Blog Post

Obama Religion Advisor Has Ties to Radical Muslim Group

By Susan Brinkmann, OCDS Staff Journalist A recently appointed member of President Barack Obama's Advisory Council on Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships has been found to have ties to a radical Muslim group. (WND) is reporting that Eboo Patel, a Chicago Muslim appointed to the Council in February, is a member of the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), which has been described by Islam scholar Stephen Schwartz as "one of the chief conduits through which the radical Saudi form of Islam passes into the United States." Terrorism expert Steven Emerson described ISNA to WND as "a radical group hiding under a false veneer of moderation" that publishes a bi-monthly magazine, Islamic Horizons, that "often champions militant Islamist doctrine." Emerson claims the group also "convenes annual conferences where Islamist militants have been given a platform to incite violence and promote hatred" and cites an ISNA conference where al-Qaida supporter and PLO official Yusuf Al Qaradhawi were invited to speak. ISNA has also been known to hold fundraisers for terrorists, WND reports. After Hamas leader Mousa Marzook was arrested and eventually deported in 1997, ISNA raised money for his defense. Patel is not the administration's only ties with INSA, however. A relationship with the group began before Obama's inauguration when Sayyid Syeed, national director of INSA's Office for Interfaith and Community Alliances, was part of a delegation that met with the president-elect's transition team. ISNA President Ingrid Mattson represented American Muslims at Obama's inauguration, where she offered a prayer during the televised event. Mattson also represented ISNA at Obama's Ramadan dinner at the White House.  "In June 2009, Obama senior aide Valerie Jarrett invited Mattson to work on the White House Council on Women and Girls, which Jarrett leads," WND reports. "One month later, the Justice Department sponsored an information booth at an ISNA bazaar in Washington, D.C. Also that month, Jarrett addressed ISNA's 46th annual convention. According to the White House, Jarrett attended as part of Obama's outreach to Muslims." In February of this year, Obama's top advisor on counter-terrorism, John Brennan, was criticized for controversial remarks he made during a speech to Muslim law students at New York University - an event that was sponsored by INSA. "During the speech, Brennan stated that having a percentage of terrorists released by the U.S. return to terrorist attacks 'isn't that bad,' since the recidivism rate for inmates in the U.S. prison system is higher," WND reports. Aside from his association with INSA, Patel is also in league with Feisal Abdul Rauf, the controversial imam who is behind plans to build an Islamic cultural center two blocks from Ground Zero. Rauf is well-known in Muslim circles for his belief that America, with its combination of religious devotion and religious diversity, is the ideal place for a renewal of Islam. "In the twentieth century, Catholicism and Judaism underwent profound transformations in America," Rauf once observed. "I think, this century, in America, Islam will do the same." Patel himself has also boasted about a "critical mass" of Muslims in the U.S. "Islam is a religion that has always been revitalized by its migration," he wrote. "America is a nation that has been constantly rejuvenated by immigrants. There is now a critical mass of Muslims in America." © All Rights Reserved, Living His Life Abundantly®/Women of Grace®