The latest issue of Dabiq, the Islamic State’s propaganda magazine, publicized a hit list of prominent Muslims living in the West that it wants its proxies to target. The terrorist organization’s writers described these people as “politically active apostates,” a charge deserving of death in the minds of the extremists.
The list, says the SITE Intelligence Group, which monitors jihadist activity online, includes figures in the United States, Australia, Britain and Canada. Many are moderate clerics who have taken part in interfaith outreach and championed a peaceful Islam. Others are leading political strategists or advisers, who work or have worked within Western governments.
Some of the Americans in the Islamic State’s crosshairs include Huma Abedin, a senior aide to Hillary Clinton, Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.) and diplomat Rashad Hussain.
The sad irony of this particular roll call is that it’s not just the jihadists who have it in for such respected Muslim Americans. A controversial foreign policy adviser to Sen. Ted Cruz, a potential Republican nominee for president, does, too.
Frank Gaffney has not called for the death of his domestic enemies. But as WorldViews noted last month, he has spent the better part of decade propagating conspiracy theories about an Islamist fifth column within the United States, poised to seize government institutions and bend the nation toward Islam.
These include attacks on Abedin, whom Gaffney has described as a “ticking time bomb” and repeatedly accused of having ties to the Muslim Brotherhood, an organization that Gaffney is convinced is primed to unleash “civilization jihad” in the United States through its well-heeled proxies.
Gaffney’s critics label him a bigot and an Islamophobe.
Speaking on MSNBC last month, Ellison described Gaffney as “one of the foremost haters,” who is nevertheless “treated like a legitimate political adviser.”
Hamza Yusuf, an influential cleric and scholar described in the latest Dabiq issue as “the pinnacle of apostasy in Americanist Islam,” went to the White House to consult with President George W. Bush in the days after the attacks on 9/11 and was mocked by some on the left as “Bush’s pet Muslim.”
An article in the New Republic in November 2001 reported that Gaffney, during a meeting of other conservatives, “questioned the presence of terrorist sympathizers at the White House.” He wrote an article highlighting the supposedly troubling ties between the Bush administration and leading Muslim clerics, including Yusuf.