WASHINGTON -- The so-called Arab Spring has left the Muslim Brotherhood on the rise -- and not just in the Middle East.
The Brotherhood's allies are also exercising their influence here in the United States. These American Muslim pressure groups are targeting anyone who criticizes Islamic extremism.
So far, their tactics are working.
CAIR Targets War Hero
Retired Lt. Gen. Jerry Boykin's courage leading missions in war zones like Iraq, Somalia, and Panama earned him a Bronze Star and Purple Heart.
Yet an invitation to speak at a West Point prayer breakfast resulted in anything but a hero's welcome.
The Council on American-Islamic Relations, or CAIR, joined a coalition of far left groups protesting Boykin's appearance because of his alleged "Islamophobia."
Boykin, a strong critic of radical Islamist groups like the Brotherhood, eventually withdrew from the event.
"In consultation with the faculty and staff at West Point -- who clearly wanted me to withdraw to save them the embarrassment of cancelling my invitation -- I did so," Boykin said.
CAIR, which led the charge against Boykin, has come under major scrutiny from federal authorities in recent years.
In 2007, it was named an unindicted co-conspirator in the largest terrorism financing trial in American history.
In 2009, a federal judge ruled that "ample evidence" exists linking CAIR to the terror group Hamas.
And in a 2011 congressional testimony, FBI Director Robert Mueller said "no formal relationship" existed with CAIR because of concerns about the group's national leadership.
Nevertheless, CAIR remains a go-to source for the mainstream media and has seen success lobbying against critics of Islamic supremacy.
"CAIR is still very influential," Boykin told CBN News. "And the leadership in America today -- and I don't just mean at the national level but all over -- is still catering to CAIR, still giving them credibility and giving them the opportunity to wield power in America."
The Third Jihad
That power was on full display recently in New York City, where CAIR successfully pressured the New York Police Department to stop showing a documentary called "The Third Jihad" at counter-terrorism training courses.
The film, narrated by a moderate Muslim, details the rise of Muslim Brotherhood front groups in America.
"'The Third Jihad,' by the way, criticizes CAIR and exposes them, so of course they don't want the NYPD to know about that," said Ryan Mauro, a national security expert with the Clarion Fund, the group that produced "The Third Jihad."
"The NYPD and government agencies will say, 'Well, if we want to have cooperation with the Muslim community, we have to please CAIR,'" Mauro told CBN News.
Pleasing CAIR apparently includes shutting down testimonies of ex-Muslims like Kamal Saleem, a former Islamic terrorist who became a Christian.
Saleem told CBN News that his recent speech at a Michigan high school was cancelled after the local CAIR chapter complained.
"People like us, who are talking about their secrets, their ideology -- they try to swiftly destroy," he said.
--Published Mar. 1, 2012