Sue Myrick’s Hearing on the Muslim Brotherhood Threat
Rep. Sue Myrick held her House Subcommittee on Terrorism, Human Intelligence, Analysis and Counterintelligence hearing to examine the history, beliefs and positions of the Muslim Brotherhood internationally and in Egypt. It is the third hearing that in some measure has dealt with the American Muslim community and Islam. First it was Rep. Peter King and his McCarthyesque hearings on “the Radicalization of the Muslim American community,” then New York State Senator Greg Ball held a hearing on “Security and preparedness since 9/11″ which included such anti-Muslim bigots as Nonie Darwish and Frank Gaffney.
Myrick’s hearing didn’t contain the high profile loons that the other two hearings did, but the theme or intent was still to cast a pall of suspicion over American Muslims. The witnesses consisted of Robert Satloff, Executive Director of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, Lorenzo Vidino, a representative of the RAND corporation, Ahmed S. Mansour, a Quranist who claims to be a Muslim scholar, Tarek Masoud, an academic and assistant professor at Harvard University and Nathan Brown, a professor of Political Science.
The charge was leveled either implicitly or directly that some American Muslims may be a “fifth column” considering a 1991 memo written by a Muslim Brotherhood member from Egypt named Mohammed Akram. This is the same memo that Islamophobes and anti-Muslims such as Robert Spencer and co. often use to forward the idea that Muslims are trying to take over.
Tarek Masoud took this issue head on during questioning from the intrepid Rep. Luis Gutierrez,
Chairman Myrick, you mentioned this 1991 explanatory memorandum, Lorenzo mentioned it as well, this document that was written by this Brotherhood guy named Mohammed Akram. So I got it and I read it, it seemed to be a document where this Brotherhood member in the United States is writing to his people back home, trying to encourage them to try and make the United States a priority for proselytization, for political activism, for all kinds of things. And the page in that document that has caused the most controversy is the page that lists all of these organizations, that Lorenzo called Muslim Brotherhood front organizations. My question, if you look at the title of that page, it says “there are the organizations of us and our friends in America,” second line says in brackets “imagine if they all marched together,”and I thought to myself, what a really odd thing for an organization like the Muslim Brotherhood to be saying. If these were really the arms of the Muslim Brotherhood octupus then why would he need to whimsically think, “if only one day all these organizations could work together,” and this is important because it seems to me that that list is an aspirational list, it may include movements or groups that emerged out of the Brotherhood, I’m not making a factual statement, but based on interpreting that document, I am surprised that we jumped to saying that these are Muslim Brotherhood front organizations because it seemed to me to be a list of Muslim organizations that the Brotherhood would like to organize and coordinate. I would like to find out if there is some information there that some folks like me don’t have?
Gutierrez also asked a very interesting question to the panelists beforehand, “what are the intelligence gathering methods or apparatuses which you used? And do you fear that the government’s broad intelligence gathering efforts have been duped?” This question was a slap in the face of Sue Myrick who penned a forward to a book called “Muslim Mafia” which argued that nefarious Muslims have infiltrated our government through a network of spy interns. This belief was voted one of the “worst conspiracy theories” of 2009 by Newsweek.
Lorenzo Vidino, the RAND corp. representative said he wouldn’t use the word “duped” but instead that they have been “inconsistent.” Rep. Gutierrez told him, “inconsistency” is not the same as “fear,” and asked him whether or not we should “fear” that our security agencies have been compromised or “hoodwinked?” Vidino seemed to answer “no” to that question.
There were other highlights during the testimony, like the near incoherence of Ahmed S. Mansour who had the WTF comment of the Day: “Make America the biggest, most superpower of the war of ideas in the world” and something about “create an agency dealing with the war of ideas.” At times it seemed Mansour was trying to get America to back his sect of Islam by bringing up how “successful” his group has been in proselytizing to other Muslims.
At the end of the day the GOP is trying to use Islam/Muslims and buzzwords such as Sharia’ to further promote hatred and bigotry and their own twisted brand of populism. Fear-mongering about a looming Muslim threat feeds well into their base of support and also highlights the immense hypocrisy on the Right. In reality, the biggest threat today to our Constitution comes from the rabid Right-Wing, which is shot through and through with theocrats and theocratic sympathizers.
One only has to look at Rep. Myrick’s own shoddy associations to se what we mean,
Rep. Myrick supports the work of The National Council on Bible Curriculum in Public Schools whose goals are clearly in opposition to the first amendment of the U.S.
Rep. Myrick is listed as a sponsor on the website of Capitol Ministries, along with Todd Akin, Michele Bachmann, Paul Broun, Trent Franks, Louie Gohmert, Mike Pence, Tom Price, Lamar Smith, Joe Wilson and various others. (Read more on Capitol Ministries here)
Rep. Myrick believes that Osama Bin Laden and his ilk – “are acting in accordance with Islam”.
Rep. Myrick and Rep. Peter Hoekstra of Michigan sent a letter that attacked the Justice Department for sending envoys to an ISNA convention because, the lawmakers said, the Islamic Society of North America was a group of “radical jihadists”
Rep. Myrick launched a YouTube video series. In the first video, called Beyond Terrorism: The Whole Story, she warns that extremists live in our midst, “even in positions in our government.” But the wide-eyed Myrick tells the camera: “You’re not being told the whole story… This is something that nobody ever tells you.”
Rep. Myrick supports Brigitte Gabriel’s ACT for America, and put out a letterenthusiastically endorsing them. It was reported in February that Hal Weatherman, longtime chief of staff for Sue Myrick, is leaving to join the staff of ACT for America. (Read about Brigitte Gabriel and ACT for America here.)
Rep. Myrick wrote the forward to Dave Gaubatz’ Muslim Mafia book. (Read more about Gaubatz and this book here)
Rep. Myrick is reported as saying: “I believe Hezbollah and the drug cartels may be operating as partners on our border.” That department’s spokesman replied that the U.S. “does not have any credible information on terrorist groups operating along the Southwest border.” (Read more on this charge and responses to it here.)
Rep. Myrick and Rep. Peter King were among the lead sponsors of a bill introduced by Rep. Frank Wolf [R-VA] to create a panel of outside experts – fresh eyes – to help develop new strategies to combat the violent Islamic jihad as well as its stealth component.