Rory Cohen: Tracking Muslim Brotherhood's 'Grand Deception'
by Rory Cohen
Orange County Register
December 3, 2012
A new documentary film, "The Grand Deception," delves into the subversive culture of the Muslim Brotherhood in the United States, bringing to light footage of radical Islamists, masquerading as moderate Muslims, who call for violent jihad against the United States and its allies.
"While working at CNN as a correspondent in 1992, I had been sent to Oklahoma City, and I just happened to pass by the Oklahoma City Convention Center, where I witnessed thousands of people coming out dressed in Middle Eastern garb. I went inside and found out it was a radical Islamist conference with calls to kill the Jews and attack America," Steve Emerson, the film's producer and an award-winning journalist, said in an interview, explaining that the event prompted him to create a documentary called "Jihad in America" to research the subject. "If I looked good, it was only because others in the business were not doing their job."
In many ways, they still aren't.
Take, for instance, the invocation given by Siraj Wahhaj, one of the Brotherhood's celebrated imams. He was the first Muslim clergyman to give an invocation before Congress in the early 1990s. Yet days following that humble speech, Wahhaj, touted as a moderate, was caught on tape at a Brooklyn mosque where he said, "You know what this country is? It's a garbage can... It's filthy." He prayed that America would "crumble" and be replaced by Islam. One would think this would be the end of his political career. Yet he made an appearance this summer at the Democratic National Convention for "Jumah" prayers. Ironically, a Catholic cardinal's request to deliver a prayer at this same event was turned down.
Emerson's film delves not into spiritual leaders who spew anti-American ideas – it also documents leaders within mainstream Muslim groups, such as the Council on American Islamic Relations, who have helped to finance terrorism.
Influence at many mainstream mosques and Muslim organizations, from the Islamic Circle of North America to the Muslim Students Association, is not necessarily a moderate one as is portrayed. These groups were described in a declassified Muslim Brotherhood as capable of helping teach Muslims "that their work in America is a kind of grand jihad in eliminating and destroying the Western civilization from within and 'sabotaging' its miserable house by their hands ... so that ... God's religion [Islam] is made victorious over all other religions."
The MSA, in particular, has gotten better at masking some elements of radicalism, but audio unearthed by the Investigative Project on Terror presents a different picture.
"Osama bin Laden – I don't know this guy," Amir Mertaban, the president of MSA West, said during a 2007 speech entitled "Methods of Da'wah" and cited in the documentary. "I don't know what he did. I don't know what he said. I don't know what happened. But we defend Muslim brothers, and we defend our Muslim sisters to the end. Is that clear?"
While not part of the movie, the DVD's archive material details, perhaps the most notable and shocking case concerning an MSA member is that of Hasan Akbar, an American Muslim extremist who attended the MSA-controlled student mosque at UC Davis. After college, Akbar joined the U.S. Army and, in the early hours of March 23, 2003, he detonated a grenade amidst sleeping members of his 1st Brigade, 101st Airborne Division, stationed in Kuwait – killing two soldiers and wounding 15.
One of the most troubling cases presented in the documentary is against Muslim Brotherhood figure Abdurahman Alamoudi. An FBI wiretap caught him stating that al-Qaida should have killed more Americans in the African embassy bombings in 1998. An Islamic adviser to President Bill Clinton, Alamoudi publicly denounced terrorism while he secretly raised funds for al-Qaida. "We are against all forms of terrorism," he said publicly. Years after he successfully infiltrated the government at the highest level, the FBI caught on.
The film is based on primary source materials and interviews with recognized experts, such as Lafif Lakhdar, who fought for the Islamists as an Algerian revolutionary and is now a vocal critic of the Muslim Brotherhood and Islamism.
Former FBI officials interviewed in the documentary refer to the Islamists network as insidious – a "Trojan horse." The film takes 70 minutes to demonstrate how far the Muslim Brotherhood has reached within our own political fabric in less than three decades. It is a must-see.