Chaplains are a vital part of military and correctional life, and until recently they have been above reproach. For several years, however, some of us have been alarmed that the small but important Muslim chaplain corps in the military has been harmed by those with an agenda that is more political than spiritual. This raises legitimate indeed pressing national security concerns.
The nation now finds itself with suspicions about the integrity of certain Muslim chaplains and how one or more may have been able to penetrate one of the nations most secure terrorist detention facilities at Guantanamo, Cuba, breaking through the heavy compartmentation that was designed in part to keep the detainees from communicating with one another and with the outside. That particular case is pending in the legal system, but its gravity is magnified by an important fact: the group that vetted the suspect chaplain was founded by a Wahhabi-backed member of the Muslim Brotherhood with a long track record of supporting terrorist leaders from the Egyptian Islamic Jihad to Hezbollah. It shares an office with him and, reportedly, even the same tax identification number.
My testimony will discuss:
The foreign entities and individuals who created the Muslim chaplain corps for the United States military;
The parties responsible for nominating and vetting Muslim chaplains for the U.S. armed forces;
The issue of state-sponsored penetration of the U.S. military and prisons;
Challenges to our ability to understand the nature of the problem; and
The larger context of which the chaplain program is part.