Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano has appointed a Muslim to the post of Assistant Homeland Security Secretary. The Islamic Workplace says this is Obama's first "major appointment of a Muslim" to the administration.
According to derSpiegel, Arif Alikhan is a "devout Sunni." He is the son on Pakistani immigrants. He is said to be in his late 30's and a handsome dresser. He comes to the position at Homeland Security from Los Angeles where he served as Deputy Mayor for Homeland Security and Public Safety under L.A. Mayor Antonio R. Villaraigosa:
As the city's computer and telecommunications crime coordinator, Alikhan is in the process of hiring new police officers. The job is as big as it is crucial: Close to four million people live in Los Angeles proper, while the metropolitan area is home to 18 million. Los Angeles could well be the target of the next terrorist attack. There was no commotion when Alikhan was appointed, nor did any newspaper so much as question why someone like him should be placed in charge of the security of America's second-largest city. It was simply accepted as a fact. "I never had the feeling that my religion is written on my forehead," he says.Before serving at the L.A. Mayor's office, Alikahn was an assistant U.S. Attorney, appointed by, and serving under, U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales at the Department of Justice (DOJ), where Alikahn also served as Vice Chair of the Computer Hacking and Intellectual Property Task Force. Mr. Alikahn is highly praised by Alberto Gonzales.
The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) praises Alikahn also. According to Jihad Watch, the following is the CAIR statement about Alikahn's appointment:
Congratulations to Mr. Alikhan on this well-deserved appointment," said CAIR-LA Executive Director Hussam Ayloush. "Mr. Alikhan's new position reflects his and the community's dedication to helping preserve the security of our country. The American Muslim community can be proud of him.As Jihad Watch points out, the appointment should "set off alarm bells." I agree. Having said that, CAIR will endorse any true Muslim that gets anywhere close to being up-close and personal with the U.S. government. The only way to keep the bells silenced is to make certain no Muslims are in positions of national security.
More from Jihad Watch:
CAIR is an unindicted co-conspirator in a Hamas terror funding case. Its operatives have repeatedly refused to denounce Hamas and Hizballah as terrorist groups. Several of its former officials have been convicted of various crimes related to jihad terror. Several of its other officials have made Islamic supremacist statements. CAIR also was involved in the Flying Imams' intimidation suit against the passengers who reported their suspicious behavior. That the CAIR rep who praised the appointment would be Hussam Ayloush, a delightful fellow with whom I have had several pleasant exchanges, who specifically refused to condemn Hamas and Hizballah as terrorist groups when I asked him repeatedly to do so, is even worse.Never will we find CAIR condemning Hamas or Hizballah (Hezbollah). The question is, does Mr. Alikahn, a devout Sunni Muslim, condemn Hamas or Hizballah?
Jihad Watch also quotes WorldNetDaily saying that 13 days prior to Napolitano's appointment to Homeland Security, Arif Alikahn attended a fundraiser sponsored by the Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC). I've read about everything I can about MPAC. On the surface, they seem more measured and more moderate than some Islamic organizations, however, Aaron Klein writing from Tel Aviv for WND, makes some remarks that set the alarm bells ringing double time. Notice that the quotes from MPAC come from an MPAC call-in to an L.A. "talk radio audience." The quote is below. Read the entire article at Jihad Watch.
A few hours after the 9/11 terrorist attacks, MPAC co-founder Marayati told a Los Angeles talk radio audience: "If we're going to look at suspects, we should look at the groups that benefit the most from these kinds of incidents, and I think we should put the state of Israel on the suspect list, because I think this diverts attention from what's happening in the Palestinian territories so that they can go on with their aggression and occupation and apartheid policies."...I would like to ask Mr. Alikahn some questions - the following just to get things started:
1) Do you condemn Hamas and Hizballah as terrorist organizations?
2) Do you condemn the rockets fired from Hamas into Israel
3) Do you condemn the bombing of the Beirut Marine Barracks as an act of terrorism?
4) Do you condemn CAIR's support of the Holy Land Foundation as aiding terrorism?
5) Do you condemn the bombing of the U.S.S. Cole as an act of terrorism?
6) Do you defend Israel's right to exist as a sovereign Nation?
Additional background on Alikahn:
Alikhan began his legal career as a Judicial Law Clerk to U.S. District Judge Ronald S.W.Another Muslim, Kareem Shora has also been appointed to Homeland Security. More coming on this appointment.
In 1997, Alikhan joined the Criminal Division of the United States Attorney's Office in Los Angeles where he handled a wide variety of criminal matters as a federal prosecutor for over eight years. He received several awards from law enforcement agencies for his work and was recognized by the Department of Justice for his superior management and supervisory performance.
Alikhan was instrumental in Mayor Villaraigosa's initiative to put 1,000 new officers on the streets, and now the LAPD has expanded to its highest level in history. Additionally, Alikhan oversaw and advanced the Mayor's emergency preparedness and counter-terrorism initiatives, increased cooperation with federal, state and local law enforcement agencies, worked to create the Fire Department's Professional Standards Division and helped secure and manage over $400 million in homeland security and public safety grants for the Los Angeles region. He was also a key aid to the Mayor at major emergencies including numerous brush and wild fires and the tragic Metrolink crash last year.
Alikhan graduated with honors from Loyola Law School, Los Angeles in 1993. He graduated cum laude from the University of California, Irvine in 1990 where he earned a degree in Social Ecology with an emphasis in Criminal Justice, Criminology and Legal Studies.