Surprise Florida straw poll victor pledges tough stance.
The United West, an anti-Islamist activist group, is forcing the 2012 presidential candidates to take a stand on whether to prosecute the Muslim Brotherhood fronts in the U.S. tied to Hamas. Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich was the first to say that he would, and now businessman Herman Cain is on board, also saying that he’d list the Muslim Brotherhood as a Foreign Terrorist Organization. Former Senator Rick Santorum offered a less compelling answer, but said the government must prosecute anyone tied to terrorist activity.
Herman Cain is riding a huge wave of momentum following his surprise victory in the Florida straw poll. This comes after an impressive performance at the Orlando debate, which I judged him to be the winner of. The latest national poll has him behind Rick Perry, Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich, tied with Ron Paul at 7 percent. His numbers will still climb as the positive media coverage continues, and his understanding of the Islamist threat must be evaluated as his influence grows.
Cain was asked by the United West about prosecuting the Council on American-Islamic Relations, the Islamic Society of North America and the North American Islamic Trust. These three organizations are Muslim Brotherhood fronts that were labeled by the federal government as “unindicted co-conspirators” in the trial of the Holy Land Foundation. The HLF was shut down for funding Hamas. The three Muslim Brotherhood fronts have tried to have their designations removed to no avail. On July 1, 2009, it was ruled that there was “ample evidence to establish the associations of CAIR, ISNA and NAIT with HLF…and with Hamas.”
The HLF trial is the biggest terrorism financing trial in U.S. history and the information submitted by the government in the case is critical to grasping the Islamist threat. Unfortunately, Cain seemed unaware of the trial. When the interviewer said that CAIR, ISNA and NAIT have been designated, Cain said, “as what?”
After the interviewer explained they were tied to Hamas, Cain responded, “The answer is yes, absolutely I’d go after them.” The interviewer then asked if his State Department would label the Muslim Brotherhood as a Foreign Terrorist Organization. Cain’s answer was, “Absolutely, yes. I don’t see what the hesitation is. We can’t do business with terrorists,” and then tied his answer to the Palestinian push for U.N. membership and statehood.
Cain’s campaign previously hit a bump when he visited a major mosque tied to the Muslim Brotherhood. He had come under fire for saying that communities should be able to ban mosques from being built. In an attempt to make amends, he apologized for the comment and took a tour of the All Dulles Area Muslim Society of Sterling, VA. The mosque is led by the president of ISNA, Imam Mohamed Magid. Evidence of the mosque’s possible ties to terrorism resulted in raids by the authorities in 2002.
Former Senator Rick Santorum offered a softer answer when he was interviewed by the United West, but nonetheless showed to have an understanding of the Muslim Brotherhood’s past. He described the organization as “the root of a lot of the modern radical Islamist thinking,” mentioning the names of Sayyid Qutb and Hasan al-Banna. However, when asked specifically about CAIR, ISNA and NAIT, he was less clear. He gave a general answer that law enforcement must prosecute whoever is involved in terrorist activity. Santorum is in 8th place in the latest national poll with 3 percent, one point behind Congresswoman Michele Bachmann.
Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich was the first to pledge to investigate CAIR, ISNA and NAIT and appeared to know about the HLF trial. He nodded his head as the United West’s interviewer mentioned their designations as “unindicted co-conspirators.” He first offered a general answer, saying “I would support an Attorney General who would look very aggressively at prosecuting any group which supports terrorism or which sends money to terrorism or which encourages terrorism.” The interviewer then asked if he’d investigate these specific groups, and Gingrich said, “Sure, absolutely.” Gingrich has spoken and written about “stealth jihad” at length, describing the Muslim Brotherhood as a “mortal enemy of our civilization.” He is in third place in the latest national poll at 10 percent.
It is disappointing that none of the Republican candidates for president spoke about CAIR, ISNA and NAIT until they were asked by the United West. Still, their answers stand in sharp contrast to the Obama Administration’s position. Patrick Poole broke the blockbuster story that the Justice Department blocked the prosecutions of Omar Ahmed, a co-founder of CAIR, and Jamal Barzinji, a top official with the International Institute of Islamic Thought, another Brotherhood front. According to his sources, the “unindicted co-conspirators” were to be prosecuted after the Holy Land trial finished.
A candidate’s credibility on national security rests upon an understanding of the Islamist threat and in particular, the Muslim Brotherhood. It is imperative that they be forced to take a stand on this issue, and voters must measure their support for each candidate based on their answer.