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Militant Islam Monitor > Articles > Why Are the FBI and National Guard Working With Wahhabists? Sponsors of AAI gala together with Saudi Embassy

Why Are the FBI and National Guard Working With Wahhabists? Sponsors of AAI gala together with Saudi Embassy

June 2, 2008

Why Are The FBI And National Guard Working With Wahhabists?


June 2, 2008 - SAN FRANCISCO - PipeLineNews.org - On April 23 the Arab American Institute [AAI] headed by James Zogby, held an event titled "The 2008 Khalil Gibran Spirit of Humanity Awards." The evening was intended to honor, "individuals for their service and efforts to address problems that too often go overlooked." Among the speakers at the event was Mahmoud Abbas [aka Abu Mazen] who heads the Palestinian Authority as well as Fatah ["Movement for the National Liberation of Palestine"], the terrorist organization created by Yasir Arafat in the 50s, whose spin-off "Black September" was responsible for the massacre of 11 Israeli athletes at the 1972 Munich Olympics.

An awardee [in recognition for his leadership of Refugees International] at the gala was Farouq Kathwari the CEO of Ethan Allen furniture [also the director of the U.S. based Kashmir Study Group] an outspoken Kashmiri activist.

Kathwari's son, Irfan apparently in reaction to the Gulf War, left his medical studies at Harvard and traveled to Islamabad, Pakistan. In short order he became radicalized and found himself waging jihad as a mujahideen in Afghanistan, where in 1992, at the age of 19 he was killed in an engagement with Indian military personnel [see, Militant Islam Monitor, http://www.militantislammonitor.org/article/id/597]

Sponsors for the event included the Royal Embassy of Saudi Arabia, the UAE Embassy and the Kingdom Holding Company which is run by Saudi billionaire and da'wa propagator, Prince Al Waleed Bin Talal.

Of major concern, both the FBI and the National Guard are listed as sponsors of the event.

The American Arab Institute is in the pocket of the Saudi Wahhabis, having received $300,000 dollars from Prince Al Waleed Bin Talal. In 2001 Bin Talal's offer of $10 million dollars was rejected by then New York Mayor Rudi Giuliani because Talal, "suggested the World Trade Center was attacked because the U.S. allowed Palestinians to be "slaughtered" by the Israelis." [source, http://www.nydailynews.com/archives/news/2001/10/12/2001-10-12_giuliani_nixes_saudi_s_10m_g.html].

Bin Talal is infamous for holding telethons which raised millions of dollars for the family of "martyred" suicide bombers.

Both Zogby brothers [James and John] use the AAI [a non-profit corporation] to promote Saudi interests, hence they are integral figures in DC's "Wahhabi lobby," despite their not being Muslim.

A June 30, 2003 piece, authored by Shia Muslims Syed Mohammad Hijazi, Sheikh Fadhil Al-Sahlani & Sheikh Mohammad Sadiq Kadem, and reprinted by the "Foundation for Defense of Democracies," ["Shias: Zogby is Wrong"] took John Zogby to task for acting as an agent of Saudi religious extremism.

"...As Shia Muslims living in the United States, we indignantly reject the imputations of the Arab American Institute, James Zogby [who] spoke at a press conference held by the World Assembly of Muslim Youth (WAMY) in Riyadh…As Muslims, we know without doubt the WAMY is an extremist arm of Wahabism, responsible for inciting mass murder of Shias in many countries. Zogby, if he truly represents Arabs who are Americans, should have nothing whatever to do with WAMY." [source, http://www.defenddemocracy.org/in_the_media/in_the_media_show.htm?doc_id=180206&attrib_id=7377]

In a piece entitled, "Stopping the Saudis," Alex Alexiev, a senior fellow at the Center for Security Policy, revealed that the Arab American Institute was working together with the World Assembly of Muslim Youth, a group which appeared on a U.S. government list of terror funding Saudi groups.

Of note, WAMY was incorporated in the U.S. by Osama bin-Laden's brother, Abdullah.

"..The radicalization of Islam is continuing apace domestically as well, and again the Saudis play a key role. In just one recent example, according to the Arab News (a Saudi government-controlled newspaper), the World Assembly of Muslim Youth - which was incorporated in the U.S. by Osama bin Laden's brother Abdullah bin Laden - announced last June that it will "take up the cases" of 13,000 Muslim illegal aliens slated for deportation, together with the Arab American Institute, an American non-profit organization (and the recipient of $300,000 from Saudi prince Alwaleed bin Talal, again according to the Arab News). It is difficult to interpret this as anything other than a blatant interference in the internal affairs of the U.S. by a state-controlled foreign entity." [source, http://www.traditioninaction.org/HotTopics/e016htSaudis_Alexiev.html]

With this sort of background it is difficult to understand why the FBI and the National Guard are both listed as sponsoring what clearly constitutes an arm of the Wahhabist lobby. Until the U.S. takes concrete steps to reject Saudi Wahhabist influence peddling, the struggle against radical Islam cannot be effectively waged.

As Dr. Daniel Pipes wrote in a blog entry titled The U.S. Government's Poor Record on Islamists, "Over and over again, branches of the American government have been embarrassed by their blindness to jihadist Islam..." [source, http://www.danielpipes.org/blog/2004/06/the-us-governments-poor-record-on-islamists.html]

The FBI and National Guard involvement in this AAI gala alongside the world's leading Wahhabist institutions, and individuals is more than just an embarrassment, it's a dangerously mistaken policy which sends the wrong message to our allies as well as serving to hamstring the war against radical Islam. http://www.pipelinenews.org/index.cfm?page=aaifbi6.2.08%2Ehtm

Sponsors of the awards gala

Kahlil Gibran "Spirit of Humanity" Awards
April 23, 2008. Marriott Hotel . Washington, D.C.

2008 Gala Sponsors
Confirmed as of March 19, 2008

Underwriters and Benefactors Sponsors
The Jebara Family

Kingdom Holding Company

NOUR USA, Limited

Olayan America Corporation
Saudi Aramco
Saudi Aramco
Acclaim Technical Services
DLA Piper Rudnick
Embassy of Qatar
Embassy of the United Arab Emirates
Fares Foundation
Future Pipe Industries
Global Impact
Gulf Resources Corporation
Husami and Associates
ICG Properties
Issa Family Foundation
The Morganti Group
National Guard
Royal Embassy of Saudi Arabia
Ghassan and Manal Saab
Hon. and Mrs. George R. Salem, Esq.
Corporate Hosts Individual Hosts
Arab Bank
The Gabriel Company, LLC
Global Linguist Solutions
Fahmy Hudome International. Inc.
International Graphics
Abdel Maksoud Pharmacies
Moroccan American Center
MPI Media Group
Object Design & Communications, Inc.
Dr. Alfred Rotondaro
L. and J.G. Stickley, Inc.
Zogby International.
Jean R. AbiNader
Dr. and Mrs. Samir Abu-Ghazaleh
Ab & Sharon Alkassim
American Arab Chamber of Commerce
Damascus Bakeries
EdVenture Partners
The Galen Group
Mr. Samuel Halaby, Jr., Esq.
Dr. Raymond Jallow
Key Printing & Duplicating, Inc.
John Makhoul
Middle East Airlines
Denyse Sabagh
Sons of Italy


Kahlil Gibran 'Spirit of Humanity' Awards

Click here to view photos of the gala


800 guests from across the United States and the globe gathered on Wednesday, April 23 for the Arab American Institute Foundation's (AAIF) 10th annual Kahlil Gibran "Spirit of Humanity" Awards gala in Washington, D.C. Attendees at the black-tie affair heard Palestinian National Authority President Mahmoud Abbas address the gala in person and saw organizations and individuals honored for their service and efforts to address problems that too often go overlooked.
Kahlil Gibran Gala 2008 AAIF presented Kahlil Gibran Awards to Refugees International (Award for International Commitment) and Reporters Without Borders (Award for Institutional Excellence). The Foundation also honored Congressman Ray LaHood of Illinois with the fifth annual Najeeb Halaby Award for Public Service and recognized the Barenboim-Said Foundation for its work to bring young people from across the Middle East together through music.
Abbas, in Washington to meet with President Bush regarding next steps in peace negotiations with Israel, discussed the status of those negotiations and the broader responsibilities of the international community. He described Israeli settlement activities as the largest obstacle to the peace process, calling on the "Israeli government to stop all settlement activities so we can hold proper meetings to reach a solution on the core issues."

Abbas also addressed the crisis in Gaza, saying, "As president of the Palestinian people, the 1.5 million Palestinians living in Gaza are my responsibility. 58% of our budget is spent in Gaza, and we pay the salaries of 77,000 employees. I will continue to do so. Gazans have suffered more than enough." He concluded his address by remarking, "Peace is a responsibility of every person in this room, and every person in the universe." Watch Abbas's address in its entirety on the C-SPAN website.

Congressman LaHood, accepting the Najeeb Halaby Award presented by Senator John Sununu of New Hampshire, spoke of his pride in receiving the recognition, noting that "public service is a noble calling." The grandson of Lebanese immigrants who settled in Peoria, Illinois in 1895, LaHood added, "No matter what your background, you can make a difference."

Following a video presentation on the work of the Barenboim-Said Foundation (BSF), Mariam Said, widow of the late Edward Said, accepted a Special Recognition on behalf of the foundation. Remarking that AAIF was the first Arab or Arab American organization to recognize the work of BSF, Said expressed how "very proud" she was to receive recognition from the Foundation.

Kahlil Gibran Gala 2008Actor Sam Waterston presented the Award for International Commitment to Refugees International Board Chairman Farooq Kathwari, calling the organization a "gadfly, a pest, an irritant" to governments that fail to take action on refugee crises around the world. The group's 2006 report on Iraqi refugees, Waterston noted, prompted the United Nations to increase its budget for displaced Iraqis fivefold.
Reporters Without Borders was similarly lauded for its work to make governments accountable, advocating for press freedoms in countries throughout the world. Rami Khouri, editor-at-large of the Beirut-based Daily Star, noted that "rhetoric is the first step to action," and praised the importance of Reporters Without Borders's mission in presenting the Award for Institutional Excellence. Founder and Secretary-General Robert Menard traveled from Paris to accept the award on behalf of the organization. He implored gala attendees and the broader public not to forget over 200 journalists who have been killed in Iraq, nor the Al Jazeera cameraman who has been imprisoned at Guantanamo Bay since 2002 or another journalist who has been held in a U.S. prison in Afghanistan for the last five months.

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