By Winfield Myers
The press release continued:
The choice of Khan to oversee a program dedicated to expanding dialogue between religious communities is beyond parody, as Khan himself has a record of thwarting dialogue, at least with Israeli veterans. Moreover, his award is part of a larger pattern of coddling Islamists within the bureaucracies of the State Department and Pentagon.
Last October 23, Khan objected to the presence of IDF veteran and Campus Watch Associate Fellow Asaf Romirowsky on an academic panel at the University of Delaware. Organized by students to discuss "Anti-Americanism in the Middle East," the panel was set to go when Khan — writing from Washington, DC, where he had delivered a workshop at the Pentagon — sent the following email to undergraduate Lara Rausch, one of the key organizers of the event:
Romirowsky, contacted via email, was asked what he thought of the State Department's action of singling out Khan for a substantial award to encourage dialogue, was taken aback. Romirowsky replied:
"Dialogue is good, if you have something to dialogue about — starting with accepting the others' right to exist. Yet, by not sitting on a panel with me, due to my IDF service, he basically questioned Israel's right to exist within safe and secure borders."
"That itself should throw into question the integrity of any dialogue he might initiate."
In the two months following the story's October debut, Khan offered no fewer than three additional explanations for why he acted as he did. I documented these in December, 2007, and concluded that the reasons he gave in the October 23 email above rang truest: IDF vets are off-limits on panels in which he participates. The other excuses were little more than a smokescreen, set off in a vain attempt to reduce the embarrassment his intolerance had brought to himself and the University of Delaware.
Khan's large grant from the State Department, coupled with his role as a Pentagon advisor, further exposes a troubling trend within those federal departments of coddling Islamists and turning a blind eye toward intolerance. Hesham Islam, Special Assistant for International Affairs in the Office of Deputy Secretary of Defense Gordon England, has made news lately for allegedly calling Joint Chief Analyst on Counterterrorism Major Stephen Coughlin, who also reported to England, a "Christian zealot with a pen" and pressing for his removal.
Coughlin is widely celebrated as one of a small number of Pentagon analysts who are consistently tough on Islamism — a stance that has made enemies within the Defense bureaucracy. His thesis from the National Defense Intelligence College, titled "To Our Great Detriment": Ignoring What Extremists Say about Jihad, is celebrated by terrorism experts as a clear-sighted warning that too few in Washington care to heed.
Although the Pentagon took Hesham Islam's biography off its web site, stories of his fate, along with that of Coughlin, are mixed. U.S. Representative Sue Myrick (R-NC), who investigated the matter, wrote on February 5, that Coughlin told her there was never a conspiracy to remove him from his job. Some reports claim that Islam himself is on his way out, but Claudia Rosette, who investigated the matter closely, says on her blog that a call to the Pentagon produced a denial of that story. Steven Emerson has detailed Islam's past relationships with Islamists.
One thing, however, is certain: by entrusting Middle East studies specialists such as Muqtedar Khan with huge grants to bring Saudis and Egyptians to America, the State Department and Pentagon are remaining true to form. From former Undersecretary of State for Public Diplomacy Karen Hughes's stated fondness for the works of Wahhabi apologist John Esposito — a man who shares Hesham Islam's predilection for Christian-bashing — to Khan's previous work for the Pentagon, our federal departments entrusted with protecting America from Islamists are in fact employing them.
The Fifth Column -- America's Internal Enemies:
Disloyalty, Subversion, Sedition, & Treason
Israel & the Arabs -- The Israeli-Arab Conflict
Middle East -- Arabs, Arab States,
& Their Middle Eastern Neighbors
American Foreign Policy -- The Middle East
International Politics & World Disorder:
War & Peace in the Real World
Page Two Page One
Islamist Terrorist Attacks on the U.S.A.
Osama bin Laden & the Islamist Declaration of War
Against the U.S.A. & Western Civilization
Islamist International Terrorism &
U.S. Intelligence Agencies
Counterterrorism & U.S. National Security
U.S. National Security Strategy
Winfield Myers is Director of Campus Watch, a project of the Middle East Forum.
The foregoing article by Winfield Myers was originally published in Front Page Magazine, February 14, 2008, and can be found on the Internet website maintained by the Middle East Forum, a foreign policy think tank which seeks to define and promote American interests in the Middle East, defining U.S. interests to include fighting radical Islam, working for Palestinian Arab acceptance of the State of Israel, improving the management of U.S. efforts to promote constitutional democracy in the Middle East, reducing America's energy dependence on the Middle East, more robustly asserting U.S. interests vis-à-vis Saudi Arabia, and countering the Iranian threat. (Article URL: http://www.meforum.org/article/1853 )
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