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Militant Islam Monitor > Articles > Kamran Bokhari Al Muhajiroun US spokesman lauds removal of administration"hawkish neo conservatives" on conservative website

Kamran Bokhari Al Muhajiroun US spokesman lauds removal of administration"hawkish neo conservatives" on conservative website

Man who brought Anjem Choudary to the
August 12, 2005

MIM: Bokhari is a self proclaimed 'post Islamist' which means that he advocated the same ideology as he did when he was the North American spokesman for Al Muhajiroun, (a position which he never relinquished), only now he gets published on conservative websites like the Lincoln Heritage Institute, together with Tom Ridge and John Ashcroft.

Bokhari sees the only way for the Bush administration to redeem themselves in the eyes of Muslims is to recognize Hamas and Hizbollah as a group supported by the masses and;

"... to extend olive branches, which it has done by appointing new officials at the Pentagon and State Department -- and most obviously by removing some of the most hawkish neoconservatives from policymaking positions".

Bokhari's latest article suggests that the Bush administration work with the terrorist groups Hizbollah and Hamas while at the same time writing that "the Bush administration knows it needs to extend olive branches and has removed the most hawkish neo conservative from policy making. In an idea similiar to that he put forth in a 1999 article which defended Bin Laden as a 'friend' to American mothers by making the US think twice about going to war Bokhari explains that:

"In other words, it is Islamist -- not secular -- forces that not only can stem the tide of the al Qaeda phenomenon but act as a buffer against a possible jihadist resurgence..."

He also says that "anti Americanism in the Middle East should be kept at acceptable levels". Which begs the question as to what manifestations of anti Americanism the North American spokesman of Al Muhajiroun turned strategic analyst now deems acceptable.

For more on Bokhari -'Stratfor's resident Jihadi' see:

http://www.militantislammonitor.org/article/id/233

MIM: In addition to his work at strategic analyst for Stratfor Bokhari is the interim treasurer of the AMSS/ IIIT which was raided during Operation Greenquest as it's umbrella organisation. The International Institute of Islamic Thought is tied to the Al Qaeda funding SAAR network.

Treasurer: Mr. Kamran Bokhari - Interim Treasurer -

(Howard University, Washington, DC)

kbokhari@howard.edu

http://www.amss.net/ExecutiveBoards.html
---------------------------------------

April, 2005

http://www.lincolnheritage.org/articles/wklymag/the_push_for_democracy.html

By Kamran Bokhari

As we recently noted, Washington has moved beyond the military stage of the U.S.-jihadist war and is now in the phase of negotiated settlements. Historically, there has been a problem with such accommodations -- particularly where Islamist forces are involved. This is something we often refer to as "the Karzai effect."

However, the second Bush administration, in its push for democracy around the world, appears to have found a way to achieve its ends without necessarily undermining its Arab/Muslim counterpart. Not only is Washington willing to gamble on the outcome of "messy" democratization, but it also is willing to go where it consciously has avoided going before -- facilitating the rise of Islamist (albeit relatively moderate) forces to power in Muslim states.

It should be remembered that during the first of the Bush administrations, in June 1992, an assistant secretary of state, Edward Djerejian, caveated Washington's support for the spread of democracy, noting somewhat ironically that the United States opposed systems characterized by "one man, one vote, one time." Djerejian was, of course, not referring to the time-honored "one man, one vote" tradition of the United States, but to the landslide victory of Algeria's Front Islamique du Salut (Islamic Salvation Front) in first-round elections there. His remark -- which expressed U.S. fears that an Islamist group would use legitimate elections to take power and then slam and lock the door shut behind it -- came to be viewed as the cornerstone of U.S. policy toward Islamism.

Like so many other notions, that was shattered by the events of Sept. 11, 2001. The transnational threat posed by militant Islamists prompted the search for moderate voices within the Muslim world. Of those that emerged -- from secularists, regimes and traditionalists -- it is the Islamists the Bush administration has chosen to work with.

This can be seen in several examples from the Middle East: First, Islamist (Shiite) forces in Iraq and in Iran were the United States' principal allies in facilitating the ouster of Saddam Hussein. Second, Washington needed political partners in Iraq who could deliver on a deal -- not secular leaders who had no control over the street. Third, U.S. policymakers have begun to understand the factionalization within the Islamist movement and how to exploit it to advantage.

In stark contrast to the position voiced during his father's presidency, President George W. Bush's administration is issuing bold statements. In April 2003, White House spokesman Ari Fleischer said the Bush administration wanted to see an Islamic democracy emerge in Iraq -- pointing to Turkey's quasi-Islamist Justice and Development Party regime as a model. And in October 2004, Bush said that though it wasn't his first choice, Washington would accept an Islamic government, if democratically elected.

In Afghanistan, outgoing U.S. Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad has been overseeing the integration of "moderate" Taliban forces into the political process to boost President Hamid Karzai's standing within his own majority Pushtun community.

Now, the Bush administration has upped the ante. Not only has Bush set the spread of democracy as the cornerstone of his second-term foreign policy agenda, but the president in the State of the Union address called directly for Egypt and Saudi Arabia -- two of the United States' closest allies in the Middle East -- to democratize their authoritarian governments.

There is no doubt that the U.S. preference for democratic political systems, at least as applied in the West, is motivated by philosophy and ideology, but the push for democracy in other regions is thwarted by a host of structural and functional problems. Moreover, as with any country, national interest trumps altruism. Thus, the U.S. push for greater democratization in the world in general and in Arab/Muslim countries in particular is motivated primarily by the need and desire to safeguard U.S. national interests and its superpower status around the globe.

Over the long term, democratic processes conceivably could bring order to chaos. Autocratic structures breed social, political and economic instability, especially in times of political transition. Because of this, it is also more difficult to predict political turnovers and successions, since any cracks in the structure can give hidden opposition forces a chance to explode onto the scene. As the world's sole superpower, the United States finds this problematic, since these situations can force it to intervene politically, economically and, of course, militarily.

In the longer term, democracies provide much greater stability, while authoritarian systems are far superior at controlling disruptions in the short term. By pushing for democracy -- even in the Middle East -- the United States is tacitly signaling that the security crisis touched off by the Sept. 11 attacks is over and that Washington feels sufficiently secure and in control to weather short-term disruptions in political systems abroad.

In the case of the greater Middle East region, whose modern history is replete with conflicts, Washington appears no longer interested in short-term, patchwork solutions involving a strongman or proxy group. This is not to say the United States will be pulling its support from the incumbent authoritarian regimes forthwith. Far from it. Washington is trying to strike a balance by pressuring current rulers to gradually open up the system and, meanwhile, to develop mechanisms whereby alternative and viable leadership can emerge as the autocrats depart the scene, avoiding chaos scenarios in which the United States must intervene on some level.

That explains the logic -- but what about the timing of this initiative? The answer sheds important light on the future direction of the Middle East. We already have noted that the success in Afghanistan and even more so in Iraq has prompted the Bush administration to extend the democratic experiment to the entire region. Meanwhile, natural forces -- read, old age -- are making regime change inevitable in a number of Middle Eastern states in the near term.

This is most obvious in Egypt, where the failing health of President Hosni Mubarak will force him to appoint a successor. Saudi King Fahd is monarch in name only; his half-brother, Crown Prince Abdullah bin Abdel-Aziz, runs affairs in Riyadh. But between them, the crown prince and three immediate princes -- Defense Minister Sultan, Interior Minister Nayef and Riyadh Gov. Salman, who are full brothers of the king and the elite of the Sudairi Seven -- range in age from 69 to 75. It is likely that they, along with Abdullah, could die in quick succession, opening up a power contest between other factions of the House of Saud.

While democratization in the Saudi kingdom is at best a very long-term hope, given the conservative Wahhabist culture and the deeply entrenched monarchical system, other areas, such as Jordan, Syria, Libya and the Persian Gulf states, are in similar situations: The existing autocratic system could be swept away should a wave of democratic fervor strike the region -- as it did in Eastern Central Europe and select areas of the former Soviet Union in the late 1980s and early 1990s, and more recently in the last year in the Caucuses and Central Asia.

Meanwhile, Washington faces the prospect that it could be forced to have dealings with Islamist militant groups such as Hamas and Hezbollah. As the Palestinian state begins to take shape -- with the Israeli withdrawals and Palestinian Legislative Council elections in July -- Hamas will be playing a greater role in daily life. In fact, it is expected to make a significant showing in the summer elections.

Officials in Washington understand that at some point -- sooner rather than later -- the Palestinian authority and eventually the state will be based on a power-sharing arrangement between the secular Fatah and the Islamists. Nonetheless, Washington continues to push for democratization of the Palestinian political landscape. In Lebanon, the Bush administration has dropped hints that it is willing to deal with the Shiite militant Islamist movement Hezbollah.

These cases are both a bit complicated, since neither Hamas nor Hezbollah has yet made the shift from being an armed resistance organization to a fully respectable political group. But the very fact that the Bush administration is willing to give these Islamist actors some space on the political stage is quite significant.

It is not just that Washington needs to work with political groups who command grassroots support; Hamas and Hezbollah exist by default and must be dealt with somehow. The theory is that those who demonstrate some semblance of willingness to play by the rules of democratic politics can be given a stake in the system, which will eventually moderate and temper their radicalism -- which is fueled by exclusion and the need to engage in the politics of protest from the outside.

If successful, this shift on Washington's part could be highly effective in establishing a bulwark against al Qaeda or other transnational Islamist militants. In other words, it is Islamist -- not secular -- forces that not only can stem the tide of the al Qaeda phenomenon but act as a buffer against a possible jihadist resurgence. Of course, the Bush administration would not have dared the attempt if it was clear that democratization would bring jihadist groups into power -- Djerejian's principle still stands. It was only after realizing that al Qaeda has been unable to topple any Muslim regimes, and that it is growing increasingly weak, that Washington could safely announce the democracy initiative.

Even with the moderate Islamists, Washington is moving cautiously -- making sure Islamists do not end up dominating the system. In Iraq, this was apparent with the tinkering of the electoral laws and the Transitional Administrative Law -- the country's interim constitution -- by U.S. civilian administrator Paul Bremer to make a mixed government unavoidable.

On a final note, it is interesting that democratization could, in a significant way, stem the tide of anti-American sentiments in other parts of the world. If political forces backed by the masses come to power as a result of the Bush administration's push for democracy, this will over time improve the U.S. image in foreign eyes.

For this to happen, the Bush administration knows it needs to extend olive branches, which it has done by appointing new officials at the Pentagon and State Department -- and most obviously by removing some of the most hawkish neoconservatives from policymaking positions. The reshuffle is Washington's way of trying to prepare the ground for the growth of democracy, without making any new governments appear to be puppets or otherwise engineered pro-U.S. regimes. The appointment of Bush confidante Karen Hughes to lead the public diplomacy drive in the Middle East/Muslim world further exemplifies this trend.

In essence, Washington understands that if deals are going to be cut, the United States first must create an environment conducive to deal making. This means U.S. proposals must not be viewed as immediate threats to the survival of Arab or Muslim regimes that have assisted its war against al Qaeda, and that anti-Americanism within the region must be contained within acceptable levels.

If democratization and engaging moderate Islamists works, Washington just might be able to rid itself, for good, of the Karzai effect.

MIM: This is an essay by Bokhari written in 1999

Freedom Fighters now being called terrorists

by Kamran Bokhari

I read with great interest the article "Terrorism poses serious threat to society" by Rod Stark, in the last issue of the Southwest Standard. Stark's article was a constructive critique of the lecture on "terrorism" delivered by Dr. Gideon Rose, on Jan. 29, 1999. However, the article contained some factual errors and Stark made certain sweeping assertions that require clarification.

Stark mentions Osama Bin Ladin as being a "high ranking member of terrorist organizations such as the Mujahideen Brigades and al-Jihad." This is highly inaccurate. Al-Jihad, currently led by Dr. Ayman Al-Zawahiri, is an Islamic organization active in Egypt that seeks to overthrow the authoritarian regime of Husni Mubarak. As for the "Mujahideen Brigades," this is a fictitious organization, a creation of the global ‘tabloid' media. There is no factual information as regards its leadership, members or existence. As for Bin Ladin, it is public information that he is the leader of the World Islamic Front for Jihad Against Zionists and Crusaders, an organization that was launched in February 1998. This organization seeks to liberate Muslim land.

I am quite amazed at how fighting occupation forces can be conveniently and arbitrarily dubbed as "terrorism." If this is the case, then Thomas Jefferson, George Washington, and Ben Franklin could also be considered terrorists by the British government. Bin Ladin is no more than a suspect in the bombings of the U.S. Embassies in East Africa. But the media, dancing to the tune of the federal agencies, has already indicted him.

The general principle of a person being innocent until proven guilty is conveniently and arbitrarily suspended in the case of Muslims–who have become the "usual suspects."

The U.S. government has yet to provide a shred of concrete evidence that proves Bin Ladin's involvement in the bombings. He is being attacked for the alleged acquisition of nuclear weapons by those who themselves maintain the largest arsenal of such horrible weapons, and happen to be the only ones who have used them to date.

As a Muslim, I am concerned that through this "Get Ussamah Bin Ladin" campaign, the U.S. government is trying to distort and obscure reality. Those who oppose Western (in particular United States) hegemony and neo-colonialism are declared "terrorists." It is no secret that the intelligence apparatus of hegemonic nations like the United States and the United Kingdom, through their embassies, conduct operations under the cloak of diplomatic immunity. Puppet regimes in the Muslim world are kept in power through these diplomatic conduits. It is ironic that the on one hand the United States is the champion of human rights, while on the other hand it openly and hypocritically supports petty tyrants, well known for brutally oppressing their citizens.

Last year during a globally televised interview, Bin Ladin, publicly urged the mothers of U.S. troops stationed in the peninsula to put pressure on their government to withdraw its support to the corrupt Saudi royal family. Otherwise, their children would be unfortunate victims of a struggle which does not even concern them. All of this is conspicuously neglected and images of Bin Ladin as an evil satanic figure are conjured up by the western media. Interestingly, this same satanic individual was assisted by the U.S. government during the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan in the 80's. It is quite fascinating how yesterday's freedom-fighters become today's terrorists.

I would like to reiterate that Islam does not condone or promote the killing and maiming of innocent people. Islam, a political ideology and a message of peace, tolerance and harmony, considers human life as sacred and the sanctity thereof is paramount. Islam is a mercy for all mankind, except for those who are at war with Muslims, i.e., the occupiers of any Muslim land. Islam obligates Muslims to defend themselves from the aggressor(s), which is a right entitled to every human individual and group.

If it is proven that Bin Ladin is truly responsible for the death of innocent civilians, I would be among the first ones to call for his prosecution. But I am increasingly growing skeptical of a fair and impartial handling of this matter and forecast an escalation of hostilities in the days to come.

Kamran Bokhari is the Planning Coordinator for the Muslim Students Association

http://www.southweststandard.com/93-22/spotlight.html

Kamran Bokhari

Advocating Change within the Muslim World

"I begin with the name of God." That's how Kamran Bokhari began his speech at the panel presentation "Iraq in Crisis" Feb. 2. His message was clear: the Muslim world must be reunited under one government. An Islamic government supported by its people. This ideology is Bokhari's life work.

Bokhari, a senior majoring in political science, is far from an ordinary undergraduate student. At age 30, he is the official spokesperson for the Al-Muhajiroun in North America, which in Arabic means "The Immigrants." It is an organization that is active in many Muslim countries.

Al-Muhajiroun actively advocates social, economic and political change within the Muslim world. Bokhari said the word Muhajiroun is used 76 times in the Koran, the holy book of Islam.

"We are an Islamic group trying to re-establish the Islamic State (the Caliphate) through intellectual, ideological, political and revolutionary means," Bokhari said. However, the group is not militant, he said.

Bokhari was born in Islamabad, Pakistan, the country's capital city. He lived there until he was 3 years old and then his family moved to New York City. Since then he has shifted between Pakistan and New York, and lived in India for a few years.

Bokhari's father worked for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Pakistan and throughout his career he had been posted in various countries and embassies.

Bokhari said he was lucky to have a father who worked in that area of government, because it afforded him the rare opportunity to see the world. Bokhari's father is now employed in the Permanent Mission of Pakistan to the United Nations in New York City. Bokhari's mother was a schoolteacher. He also has two younger sisters.

He has settled in the United States until he completes his education.

Kamran Bokhari speaks during a panel discussion on the Iraq crisis. Bokhari is the planning coordinator for the Muslim Students Association at SMS. (photo/Alexandra Eaks)

"I came to this country to get a good education," Bokhari said. "The country I come from measures your social status by your profession."

A decent education is very expensive in Pakistan and only the rich elite can afford to attend the top universities. Since Bokhari comes from a middle class family, his best option was to come to the United States. Pakistan has only 27 universities scattered throughout the country, which is the size of Texas and Louisiana combined.

The school system in Pakistan is very different than the schools in the United States. Children attend primary school, the equivalent of kindergarten through fifth grade. Then they move into senior secondary school, grades six through 10.

Bokhari was able to receive more schooling by going abroad and was educated in New York and India through high school graduation. He is now completing his bachelor of science at SMS.

Bokhari attended City College of New York, where he was an electrical engineering major before moving to Springfield to be with his wife, Chandni Malik, also from Pakistan. Malik, a graduate of SMS with a B.S. in economics, is in graduate school working toward a Master of Business Administration.

After moving to Springfield, Bokhari attended Ozarks Technical College for two years before finally transferring to SMS. He decided to pursue a degree in political science instead of electrical engineering so he could do something he loves, he said. He is currently looking into graduate schools that offer degrees in Islamic law, political Islam, or Islamic studies.

He intends to obtain a doctorate before returning to Pakistan to work as a university professor.

He also hopes to write and publish books about international affairs, Islam, and comparative studies. Bokhari anticipates some problems when he returns to his home country because of his vocal opposition to the government.

While at SMS Bokhari is actively involved in the Muslim Students Association and serves as its planning coordinator. He said the group participates in two types of activities: those within the Muslim community and those with the Springfield community at large.

The members of the Muslim Students Association hold study circles and Friday prayer. Bokhari said that Muslims always pray five times a day, but Friday is their day of Sabbath. They come together and pray as a congregation at their place of worship, the Masjid. The group is currently renting a place on South Grant Street and holds lectures, seminars and conferences on campus.mran Bokhari devotes his life to his Islamic faith and reuniting the Muslim world under one government, an Islamic government supported by its people. at the panel presentation "Iraq in Crisis" Feb. 2. His message was clear: the Muslim world must be reunited under one government. An Islamic government supported by its people. This ideology is Bokhari's life work.

Bokhari, a senior majoring in political science, is far from an ordinary undergraduate student at SMSU. At age 30, he is the official spokesperson for the Al-Muhajiroun in North America, which in Arabic means "The Immigrants." It is an organization that is active in many Muslim countries. Al-Muhajiroun actively advocates social, economic and political change within the Muslim world. Bokhari said the word Muhajiroun is used 76 times in the Qur'an, the holy book of Islam.

"We are an Islamic group trying to re-establish the Islamic State (the Caliphate) through intellectual/ideological/political/revolutionary means," said Bokhari. However, the group is not militant, he said.

Bokhari was born in Islamabad, Pakistan, the country's capital city. He lived there until he was 3 years old and then his family moved to New York City. Since then he has fluidly shifted between Pakistan and New York, and for a few years lived in India. Bokhari's father works for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Pakistan and throughout his career he has been posted in various countries and embassies. Bokhari said he was lucky to have a father who worked in that area of government. Because of it, he has been afforded the rare opportunity to see the world. Bokhari's father is now employed in the Permanent Mission of Pakistan to the United Nations in New York City. Bokhari's mother was a schoolteacher and he has two younger sisters.

He has settled in the United States until he completes his education. "I came to this country to get a good education," he said. "The country I come from measures your social status by your profession."

A decent education is very expensive in Pakistan and only the rich elite can afford to attend the top universities. Since Bokhari comes from a middle class family, his best option was to come to the United States. Pakistan has only 27 universities scattered throughout the country, which is the size of Texas and Louisiana combined.

The school system in Pakistan is very different than in the United States. Children attend primary school, the equivalent of kindergarten through fifth grade. Then they move into senior secondary school, grades six through ten. Bokhari was able to receive more schooling by going abroad and was educated in New York and India through high school graduation. He is now completing is Bachelor of Science at SMSU.

Bokhari attended City College of New York, where he was an electrical engineering major before moving to Springfield to be with his wife, Chandni Malik, also from Pakistan. Malik, a graduate of SMSU with a B.S. in economics, is in graduate school working toward a Master of Business Administration.

After moving to Springfield, Bokhari attended Ozarks Technical College for two years before finally transferring to SMSU. He decided to pursue a degree in political science instead of electrical engineering so he could do something he loves, he said. He is currently looking into graduate schools that offer degrees in Islamic law, political Islam, or Islamic studies.

He intends to obtain a doctorate before returning to Pakistan to become a university professor there. He also hopes to write and publish books about international affairs, Islam, and comparative studies. Bokhari anticipates some problems when he returns to his home country because of his vocal opposition to the government.

While at SMSU, Bokhari is actively involved in the Muslim Students Association and serves as its planning coordinator. He said the group participates in two types of activities: those within the Muslim community and those with the Springfield community at large.

The members of the Muslim Students Association hold study circles and Friday prayer. Bokhari said that Muslims pray always five times per day, but Friday is the day of sabbath for Muslims. They come together and pray as a congregation at their place of worship, the Masjid. They are currently renting a place on South Grant Street and hold lectures, seminars and conferences on campus.

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