MRC's Tim Graham picks up on the New Republic's Isaac Chotiner's pick-up on a particularly fawning New York Magazine gush-crush by Mark Jacobson about Huma Abedin -- aka Mrs. Anthony Weiner, aka veritable Muslim Brotherhood Princess.
Oops. Neither Graham nor Chotiner mention this salient aspect of Abedin's station in life.
Further, neither Graham nor Chotiner seems to have noticed the following dollop of journalistic goo.
Endlessly entranced, Jacobson writes:
As the conversation turned to kids and travel, Huma showed me a picture of her father, Syed Zainul Abedin, which she keeps in a small frame on the windowsill.
Born in India in 1928, Syed Zainul Abedin was educated at the Aligarh Muslim University, in a western Uttar Pradesh town where, in 1803, a regiment under the command of the British East India Company waged war against the Maratha Empire.
Nice reverie of The Raj. Relevant? Wait. Watch the sepia-toned cloud of disinformation form.
With rimless glasses and a large shock of hair swept across his forehead, Syed Zainul had the look of a young threadbare scholar, which is basically what he was, Huma said.
This was how she came to be born in the notably unexotic locale of Kalamazoo, Michigan, during her father’s brief tenure at Western Michigan University.
Two years later, the family moved to Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, where she grew up.
End of Saudi story. What happened in Saudi Arabia stays in Saudi Arabia because the writer takes us immediately back to tea and crumpets:
“My father had that perfect-British-education thing. He had a system of what I was supposed to read and in what order,” Huma said, walking across the room to a large bookcase and pulling out a softcover copy of Anna Karenina. At the corner of the first page was written “L6.” That meant, Huma said, “level six … I was supposed to go through the levels. Silas Marner was level one.” She pulled out two more volumes, The Count of Monte Cristo, marked “L15,” and The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, “L19.”
To recap: Syed Abedin was an aesthete (remember the telltale "shock of hair"), a literature-lover and "threadbare scholar." No doubt it was Syed's greatest pleasure to save his Saudi rials to buy his little girl the great works of Western literature.
Thus, with a satisfied sigh, New York Magazine and the rest of the media close the book on Huma's background.
But the fact is -- and this information is readily available online thanks to the digging of Andrew Bostom, Andrew C. McCarthy, Walid Shoebat and some others -- Syed Abedin, along with his wife, and, eventually, children, had other "academic" interests to pursue from what was/is in reality the family's funded perch inside the Saudi/Muslim Brotherhood milieu.
This background, however, is a taboo topic in the media, as I found out first-hand when the Washington Examiner refused to run a column of mine on the subject, then in the mix of breaking news last summer. (The "taboo" column and my reply to the Examiner are here. The Examiner is now defunct as a daily newspaper.)
The Abedin family move to Saudi Arabia in 1979 when Huma was two years old, but not just to immerse Huma in the classics of Western literature, as a readers of New York Magazine may now believe. The Abedins moved to Saudi Arabia when Syed and his wife Saleha (a member of the Muslim Sisterhood and sharia advocate) were recruited by Abdullah Omar Naseef to run a brand new institute and journal, the Institute of Muslim Minority Affairs (IMMA). Saleha would take over as editor after Syed's death in 1993. (The journal named changed to Journal of Muslim Minority Affairs in 1996.) Both Huma and her brother Hasan would be affilated with the journal for years.
Who is Abdullah Omar Naseef? Shortly after founding the IMMA and taking the title of chairman, Naseef became secretary general of the Muslim World League (MWL).
(I have discussed Naseef's alarming connection to Rupert Murdoch's media holdings here and here.)
Former federal prosecutor Andrew C. McCarthy describes the Muslim World League as "the Saudi-financed global propagation enterprise by which the Muslim Brotherhood’s virulently anti-Western brand of Islamist ideology is seeded throughout the world, very much including in the United States."
In 1988, under MWL auspices, Nassef, still involved with the Abedins' institute, would found Rabitah Trust, a leading source of Al Qaeda financing. Shortly after 9/11, the US government would designate this "charity" a foreign terrorist organization. Naseef would remain connected to the IMMF until 2003, overlapping with Huma Abedin for at least seven years.
Of course, Huma was too immersed in Anna Karenina to notice.
McCarthy fills in many more details, including Abedin family connections to the Muslim Brotherhood below:
We are not talking here about some random imam in the dizzying alphabet soup of Islamist entities. In the pantheon of Islamic supremacism, there are few positions more critical than secretary general of the Muslim World League. In fact, one of the MWL’s founders was Sa’id Ramadan, the right-hand and son-in-law of Hassan al-Banna, the Brotherhood’s legendary founder.
The MWL manages the “civilization jihad” — the Brotherhood’s commitment to destroy the West from within, and to “conquer” it by sharia proselytism (or dawa), as Sheikh Yusuf Qaradawi, the Brotherhood’s top sharia jurist, puts it.
Nevertheless, the MWL has a long history of deep involvement in violent jihad as well.
It was under MWL auspices in 1988 that Naseef created a “charity” called the Rabita Trust. The scare-quotes around “charity” are intentional. To direct the Rabita Trust, Naseef selected Wael Hamza Jalaidan. A few years earlier, Jalaidan had joined with Osama bin Laden to form al-Qaeda. ...
A month after the 9/11 attacks, Naseef’s Rabitah Trust was formally designated as a foreign terrorist organization by the United States government. Ultimately, branches of the al-Haramain Islamic Foundation and the International Islamic Relief Organization – other “charities” with roots in the MWL — were also designated as foreign terrorist organizations under federal law. This, too, should have not been a surprise. In 2003, in connection with a terrorism prosecution in Chicago, the Justice Department proffered that Osama bin Laden had told his aide Jamal al-Fadl that the Muslim World League was one of al-Qaeda’s three top funding sources. (Fadl later renounced al-Qaeda and cooperated with federal prosecutors.)
Throughout the time that he ran the MWL and the Rabita Trust, Naseef kept his hand in at the IMMA.
This was the same IMMA that was, of course, the Abedin family business. Andrew Bostom, author of tomes about jihad, Islamic anti-Semitism and sharia (Islamic law), has studied issues of the English-language journal and describes it as "thinly veiled mouthpiece for the Muslim Brotherhood's Sharia-supremacist agenda." (Bostom's lengthy IMMA analysis here.)
No word, however, on whether Syed Abedin ever introduced Naseef to Hucklebery Finn.
In fact, he [Naseef] continued to be listed on the masthead as a member of the “advisory editorial board” at the IMMA’s journal until 2003. We might hazard a guess why his name disappeared after that: in 2004, he was named as a defendant in the civil case brought by victims of the 9/11 atrocities. (In 2010, a federal court dropped him from the suit — not because he was found uninvolved, but because a judge reasoned the American court lacked personal jurisdiction over him.)
Huma Abedin was affiliated with the IMMA’s journal for a dozen years, from 1996 through 2008. She overlapped with its founder, Naseef, for at least seven years — it could be more, but I am assuming for argument’s sake that Naseef had no further involvement in his institute once his name was removed from the masthead.
The case against Ms. Abedin’s suitability for a high-level position with access to the nation’s secrets gets much worse if you add in her family ties.
To summarize what I’ve already outlined here at Ordered Liberty: her parents were recruited by Naseef to head up the IMMA; her mother is an active member of Muslim Brotherhood organizations — including the Muslim Sisterhood and two entities that are part of Sheikh Qaradawi’s Union of Good, another designated terrorist organization; there is persuasive evidence that her father was a member of the Brotherhood — e.g., the intimate tie to Naseef and his widow’s membership in the Muslim Sisterhood (which is substantially comprised of wives and female relatives of prominent Muslim Brothers); her mother is a tireless advocate of sharia law as preached by Qaradawi and the Brotherhood; and her brother, who is also affiliated with the IMMA’s journal, was a fellow at an Islamist institute (the Oxford Center for Islamic Studies) on whose board sat both Naseef and Qaradawi.
Nevertheless, the family ties to the Brotherhood only further elucidate what is already patent: Huma Abedin’s connection to Abdullah Omar Naseef, by itself, would have been more than enough justification to deny her a security clearance. That would have made it inconceivable that she could serve as deputy chief of staff to the secretary of state.
But it doesn't disqualify her from endless media puffery.
Ms. Abedin has very disturbing connections to the Muslim Brotherhood. Though she is not a policymaker, she is an important adviser, and during her three-year tenure, federal government policy has radically shifted in the Brotherhood’s favor, to the point that the Obama administration is not only embracing the previously shunned Brotherhood but issuing visas to members of formally designated terrorist organizations.
Now she may become the First Lady of New York City.
Maybe she'll start a book club.
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