If there is a ground zero mosque in Virginia, it’s got to be Dar al-Hijrah, which sits in the 11th Congressional district. Its Muslim Brotherhood connections are extensive, as is its influence. The current Congressman for that district is Democratic Rep. Gerald Connolly. His opponent – Suzanne Scholte – has released an ad that calls Connolly out for his support for the Muslim Brotherhood.
As Shoebat.com has reported, Connolly is unquestionably sympathetic to the Muslim Brotherhood, whether it’s arguing against their removal from power in Egypt last year; attending fundraisers sponsored by its members; or calling for the continued funding of Brotherhood terrorists.
Earlier this year, Connolly attended a fundraiser put on by Dar al-Hijrah board member Akram Elzend, who in 2010 was identified as a director of the Muslim American Society in DC (MAS-DC).
MAS is a confirmed Muslim Brotherhood group. In fact, Shaker Elsayed, the Secretary General of the MAS from 2000-2005, is the current Imam at Dar al-Hijrah, making him a colleague of the same Elzend Connolly accepts money from. Elsayed confirmed the group’s bonafides as having been founded by Muslim Brotherhood leaders in 1992, one year after Dar al-Hijrah opened its doors.
As Shoebat.com recently reported, Elsayed’s history with the Brotherhood and Dar al-Hijrah is perfectly encapsulated in one photograph taken in Dar al-Hijrah prior to 1999. In it, Elsayed is seated next to the Muslim Brotherhood’s spiritual leader Yusuf al-Qaradawi.
Connolly certainly isn’t the only Congressman from Virginia’s 11th district who showed support for the Muslim Brotherhood. His predecessor Thomas M. Davis, a Republican, has much to answer for, including not only embracing the leaders of Dar al-Hijrah before 9/11/01 but for years after. In fact, in February of 2001, Davis brought then Chairman of Dar al-Hijrah Bassam Estwani to the Capitol, where Estwani gave the opening prayer. Here is a screenshot from the Congressional Record that reveals what Davis said about Estwani and Dar al-Hijrah that day:
Those inclined to cut Davis some slack because homegrown Islamic terrorism wasn’t on anyone’s radar prior to 9/11 miss a critical point. Not only did Davis not come clean about his relationship with the mosque but he continued it for years afterward, as did Rep. Jim Moran (D-VA) who represents Virginia’s 8th district, which is adjacent to the 11th.
The Governor of Virginia – Terry McAuliffe – should not be immune from criticism either. McAuliffe began his extremely close relationship with the Clintons in late 1994, after the midterm defeat that year. In the years that followed, McAuliffe became a staunch Clinton loyalist and was an integral part of Clinton’s 1996 re-election campaign. Part of McAuliffe’s strategy involved broadening Clinton’s relationship with donors.
A 1999 New York Times article reads:
In late 1994 Mr. McAuliffe and Mr. Clinton had breakfast. Mr. McAuliffe said the president asked what he could do to help and Mr. McAuliffe replied that he should be more accessible to donors. A few days later Mr. McAuliffe sent his memorandum asking Mr. Clinton’s secretary to arrange breakfast, lunch or coffee for top supporters so they could “discuss issues and exchange ideas with the president.”
In 2000, reputable terrorism expert Steve Emerson wrote:
In the spring of 1996, I had lunch with a senior adviser to the Clinton Administration and to Hillary. I asked him if there was any concern over the article I had published in The Wall Street Journal that revealed that both the president and first lady had hosted militant Islamic groups, which had, at the White House, proclaimed their support for terrorism.
“This administration believes in a big tent.” the adviser responded. “Besides, we’ve gotten no flak, so why should we back off?”
It’s not known if the unnamed adviser is McAuliffe but clearly the sentiment expressed was on par with what McAuliffe told the New York Times three years later.
If there was a flashpoint in the Clinton administration relative to an embrace of the Muslim community, it appears to have occurred circa 1995. According to a letter by Estwani written to Clinton in 2000, the White House began opening its doors to the 11th District’s Dar al-Hijrah Chairman Estwani in ’95 and would continue doing so annually; Muslim Brotherhood daughter Huma Abedin was first hired by Hillary Clinton in 1996; and convicted terrorist Abdurahman Alamoudi saw an increase in access to high level Clinton officials in 1995-96 as a “goodwill ambassador” for Clinton’s State Department.
The ad calling out Connolly is definitely a step toward overturning a big rock in Virginia.