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There has been controversy surrounding comments I made recently (“Colbeck under fire for Muslim conspiracy claims,” April 25) about Democratic gubernatorial candidate Abdul El-Sayed.

But is concern over the Muslim Brotherhood in North America worthy of political discourse and public debate? Documents exist that allow for you to decide.

As background, in 2004 a police officer observed a suspicious person videotaping the support structures of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge. The person she was with ended up being identified as Ismail Elbarasse, who was the subject of an outstanding material witness warrant in connection with fundraising for Hamas. When the FBI executed a search warrant on Elbarasse’s residence they discovered a hidden sub-basement that contained the archives of the group known as the Muslim Brotherhood in North America. Among the myriad documents they found was one referred to as the “Explanatory Memorandum,” a blueprint for how the organization seeks to try to destroy our country from within.

The Explanatory Memorandum also contains a list of so called “friendly organizations” to support such a plan. These included the Islamic Society of North America and the Muslim Student Association.

The pledge for members of the Muslim Student Association says that “jihad is our way” and “I will die to establish Islam.” Another listed organization is the Islamic Association for Palestine.

In 1994 (three years after the Explanatory Memorandum was written), three leaders of the IAP incorporated the Council for American Islamic Relations. CAIR was later cited in the 2004 court case United States v. the Holy Land Foundation as an unindicted co-conspirator with the Muslim Brotherhood. All of this information is a matter of evidentiary fact.

To be clear, not all Muslims adhere to the creed of the Muslim Brotherhood. While sympathizers to the Muslim Brotherhood may attempt to cast my remarks as a broad aspersion of Muslims in America, that is simply not true. As a Christian, I object to the activities of the Westboro Baptist Church and their disruption of military funerals for example. That does not mean that I have concerns about all Christians.

The organizations who share the professed goals of the Muslim Brotherhood to destroy our nation from within are real, not theoretical. They are active today in our communities and in our universities throughout Michigan. They and their objectives need to be discussed and debated. I encourage each of you to read the Explanatory Memorandum for yourselves.

State Sen. Patrick Colbeck, Canton Township

Republican candidate for governor

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