By Christian Whiton
The easiest way to tell if you’re being effective in Washington is whether the resident swamp critters are attacking you and trying to get you fired. By that and other measures, Fred Fleitz, the recently announced chief of staff to National Security Advisor John Bolton, is the right man for the job.
The Fleitz appointment has led to hyperventilation among the usual mix of leftwing and Islamist groups that despise President Trump and his foreign policy. They claim that Fleitz’s concerns with Islamist political activity and past associations make him anti-Muslim.
For example, the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) called for Fleitz’s firing and asserted his boss, John Bolton, is “a notorious Islamophobe who has a history of ties to anti-Muslim extremists and organizations.”
The Southern Poverty Law Center said that Bolton’s appointment of Fleitz “is the latest in a disturbing trend of staffers leaving hate groups and joining the administration.”
But a look at what Fleitz has really said and done shows mainstream concern about radical Islam. Specifically, Fleitz in the past raised concerns that some Muslim communities in Europe and the United States aren’t assimilating and could be incubating radicalism. The 2015-2016 spike of Islamist attacks in Europe and the U.S. clearly vindicated this concern.
Fleitz also has warned not only of violent jihadist activity that has manifested itself in insurgency on the battlefield and terrorist attacks, but of the nonviolent political activities of Islamist groups. This means concern not just for groups like al Qaeda and ISIS, but also the Muslim Brotherhood, which seeks to replace effectively secular U.S. allies with theocratic tyrannies that are hostile to America. It is for that reason that devout Muslims who support the separation of mosque and state like Zuhdi Jasser, president of the American Islamic Forum for Democracy, approve of Fleitz’s appointment. They share Fleitz’s concerns, as do all of our Middle Eastern allies.
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