One of the disturbing thing about the Bush administration and the national Republican party is its tendency — even long after 9/11 — to consort with American Muslims of questionable provenance.
Thanks to the efforts of some well-heeled lobbyists, with the Saudi cash drawer always going ka-ching in the background, Islamic terror-sympathizers have been invited to White House events, gained the President’s ear, and posed for smiling photos with Mr. Bush and other high-level officials. Some of these Muslims have been indicted and convicted of terrorism-related crimes since their moment of schmoozing with the movers and shakers. How many more are still moving through that “Muslim Outreach” revolving door that leads into the inner sanctum of the Republican power structure?
One of the primary facilitators of all this outreach has been Grover Norquist, of Americans for Tax Reform. Mr. Norquist was recently discredited for his association with the corrupt lobbyist Jack Abramoff, but the real dishonor should come from his unabashed promotion of Muslims with shady backgrounds. It was largely through Mr. Norquist’s efforts that the now-incarcerated Muslims gained their access to the White House.
His latest push has been to get a young man named Suhail Khan onto the board of the American Conservative Union. Some people regard this as an attempt to put a Trojan horse into the heart of American conservatism, and Frank Gaffney has recently led the effort to expose Suhail Khan’s background:
An Incomplete Resume
How many ACU members will be aware of this background as they cast their votes for the two open Board of Director seats – a process that is supposed to be concluded today – is unclear. After all, most will probably be voting on the basis of nothing more than the highly sanitized résumé supplied together with the ACU’s on-line poll:
SUHAIL A. KHAN
A lifelong conservative activist, Suhail Khan is presently serving as Counselor under U.S. Secretary Mary Peters at the U.S. Department of Transportation where he was awarded the Secretary’s Team Award in 2005. Previously Suhail served as Policy Director and Press Secretary for U.S. Congressman Tom Campbell (R-CA) where he worked closely on legislation relating to health antitrust reform, religious freedom, the preservation of the Second Amendment, tort reform, the reform of race-based affirmative action, and the 1998 impeachment proceedings in the House of Representatives. After the 2000 elections, he aided the White House Office of Public Liaison in outreach efforts. In a volunteer capacity, Suhail is an active participant in the Republican National Committee’s 72-hour program and has been deployed to key races in states including Colorado, Washington, Iowa, Louisiana, Virginia, New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Born in Boulder, Colorado, to parents who emigrated to Wyoming and Colorado from southern India, Suhail grew up in California and earned his B.A. in political science from University of California at Berkeley in 1991 and his J.D. from University of Iowa in 1995.
Khan’s Other Credentials
The foregoing account of Suhail Khan’s personal history omits a number of details that ACU members – and, more importantly, the rest of us – should know. Khan has contested the thrust of the following, inconvenient details about his family’s Islamist connections. He has denounced those like me who have called attention to them. Khan has tried with some success to secure retractions from publications that ran articles referring to unsettling aspects of his background and associations – but without providing the evidence that they are wrong. When “A Troubling Influence” appeared three years ago, David Horowitz offered Norquist and Kahn an opportunity to respond. Norquist, a first seemed ready to respond, then begged off saying he had a “revolution to run” and no time for such matters. Suhail Kahn submitted a letter challenging the specific claims in my article which were most damning – that his father, as head of a Wahhabi mosque in California, had hosted Osama bin Laden’s number two man, Ayman al-Zawahiri, and raised money for him, and that as a member of the White House staff – a position Norquist engineered for him – he had authorized radical Islamists to meet with President Bush. Kahn’s denials were submitted to me and I rebutted them. But when Kahn was invited to respond, he went silent. Then, three years later, he challenged the same points when I repeated them in an article for Frontpage. In other words, for three years Suhail Khan has attempted to challenge the information I supplied in 2003 but without actually refuting it. For the record, and as a public service in particular to members of the American Conservative Union, I reprise here the most troubling parts of the Khan clan background…
The internet record seems to have been scrubbed of almost all of the earlier negative references to Suhail Khan. I spent several hours last night looking for information, and it was very hard to come by.
It was especially hard to find photographs of the man. The image at right was pulled from a group photo taken at a Political Chicks cocktail party on September 12, 2002. Mr. Khan is in the second photo from the bottom in the right-hand column; I had to rescue the image from digital darkness so that we can see his face.
I’m not sure of the purpose of the Political Chicks, or why Mr. Khan was at the event. The primary function of the group, based on the photos, seems to be to stand around wearing nice clothes while holding glasses of wine.
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The only other photo of Suhail Khan I could find was a very small one from a United Muslims of America conference on April 29, 2006. When Mr. Khan’s turn came to speak, he had something interesting to say:
Lawyer and activist Suhail Khan was the next speaker… Describing 9/11 as a “horrific act” which killed more people than Pearl Harbor, he added that it has harmed Muslim Americans most.
Hmm. Maybe he’s thinking of the subsequent shock and awe in Baghdad? Or were there more Muslims in the Twin Towers than has previously been reported?
In the wake of 9/11, on November 2, 2001, PBS expressed a similar sentiment when referring to Mr. Khan:
Suhail Khan is a Muslim American who worked for former California Congressman Tom Campbell. Khan will work in the Office of Public Liaison, along with staffers doing outreach to Christians and Jews. Muslim leaders are pleased, although they say there are still no Muslims in decision-making government positions.
Muslim Americans have been working hard to increase their political clout. Kim Lawton reports [on how] the events of September 11 are challenging those efforts.
This Islamocentric view of September 11th — that it was an unfortunate speed bump on the road to full assimilation for good, patriotic American Muslims — has been prevalent in the media and on the Left. But what’s the same attitude doing in the conservative cloisters of the Republican Party?
In October of 2000, during the presidential campaign, Suhail Khan debated a Gore supporter on behalf of George W. Bush on Islam Online [spelling errors are from the original]:
The violence in Palestine has served to remind us, as a Muslim community, that we must be diligent in protecting our Mosque and in protecting the homeland of of ur brothers and sisters. Too much blood has been shed and I fear more will be if we do not use our influence here in the US to bring justice to the world, especially Palestine.
I believe, on balance, Gov. Bush would be teh better candidate to at least give us some hope for a peaceful Palestine. He has said the status of Jerusalem is to be negotiated. He has a record of being more inclusive and willing to talk to Muslims and Muslim Americans as evidenced by his endorsement of teh “secret evidence” legislation in the first debate, and if family is any indication, his father was teh last President to predicate foreign aid to Israel on a halt to the settelment activity, something on which the Clinton-Gore administration has been woefully silent.
It’s interesting that Mr. Khan put forward George Bush as a better friend of “Palestine” than Al Gore. Mr. Khan’s efforts, and those of other Muslims on behalf of the Texas governor, had their effect in the election, and a significant portion of the Muslim-American vote went to George W. Bush. Four years later Mr. Bush was not so lucky; by then he was firmly established as an “Enemy of Islam”.
So maybe that’s why some Republicans are still beavering away to get the Friends of Hamas some face time with the President — being number two means having to try harder.
At one time there were some very harsh critiques of Suhail Khan and his jihad connections, but a concerted push by the Wahhabist lobby has all but erased the record of them from the internet. I found one artifact still in place, preserved in this snide little aside from “Regret the Error” from last July. It’s about some hasty backpedaling by Investor’s Business Daily, presumably forced on them by the Saudi lobby (the original IBD article is available only to paid subscribers):
On June 28, IBD ran an editorial entitled “Mineta’s Welcome Exit, Stage Left.”
We have been asked to retract the following:
“It turns out Suhail Khan is not just any Muslim. He’s the son of the founder of a hard-line Wahhabi mosque in Santa Clara, Calif., that hosted and raised money for Osama bin Laden’s deputy — not once, but twice — last decade. Al-Qaida No. 2 Ayman al-Zawahiri bought satellite phones with the funds.”
Further research has shown that Suhail Khan is the son of a founder of a mosque in Santa Clara, Calif., and is employed by the U.S. Transportation Department. Neither Khan, the mosque, its parishioners nor its operators (the Muslim Community Association of the San Francisco Bay Area) can accurately be described or confirmed as “hard-line Wahhabi.” Neither can it be confirmed that the mosque raised the money referred to in the editorial, nor that specific funds were used to buy satellite phones.
We’re not crazy about the “we have been asked to retract” part of this. And no apology?
Mr. Gaffney details the same connections that IBD was forced to disavow. No one has demonstrated that the allegations are false, and the evidence to support them is considerable. But CAIR and its Hamas-loving allies have enough clout to get this kind of information suppressed whenever it pops up in the MSM.
The big question is about what Suhail Khan represents for the Republican Party and American conservatism. Is he simply an innocuous and dedicated Muslim-American party stalwart, as his supporters insist? Or is something sinister going on here?
I can’t suppress a surge of paranoia over this issue. It seems to me that the Great Jihad would love to put sleepers into the right side of America’s political culture, since they can’t count on the dhimmis on the left to attain and keep national political power. A few dedicated mujahid moles in sensitive positions would work wonders for the Umma’s cause.
I’m probably just being an Islamophobe, as usual, but I think the American Conservative Union is be making a big mistake by voting Suhail Khan onto their board of directors.
For some reason I mistakenly labeled the post about the IBS retraction as being from The New York Times, rather than from “Regret the Error”. I’ve corrected the mistake.
Does that make this post eligible for “Regret the Error”? This could be the beginning of an infinite recursion…