question boils down to: Is the State Department using the Islamists to
advance its agenda, or are the Islamists using the State Department to
advance their own?"
In testimony on July 31, Emerson urged Congress to review the State
Department's interaction with such organizations as the Council on
American-Islamic Relations, Palestinian American Research Center, Islamic
Society of North America and Citizen Exchange Program. He said the
department must also come under congressional oversight for its hosting of
Muslims convicted or indicted in terrorism cases.
Members of the House and Senate have expressed concern over the State
Department's outreach to pro-jihad groups. Sen. Tom Coburn and Sen. John
Kyl, Republicans from Oklahoma and Arizona, respectively, urged Secretary of
State Condoleezza Rice to stop funding groups that support what the senators
termed a radical Islamic ideology.
The senators cited the Islamic Society of North America, which with
State Department help received grants of $500,000. ISNA has been identified
as an unindicted co-conspirator in a Hamas fundraising trial.
"We are sure you would agree that Americans should not have to fund
their enemies in the form of misguided 'outreach' efforts,'" the senators
asked in a letter to Ms. Rice.
During the hearing, opposed by several Muslim groups, House subcommittee
chairman Rep. Brad Sherman said he would examine proposals to reform State
Department outreach funding. Sherman, a California Democrat, said
prospective grant recipients could be asked to disclose their connections to
Hamas, Hizbullah or the Muslim Brotherhood.
"I don't think you can cleanse an organization just because they haven't
sinned recently," Sherman said. "It has to be a renunciation of support for