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Taking care of it is exactly what Kelly and Bloomberg did. Kelly, who appeared in the film after agreeing to do an interview in 2007 with the film’s director, Erik Worth, acknowledged last Tuesday through spokesman Deputy Commissioner Paul J. Browne that he had “personally cooperated” with the film-maker. Brown had originally told the NY Times that Kelly’s participation consisted of old interview clips. The film’s producer, Raphael Shore, emailed the newspaper, detailing Kelly’s cooperation in a 90-minute interview on March 19, 2007. Browne then revised his story, noting that he himself “recommended in February 2007 that Commissioner Kelly be interviewed.”
Yet Kelly apparently couldn’t handle the political pressure inveighed against him, pressure from Muslim civil rights groups (including CAIR) demanding his resignation from the force. Nihad Awad, national director of CAIR, contended Kelly has “disqualified” himself from leading the NYPD. “As leaders of the nation’s largest police department, Commissioner Kelly and Deputy Commissioner Browne’s actions set a tone for relations with law enforcement that impact American Muslims nationwide,” Awad said. “It’s time for change.” As a result, Kelly disavowed his participation in the film. “Commissioner Kelly told me today that the video was objectionable,” explained Browne, “and that he should not have agreed to the interview five years ago, when I recommended it.”
Undoubtedly influencing Kelly’s decision was see-no-Islamist-evil Mayor Michael Bloomberg. Bloomberg explained that whoever showed the film to police during training “exercised some terrible judgment,” and he vowed to find out who it was. A police sergeant who reportedly made the decision to play it has been reprimanded.
Dr. Jasser is incensed by such political capitulation to the likes of CAIR and its leftist enablers: “I participated in the documentary because we Muslims need to have a true jihad against the radicals who seek to hijack our faith. In this country, millions of us cannot be represented by any single leader or lobby; we are far too ideologically diverse. Political Islam is the lifeblood of groups like CAIR; they will never publicly acknowledge its incompatibility with western liberalism and Americanism. Were Americans ever to finally become educated to the slippery slope between nonviolent Islamism (political Islam) and Islamist militancy, the legitimacy of these Muslim-Brotherhood-legacy groups would evaporate. In fact, many of us who have long sought to take on the Islamist establishment in America formed the American Islamic Leadership Coalition, a group Mayor Bloomberg and the Times would do well to reach out to in the future before trying to apostatize any movies narrated by observant Muslims.”
This is the crux of the issue. For years, CAIR has been granted the greatly undeserved status of “official spokesmen” for the Muslim community at large. That they have remained so in light of their status as an unindicted co-conspirator in the Holy Land Foundation case is appalling. Even more appalling is the fact that the Eric Holder-led Department of Justice declined to pursue further investigations against the 246 individuals and organizations named as unindicted co-conspirators in United States v. Holy Land Foundation–specifically the CAIR and its co-founder, Omar Ahmad, along with the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) and the North American Islamic Trust (NAIT).
Why are we attempting to “build bridges” with suspect Muslim organizations while legitimately pro-American Muslim organizations remain marginalized? Dr. Jasser has the answer. “One of the chief ways that radical Islamists across the globe silence anti-Islamist Muslims is to publicly push them outside of Islam, to declare them non-Muslims, not part of the community (ummah), and so subject them to takfir (declaring them apostates). That is what the vicious distortions about this film do to my work and the work of so many others within the House of Islam who are trying to publicly take on the American Islamist establishment.”
Political statesman Edmund Burke said “all that is necessary for triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.” Dr. M. Zuhdi Jasser and the American Islamic Forum for Democracy are attempting to do something, as in illuminate both the problem of, and the solution to, the West’s relationship with Islam. That he remains a relatively obscure voice, even as leftists remain naively attached to the machinations of CAIR, et al., is a tragedy.
Unindicted terrorist co-conspirators have no business contributing anything to the national conversation about radical Islam. That they still do speaks as badly of those who take them seriously as it does of the co-conspirators themselves. Perhaps all of their motives should be as “meticulously dissected” as the plans of would-be jihadists.
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