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Star Tribune - Michele Bachmann: Beware of Radical Islam

Op-Ed

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I am immensely aware how vitally important it is to restore confidence in our economy and create quality jobs for Minnesotans. It is also clear that life is becoming increasingly unaffordable for average Americans.

And while I am working tirelessly every day to promote progrowth policies so Minnesota's small businesses will once again invest and hire new workers, I cannot ignore the national-security threats facing our nation.

In a recent interview, former British Prime Minister Tony Blair said "the West is asleep on the issue of Islamist extremism."

Sadly, he's right. The panic-stricken reaction to the letters that four of my congressional colleagues and I recently wrote to the Inspectors General of five government agencies, asking them to simply investigate the premise of our concerns, is an illustration of exactly how unwary many of our leaders are here in the United States.

Whatever the reasons for it, Washington's political and media establishment fears an honest discussion about the real threat to this country posed by radical Islam. They are reluctant to initiate an honest assessment as to whether the Obama administration has subordinated national security to political correctness.

Our letters asked a set of important questions -- based upon publicly available information -- about the Obama administration's policy concerning radical Islam.

Consider these examples.

* A two-year study by the FBI on the Fort Hood shooting concluded that intelligence officials knew that Maj. Nadal Hassan was communicating with terrorist leader Anwar al-Awlaki. These officials nevertheless refused to launch an investigation out of fear of being labeled insensitive or bigoted. Fourteen Americans, including an unborn child, were murdered because political correctness inhibited efforts that might have prevented their murder by a radical Islamist. We want to know why.

* Last month, the State Department granted a visa -- in violation of federal law -- to a member of an U.S.-designated Egyptian terrorist group. This terror group member, Hani Nour Eldin, was then welcomed into the White House to meet with National Security Council officials, where he proceeded to lobby for the release of the "Blind Sheikh," Omar Abdel Rahman, who is serving a life sentence for his involvement in terror plots, including the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center. We want to know why.

* The U.S. State Department organized a Global Counterterrorism Forum and invited 29 countries to take part. But it excluded Israel, the country that is arguably under the greatest threat of terrorist attack. We want to know why.

While we remain dangerously asleep here at home about domestic threats from radical Islam, the Muslim Brotherhood and other radical Islamist groups are abundantly clear about their desire to destroy America and her allies.

During the 2007-08 Holy Land Foundation trial -- the largest terror finance trial in U.S. history -- the federal government established in court that the Muslim Brotherhood's mission in the United States is "destroying Western civilization from within." The mastermind of the 9/11 attack, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, had significant documented ties to the Muslim Brotherhood.

Despite these alarming truths about the Muslim Brotherhood, the Obama administration has embraced the group at nearly every turn, starting with President Obama's 2009 speech in Cairo. Against the wishes of the Mubarak government, President Obama invited banned Muslim Brotherhood leaders to attend his speech.

Since then, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton personally intervened to reverse a previous ruling that barred a prominent Muslim Brotherhood leader, Tariq Ramadan, from entering the United States. Secretary Clinton also waived congressional restrictions in order to send $1.5 billion in aid to Egypt after the Muslim Brotherhood's victory in the parliamentary elections.

It is my duty as a member of Congress to ask why the Obama administration has repeatedly undermined America's national security and bows to political correctness on issues related to radical Islam. The safety and security of every person in my district, as well as all Americans, is of preeminent importance and concern to me.

The Washington establishment has two choices: It can either remain asleep about the threat of radical Islam, or it can do everything possible to rally the country to a defense and preservation of American values and our way of life. We owe that to the American people.


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