U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson spoke over this past weekend at the annual Islamic Society of America (ISNA) event, greeting the participants warmly and telling them, "Your story is the quintessential American story."
The Department of Homeland Security, the third largest Cabinet department in the U.S. government, is charged with protecting the U.S. from, and dealing with, terrorism as well as natural disasters.
The Washington Post called Johnson's appearance an “impassioned speech” to empower ISNA’s participants.
The Clarion Project reports that ISNA is a group with Muslim Brotherhood origins and an unindicted co-conspirator in the Holy Land Foundation terror-financing trial. The Holy Land Foundation (HLF) was created by the now-defunct “Palestine Committee,” which itself was established by the Muslim Brotherhood to advance Hamas’s political and financial agendas in the United States. The HLF was based in the ISNA building. In addition, ISNA deposited checks into its account that were made out to the “Palestinian Mujahadeen [jihadi fighters]” - the name used at the time for Hamas’s military wing. The funding was transferred to the Holy Land Foundation.
Extremist speakers at the ISNA conference at which Secretary Johnson spoke included Jamal Badawi, a founder of another Brotherhood entity, the Muslim American Society, and Nihad Awad, founder and executive director of the CAIR organization. CAIR, too, is a U.S. Brotherhood entity, and an unindicted co-conspirator in the Holy Land terror financing case.
Although the Post wrote that Johnson was the “highest-ranking U.S. official to address an ISNA conference,” this is incorrect; Clarion reported that U.S. President Obama himself addressed the 2013 ISNA convention and praised the group for its partnership with his administration.
Instead of working with anti-Islamist Muslims, Clarion wrote, "the Obama administration continues to embrace Muslim Brotherhood legacy groups. [The Obama team might feel that] since they represent mainstream Muslim thought, it’s better to have them on our side rather than against us."
However, this thinking is flawed on two accounts, Clarion notes: First, because a 2011 Gallup poll shows that only 4% of Muslim-American males and 7% of females chose ISNA as the organization that most represents their interests. Other Islamist groups like CAIR garnered similar small affiliations in the poll.
In addition, Clarion explains, 'the raison d’etre of Islamists is the implementation of Islam on a political level – i.e. sharia governance. Islamists will only work with "Western governments to use democratic principles to implement their political goals [...] Sharia is antithetical to democratic principles (free speech, freedom of religion, etc.).
"The way to integrate the Muslim community in America and counter radicalization is to discredit the Islamist ideology, not promote and empower it by giving it a platform and sending high-ranking government officials to legitimize it."