More lies (and fool’s gold) revealed

By Alyssa A. Lappen

Family Security Matters | Feb. 11, 2008


In “The Lies of the Nixon Center” (Nov. 15, 2007), I unraveled some tall tales of its former senior fellow Alexis Debat, a purported Muslim Brotherhood “expert.” Agence France Presse had reported in September 2002 that Debat had never been employed in any capacity by the French Defense Ministry (as he claimed)—which terror expert Jean Charles Brisard further corroborated. He had never earned a Sorbonne Ph.D. (as he also claimed), either.

It’s worth noting now that my October 23, 2006 American Thinker piece, “Islam’s Useful Idiots,” also evidently caught New York University Law School’s Center for Law and Security and purported Muslim Brotherhood “expert” Nick Fielding with their pants down.

Debat—then a consultant to ABC News and the U.S. Defense Department (DOD)—appeared at the Center’s October 19, 2006 Muslim Brotherhood seminar, claiming to be an “expert” on the subject. He made many ludicrous remarks. And in September 2007, Debat fled the U.S. to avoid a lawsuit and accusations of fraud in France–for fabricating interviews with several U.S. and global political leaders.

The October 2006 seminar also featured former Sunday Times reporter Nick Fielding as an “expert” on the MB, however; he made equally inane remarks. Center Director Karen J. Greenberg sang the MB’s praises. On visiting with “moderate” Muslim Association of Britain (MAB) founder Kamal Helbawy in London, Greenberg reported finding him a very kindly, grandfatherly type–and she decried U.S. State Department refusal to admit Helbawy to the country for the NYU conference.

Obviously Greenberg didn’t know. But in 2005, after then-U.K. Prime Minister Tony Blair denounced suicide bombings—even in Israel—Helbawy replied, “Well he is wrong…. He is not a Mufti.” In a Jamestown Foundation interview, Helbawy blamed “events in Afghanistan, Iraq and Palestine” as “a factor” behind the July 7, 2005 London bombings–along with U.K. participation in Iraq and its “policy toward the issue of Palestine.”

And in December 1992, Helbawy was taped telling the Muslim Arab Youth Association, the Islamic war on Israel isn’t “a conflict of borders and land only. It is not even a conflict over human ideology and not over peace…. [I]t is an absolute clash of civilizations, between truth and falsehood. Between two conducts–one satanic, headed by Jews and their co-conspirators–and the other … religious, carried by Hamas, and the Islamic movement in particular and the Islamic people….” Muslims should never befriend “Jews and Christians,” he warned, who are only “allies to each other….”

Some grandfather.

Fielding denied the MB’s threat to the West and praised Helbawy as “a wonderful human being.” The 2005 election of 22 Muslim Brothers to Egypt’s parliament, Fielding said—and the January 2006 Hamas victory in the Palestinian Authority vote—were cause for celebration. He turned his ire only on “the silence of the U.S. State Department in the face of [alleged] Egyptian government abuse” of Muslim Brothers—and the U.S. and international boycott of the Hamas-controlled PA. Fielding dubbed the MB “reformist,” and offering “the best possibility in the Middle East of leaders who can make deals and stick to them.”

My expose prompted Fielding to falsely accuse me of misrepresenting his remarks. The same day, a sanitized version of his comments miraculously appeared on Ikhwanweb.

Debat had boasted that before the year was out, “NYU will publish the video of my remarks…” and thereby absolve them. Alas, the Center published no video or audio in December 2006—or in 2007.

When Center archives were finally published in early 2008 (surprise, surprise), the promised tape of the Oct. 19, 2006 event was notably missing from the roster.

I’d first noted on Oct. 26, 2006 that no tape could vindicate Fielding or Debat,

unless it is complete and unedited. But that may not be in the cards. Asked if the Center would post the entire session, including the question and answer period, a spokesman stated, “We are considering editing the content,” a process that could easily also exclude many controversial remarks that I quoted from the respective experts. The excuse is time limitation, although streaming digital MP3 downloads are not limited by time. Who is dishonest now?

In November 2007, I recalled Debat’s false complaint of “misquotes and distortions”—easily refuted—and observed that NYU had not published a recording “which would have been too embarrassing.”

NYU was between a rock and a hard place. Issuing an edited tape of the Oct. 19 2006 event would verify that NYU, indeed, has something to hide. Releasing an unedited tape of the Debat and Fielding remarks and Q&A, on the other hand, would recall the Debat scandal—and confirm the accuracy of my original quotations. If it isn’t already, the Center would be a laughing stock for inviting either of them.

But I’m not laughing.

It’s tragic that a Law School claiming to study law and security gave a platform to the hokum pokum of two Muslim Brotherhood apologists, or false notions of a “moderate” MB. As the known parent of every Islamic terror group now operating, the Muslim Brotherhood is today also an unindicted terror funding co-conspirator.

Still more tragic is the apparent acceptance by mainstream media—and U.S. leaders and presidential candidates—of Nixon Center fellow Robert Leiken’s lethal notion that the MB is moderate and reformist—not least, since Leiken’s training is in Latin American politics. Patrick Poole elaborately detailed Leiken’s falsehoods in a 4-part April 2007 series.

The MB unconditionally states, in Arabic and English, its plans to Islamize the globe and impose shari’a (Islamic law) worldwide–largely through “flexibility” (muruna in Arabic). Muslim Brotherhood General Guide Mohammad Mahdi Akef calls on all MB “member organizations to serve” the global agenda to defeat the West, and on “individual members” worldwide to join the “resistance” to the U.S.—both financially and “through active participation.” Even some Arab Muslims describe the MB as one of the world’s most malevolent forces.

The present danger stems mostly from the massive Islamic assault on Western economies and markets, however—both through the global push to institutionalize so-called shari’a finance, and a barrage of Middle Eastern securities markets, corporate, strategic infrastructure, bank and other acquisitions.

Skeptics should simply compare current economic events to an MB strategic plan—“Towards a worldwide strategy for Islamic policy”—written in 1977 and 1982 and discovered in the late 2001 Swiss raid on the home of MB financier Yousef Nada. Written by MB spiritual leader Yousef Qaradawi and known as The Project, the plan instructs members to “establish the Islamic state and gradual, parallel work to control local power centers….” It also requires “special Islamic economic, social and other institutions,” and “the necessary economic institutions to provide financial support” to spread Islam.

Documents unearthed also prove the MB has long operated as a central terror funding command, wiring funds for terror attacks through banks like the now-shuttered Al Taqwa, Saudi Arabia’s Dallah Al-Baraka Group, al-Rajhi Banking & Investment Corporation and Kuwait Finance House–as well as the Islamic Development Bank, a.k.a. the Intifada Bank for funding families of suicide bombers and Bank Meli of Iran.

Now, sovereign Saudi and Dubai interests are buying up Wall Street, too. And their structured Islamic finance is not nearly as benign as they’d like the world to believe.


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Alyssa A. Lappen is a U.S.-based investigative journalist focusing on the Middle East and Islam. A former Senior Fellow of the American Center for Democracy (2005-2008); she is also a former Senior Editor of Institutional Investor (1993-1999), Working Woman (1991-1993) and Corporate Finance (1991).

She served six of her 12 years at Forbes (1978-1990) as an Associate Editor. Ms. Lappen was also a staff reporter at The New Haven Register (1975-1977).

Her work appears frequently in Big Peace, Pajamas Media, Front Page Magazine, American Thinker, Right Side News, Family Security Matters, the Washington Times and many other Internet and print journals.

Ms. Lappen is a contributor to the Terror Finance Blog and International Analyst Network.

She supports the International Free Press Society and the right of journalists worldwide to write without restriction on politics, governments, international affairs, terrorism, terror financing and religious support for terrorism, among other subjects.

Ms. Lappen is also an accomplished poet, published in the 2nd 2007 edition of Blood to Remember: American Poets on the Holocaust and both 2007 issues of Wales' award-winning Seventh Quarry: Swansea Poetry Magazine.

Dozens of her poems have appeared in print and online literary journals and books. She won the 2000 annual Ruah: A Journal of Spiritual Poetry chapbook award and has received a Harvard Summer Poetry Prize and several honorable mentions.

Alyssa A. Lappen can be reached at alyssaalappen.org

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