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QuickTakes: News You May Have Missed

Aaron Klein

Aaron Klein

Muslim Group Infiltrates Tea Party

Far from being the lock-step GOP ground troop some in the media have suggested it is, the Tea Party movement includes people of many different ideologies. And yet, this element is most unusual. KleinOnline has discovered a Muslim activist organization that claims to be working from within the Tea Party to counter the movement’s “Islamophobia.”

The group, Muslims4Liberty, however, also decries American “greatness,” accuses the U.S. of war crimes, espouses seemingly anti-Israel ideology and slams the “evangelical and conservative Jewish bloc” of the Republican party.

The radical left Center for American Progress, or CAP, actually promotes Muslims4Liberty as a small organization of supposed Tea Party activists “fighting against the right wing’s Islamophobia,” according to a CAP description. ThinkProgress, the CAP’s official blog, noted that Illume Magazine documented the efforts of Will Coley, a self-proclaimed Tea Party member and Islam convert who co-founded Muslims4Liberty to confront “anti-Islam activists head on.”

Illume quotes Coley describing how he started going to Tea Party events in Florida in 2009 but was concerned about the emergence of “Islamophobia” in the movement. After moving to Tennessee, Coley said he began outreach to local Tea Party groups to explain how Islam and Shariah Islamic law are compatible with Tea Party principles.

Illume reports that after speaking with 14 Tea Party chapters about Shariah, 12 agreed to reject so-called anti-Muslim appeals. The chapters even supported a petition opposing a proposed “Shariah ban” in Tennessee. Coley gave lectures to Tea Party chapters purporting to explain how Shariah promotes liberty.

Shariah law, however, has often been decried as incompatible with the values of liberty or democracy. The doctrine, for example, does not allow Muslims to be ruled by non-Muslims and calls for a special “protection” tax against all non-Muslims. Furthermore, it dictates that non-Muslims living in an Islamic state cannot build new churches or synagogues. Muslims who kill non-Muslims do not get the death penalty.

Multiple other aspects of Shariah, including its view of non-Muslims as unequal or its treatment of women and minorities, are arguably incompatible with constitutional principals as well.

Views espoused by Coley and his group on its website would similarly distance Muslims4Liberty from the views of many Tea Partiers.

One posting by Coley, entitled, “Dear Religious Right,” slams the GOP’s “evangelical and conservative Jewish block [sic]” as destroying the GOP. Coley’s posting was replete with a derogatory, photo-shopped picture of Tea Party favorite Sarah Palin draped in an American flag and holding a cross.

Another Muslims4Liberty posting Tea Partiers may find offensive contains an image of the U.S. flag with text that reads: “War Crimes Alert! There is no flag big enough to cover the shame of killing innocent people! Ever!” The posting, titled, “American Supremacy Disorder,” decries any notion of U.S. “greatness.”

The website is also replete with seemingly anti-Israel language, including text that refers to the West Bank as “the occupied West Bank,” even though the United Nations itself only calls the area, home to biblical Jewish communities, “disputed.” The site calls for all aid to be cut off to Israel as well as to other foreign countries.

How Long Will Hamas Remain Isolated?

The White House did not reject an Egyptian plan for the U.S. to open public dialogue with Hamas at the start of a second Obama term, an Egyptian security official told this column.

The State Department did not immediately return a request for comment on the claim.

Separately, informed Middle Eastern security officials said the Egyptian government is leading diplomacy with the U.S. and European Union aimed at opening official direct Western talks with Hamas.

The officials said Muslim Brotherhood-dominated Egypt is pushing for the continued flow of international aid in the event of a future Hamas-led Palestinian government. Hamas, an offshoot of the Muslim Brotherhood, is expected to do well in any upcoming Palestinian elections.

There is also a drive by Egypt, Turkey, and Qatar to wean Hamas entirely off of Iranian money to help rid the Gaza Strip of Shiite Islamic influence, the officials said.

Hamas believes distancing itself more from Iran could prompt a crisis with the Iranian-backed Islamic Jihad group in Gaza, added the officials.

Islamic Jihad and Hamas are quietly discussing creating a united political front following future elections, the officials said. However, Islamic Jihad set as a precondition for joining any Hamas coalition that such a future government cannot recognize the existence of Israel.

Regarding U.S. dialogue with Hamas, the State Department has several times iterated a set of preconditions: Hamas must first recognize Israel, renounce violence, and abide by previous Israeli-Palestinian agreements.

Iran Gives Syria Non-Conventional Weapons

Iran has passed non-conventional weapons to Syria for possible use in the event that the regime of Bashar al-Assad faces imminent collapse, according to knowledgeable Middle Eastern security officials.

The information comes as Defense Secretary Leon Panetta told reporters last week that the Syrian government seems to have slowed any preparations for the possible use of chemical weapons against so-called rebels fighting Assad’s forces.

Last week, members of the Al Qaeda affiliated Al-Nusra, which makes up the top leadership of the rebel fighters, reportedly seized control of the Syrian-Saudi Chemicals Company factory near the Syrian town of Safira.

A YouTube video even purported to show Syrian rebels testing chemical weapons, although the veracity of the video is in question.

About the Author: Aaron Klein is a New York Times bestselling author and senior reporter for WND.com. He is also host of an investigative radio program on New York's 970 AM Radio on Sundays from 7 to 9 p.m. Eastern. His website is KleinOnline.com.


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