The Beltway Right is a comical farce. But like the blind squirrel that occasionally finds an acorn, it is right about one thing: Liberal Democrats simply cannot be trusted on national security. That truth was no more apparent than in early April, when an A-list of Virginia Democrats were named “invited guests” on a flyer advertising the annual fundraising banquet of the Dar Al-Hijrah mosque in Falls Church. Perhaps you have heard of the place, which is also called the September 11 mosque because two of the hijackers who attacked America that fateful day nine years ago sought spiritual guidance within its walls. It also ministered to Army Maj. Nidal Hasan before he killed 13 Americans at Fort Hood in November.
As neoconservative national-security guru Frank Gaffney reported on March 30 at BigGovernment.com, the nawabs expected to appear at the dinner included former Gov. Tim Kaine, chairman of the Democratic National Committee; Reps. Jim Moran and Gerry Connolly; Sen. James Webb; Del. Kaye Kory; and Fairfax County supervisors Sharon Bulova and Penny Gross. You might remember Kory. As I reported in these pages in May (“Dominion Mosque,” Cultural Revolutions), Kory was one of two delegates who invited an imam from this very mosque to offer the opening prayer at Virginia’s General Assembly.
Following pressure from Gaffney and the Virginia Anti-Shariah Task Force, Webb and Kory elected not to participate in the event. Moran and Kaine did not attend; the other three would not comment when task-force activists asked their offices whether they broke bread at the September 11 mosque. Why Gaffney & Co. pushed these left-wing politicians to drop their support is obvious: The Democrats’ participation conveys legitimacy on a terror-connected mosque that ought to be shut down.
Muslim money flows into Democratic coffers like a Saudi gusher. Space does not permit a detailed accounting of Islam’s network in Virginia and what its members have accomplished, largely with the help of Democratic Party diversicrats such as Kaine. A few short examples, involving one politician and a few jihadists, must suffice.
The politician is Rep. Gerry Connolly. As reported in these pages last year (“Fairabia,” Vital Signs, December 2009), Connolly was the Fairfax County supervisor who became nothing less than an agent for the Saudi government. Connolly pushed through the renewal of the Saudi embassy’s lease of county property in Alexandria for the campus of the Saudi Islamic Academy. In addition, he rammed through the county’s approval of the academy’s 100,000-square-foot expansion at its second campus. Despite the academy’s use of virulently antisemitic and jihadist textbooks, and despite heavy opposition from county residents worried not only about the school’s ideology but about its effect on traffic, Connolly prevailed. Anyone who stood in his way was a “bigot.” That’s standard Democratic fare. But Connolly’s gung-ho fight for the academy, whose most illustrious graduate was convicted of trying to assassinate President George W. Bush, smelled more than a little funny.
According to Muslim Mafia, written by Paul Sperry and mosque infiltrator P. David Gaubatz, Saudi Arabia’s top p.r. firm “pumped at least $10,000 into Connolly’s local campaign.” The money “started appearing when the Saudi madrassa started attracting national headlines and continued to flow through the end of Connolly’s run for Congress” in 2008. Connolly bagged $18,758 from the Saudis. “Thanks to Connolly,” the authors conclude, “the Saudis have been allowed to maintain an incubator for jihadists in the shadow of the nation’s capital.”
That would be bad enough. But some of the contributors to the campaigns of Connolly and other Democrats have not only attracted the interest of the FBI but landed in federal prison for terrorist connections. Among them are Yaqub Mirza, Esam Omeish, Nihad Awad, Abdelhaleem Ashqar, and Abdurahman Alamoudi.
As Sperry wrote at WorldNetDaily.com, Yaqub Mirza worked, and may still work, at the SAFA Group, which the federal government has investigated for terrorist financing. DiscoverTheNetworks.org reports that the SAFA Group was connected to a Saudi sheikh’s foundation known as SAAR. In 2002, the FBI raided SAAR’s offices and found that $26 million of $54 million raised for “charity” went to the Isle of Man, a notorious tax haven and money-laundering center. Just $20 million wound up in charitable hands. The agent who led the raid said SAFA’s and SAAR’s purpose was “to route money through hidden paths to terrorists, and to defraud the United States by impeding, importing, obstructing, and defeating the lawful functions of the IRS.”
As I reported here, Esam Omeish is the physician whom Kaine kicked off a state immigration panel after videos of the doctor’s jihadist, antisemitic rants surfaced on YouTube. Omeish also put his home up to post bond for Ismail Elbarasse, the former comptroller of the Saudi Academy nabbed for taking surveillance photos of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge. Elbarasse was never convicted in that case, but in 1998 he spent some time in prison for refusing to testify in a terror-financing case. Yet the Democrats are so taken with Omeish that they permitted him to run in their 2008 primary for delegate from Virginia’s 35th district in the General Assembly. (He lost.)
Nihad Awad is executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, an unindicted coconspirator in the Holy Land Foundation case. The foundation was pumping money into Hamas. “Before helping launch CAIR,” the Investigative Project on Terrorism reports, Awad
worked as public relations director for the Islamic Association for Palestine (IAP) in 1993 and 1994. A 2001 Immigration and Naturalization Service memo documented IAP’s support for Hamas and found that the “facts strongly suggest” that IAP was “part of Hamas’ propaganda apparatus.”
Awad can be seen in a photo with then-Texas Gov. George W. Bush, and in another standing next to Bush at the Islamic Center of Washington, D.C., a few days after the September 11 attacks.
Abdelhaleem Ashqar is a suspected Hamas leader who is serving 11 years for obstruction of justice in a case involving Hamas. Again, the case was about financial aid originating in the United States. Ashqar refused to testify before a grand jury. The Associated Press recorded his comments to the sentencing court: “The only option was to become a traitor or collaborator and that is something that I can’t do and will never do as long as I live.”
Then there’s Abdurahman Alamoudi. He was the founder of the American Muslim Council and the American Muslim Foundation. Part of a plot to kill a Saudi prince, Alamoudi pleaded guilty to three federal crimes involving terror financing via Libya, tax fraud, and lying on his citizenship application. A federal prosecutor said Alamoudi’s conviction was “a milestone in the war on terrorism.” Alamoudi had worked his way right up to the Clinton White House. According to DiscoverTheNetworks.org, “in 1995 Alamoudi helped President Clinton and the ACLU develop a presidential guideline entitled ‘Religious Expression in Public School,’ which paved the way for the abolition of Christian symbols, such as the Nativity scene, from public school grounds.” Yet he was a major backer of Hamas and Hezbollah and a million-dollar fundraiser for Al Qaeda who claimed that Muslims would one day rule America. This naturalized American must have forgotten to assimilate.
All these men appear in the Federal Election Commission’s online database as contributors not only to Moran or Connolly or both but to others obviously sympathetic to their cause, such as Rep. Cynthia McKinney. Regardless of a candidate’s sympathies, these Muslims tossed around the moolah. In 2000, Alamoudi gave $1,000 to Hillary Clinton’s Senate campaign and George W. Bush’s presidential effort. In 2002, he gave $2,000 to Moran. (Bush and Moran returned the money.) Mirza gave Virginia gubernatorial candidate James Gilmore $2,300 in 2007. Mirza even hit Libertarian presidential candidate Bob Barr with $500. Although Republicans have received some Muslim money and are to some extent compromised, Muslims clearly favor Democrats.
Indeed, the FEC records show that Muslim fanatics have thoroughly penetrated Virginia’s Democratic Party. Such was their monetary influence that real Virginians could not stop the expansion of a school that preaches hatred of Jews and employs and graduates terrorists. The party permitted a fanatical jihadist to run for the General Assembly. This penetration is eerily reminiscent of what the communists accomplished in the 1950’s, when Democrats called anyone concerned about spies a McCarthyite or witch hunter. Today, Democrats call those concerned about Islamic terrorism racists and Islamophobes.
Islam hangs like Muhammad’s scimitar over a neck of Virginia that includes Robert E. Lee’s Arlington and George Washington’s Mount Vernon. Falls Church is the “Wahhabi Corridor.” The Old Dominion’s suburbs outside Washington, D.C., are “Northern Virginiastan.”
When the scimitar falls, Virginians will know whom to blame.
This article first appeared in the July 2010 issue of Chronicles: A Magazine of American Culture.