Consider scenarios as Legislature’s coffers empty

Tom West, West Words

At the White House Conference on Countering Violent Extremism this week, President Obama said, “The U.S. is not at war with Islam.”

However, the question remains, “Is Islam at war with the United States?”

In advance of the conference, the Council on American-Islamic Relations in Minnesota (CAIR-MN) voiced opposition to a plan by which the government would organize mentoring programs for disaffected youths, mostly Somali, in schools, at the Minneapolis-St. Paul Airport and in mosques.

The CAIR-MN officials say that the program amounts to “spying” on the populace.

The problem, however, is that somewhere between 15 and 20 Minnesota residents are believed to have left here to join ISIS and its jihadic mission. These young people aren’t all reaching this decision on their own. Somebody is recruiting them, and it is happening right here.

Meanwhile, ISIS is making a great show of barbaric beheadings and burnings of live people. As a public-relations ploy, the benefit to Islam of this escapes me.

In the summer of 2013, the Central Minnesota Tea Party Patriots brought in Brigitte Gabriel, who spoke about the dangers of Islamic extremism. Representatives of CAIR-MN protested that appearance but 650 people packed the meeting place. Then last April, CAIR-MN, partnering with local peace and justice types, countered with a meeting of their own to talk about Islam as a religion of peace.

Next, about a month ago, another speaker showed up in Morrison County. His appearance was by invitation only (meaning only those on the approved list were told the location), but about 70 people showed up at a senior center to hear what he had to say.

I was told that the reason for the secrecy was because the organizers were afraid that CAIR would attempt to disrupt the meeting.

The speaker was John Guandolo. If one runs a Google search on him, what one finds is interesting. Guandolo is a former FBI agent, and he is well connected to a group that includes a retired lieutenant general, a retired admiral, a former U.S. ambassador and a number of former CIA analysts.

Guandolo believes that the Muslim Brotherhood through various front organizations is working to overthrow the U.S. government from within and replace it with an Islamic caliphate governed by Sharia law.

That’s quite a bold statement, but Guandolo says don’t believe what he says, just listen to what U.S. Islamic leaders are saying. He has written a book, “Raising a Jihadi Generation,” which contains numerous excerpts from the documents of U.S. Islamic leaders to confirm his position. Many of the documents were seized during FBI investigations.

Guandolo says that the issue facing America today is not so much a “counterterrorism” issue as it is “a counterintelligence and espionage” problem.

Under the U.S. Constitution, the government can’t use religion as a factor in its hiring practices.

When he worked at the FBI, Guandolo said, they tried to recruit informants to tell them what was going on in the Muslim communities. The potential informers would ask who already was working for the FBI, and when they found out that members of the Muslim Brotherhood had already infiltrated the agency, they said, thanks, but no thanks.

In 2008, the leaders of a group known as the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development (HLF) were convicted of funneling more than $12 million from the United States to the Palestinian terrorist group, Hamas.

Guandolo writes in his book that the Islamic movement in the United States is led by the Muslim Brotherhood, that its objective is to wage “Civilization Jihad” to destroy America from within, and that CAIR, “one of the most vocal opponents of all U.S. government counter-terrorism measures, purports to be a ‘civil rights’ organization and was the fourth organization created by the U.S. Palestine Committee to be a front for Hamas in America.”

I wouldn’t have a problem with CAIR, anymore than the Democrats and the Republicans, organizing and plotting to take over America, as long as I thought that the rule of law and the U.S. Constitution, which protects our rights and freedoms, would prevail.

But when terrorists are being actively recruited in Minnesota to fight for ISIS, it gives me pause, and when CAIR opposes efforts to stop terrorist recruitment, it’s scary.

Americans understand well politics as they relate to other nation-states. We understood the Soviet Union because it was a geographical entity, just like the United States.

Too many Americans, particularly in the political class, no longer understand religion, however. Too many still want to frame the argument in economics — if they weren’t so poor, they wouldn’t want to cut our heads off — but the reality is that many Muslims pay more than lip service to their religion. They live it. They want a very different society, with women subordinate to men, no disrespect to Allah, and Sharia law, including death for certain sins. What I’m hearing is that many Central Minnesotans continue to be concerned.

Tom West is the editor and general manager of the Record. Reach him at (320) 616-1932 or by email at

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