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The Clintons, Abdurahman Alamoudi, and the Myth of @Moderate@ Islam

Monday, 06 November 2000 12:00 AM

He was also revealing the blindness, or rather the willful complicity, of America's political elites, particularly the Clintons, who have welcomed these Islamic "moderates" into our midst and helped raise them to important positions of influence in American life.

As revealed in last Friday's New York Daily News, Alamoudi, shortly before he began to work for the Clinton State Department in 1997 as a "goodwill ambassador" to Muslim countries, told the Islamic Association of Palestine in Chicago on December 29, 1996:

"I think if we are outside this country, we can say oh, Allah, destroy America, but once we are here, our mission in this country is to change it. There is no way for Muslims to be violent in America, no way. We have other means to do it. You can be violent anywhere else but in America."

In other words, whether by violent means from outside our borders or by nonviolent means from within our borders, the aim of Muslims is to destroy America. This message, which presumably Alamoudi delivered to Muslims in other countries as well as here, did not prevent a State Department official from saying this week that Alamoudi has had "overwhelmingly positive evaluations from our missions abroad."

Looking beyond the current flap over Hillary Clinton's return of a $1,000 campaign donation to Alamoudi and of $50,000 to a related Muslim group, the full extent of Alamoudi's relationship with the Clintons, going back several years, has not been widely reported.

As recounted by Steven Emerson in the March 13, 1996, Wall Street Journal, Alamoudi, then the executive director of the American Muslim Council, had repeated high-level contacts with the Clinton White House in late 1995 and early 1996, which happened to be the period immediately preceding the suicide bombings in Israel in early 1996. On November 9, 1995 he met with President Clinton and Vice President Gore at a meeting with 23 Muslim leaders at the White House. On December 8, National Security Adviser Anthony Lake met at the White House with Alamoudi and several board members of the American Muslim Council. On February 8, 1996, Mrs. Clinton wrote a newspaper column based on talking points provided by Alamoudi. And on February 20, 1996 (only a few days before the first Hamas bombing of the Number 18 bus in Jerusalem), Mrs. Clinton had Alamoudi's group draw up the Muslim guest list for a White House reception marking the end of the Muslim holy period of Ramadan, the first time such an event had ever been held at the White House.

Then, after the suicide bombings in Israel by Hamas (which, according to John Kifner in the March 15, 1996, New York Times, received crucial support from the Muslim community in the U.S. whose financial aid included assistance to the families of suicide bombers), President Clinton organized an "anti-terrorism" conference with Middle East Arab leaders, among them the same "moderate" leaders who supported the terrorist groups.

The American Muslim Council's ties with terrorists predated its intensive contacts with the Clinton White House in 1995 and 1996. The AMC had co-sponsored several conferences in the U.S. with a Hamas organization started by Musa Abu Marzuq, the Hamas leader who took responsibility for organizing suicide attacks against Israelis. The AMC had also arranged visits to the U.S. by Middle East militant groups such as the Egyptian Muslim brotherhood, and it also had a "special relationship" with the government of Sudan, which the U.S. had declared a terrorist regime.

Tolerant, "right-thinking" Americans are not supposed to notice any of this. We're not supposed to let the thought enter our heads that this tells us anything about the integrity of the Clintons, or about Israel's prospects for survival, or even about the fate of Western society as a whole, which has admitted millions of Muslim immigrants over the last several decades.

The politically correct line today is that Islamic radicals are only a "tiny minority" among American and other Western Muslims, the overwhelming majority of whom, we are assured over and over, are not extremists.

But even as the so-called moderate Muslims deny that they have any connection with extremists, they always seem to defend those same extremists.

In Steven Emerson's 1995 documentary "Jihad in America," a spokesman for the Islamic Committee for Palestine in Tampa, Florida, told an interviewer that his group had no alliance with terrorists. But when asked about Sheik Abdel-Rahman, the blind cleric who organized the bombing of the World Trade Center in 1993 and who also had spoken at a conference sponsored by this same Tampa group, the spokesman replied that Sheik Rahman was not a terrorist, but a "conservative."

The "moderate" Alamoudi has used a similar logic. When Musa Abu Marzuq was arrested by the FBI in July 1995, Alamoudi said Marzuq had never been involved in terrorism, adding that Marzuq's arrest was an

Even Marzuq used the same defense. When "Sixty Minutes" reporter Steve Croft asked the jailed terrorist, "If a man straps a bomb on his body, gets on a bus and blows himself up along with 30 Israelis, is that terrorism?" Marzuq insisted that

This mind-set, so incomprehensible to Westerners, was on full display on a special segment of the "Charlie Rose" program immediately following the PBS airing of "Jihad in America" in 1995. The documentary included shocking footage of Islamic radical groups in America. Abdul Zindani of Hamas in Brooklyn was seen calling for "killing and finishing off" the "idol worshippers." Muslim radicals were shown meeting in Kansas City, Missouri, and a dozen other Middle American cities, spewing hatred of America and praising murder and terrorist acts.

One videotape of a meeting in New Jersey in 1993 showed Muslims chanting "we want the blood of Jews." In videos of Muslim summer camps in the U.S., young kids were saying "butcher the Jews." A man named Abdulla Azzam was shown speaking in Oklahoma City, Brooklyn, Atlanta, and Lawrence, Kansas, urging holy war against the West.

Instead of denouncing these barbaric calls to violence by American Muslims, the respectable "moderates" on the Charlie Rose panel – Clinton ally Abdurahman Alamoudi among them – all denounced the documentary for provoking anti-Muslim feeling. Alamoudi insisted that Hamas is not a terrorist group. Most amazingly, he and his fellow "moderates" said that Americans should not feel threatened by extremist leaders addressing large Muslim audiences in this country calling for "Jihad of the sword" and chanting "Kill the Jews, kill the Christians."

Attempting to explain away that murderous rhetoric, another well-known "moderate" on the panel, the late Mohammed Mehdi of the American Muslim Committee (a frequent guest on William Buckley's "Firing Line" over the years), said that Muslims habitually use hyperbole, such as "I'll kill your grandfather," but that it doesn't mean anything and people shouldn't take it seriously.

But the ineluctable problem remains: If the members of a certain group routinely engage in or approve of such bloodthirsty threatening language, how can they realistically be expected to be participants in a Western democratic society based on common allegiance to reason and the rule of law?

And how can any Western society survive the inclusion of large numbers of such people in it?

Thanks to the "moderates" themselves, we now understand some basic truths about Muslims, notwithstanding the contemporary notion that it is bigoted and racist to judge the Muslim community as a whole by the "tiny number" of extremists among them.

First, Islamic "moderates" deny that groups like Hamas are terrorists.

Second, Islamic "moderates" deny that preachers and mobs chanting "Kill the Jews, butcher the Christians" should be seen by Americans as a threat.

Third, Islamic "moderates" do not oppose the extremists, but show solidarity with their extremist fellow Muslims; make excuses for them; bitterly denounce American journalists for publicizing the existence of these groups; and, most significantly,

In making this last argument, the "moderates" on the Charlie Rose panel didn't seem to realize what they were revealing about themselves and the community they represent: If opposing Islamic terrorism is anti-Muslim,

The "moderate" Muslims' insistence that Americans must see nothing, say nothing and do nothing about Muslim terrorists in our midst should give us an idea of what life will be like in this country when Muslims achieve real political power here. Thanks to the Clintons in particular and the U.S. political establishment in general, and thanks most of all to America's suicidal immigration policy of the last 35 years, America's quickly growing population of Islamic "moderates" have already started to acquire such power.

Lawrence Auster can be reached at

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He was also revealing the blindness, or rather the willful complicity, of America's political elites, particularly the Clintons, who have welcomed these Islamic moderates into our midst and helped raise them to important positions of influence in American life. As...
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Monday, 06 November 2000 12:00 AM
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