The failure of governments to assist the disenfranchised citizens in Egypt, Lebanon, and the Palestinian territories should be a lesson to the U.S. during the fallout from the disastrous hurricane Katrina. The Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, Hezbollah in Lebanon, and Hamas in Gaza, succeeded mainly because they provided the social, medical and educational services that the local governments failed to deliver.
In countries where governments do not provide adequate infrastructure or social services, not only Muslim countries, but in nations worldwide—terrorist organizations such as FARC in Columbia, Hamas in the Palestinian territories and al Qaeda in Pakistan take advantage of this void to supply those services to people who could not otherwise access them. In return, the people offer allegiance to those terrorist organizations.
Unfortunately, alongside genuinely worthy causes, such as building hospitals, schools and supplying food, money and medical treatment, these groups also pursue their own agenda. Their dual role serves to legitimize and glorify their activities. In Africa, for example, not only do hospitals supported by Islamist organizations serve the needy population (thus enhancing their image in the eyes of the locals) but they also provide an apparently legitimate way to obtain visas and work permits that make it easier for terrorists to infiltrate other countries.
As mighty as the Democrats try to portray George W. Bush, he is not responsible for natural disasters, including hurricane Katrina. In fact, it was under Jimmy Carter’s administration that the Democrats preempted the construction of stronger levees and dams that would have prevented much of the current disaster. It was the responsibility of the state of Louisiana and the city of New Orleans to safeguard their infrastructure, lives and assets. They utterly failed.
“We must foster democratic development in order to provide legitimate avenues for dealing with grievances that otherwise might be exploited by terrorist movements,” said George Soros on September 6, at the Washington D.C. conference on “Terrorism, Security, and America’s Purpose.” Although Mr. Soros is right in principle, his timing could not be worse. Likewise, Louisiana Senator Mary Landrieu complains of “the staggering incompetence of this national government,” as if the Bush Administration alone is responsible for the damage.
These critics undermine the credibility of the U.S. government at a time when it is most needed. In response to Katrina, according to MEMRI, Kuwait Minister of Endowment Muhammad Yousef Al-Mlaifi published an article praising the Hurricane as “One of the Soldiers of Allah” in the daily Al-Siyassa. Noting that the storm was the fifth hurricane to strike the U.S. in one year, he quotes from the Koran: “The disaster will keep striking the unbelievers for what they have done, or it will strike areas close to their territory, until the promise of Allah comes to pass, for, verily, Allah will not fail in His promise.’ [13:31].”
Meanwhile, terrorist sympathizers are using the Hurricane as a means of distributing their propaganda, jobs, money, and Islamist ideology. The Arab American Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC), for example, highlighted a September 6th Department of Homeland Security announcement that, temporarily, it will not sanction employers for hiring storm victims without the appropriate papers required under the Immigration and Nationality Act. Thus, the ADC advertises to Muslim groups this window of opportunity they should exploit – both as job applicants and as employers.
Islamist groups are using the disaster to their advantage in other ways as well. At the same time that they are careful to state that they are not proselytizing, they are encouraged to offer prayers. Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA) is moving very fast: It has recruited 750 volunteers to send to Houston’s Astrodome. ICNA is also sending former relief head Tariq Rahman to visit ICNA’s emergency camps in Baton Rouge and Alexandria, Louisiana. In these two towns alone, ICNA has housed more than 90 families, secured 12 apartments and is obtaining a warehouse for another 150 families, all while supplying meals to all the victims. With Rahman moving in to take over relief operations, ICNA has also outlined a “long term action” plan. The Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) is pledging $10 million to help in relief. And so on. All this activity, while charitable on its face, also fits into the Muslim Brotherhood’s instructions on subversion, as published on its website:
“The movement is flexible enough to allow working under the “Ikhwan” name, under other names, or working according to every country’s circumstances.” In other words—disguise your intentions, and say anything as long as it promotes the Muslim Brotherhood agenda.
Meanwhile the radical Islamist Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) advertises itself – as an expert relief agency, – as well as a new Muslim Hurricane Relief Task Force, “designed to offer information about the American Islamic community’s efforts to aid the victims of Hurricane Katrina.” Not to be outdone, the Muslin Public Affairs Council (MPAC) broadcasts its own donation of $25,000 for victims with “disabilities.”
These examples of “charity” are nothing short of the classic Islamic proselytizing known in the faith as “Dawa.” In English, this roughly translates as “outreach,” but it is an Islamic requirement that all Muslims attract non-Muslims to the “one true faith.” Once again, anything goes.
If the past is prologue, then, as difficult as it is in all the post huricane chaos to monitor subversive behavior and activities, or even to suspect such sedition, it is important to call for awareness to these radical tactics. We have already seen how Islamists have exploited the prison population to advance their cause. Sometimes, charity isn’t really charity at all.