Steve Emerson speaks at POLICE-TREXPO East 2010. Photo by David Griffith.
Noted author and investigative journalist Steven Emerson began his keynote presentation today at POLICE-TREXPO East in Chantilly, Va., by explaining that he was going to talk about two types of jihad: the violent type and what he calls the "stealth jihad."
Drawing on material from his recent book "Jihad Incorporated" and using recent events as examples, Emerson detailed the rapidly growing influence of the Muslim Brotherhood in American society. The Muslim Brotherhood was founded in Egypt in the 1920s and was the root of al-Qaeda and Hamas and every other "significant Sunni terror group."
Emerson told the TREXPO audience that the Muslim Brotherhood is now working in America through dozens of organizations, including the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR), the Muslim Student Association, and the Islamic Society of North America.
Emerson showed documents outlining the Muslim Brotherhood's strategy for penetrating, subverting, and infiltrating the United States in order to advance sharia (Muslim law) and establish a worldwide Muslim state called a "caliphate."
One of the ways that Emerson says the Muslim Brotherhood is advancing its radicalism is through what he calls "The Narrative." Widely believed by many young Muslims, the Narrative says that the West is at war with Islam and that the United States, Israel or both perpetrated the 9/11 attacks in order to trigger that war.
Emerson said that he has spoken in front of hostile young Muslim audiences and tried to get them to see that Osama bin Laden himself has claimed responsibility for the 9/11 attacks, but he has never been successful in changing their minds. "Once they believe the Narrative, you can't change their reality," Emerson said. "And believing the Narrative is a precondition for radicalization. Stealth jihad is a legal insurgency that ultimately leads to violence."
Emerson slammed the Obama administration and the Bush administration as "witting and unwitting accomplices" of the Muslim Brotherhood. He gave examples of how the Muslim Brotherhood and Holy Land Foundation were recently invited to a White House Iftar (Ramadan) dinner and Hamas supporters were invited to a Department of Homeland Security counterterrorism conference. He said the problem is that the government is naive.
"The U.S. government sees dialog with radicals as outreach," Emerson explained. "The radicals see dialog with the government as a way to acquire legitimacy."
A former CNN reporter, Emerson saved his harshest words for the mainstream media. Calling himself a "reformed journalist," Emerson said, "I harp on the role of the media in promoting the radical Islamist cause because the media is the virus that helps spread the disease."
Emerson said the media is too willing just to hear what the radicals want to say, and it doesn't do due diligence. He showed an example of how through open source material he was able to debunk the peaceful words of a radical Muslim leader who was often invited to the Clinton White House. Emerson played a clip in which the man told a foreign audience, "Outside the country we can say Allah destroy America, but inside America it is our mission to change it."
Emerson also addressed the controversy over plan to build a mosque just blocks from Ground Zero in lower Manhattan. "I have no problem with building a mosque on this site," he said. "What I have a problem with is the people who are building it."
Emerson claims that Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf has ties to the Muslim Brotherhood. "It is insane, and it is self-destructive to allow radical Muslims to build centers on our soil that will become centers of gravity for jihad."
Emerson said he had great respect and admiration for truly moderate Muslims who speak out against the radicals. But he warned the audience to be wary of groups who say they oppose terrorism but still support Hamas and Hezbollah such as the CAIR.
He drew parallels between David Duke's attempt to refine the Ku Klux Klan's image and these so-called moderate Muslim organizations with ties to the Muslim Brotherhood. He said the media would never let Duke divorce himself from the Klan's agenda the way it lets CAIR and other Muslim organizations separate themselves from the radical agenda.
"What we have to do is delegitimize these organizations the way the KKK was delegitimized in the 50s and 60s," Emerson said to a standing ovation.
Emerson's website, The Investigative Project on Terrorism, is an additional resource for law enforcement agencies and lists known radical Muslim groups.
Listen to our podcast interview with Emerson. He explains how American law enforcement can foil stealth jihadists and tells you what you need to know about the Islamic cultural center proposed near Ground Zero.
(Editor's Note: Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf has denied a connection to the Muslim Brotherhood. He has also refused to deny support for Hamas, a Sunni terrorist organization linked to the Muslim Bortherhood.)