Originally published at the New York Post:
Suhail Khan, a major Republican supporter of the Ground Zero mosque, has been lobbying GOP leaders on the Hill to back off their opposition. He’s got their ear, mainly because he portrays himself as a moderate, patriotic Muslim. Yet newly surfaced videos contradict that.
Khan, a Bush administration vet who sits on the board of the American Conservative Union, assures skeptics that “Park 51 community center” imam Feisal Rauf is a “moderate.” Fears over the mosque are overblown, he insists, fomented by “anti-Muslim bigotry.” In a recent letter to fellow Republicans, he warned the party was “alienating millions of Arab-American and Muslim-American voters.”
But Khan’s assurances ring hollow against his own connections to radicals. While he strenuously denies such ties, evidence has emerged — including exclusive video footage — that exposes Khan comfortably in the company of known Islamic extremists. Consider:
* In June 2001, Khan personally accepted an award from the now-notorious Abdurahman Alamoudi, then head of the American Muslim Council.
* “We have with us a dear brother,” Alamoudi said as he prepared to honor Khan with a plaque at the group’s annual conference. “I’m really proud to be with Suhail Khan. Some of you saw him today in the White House, but inshallah [Allah willing], you will see him in better places in the White House, inshallah.”
Khan thanked his patron, saying “Abdurahman Alamoudi has been very supportive of me. . . . I hope, inshallah, we can keep working together.”
Just days earlier, Sen. Arlen Specter of the Judiciary Committee had cited a New York Post report documenting how Alamoudi had supported terrorists and “declared an interest in destroying America.” By 2003, Alamoudi had been busted for plotting a terrorist attack; the top al Qaeda fundraiser is now serving 23 years in federal prison.
* In September 2001, four days before the 9/11 attacks, Khan spoke at the Islamic Society of North America’s convention. Introducing him was Jamal Barzinji, whose offices and home were raided by federal agents after 9/11. “Barzinji is not only closely associated with PIJ [Palestinian Islamic Jihad], but also with Hamas,” according to the search-warrant affidavit. (A lawyer for Barzinji, who has not been charged, says he is the victim of a government “witch hunt.”)
At the event, Khan shared his experiences from “inside” the White House, and praised his late father, Mahboob Khan, for helping found ISNA — which the government now says is a front for the radical Muslim Brotherhood and has raised money for jihad. The founding documents of the Brotherhood’s operation in America (recently seized by the FBI) reveal that it is in this country to “destroy” the Constitution and replace it with Islamic law.
Khan’s father also helped found the Muslim Community Association in Santa Clara, Calif. This Khan family mosque is listed in the Muslim Brotherhood’s own documents as one of “our organizations.” In the 1990s, according to the San Francisco Chronicle, it hosted Ayman al-Zawahiri — now al Qaeda’s No. 2 — as he toured the US raising money.
Khan vowed in his speech to carry on his father’s “legacy.”
* Speaking at ISNA’s 1999 conference, Khan exhorted Muslims to sacrifice their lives to “protect our fellow brothers and sisters” in “Palestine” and Iraq and those held in the US as terrorist suspects.
“The early Muslims loved death, dying for the sake of almighty Allah, more than the oppressors loved life,” said an impassioned Khan, who wiped away tears throughout his speech. “This must be the case when we are fighting.”
He added: “What are our oppressors going to do with a people like us? We are prepared to give our lives for the cause of Islam.”
* More recently, in March 2008, Khan led a private Council on American-Islamic Relations workshop with Jihad Saleh Williams of the Congressional Muslim Staff Association on how to “jump-start” a career on the Hill.
The year before, the government had named CAIR (whose past board members include Khan’s mother) as an unindicted co-conspirator in a criminal scheme to funnel millions of dollars to Hamas suicide bombers and their families, prompting the FBI to cut off all outreach to the group. CAIR, the US government says, is a front for both Hamas and its parent the Muslim Brotherhood.
Khan may plead “guilt by association” — but he’s done a lot of associating with a lot of guilty people and groups over the years. At a bare minimum, he’s completely failed at identifying the bad guys — contrary to the record of those he brands as “anti-Muslim bigots.”
Hoover Institution media fellow Paul Sperry is author of “Infiltration” and “Muslim Mafia.”