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Jewish World Review
January 23, 2008
/ 16 Shevat 5768
Frank J. Gaffney, Jr.
It is now a well-established tradition in Washington that
any scandal, no matter how seemingly innocuous, soon is given the suffix
"-gate," establishing a lineal connection to the mother of all scandals,
Well, let me be the first to suggest that a recent scandal in the
Pentagon be known hereafter as "Front-gate" in recognition of the
central role played in the drama by the Islamic Society of North America
(ISNA), an organization designated by the Justice Department as a front
for the Muslim Brotherhood (Ikhwan). With the House and Senate both
back in business this week, Front-gate should be subjected to close
congressional scrutiny since it may involve the most strategically
ominous case of official misconduct since the Clinton Administration's
The Front-gate saga began with the firing last month of
Stephen Coughlin, a Major in the Army Reserves who was working as a
civilian contractor for the Joint Chiefs of Staff when he ran afoul of
one Hashem Islam. Islam is Deputy Secretary of Defense Gordon England's
point-man for the Pentagon outreach to the Muslim community.
Hashem Islam is also evidently an admirer of ISNA. He arranged for
Secretary England to address one of the group's meetings last year a
huge help to an organization reeling from its designation by the Bush
Department of Justice not only as a Brotherhood front but as an
unindicted co-conspirator in a terrorism-financing conspiracy.
According to reporting by the Washington Times' National
Security Correspondent, Bill Gertz, the sacking of Major Coughlin was
precipitated by a sharp disagreement with Mr. Islam over ISNA. The
former had made a serious study of this and other Islamist organizations
as part of a 333-page thesis titled "To Our Great Detriment: Ignoring What Extremists Say About Jihad" prepared for, and recently accepted by, the National Defense Intelligence College.
Based on his analysis of the Islamofascist roots and agenda
of the Muslim Brotherhood, Stephen Coughlin was given to warning his
military audiences that it was no "moderate" organization. For example,
he notes that one of the Ikhwan's most prominent leaders, Sheikh Yousef
Al-Qaradhawi, has declared: "The abduction and killing of Americans in
Iraq is an obligation so as to cause them to leave Iraq immediately."
Coughlin has also studied the evidence submitted by the
government in the Holy Land Foundation trial, including this chilling
passage from a 1991 Muslim Brotherhood memorandum about its mission:
"The Ikwan['s]...work in America is a kind of grand Jihad in eliminating
and destroying the Western civilization from within and 'sabotaging' its
miserable house by their hands and the hands of the believers so that it
is eliminated and Allah's religion is made victorious over all other
Mr. Islam reportedly told the Joint Staff's Coughlin to
soften his criticism of the Brotherhood's ISNA and, when the latter
refused, defamed him as "a Christian zealot with a pen." Some accounts
add that it was a "poison" pen. Since Mr. Coughlin is not giving his
side of the story to the press, it may require a congressional subpoena
to get it properly told.
What is known, however, is that shortly after this exchange,
the Joint Chiefs of Staff did not renew Mr. Coughlin's contract, which
will expire at the end of March. Mr. Gertz reports that the Chiefs
deemed it "too hot" to retain the services of a man widely believed to
be the military's most knowledgeable expert on the Islamist ideology of
Unfortunately, the sacking of Stephen Coughlin is not only a
scandal in its own right. It is a window into a variety of actions that
cry out for congressional investigations. These include:
The true nature, agenda and sources of funding of Muslim
Brotherhood front organizations like the Islamic Society of North
America and the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR). Senator
Jon Kyl convened a most informative Judiciary Committee hearing on the
latter several years ago; it is time for an updated and more
comprehensive review of the subject.
The judgment, if not the loyalties, of those in government who
promote such organizations especially those officials who insist that
Brotherhood fronts be the "go-to" groups for Muslim outreach, to the
exclusion of anti-Islamist Muslims.
The extent of Islamist penetration of the U.S. government.
Such an evaluation should examine, among other things: Muslim military
chaplains recruited and credentialed by Abdurahman Alamoudi, a convicted
felon now serving 23 years in federal prison for terrorism-associated
crimes; Saudi-sponsored travel and indoctrination of armed forces
personnel; any Islamist ties to mosques on military bases like the
Marine Corps' Quantico facility; and "sensitivity" training for FBI
agents by CAIR.
The larger, seditious political-religious-legal agenda the
Islamists call Shariah and its newest, alarming manifestation: "Shariah
Finance" (also doing business around the world as "Islamic banking,"
"ethical finance" or "structured finance"). To his credit, a freshman
representative from Georgia, Republican Paul Broun, last week convened
the first Capitol Hill briefing for House members and staff concerning
this deeply worrisome Trojan horse in Western capital markets, drawing
on research developed by and for the Center for Security Policy.
The needed congressional investigations into Front-gate and
related matters should result not only in a full airing of the
Coughlin-Islam affair. They should ensure that the military is not
denied in time of war the services of so able a student of our enemy,
its motivations and doctrine as Major Coughlin. If anything, as part of
a comprehensive effort to counter the influence operations and
penetration activities of Muslim Brotherhood front organizations,
patriots like Steve Coughlin should be entrusted with even greater
responsibilities by Congress, if not the executive branch.
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JWR contributor Frank J. Gaffney, Jr. heads the Center for Security Policy. Comments by clicking here.
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