Daily Israel Report

Obama ‘Reaches Out’ by Naming ‘Devout’ Muslims to Security Posts

President Obama continues to “reach out to Muslims” by placing them in key security posts amid charges he wrongly ignored internal Muslim terror.
By Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu
First Publish: 11/17/2009, 3:48 PM / Last Update: 11/17/2009, 3:52 PM

Homeland Security

U.S. President Barack Obama continues to “reach out to Muslims” by appointing them to key security posts amid charges he wrongly ignored internal Muslim terror. One recent appointee was harshly criticized for appearing on a British-based television station whose host is a member of a radical Muslim group.

His “reaching out Muslims” speech in Cairo last June has been followed by action, the latest being this past week's swearing-in of a Muslim rights advocate to the Homeland Security Advisory Council, shortly after the Fort Hood massacre. HSAC members are involved in expertise on national security.

The new member is Syrian-born Kareem Shora, who was the national executive director of the Arab-American Anti-Discrimination (ADC), which previously has called on the United States to stop providing Israel with weapons because of alleged “atrocities” against Arabs. Her background for her new security post is having been a legal counsel and advocate for Muslim civil rights.

She also has been a frequent guest on the pro-Hamas al-Jazeera satellite network.

Shora, who has been described as a “devout Muslim, joins another devout member of the faith, Arif Alikhan, who was appointed as Assistant Secretary for Policy Development in the Department of Homeland Security. His qualifications for the job were listed as having been in charge of public safety in Los Angeles during his term of deputy mayor. One of his actions was to remove the plan that tracked Muslims in the city who were suspected of terrorist activities.

Americans have been jolted by several lethal attacks and confrontations with Muslims over the past year, including a plot to attack synagogues and down U.S. military aircraft, the manufacture of bombs, an alleged attempt to explode a Texas skyscraper, a plot to blow up malls in Boston, and last month’s Fort Hood massacre by a Muslim psychiatrist who was an officer in the army.

A desire to avoid the appearance of labeling all Muslims as terrorists lunged out from the shadows last month after President Obama faced criticism for not taking seriously the threat of Muslim terrorism within American society as well as in the Middle East, Asia and Africa.

Several months ago, President Obama appointed Dalia Mogahed, a “devout Muslim,” to his Council on Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships. She quickly came under fire for appearing in a telephone interview on a London-based Muslim television station, whose host is a member of an extreme Islamic group.

She said was unaware of the affiliations of her host, whose program included questions and comments favoring the implementation of Islamic Law (“sharia”).

Mogahed explained that she did not hang up the phone in the middle of the interview because "I assumed that very few people would watch this show but that doing something more dramatic would bring more attention."

 In the current issue of Newsweek, columnist Jacob Weisberg, citing former Secretary of State Colin Powell, wrote that “Obama's [Muslim] heritage feeds a broader suspicion that he is too casual about the threat from America's Islamist enemies.”

The journalist added, “With the massacre in Texas, Obama now confronts something that George W. Bush did not face in the years after September 11—not just a major act of domestic terrorism, but one struck from inside our security apparatus…. America does not face a threat from the perversion of faith in general. We face a threat from the perversion of one faith in particular.”