to operate with impunity out of Damascus. Sure, the Ismailis are peaceful. But why shouldn’t there be questions about a candidate’s friendship with the owner of a bank accused of funding al-Qaida (and never exonerated), a man who also does business with the terror-supporting government of Syria?