By Beila Rabinowitz
Islamist, Muqtedar Khan, recently spoke at the Rock Island Arsenal, lecturing on the moderate nature of Islam. A few months previous to that appearance, he attended - in an entirely different guise - a Wahabist conference in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
Khan is also a colleague of Kamran Bokhari, spokesman for the Al Qaeda front group, Al Muhajiroun.
Muqtedar Khan likes to cultivate the image of a reasonable Muslim, yet his writings, statements, and associations reveal an opportunist who is playing both sides of the fence for professional gain and personal prestige.
Khan's alliances with people such as Kamran Bokhari, his publication of his work on I Views - the website edited by CAIR's ex-communications director, Ismail Randall Royer - who was jailed last year on terrorism charges as well as Khan's ties with militant Islamist groups are the hallmarks of a fifth columnist.
A brief review of his record suggests an extremely serious security lapse on the part of the military whose vetting process thoroughly failed them in this case.
We consider this a matter of gross negligence.
In October of 2004, Muqtedar Khan was invited to speak at the Army Field Support Command at the Rock Island Arsenal in Illinois. He was invited by Brigadier General Jerome Johnson. General Johnson is the Director of Plans, Operations and Readiness, Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff, G-4, United States Army.
From Khans personal weblog:
"I was there at the generous invitation of Brigadier General Jerome Johnson. General Johnson is an extraordinary leader, highly respected and admired by his staff and a man who keeps an open mind."Khan boasts:
"I gave a lecture that had three parts Islam, the realities of the Muslim World, and US policies in the Muslim World. I enjoyed the question and answer session and was delighted to receive two coins - they are medals that Generals and Commanding officers present to people as a sign of esteem - from the general and then proceeded to see the arsenal on display."
It is alarming that a high ranking US Army officer would be fooled into thinking that Khan is a moderate. A simple internet search would have revealed Khans support for suicide bombings against American troops in Iraq as understandable acts of "frustration."
"The deaths of their own families, the destruction of their homes - all these are leading to frustation and anger and hopelessness and they want the enemy to feel the same frustration and hopelessness so they are resorting to this violence." - Muqtedar Khan, visiting fellow in foreign policy studies Brookings Institution and an expert in political Islam - ABC News
That such an individual was even given access to Rock Island - an active U.S. army facility which manufactures ordinance and equipment for the armed forces - let alone awards, is inexcusable. Its an outrageous breach of national security.
After the security debacle which involved the now head of the Islamic Jihad in Syria, Ramadan Shallah - who had been invited to give lectures to Cent Com at McDill Air Base - albeit with the connivance of fifth column professor, Arthur Lowrie - one might hope that the Army would be more careful in vetting their Muslim speakers.
In April of 2004 Khan was at the Great Mosque in Mecca where he attended a conference at Imam Muhammed University on "Islam and Terrorism". The conference was sponsored by one of the biggest Saudi Wahabi groups and was actually called, "The Islamic Stand on Terrorism, Violence and Extremism."
According to the program of the conference the purpose of the conference was to have the Imam Muhammed Bin Saud Islamic University "clarify it's stance towards the deviated thought and would defuse the accusations against Islam..."
Crown Prince Abdullah bin Abdulaziz financed the event and was in attendance.
According to a 2004 Washington Post article, the US based, Institute of Islamic and Arabic Sciences [the Saudis founded the Institute in 1989] was recently raided by the FBI. The IIAS has been linked to the Muhammed Ibn Saud Islamic University which is identified as "a main citadel of Wahabi instruction." Khan makes a point of recounting that he spoke critically about Wahabism - a rather coy statement, as if these intollerant people are in the habit of not only importing critics but paying for their accommodations and travel expenses.
Even a cursory search of Khans public record would have preserved the integrity of the Army's vetting process as it would have revealed Muqtedar Khan's friendship with Kamran Bokhari.
"...As a Muslim, I am concerned that through this "Get Ussamah Bin Ladin" campaign, the U.S. government is trying to distort and obscure reality. Those who oppose Western (in particular United States) hegemony and neo-colonialism are declared "terrorists." It is no secret that the intelligence apparatus of hegemonic nations like the United States and the United Kingdom, through their embassies, conduct operations under the cloak of diplomatic immunity " - Kamran BokhariBokhari made these remarks as head of Al Muhajiroun whose group displayed on their website a picture of the Capitol building engulfed in flames.
Muqtedar Khan and Bokhari often work together on academic endeavors aimed at advancing the Wahabi philosophy and frequently cross-quote each other in their written work - in October of 2004 they were photographed together in Washington, DC with a non-flaming Capitol building in the background. Muqtedar Khan and Kamran Bokhari have succeeded in distorting and obscuring reality; seemingly parlaying their jihadism into a valuable job asset.
As Muqtedar Khan's blog attests, he displays the chameleon like ability which is the classic MO of an Islamist activist.
In our opinion the US Army must exercise some form of damage control immediately. In a post 9/11 world, one can only blink in disbelief, when Islamist professors like Muqtedar Khan - who openly express their disdain for the United States and its institutions - are being presented as moderates and invited by people like Brigadier General Jerome Johnson, to lecture to top military officials.
On his website Khan makes reference to Bush's, "Hall of Shame." It has pictures of "The Bigot: General Boykin," The Taliban John Ashcroft," and "The Tyrant: Donald Rumsfeld."
It ironically concludes with this statement:
"...It is a tragedy that President Bush who promised to bring dignity, integrity and morality to the White House continues to defend and support those who brought shame and bad name to American itself. Remember the old saying: A man is known by the company he keeps..."
We could hardly disagree with Mr. Khan's last sentiment, one is indeed judged by the company one keeps.
Our view is that the US military's invitation to Muqtedar Khan, and their awarding him two medals as a token of esteem," only compounds the enormity of this serious breach of national security.
It must be addressed.
Ms. Rabinowitz maintains a website, Militant Islam Monitor which is an important clearinghouse of Islamist research.
©1999-2006 Beila Rabinowitz, all rights reserved