October 23, 2007
As the fallout from MAS President Esam Omeish's resignation from Virginia's immigration commission continues, another MAS official's past actions have come back to haunt the organization.
Mahdi Bray, head of MAS's "civil rights" arm, the Freedom Foundation, appeared at an October 2000 rally, marking the second Palestinian Intifada. As reported previously, Bray stood by and cheered as now-jailed Islamist leader Abdurrahman Alamoudi announced his support for the terrorist groups Hamas and Hizballah.
Watch the video yourself. Bray is off to the side and spotlighted:
After the IPT posted this video, journalists and politicians have started investigating ties between high ranking State officials and the Northern Virginia-based Islamist group.
Worried over the prospect of his open support for terrorism damaging his groups' ability to push its Islamist agenda, Bray has started dissembling. Stating that he does not support violence or terrorist groups, Bray claims he and the audience were reacting with laughter, not approval, at Alamoudi's words. He told a local newspaper:
The majority of the people they were kind of raising their hands, and kind of cheering, and so on because this was so uncharacteristic of al-Amoudi. We didn't know he had a problem with law enforcement. He was considered the pillar of the American Muslim community.
Bray said his gestures weren't in support of Hamas and Hezbollah.
You saw me pumping my fists. You didn't see me raising my hands. If they had shown the audience, you would have seen people in the audience raising their hands and falling out laughing. For him to come and make these kinds of radical rants, no one took him seriously.
Now watch the video again
Clearly, Bray raises his hands in support of Alamoudi's comments, and you can hear the crowd cheering in approval. One thing you do not hear or see is laughter. What does that say about Mahdi Bray's veracity? At the very least, government agencies and the media need to exercise extreme caution when dealing with him and his organization.
Meanwhile, Mr. Omeish is not out of the news either. The Washington Post granted Omeish the opportunity to publish an op-ed this past Sunday, titled Why I resigned, the key portion of which states:
Politics aside, another important issue arose during this controversy. I was attacked for comments I made regarding Israeli military force against Palestinian civilians in Lebanon and the occupied territories and the Lebanon war, a conflict that has been condemned worldwide. Yet we still fail in America, the land of the First Amendment and the melting pot of plurality, to accept differing political views. And we are still willing to stifle dissent while we claim that we want to achieve tolerance and inclusion. Our inability to appreciate the inherent goodness of people and the very powerful tool of dialogue and exchange of ideas will limit our capacity to achieve unity. We should be embracing differences. After all, this rich diversity is the framework of our Constitution.
Note the utter lack of context and specificity. He just made some "comments" about the use of force against Palestinian civilians, and, as a result, he was attacked and forced to resign. No mention that those "comments" included a call for Holy War, while inveighing against the "Zionist entity," when he stood at a microphone and told that crowd that they were assembled on that day to:
[t]ell our Brothers and Sisters in Filasteen that you have learned the way, that you have known that the Jihad way is the way to liberate your land.
Mr. Omeish may indeed be frustrated that society has yet to recognize the "inherent goodness" of a Holy War that involves suicide bombers blowing up civilians on buses, in restaurants and cafes. As for his disingenuous call to "embrace" our differences, Americans, thankfully, are not ready to chalk up pro-terrorist rhetoric, frequently pushed by Islamists generally, and MAS specifically, to the celebration of cultural diversity.
While the Constitution which Omeish cites does grant him the right to say whatever he wants without being jailed, it does not grant him the right to promote Holy War in a consequence-free environment, and true enough, he has suffered consequences from his words.
Both Bray's denials, ridiculous on their face, and Omeish's spin, that "jihad" should be an accepted part of America's cultural diversity, prove yet again that MAS, and the Muslim Brotherhood organizations like it, are not interested in "civil rights" at all. But MAS and its officials have done a masterful job of co-opting the language of civil rights, and are slyly attempting to use such rhetoric to push their pro-Islamist, pro-terrorist agenda.
As Virginia Governor Tim Kaine's reaction to the posting of Omeish's speeches demonstrates, people are slowly becoming aware of MAS' game. The more people that become aware of MAS' contribution to America's "cultural diversity," the more the group will likely be marginalized.