Last week the U.S. State Department hosted the seventh annual Iftar banquet in Washington, DC, celebrating the end of Islamic holy month of Ramadan. US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice spoke to those in attendance, such as Nihad Awad, the executive director of the Washington-based Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), as well as representatives of other local and national Muslim organizations, Muslim students, diplomats from Islamic countries, and State Department officials. Speaking to those present, Secretary Rice stated:
"So, on behalf of all the men and women of the State Department, thank you for honoring us with your presence this evening. Thank you for what you do every day as people of a great faith, of one of the world's great religions, of a religion of peace and love." [Excerpted from Transcript]
Among those honored by the State Department sponsored dinner and receiving praise and accolades from Secretary of State Rice was Nihad Awad. Awad is the founder and director of the Council of American Islamic Relations (CAIR), which evolved from the Islamic Association of Palestine (IAP). As detailed in an article on FrontPage Magazine, Oliver Revell, the FBI's former associate director of Counter-Intelligence Operations, stated that the IAP "is an organization that has directly supported [the Palestinian terror group] Hamas' military goals. It is a front organization for Hamas that engages in propaganda for Islamic militants." Nihad Awad, former public relations director for the IAP, has a lengthy history of embracing Islamic extremism. ,
Nihad Awad openly praised Iran's despicable and notorious Ayatollah Khomeini. the spiritual leader of the Iranian revolution who first branded the U.S. as "the great Satan;"
Awad described the 1994 trial and conviction of the Islamic terrorists behind the 1993 World Trade Center bombings as "a travesty of justice" in the Muslim World Monitor;
At a 1994 Barry University panel discussion, Awad proudly proclaimed: "I am in support of the Hamas movement."
While Secretary of State Rice was busy praising "the benevolence that is at the heart of Islam" and referenced the assistance reportedly provided by Muslims for recent hurricane victims, renowned Islamic leader Muhammad Yousef Al-Mlaifi, the director of the Kuwaiti Ministry of Endowment's research center, seemed to have a different take on the hurricane that struck the United States which did not reflect the benevolence cited in the remarks by Ms. Rice. Perhaps she was unaware of the August 31, 2005 article that appeared in the Kuwaiti daily Al-Siyassa, in which Al Mlaifi proclaimed that "the terrorist Katrina is one of the soldiers of Allah…" apparently suggesting that America deserved the death and destruction brought by hurricane Katrina.
Such statements continue to remain operative among many influential Muslims in the U.S. The big question is when are the policy-makers in America going to wake up and realize what is taking place around them. Perhaps the most succinct statement of Islamic objectives can be attributed to an authoritative Muslim person as recounted in the 1999 writings of Giuseppe Germano Bernardini, the Italian archbishop of Izmir, Turkey: "Thanks to your democratic laws we will invade you; thanks to our religious laws we will dominate you."