By: Diane Sori
Today was Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day and I was happy to be a part of a nationwide movement that honors and defends our First Amendment rights to free speech.
Recently the Hamas-linked Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) asked the Defense Department to drop yet another counter-terror trainer: the Iranian ex-Muslim Reza Kahlili. Surprisingly enough in this hyper-politically correct age, when it seems as if the Obama administration cannot accommodate Islamic supremacist demands fast enough, the Pentagon refused to budge. This was widely hailed as a rare defeat for CAIR; unfortunately, it is nothing of the kind, and manifests the deeper problem that currently besets the Defense Department and the entire Washington establishment.
Pentagon spokesman James Gregory responded to an inquiry from the Daily Caller about CAIR’s demand:
We can confirm that Mr. Reza Kahlili, who has specialized counterintelligence expertise, occasionally lectures at the Joint Counterintelligence Training Academy (JCITA). He’s one of many guest lecturers called upon by JCITA for specific subject matter knowledge. His experiences provide valuable insight to trainees, and he keeps his personal religious beliefs out of the classroom. He does not lecture on or about Islam or any religious treatise, and his personal beliefs are his own.This was indeed a victory in a certain sense: instead of caving to Hamas-linked CAIR’s demands and dropping the speaker as it has so many times in the past, the Pentagon stood firm and declared that Kahlili was going to speak as planned. However, Gregory was careful to note that Kahlili “does not lecture on or about Islam or any religious treatise, and his personal beliefs are his own.”
Why was this necessary? Why did the Pentagon feel it necessary to assure Hamas-linked CAIR that even though Kahlili was going to speak, he would not be speaking about Islam, and that “his personal beliefs are his own,” i.e., not shared by Pentagon brass? Why can’t Reza Kahlili or others who have discussed the ways in which Islamic jihadists use the texts and teachings of Islam to justify violence and supremacism be allowed to speak to the Pentagon? At a time when Muslims worldwide believe that the Qur’an and Sunnah command them to wage war against the United States, why should Defense Department analysts be studying anything but the texts and teachings of Islam in order to understand the motives and goals of those who have vowed to destroy us? But of course, in this age of Obama such investigations are forbidden. And the Pentagon hastened to assure CAIR that Kahlili would not cross that red line.
I must therefore respectfully disagree with my friend Michael Ledeen, who has trumpeted this as a victory over CAIR, since Kahlili is going to speak as scheduled. (David Frum has done so as well.) They didn’t say, “A Hamas-linked Muslim Brotherhood front group is not going to dictate our choice of speakers,” which is what they should have said when CAIR first started complaining about counter-terror trainers who spoke about Islam (including me). The Pentagon should have pointed out that CAIR is an unindicted co-conspirator in a Hamas terror funding case — so named by the Justice Department – and that CAIR operatives have repeatedly refused to denounce Hamas and Hizballah as terrorist groups. Gregory might also have noted that several former CAIR officials have been convicted of various crimes related to jihad terror, and that CAIR’s cofounder and longtime Board chairman (Omar Ahmad), as well as its chief spokesman (Ibrahim Hooper), have made Islamic supremacist statements. Above all, Gregory could have mentioned that CAIR’s California chapter distributed posters telling Muslims not to talk to the FBI.
Instead, the Pentagon accepted Hamas-linked CAIR’s false premise that there would be something wrong with bringing in Reza Kahlili to speak about Islam, and implicitly accepted also the idea that Hamas-linked CAIR has a legitimate voice in these matters. And that is, in a word, shameful.There is more.