President Elect Barack Obama has rounded out his list of religious speakers for his Inaguration with an Muslim women who allegedly has ties to Hamas. Ingrid Mattson joins progressive Protestant Rick Warren and gay Episcopal Bishop Gene Robinson.
Ingrid Mattson, president of the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), will deliver a prayer at the National Cathedral during the National Prayer Service on January 21st. The event is part of the festivities for the inauguration of Barack Obama, which occurs January 20. A convert to Islam, Mattson directs the Macdonald Center for the Study of Islam and Christian-Muslim Relations at Hartford Seminary.
ISNA has close ties with the Muslim Brotherhood, a radical Islamist group, and was named an un-indicted co-conspirator in U.S. v Holy Land Foundation, a case that uncovered covert financing of the terrorist group Hamas. Since her election as ISNA president in 2006, Mattson's apologias for the radical Wahhabi sect of Islam have gained a much wider audience.
Daniel Pipes has written that, under Mattson's leadership, ISNA is "a key component of the Wahhabi lobby."
In a "Meet Ingrid Mattson," Campus Watch adjunct scholar Jonathan Schanzer offered specific examples of Mattson's denials and deceits regarding radical Islam's threat to the U.S. Among them:
Wahhabism is simply a "reform movement" that "really was analogous to the European protestant reformation";
Contrary to statements by Director of National Intelligence Adm. Michael McConnell that "there are sleeper cells in the U.S," Mattson claims that in fact "there aren't any sleeper cells";
The president's use of the term "Islamic" when speaking of terrorist attacks on the West is "not only inaccurate, but unhelpful."
Additional examples of Mattson's dissembling abound. During a 2001 CNN chatroom interview, asked at what point in history the Muslim world "turn[ed] from a philosophical and educated state comparable to the Greeks to the now third world state it is in," Mattson emulated other members of the Middle East studies establishment and employed postcolonial theory to blame the West:
"Well, the decline began with the colonization of the Muslim world by European powers. One of the first things the colonialists did was to dismantle the institutions of what we could call civil society. The Muslim world has until now not recovered from that dismemberment of its society."
Read it all here.