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John Brennan, Defender of the Faith (Islam)

Unsurprisingly, as well as being a scold and scourge of those terrible Israelis, and a sympathizer with those inoffensive Palestinians, former CIA director John Brennan has also long been a defender of Islam. In 2010, Brennan said, taking up the theme of the false – because “extremist” – Muslims, and the true ones: “Nor do we describe our enemy as ‘Jihadists’ or ‘Islamists,’ because Jihad is a holy struggle, a legitimate tenet of Islam, meaning to purify oneself or one’s community, and there is nothing holy or legitimate or Islamic about murdering innocent men, women, and children.”

In May 2010, Brennan called for building up the “moderate” elements of Hezbollah: “There is [sic] certainly the elements of Hizballah that are truly a concern to us what [sic] they are doing. And what we need to do is to find ways to diminish their influence within the organization and to try to build up the more moderate elements.” Brennan wants to build up “the more moderate elements in Hezbollah.” Think of that for a minute. What does that tell us about Brennan’s comprehension of what Hezbollah, the world’s largest and best-armed terrorist group, is all about?

By 2010, when he uttered that fatuity, Brennan was very high up in the CIA, and surely knew all about Hezbollah’s activities in Lebanon and Syria, as an ally and proxy of the Islamic Republic. He knew about the 150,000 rockets and missiles supplied by Iran to Hezbollah, he knew about Hezbollah’s building terror tunnels, knew about their cross-border killings and kidnappings that led to the 2006 Hezbollah-Israel War. What “moderate elements” of Hezbollah was he talking about? Are there any Hezbollah members who do not believe in terrorizing, kidnapping, and murdering Israelis?

In an address to a meeting at New York University School of Law, sponsored by the Islamic Society of North America, Brennan said in February 2010: “As Muslims you have seen a small fringe of fanatics who cloak themselves in religion, try to distort your faith, though they are clearly ignorant of the most fundamental teachings of Islam. Instead of creating, they destroy — bombing mosques, schools and hospitals. They are not jihadists, for jihad is a holy struggle, an effort to purify for a legitimate purpose, and there is nothing, absolutely nothing holy or pure or legitimate or Islamic about murdering innocent men, women and children. We’re trying to be very careful and precise in our use of language, because I think the language we use and the images we project really do have resonance. It’s the reason why I don’t use the term jihadist to refer to terrorists. It gives them the religious legitimacy they so desperately seek, but I ain’t gonna give it to them.”

What do you think of John Brennan’s confident words to a Muslim audience demonstrating his knowledge of Islam? They must have been delighted at his breathtaking display of such ignorance, about those “fanatics…who try to distort your faith, though they are clearly ignorant of the most fundamental teachings of Islam.” Wasn’t he describing himself? And what should we make of his insistence that “jihad is a holy struggle, an effort to purify for a legitimate purpose”? Remember, this was not a man on the street, for whom such ignorance may be forgiven. This is someone who spent more than three decades in the CIA, and who headed our chief intelligence agency from 2013 to January 20, 2017.

At the NYU meeting where Brennan spoke, he was introduced by then-ISNA President Ingrid Mattson, who made the writings of Sayyid Qutb, a leading member of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt in the 1950s, required reading in a course she taught. Mattson has long inveighed against using terms such as “Islamic terrorism,” since the earliest days after 9/11. During his speech, Brennan praised Mattson as “an academic whose research continues the rich tradition of Islamic scholarship and as the President of the Islamic Society of North America, where you have been a voice for the tolerance and diversity that defines Islam.”

Yes, Ingrid Mattson, a deep admirer of the Muslim Brotherhood’s fanatical Qutb, is for John Brennan “a voice for the tolerance and diversity that defines Islam.” And Brennan, who delivered this utter nonsense, was for four years the man in charge of dealing mortal threats to American well-being from Jihadi terrorists worldwide.

Don’t you think that John Brennan, as part of his duties as head of the CIA, should have read and studied the Qur’an? Shouldn’t it, in fact, be required reading of everyone now in the government who has anything to do with Homeland Security? Of course Brennan should have, and of course Brennan did not. He apparently has no idea, even now, that the Qur’an commands all Muslims to fight, to kill, to smite at the necks of, to strike terror in the hearts of, the Infidels. He doesn’t know, either, that Muslims are told that they are the “best of peoples,” while non-Muslims are “the most vile of created beings.” He either doesn’t know these things, or is lying to us.

At the very least, Brennan ought to have read a baker’s dozen of Qur’anic verses: 2:191-193, 3:151, 4:89, 5:33, 8:12, 8:60, 9:5, 9:29, 47:4, 98:6. A starter kit. But he never mentions the Qur’an, without a knowledge of which no one should presume to speak, as he has so often, on the essence of Islam. He should read Robert Spencer’s The Complete Infidel’s Guide to the Koran. Having that under his belt, he could then read several dozen of the most important Hadith (including “War is deceit” and “I have been made victorious through terror”), and parts of the Sira (the biography of Muhammad). He could complete his cursus studiorum by reading Spencer’s The History of Jihad: From Muhammad to ISIS. If he does all that, he’d be able to understand what was so absurd about his definition of Jihad as a “moral struggle to purify oneself or one’s community” that had nothing to do with violence, and his praise of “the tolerance and diversity that defines Islam.” He doesn’t strike me as someone who would ever own up to his intellectual failures, especially his failure to understand Islam, but one never knows. Miracles do happen; hope springs eternal.

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