By - BEILA RABINOWITZ and WILLIAM MAYER
June 2, 2008 - SAN FRANCISCO - PipeLineNews.org - On April 23 the Arab American Institute [AAI] headed by James Zogby, held an event titled "The 2008 Khalil Gibran Spirit of Humanity Awards." The evening was intended to honor, "individuals for their service and efforts to address problems that too often go overlooked." Among the speakers at the event was Mahmoud Abbas [aka Abu Mazen] who heads the Palestinian Authority as well as Fatah ["Movement for the National Liberation of Palestine"], the terrorist organization created by Yasir Arafat in the 50s, whose spin-off "Black September" was responsible for the massacre of 11 Israeli athletes at the 1972 Munich Olympics.
An awardee [in recognition for his leadership of Refugees International] at the gala was Farouq Kathwari the CEO of Ethan Allen furniture [also the director of the U.S. based Kashmir Study Group] an outspoken Kashmiri activist.
Kathwari's son, Irfan apparently in reaction to the Gulf War, left his medical studies at Harvard and traveled to Islamabad, Pakistan. In short order he became radicalized and found himself waging jihad as a mujahideen in Afghanistan, where in 1992, at the age of 19 he was killed in an engagement with Indian military personnel [see, Militant Islam Monitor, http://www.militantislammonitor.org/article/id/597]
Sponsors for the event included the Royal Embassy of Saudi Arabia, the UAE Embassy and the Kingdom Holding Company which is run by Saudi billionaire and da'wa propagator, Prince Al Waleed Bin Talal.
Of major concern, both the FBI and the National Guard are listed as sponsors of the event.
The American Arab Institute is in the pocket of the Saudi Wahhabis, having received $300,000 dollars from Prince Al Waleed Bin Talal. In 2001 Bin Talal's offer of $10 million dollars was rejected by then New York Mayor Rudi Giuliani because Talal, "suggested the World Trade Center was attacked because the U.S. allowed Palestinians to be "slaughtered" by the Israelis." [source, http://www.nydailynews.com/archives/news/2001/10/12/2001-10-12_giuliani_nixes_saudi_s_10m_g.html].
Bin Talal is infamous for holding telethons which raised millions of dollars for the family of "martyred" suicide bombers.
Both Zogby brothers [James and John] use the AAI [a non-profit corporation] to promote Saudi interests, hence they are integral figures in DC's "Wahhabi lobby," despite their not being Muslim.
A June 30, 2003 piece, authored by Shia Muslims Syed Mohammad Hijazi, Sheikh Fadhil Al-Sahlani & Sheikh Mohammad Sadiq Kadem, and reprinted by the "Foundation for Defense of Democracies," ["Shias: Zogby is Wrong"] took John Zogby to task for acting as an agent of Saudi religious extremism.
"...As Shia Muslims living in the United States, we indignantly reject the imputations of the Arab American Institute, James Zogby [who] spoke at a press conference held by the World Assembly of Muslim Youth (WAMY) in Riyadh As Muslims, we know without doubt the WAMY is an extremist arm of Wahabism, responsible for inciting mass murder of Shias in many countries. Zogby, if he truly represents Arabs who are Americans, should have nothing whatever to do with WAMY." [source, http://www.defenddemocracy.org/in_the_media/in_the_media_show.htm?doc_id=180206&attrib_id=7377]
In a piece entitled, "Stopping the Saudis," Alex Alexiev, a senior fellow at the Center for Security Policy, revealed that the Arab American Institute was working together with the World Assembly of Muslim Youth, a group which appeared on a U.S. government list of terror funding Saudi groups.
Of note, WAMY was incorporated in the U.S. by Osama bin-Laden's brother, Abdullah.
"..The radicalization of Islam is continuing apace domestically as well, and again the Saudis play a key role. In just one recent example, according to the Arab News (a Saudi government-controlled newspaper), the World Assembly of Muslim Youth - which was incorporated in the U.S. by Osama bin Laden's brother Abdullah bin Laden - announced last June that it will "take up the cases" of 13,000 Muslim illegal aliens slated for deportation, together with the Arab American Institute, an American non-profit organization (and the recipient of $300,000 from Saudi prince Alwaleed bin Talal, again according to the Arab News). It is difficult to interpret this as anything other than a blatant interference in the internal affairs of the U.S. by a state-controlled foreign entity." [source, http://www.traditioninaction.org/HotTopics/e016htSaudis_Alexiev.html]
With this sort of background it is difficult to understand why the FBI and the National Guard are both listed as sponsoring what clearly constitutes an arm of the Wahhabist lobby. Until the U.S. takes concrete steps to reject Saudi Wahhabist influence peddling, the struggle against radical Islam cannot be effectively waged.
As Dr. Daniel Pipes wrote in a blog entry titled The U.S. Government's Poor Record on Islamists, "Over and over again, branches of the American government have been embarrassed by their blindness to jihadist Islam..." [source, http://www.danielpipes.org/blog/2004/06/the-us-governments-poor-record-on-islamists.html]
The FBI and National Guard involvement in this AAI gala alongside the world's leading Wahhabist institutions, and individuals is more than just an embarrassment, it's a dangerously mistaken policy which sends the wrong message to our allies as well as serving to hamstring the war against radical Islam.
©1999-2008 PipeLineNews.org LLC, Beila Rabinowitz, William Mayer, all rights reserved.