Michele Bachmann has every right to ask questions.
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton receives a note from her aide Huma Abedin as she testifies about the State Department's fiscal year 2012 budget during a hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, March 10, 2011. (Jonathan Ernst/Getty Images)
Despite mounting evidence of close ties between the Muslim Brotherhood and Huma Abedin, Secretary of State Clinton’s close aide, Republican congressional leaders — particularly Senator John McCain and House Speaker John Boehner — continue to target their ire not at the State Department but at Representative Michele Bachmann.
That got me to wondering: Any chance Speaker Boehner might take just a couple of minutes out of his busy jihad against Bachmann to focus on how the State Department — during Ms. Abedin’s tenure — has cozied up to Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi, the Muslim Brotherhood’s chief sharia jurist?
Sheikh Qaradawi is a promoter of jihadist terror. His fatwas endorse terrorist attacks against American personnel in Iraq as well as suicide bombing — by both men and women — against Israel. He is a leading supporter of Hamas, the Muslim Brotherhood’s Palestinian branch. He also runs an umbrella organization called the Union for Good (sometimes referred to as the “Union of Good”), which is formally designated a terrorist organization under American law. The Union for Good was behind the “Peace Flotilla” that attempted to break our ally Israel’s blockade of the terrorist organization Hamas (the Muslim Brotherhood’s Palestinian branch) in 2010.
That’s rather interesting — at least to me, though apparently not to Speaker Boehner — because Huma Abedin’s mother, Saleha, who is a member of the Muslim Brotherhood’s female division (the “Muslim Sisterhood”), is a major figure in not one but two Union for Good components. The first is the International Islamic Council for Dawa and Relief (IICDR). It is banned in Israel for supporting Hamas under the auspices of the Union for Good. Then there’s the International Islamic Committee for Woman and Child (IICWC) — an organization that Dr. Saleha Abedin has long headed. Dr. Abedin’s IICWC describes itself as part of the IICDR. And wouldn’t you know it, the IICWC charter was written by none other than . . . Sheikh Qaradawi, in conjunction with several self-proclaimed members of the Muslim Brotherhood.
In McCainWorld, these are what are known as “a few unspecified and unsubstantiated associations.” But I digress. Clearly, these significant Muslim Brotherhood connections are of scant interest to Speaker Boehner, who has decided the problem is not the Brotherhood connections but the people who are shedding light on the Brotherhood connections. Nevertheless, since Boehner purports to be all about cracking down on wasteful government spending, at least when he’s not signing off on deals to extend President Obama’s credit card by another trillion or three, I thought I might ask whether the State Department’s Fulbright Scholar Program aroused his curiosity ever so slightly.
Fulbright, by its own account, is “the government’s flagship program in international educational exchange,” promoting “mutual understanding” between the U.S. and other countries. In the 2010–2011 academic year — the year of the Union for Good’s “Freedom Flotilla,” if you need a time marker — one Fulbright scholarship was awarded to a lucky chemistry student from Qatar. Her name is Siham al-Qaradawi, and she just happens to be the daughter of Sheikh Qaradawi.
Now, besides despising America and having lots of global academic connections (at least in countries where he’s not banned), the sheikh happens to be a very wealthy man — the sharia-advisory business can be very profitable. And while the sheikh’s daughter is said to be an exceptional chemist, the world is full of exceptional chemists. How is it that Qaradawi’s daughter gets the State Department prize? I’m just wondering, and wondering if Speaker Boehner is wondering.
Oh, one last thing. Obviously, Huma Abedin does not make Obama-administration or State Department policy. Policy is made by President Obama and Secretary Clinton, and they hardly needed Ms. Abedin in order to have pro-Islamist leanings.
Nevertheless, since Secretary Clinton’s tenure began, with Huma Abedin serving as a top adviser, the United States has aligned itself with the Muslim Brotherhood in myriad ways. To name just a few (the list is by no means exhaustive): Our government reversed the policy against formal contacts with the Brotherhood; funded Hamas; continued funding Egypt even after the Brotherhood won the elections; dropped an investigation of Brotherhood organizations in the U.S. that were previously identified as co-conspirators in the case of the Holy Land Foundation financing Hamas; hosted Brotherhood delegations in the United States; issued a visa to a member of the Islamic Group (a designated terrorist organization) and hosted him in Washington because he is part of the Brotherhood’s parliamentary coalition in Egypt; announced that Israel should go back to its indefensible 1967 borders; excluded Israel, the world’s leading target of terrorism, from a counterterrorism forum in which the State Department sought to “partner” with Islamist governments that do not regard attacks on Israel as terrorism; and pressured Egypt’s pro-American military government to surrender power to the anti-American Muslim Brotherhood parliament and president just elected by Egypt’s predominantly anti-American population.
So I was hoping maybe the speaker could explain to us: Hypothetically, if Huma Abedin did have a bias in favor of the Muslim Brotherhood, and if she were actually acting on that bias to try to tilt American policy in favor of the Muslim Brotherhood, what exactly would the State Department be doing differently?
— Andrew C. McCarthy is the author, most recently, of The Grand Jihad: How Islam and the Left Sabotage America.