This post was originally published on ThinkProgress Security and is being reposted with permission.
The Citizens for National Security (CFNS) came to Capitol Hill yesterday to give a Congressional briefing on what they consider a dangerous threat facing America: Islamism and the Muslim Brotherhood. Representative Allen West (R-FL), a man with a history of fringe beliefs and Islamophobia, introduced and sponsored the CFNS presentation. Titled “Hometown Jihad on the USA,” the briefing was designed as an exposé on the Muslim Brotherhood, which CFNS said has been operating a four-phase plan since 1962 to “penetrate the United States and eventually erode its institutions, policies, and sense of self.”
At the event, which was led by CFNS’s Peter M. Leitner, the group announced they had compiled a list of more than 6,000 enemies of the state and 200 organizations that are connected to the Muslim Brotherhood. The organizations accused included prominent Muslim-American groups such as the Muslim Student Association and the Council on American-Islamic Relations.
Yet in light of the recent horrific terrorist attack in Norway allegedly by Anders Breivik, the salience of Islamophobic rhetoric is certainly concerning. After all, Brievik was heavily influenced by Islamophobes in America, hated the rising influence of Muslims and multiculturalism in the West, and thought his attack was a strike against jihad enablers. His manifesto also cited CFNS board member Daniel Pipes eleven times as a supporter of his ideology.
At the event, undergraduates from the CFNS-indicted Muslim Student Association at American University pressed Leitner, concerned about copy-cat attacks and the connections between his organization’s anti-Muslim rhetoric and right-wing, anti-Islam terrorist attacks. Leitner’s response? There’s no connection, and if you don’t like my presentation, make your own:
QUESTIONER 1: Are you not worried that in wake of these attacks, there will be copycat crimes in the United States that put American lives at risk based on the kind of information and grandiose conspiracy theories that you are setting up today?
LEITNER: [...]The issue of whether or not is [Daniel] Pipes is guilty of somehow inciting, you know, this bizarre Norwegian farmer into an act of incredibly heinous and bizarre terrorism against innocent people because he reads his blogs and guzzles up the information, the answer is no, that’s an absurd claim–
QUESTIONER 1: [... But he cited your information.
LEITNER: So what? He can cite the bible, he can cite the Koran, so what? He can cite anything he wants to…It doesn’t make any differences, it’s an insane mind, it doesn’t make any difference…
QUESTIONER 2: But if you cite the Muslim Brotherhood it’s different. You can cite all kinds of people, If you’re not Muslim, you’re acting alone. But if you’re Muslim Brotherhood and you’re Muslim, you’re part of this big scheme that you could not even explain.
You can watch the video here.