A CAIR Miscellany
by Daniel Pipes
Here's an occasional updating of outrages said and done by the Council on American-Islamic Relations, in reverse chronological order. Journalists are welcome to help themselves from this smorgasbord, as they are from my bibliography on CAIR.
Judaic Studies Program co-hosts CAIR speaker: Confirming what some of us keep repeating – that Israeli, Jewish, and Judaic studies are no antidote for the poison of Middle Eastern and Islamic studies, the Judaic Studies Program at Franklin & Marshall College in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, today is co-sponsoring Jacob Bender of CAIR's Philadelphia office. (November 3, 2014)
CAIR propagandizes at University of Pennsylvania classroom: A "Legal Update" from the CAIR office in Philadelphia website:
(September 3, 2014)
Is everyone anti-Islamic? In its haste, a single one of CAIR's "American Muslim News Brief" calls both an ex-FBI critic of Islamism and the group ISIS anti-Islamic. If one listened closely to CAIR, one might think them allies. (September 2, 2014)
Sep. 5, 2014 update: The head of CAIR, who goes by the pseudonym Nihad Awad, informs us in Time magazine that American Muslims "have repudiated and rejected ISIS's twisted ideology, calling it not just un-Islamic, but 'anti-Islamic'." Comments: (1) No doubt, ISIS would return the favor and read CAIR out of Islam as well. (2) This is takfir gone mad.
"We are Hamas" say CAIR-sponsored demonstrators: At a hate-Israel rally in Miami, the appearance of several Israel supporters prompted a number of vile insults and implied threats (including rape and execution). But most revealing of all was the repeated chant, "Let's go Hamas, we are Hamas, Hamas kicked your ass, we are jihad." And this is the group that gets invited to the White House, cited by the New York Times, and respectfully treated by universities? Also: Interesting that this happened in Florida, the same state where CAIR's leader, Nihad Awad, once asserted, "I am in support of the Hamas movement." (July 23, 2014)
Nihad Awad under NSA and FBI surveillance: Information provided by Edward Snowden suggests that CAIR's long-time head has been monitored by the U.S. government.
But knowledgeable ex-staffers indicate that that is not the case. (July 9, 2014)
CAIR hires a Jew: CAIR must really be desperate. Not only has it hired a New Yorker to head its Philadelphia office but also a leftist Jew, one Jacob Bender. He has the necessary anti-Zionist credentials, of course, for this prestigious position, self-proclaiming himself to be "a leading voice in the American Jewish community for a just resolution of the Israel-Palestine conflict and the rights of the Palestinian people" (even if no one has ever heard of him). On the Islam front, he has proven himself to be a dedicated dhimmi, defending Shari'a (and along the way, in 2011, calling me part of "the bigoted Islamophobic circus"). Comments: (1) Still, I wonder how long Bender will bend to CAIR's will and how much CAIR will include him in its inner counsels. I predict a short-term relationship. (2) As I noted at "Jews and Muslims Switch Sides," people have ideas of their own and are not predictable. (3) That said, it is quite predictable that a hard-leftist of any or no religion will apologize for Islamists like the CAIR crew. Oct. 18, 2013 update: For more on Bender, see "CAIR's Court Jew" by Joe Kaufman. Jan. 22, 2014 update: Bender modestly compares himself to Maimonides: "the Muslim community in Philadelphia has welcomed me with open arms, and I often feel I am living a scene out of my movie about Al-Andalus, and like Musa ibn Maymun walking through the gardens of Cordoba eight centuries before me, a Jew among Muslims."
CAIR & pseudonyms: CAIR does not hesitate to show its maliciousness. Note an excerpt from its alert sent out today:
Note the malicious outing of Brigitte Gabriel (whose name CAIR misspells). Well, this is a curious thing to do, for CAIR's own founder and executive director, who usually goes by the name Nihad Awad, at other times presents himself as Nehad Hammad. For example, see CAIR's certificate of incorporation, dated Sept. 15, 1994, where he signed with this other name.
Looking up the name Nehad Hammad finds that he is, according to a business filing dated July 24, 2012, currently the president of Clear Consulting of VA, Inc. of 5005 Columbia Road, Annandale, Virginia 22003. So, Nihad Awad continues at this time to use the name Nehad Hammad. And, according to another report, he also uses the name Nehad Hammond. (April 23, 2013) July 24, 2013 update: CAIR's Minnesota office, in a demand that a school not allow its facility to be used for an ACT! for America event at Little Falls Community High School featuring Brigitte Gabriel, goes out of its way to provide what it says is her real name. So, likewise, I go out of the way to point out that Nihad Awad also goes by the names Nehad Hammad and Nehad Hammond. (April 11, 2013)
Muslims not bound by U.S. law: Mustafa Carroll, executive director of the Dallas-Fort Worth CAIR branch, said that "If we are practicing Muslims, we are above the law of the land." (March 3, 2013)
Calls for ban on term "Islamist": CAIR's Ibrahim Hooper has issued a diktat telling the media to drop the arch-useful term Islamist.
Comment: And what does Hooper want us to call those Muslims who seek to apply Islamic laws? Buddhists? (January 3, 2013)
CAIR regains tax-exempt status: CAIR and its related foundation lost its tax-exempt status in 2011 for not filing tax returns three years in a row. But on June 23, 2012, the IRS notified CAIR-Foundation Inc. that its nonprofit status is back. This helps explain the incessant appeals for money noted just below. (July 27, 2012)
Another shameless Ramadan solicitation: Fundraising from CAIR is hard work that never stops. This appeal is signed by Omar Zaki, who describes himself as "CAIR National Board Chairman." Excerpts (with brackets in the original):
And again there's that big red "Donate" button.
Comment: Zaki never quite gets around to why "This email is a little different." It looks pretty much the same to me. (July 26, 2012)
Ramadan Mubarak and send money! In a shameless appeal for funds, CAIR send out a mailing today that starts with a hadith on the benefits of fasting on Ramadan and then gets to the real business at hand:
The letter is signed by CAIR honcho Nihad Awad, accompanied by a picture of his handsome countenance. An oversized red "Donate" button then follows. (July 20, 2012)
CAIR's Philadelphia director at Temple University: Moein Khawaja will discuss "Arguing about Islam" with three professors in an event sponsored by the Religion Department. (April 25, 2012)
"I Never Loved the United States, the Infidel Country": Bassem Khafagi once a CAIR official and now candidate for the presidency of Egypt, told Al-Hekma TV on March 14 (as reported today by MEMRI): "When I first went to America – like many Islamists who went there – I loved Islamic preaching there. I loved the place I lived in, but I never loved the United States, the infidel country. … The United States constitutes a criminal element in this world." (March 20, 2012)
Slippery on Shari'a: Aftab Borka asks in the Oakland Press of Dearborn, Mich., "Muslim Secrets: Do Muslims want Sharia law in America?" and turns to Dawud Walid of the local CAIR office for some answers:
Asked "What is Sharia law?" Walid replied: "Well, Sharia and law will not necessarily be the best two phrases to conjoin or combine together. But Sharia simply means a path toward faithfulness of how a Muslim seeks to live a life holistically pleasing God. This ranges from our ritual worship to regulates how we are involved in ethical transaction of businesses."
Asked about hands chopped off in Saudi Arabia, stoning to death for adultery in Iran, and the like, Walid replies: "Certain punishments that are applied in Saudi Arabia and Iran, American Muslims in a unified way, or our Islamic scholars, have never advocated for these punishments in the United States of America." He blames a "highly-funded, well-organized Islamophobia network" for projecting a wrong perception since September 11, 2001. "And unfortunately, there have been some politicians that have taken off running with the idea that American Muslims have been trying to impose a harsh type of judicial system or punishments that are applied in very few countries in the Muslim world and in particular in Saudi Arabia and Iran. That is absolutely not the case." As for those who argue that Muslims want harsh punishments in the United States, Dawud Walid challenges: "If they can name five prominent Islamic leaders in the USA that have advocated for the legalization of polygamy or for chopping off hands of habitual thieves then I will retract my statement."
Comment: CAIR leaders have become more sophisticated and evasive since their early days, when they did call for Shari'a to be implemented in the United States (Ibrahim Hooper in 1993: "I wouldn't want to create the impression that I wouldn't like the government of the United States to be Islamic sometime in the future.") (February 13, 2012)
Judge ties CAIR to Hamas: In a secret ruling just made public, U.S. District Court Judge Jorge Solis found that the federal government presented "ample evidence to establish the association" of CAIR, ISNA, and NAIT with Hamas, the Palestinian terror group. (November 19, 2010)
CAIR honors Helen Thomas: "Noted journalist Helen Thomas" will receive CAIR national's Lifetime Achievement Award at its sixteenth fundraising banquest on Oct 9, 2010. How fitting that a group founded by Hamas supporters celebrates someone who demands that Israelis "get the hell out of Palestine" and "go home" to Germany and Poland. (September 17, 2010)
CAIR threatens legal action, backs down: In a curious press release dated yesterday, CAIR's Chicago branch announced that its "legal team is seriously considering a lawsuit, details of which will be announced at the press conference" to be held this morning. The issue concerns an imam, Kifah Mustapha, whom the Illinois State Police was about to hire but did not because of indications of his sympathies for terrorist groups. At the press conference today, CAIR announced nothing about a lawsuit. Rather, Mustapha stated his intention to file a discrimination complaint against the ISP with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
Comments: My regard for CAIR's competence keeps going down. Two reasons this time: (1) Where is Nihad Awad and why is he not demanding that his underlings only go public with plans for a lawsuit when 100 percent sure they will file one? (2) What a ridiculous discrimination complaint; the ISP acted on the basis of clear and solid evidence. One senses that CAIR feels obliged to stick up for each and every imam, no matter how weak the facts of its case. (3) In all likelihood, CAIR has badly lost standing with the ISP, something that it will find hard to regain. (June 23, 2010)
BumblebeeMD opens: An anonymous former CAIR staffer is posting intimate CAIR documents at http://bumblebeemd.blogspot.com. (May 11, 2010) June 24, 2010 update: Go to that URL and find a message stating:
Comments: (1) It appears that blogspot.com (a subsidiary of Google) has yanked the site. (2) Presumably, CAIR was behind this action. (3) The contents of this website now appear at http://bumblebeemd.blog.com/.
The "CAIR Observatory" opens: The Center for Security Policy announced today a new website, http://cairunmasked.org, "a participatory open-source online research center developed to investigate [CAIR's] foreign funding, foreign direction and domestic political influence operations." (March 17, 2010)
CAIR endorses disruptions of public talks: Given how many times CAIR materials against me have been handed out when I have delivered campus-based talks, it did occur to me that CAIR as an organization spurred its acolytes to prevent me from speaking. But I never knew this for a fact. Well, now it is a fact. Responding to the arrest of eleven disruptors at a talk by Israeli ambassador Michael Oren on the University of California-Irvine campus, CAIR's Hussam Ayloush issued these statements:
(February 13, 2010)
CAIR reads Osama bin Laden out of Islam: The executive director of CAIR's Tampa office, Ramzy Kiliç, met with Terry Jones, senior pastor of the Dove World Outreach Center in Gainesville, after the latter posted a sign that "Islam is of the devil." It explaining his argument against Jones, Kiliç stated:
Comment: Violent Islamists can embarrass lawful Islamists; one way to cope with the problem is to declare them not even Muslims. Right. (July 29, 2009)
CAIR calls on Obama to combat anti-Islamic statements: In an "An Open Letter to President Obama and the Muslim World" signed by Nihad Awad, he notes that "today it is quite common to see and hear the faith of Islam denigrated [in the United States] in newspaper columns, on talk radio and in religious sermons nationwide." He argues that "Silence on this growing phenomenon is un-American and betrays the values of inclusiveness and religious tolerance that we all hold dear." He demands that "elected representatives, religious leaders, commentators, and citizens of all faiths … speak out forcefully" against this rhetoric.
Comment: Nothing wrong with this in itself, but it takes some audacity to make such a demand in light of the next entry, about CAIR selling anti-Christian books. (May 29, 2009)
"Let the Bible Speak" by Abdul Rahman Dimashkiah.
"Let the Bible Speak" by Abdul Rahman Dimashkiah.
CAIR draws parallel with American Indians: CAIR is hosting a forum today at the chapel of Augsburg College in Minneapolis titled "American Indians and Palestinians - Parallel Injustice." Nihad Awad, who will appear at the conference, says this in publicity for the event:
Comment: Is this a clever tactic for Islamists, to side with Indians against the Whites? I am skeptical.
FBI breaks off contacts with CAIR: The Investigative Project on Terrorism breaks the story today that the Federal Bureau of Investigation has ended the years-old practice of working in cooperation with CAIR to find sources within the Muslim community and prevent civil liberty violations against Muslims.
The IPT posted a letter dated October 8, 2008, in which the special agent in charge of the Oklahoma field office explains that the FBI cannot be at the same meeting as CAIR because "members of the United States Government, especially those serving in a law enforcement capacity, have a duty to be judicious in [their] activities as representatives of the Federal Government."
The letter, however, does allow for CAIR to return to good graces, closing with the hope that "the issues with CAIR can be resolved in an expeditious manner" – without indicating what CAIR must do to achieve this.
Comments: (1) This is a far more significant development than may appear, for the FBI has been the agency that legitimated CAIR for the entire U.S. government and beyond. Unless CAIR can quickly undo this change, its status has seriously eroded. (2) I can just hear CAIR's bleatings about being misunderstood, comparing itself to Martin Luther King, Jr., and other preposterous tales. (January 29, 2009) Feb. 3, 2009 update: As sure as clockwork, CAIR responded to the FBI cutoff with a comparison to King:
CAIR claims Abraham, Moses, and Jesus for Islam: Yes, it's Islamic theology that Abraham, Moses, and Jesus were all Muslims, but it is quite another thing to appropriate them on the sides of buses in Broward County, Florida. CAIR purchased space for $60,000 on 50 of the county's 290-bus fleet to broadcast its message through Jan. 26 in black letters on a white backdrop, "ISLAM: The Way of Life of Abraham, Moses, Jesus and Muhammad."
When asked about the purpose of the sign, the director of CAIR's South Florida chapter, Altaf Ali, responded: "We owe it to our fellow Americans to let them know that Islam stands for peace. Muslims are here and Muslims are part and parcel of the United States." He justified the ad's contents, saying it is accurate: "A Muslim is anyone who submits their will to God. By that definition Abraham and all the prophets are Muslim because they submitted their will to God."
The ads may be the last of their kind on county buses, however. At a County Commission meeting, one commissioner, Suzanne Gunzburger, suggested "We have restrictions on cigarettes and adult entertainment, and we should eliminate religious ads hereafter."
Comments: (1) The advertisement surely baffles most Broward County residents. (2) This is a first in the United States so far as I know – publicly asserting that the principle monotheistic figures are all Muslim – and would seem to mark a more theological aggressive stance by CAIR. (3) Gunzberger's comment points, once again, to Islam driving the social and legal agenda in the West. (January 15, 2009) Mar. 21, 2009 update: The Palm Beach Post reports on the consequences of this advertisement:
CAIR's corporate charter revoked: From David Yerushalmi, the lawyer who is prosecuting CAIR in a civil suit for fraud, comes the news that the organization has lost its legal standing because the D.C. Corporations Division found it failed to file the necessary papers. In Yerushalmi's words:
Although a statutory "reinstatement" provision allows CAIR eventually to make up for its missing filings, in the interim the organization has lost the right to conduct business as usual. Yerushalmi writes: "every act by CAIR that is not one toward dissolution is a misdemeanor in the District of Columbia (D.C. Code § 29-301.87). That means its 14th Annual Dinner was illegal; it means its website is illegal; it means that anyone who contributes money after September 8, 2008 thinking CAIR is a legitimate 501c3 organization has been defrauded." (November 30, 2008)
Parvez Ahmed, former chairman of the CAIR national board.
Parvez Ahmed, former chairman of the CAIR national board.
His problems included CAIR's need to be more inclusive of younger, less-religious Muslims, working more with government agencies behind the scenes, and an effort to turn the organization into one that did not sound anti-American when criticizing government policies. But "an old guard mentality" among some of the leadership blocked these efforts. "And I got a little bit burned out pushing so hard" for the organization to be more open and transparent. "I also wanted to send a message that a change in leadership is needed at the highest level, that we need some new blood at the board and executive levels." Ahmed, added that his resignation had as much to do with his busy personal life (a daughter, 11, and son, 7 require home schooling) and professional life (he is writing two books) as with his frustrations with CAIR.
Asked for a reaction to Ahmed's comments, CAIR instead responded with a four-sentence statement thanking Ahmed for his contributions and acknowledging differences in vision: "Ultimately, the majority of organizational stakeholders supported a vision for implementing change and growth that differed from that of Dr. Ahmed." Two board members asked about the situation did not return the telephone calls. Asked for a comment, Muqtedar Khan of the University of Delaware criticized Ahmed for not transforming the organization and for its forays into political and foreign-policy matters rather than focusing on Muslim-American rights. "He had an opportunity to take it to the next level and I think he failed," Khan said.
CAIR's four offices in Florida, Ahmed noted, currently have 10 full-time employees and an annual budget of $900,000. (July 8, 2008)
CAIR calumnies me at an Elderhostel program: The Islamic Center of Boston and Wayland, in Wayland, Massachusetts hosted an Elderhostel group today for a program titled "Building Bridges and Understanding Islam," with about 80 people in attendance. One attendee sent me a report:
(June 21, 2008)
Investigate CAIR's non-profit status: Sue Myrick (Republican of North Carolina) has proposed a "Wake Up America" 10-point agenda to fight lawful Islamism within the United States. She "Will call for the Internal Revenue Service to investigate the Council on American-Islamic Relations' (CAIR) 501(c)(3) non-profit status which restricts 'lobbying on behalf of a foreign government'." (April 19, 2008)
New CAIR watchdog site opens: "CAIR: Hate and Terror" got started today. (March 25, 2008)
CAIR denies Hamas is a terrorist organization: Reverting to its roots – for CAIR is a step-child of Hamas – a CAIR Florida staffer, Jawhar Badran, stated on video that "Hamas is not a terrorist organization." The U.S. government has listed it, however, as such. (March 7, 2008)
Terrorism apologist becomes head of CAIR office: Patrick Poole details the extreme views of Abukar Arman the new head of CAIR's Columbus office. While Somalia is his special interest, a blog titled "HAMAS Victory is a Victory for Democracy and Peace!" gives a general idea of his views. (March 2, 2008)
Juan Cole fundraises for CAIR: University of Michigan history professor Juan Cole spoke today for the "2008 South Florida Annual Fundraising Banquet," under the rubric of "Let the Conversation Begin." Comment: Cole joins John Esposito and Walt-Mearshimer as speakers under CAIR's auspices. They all deserve each other at the fringes of American political life. (March 1, 2008)
CAIR proselytizes for Islam: It may present itself as a civil rights organization, but CAIR has a religious dimension that sometimes shines through, as in the "One Year Academic Program on Islamic Juristic Sciences" it is co-sponsoring with the Foundation for Islamic Education in Villanova, Penn. The two-hour, once-a-week course will serve a number of interested parties, first of which are "Imams of Islamic Centers and those who are working in the field of Islamic da'wah.." Da'wa means proselytizing for Islam. (Mar. 1, 2008)
CAIR condemns Christian proselytizing: In a story about Living Bread International Church, a Christian missionary effort based in Jerusalem with outposts in several West Bank cities, CAIR's Bedier approves its supplying humanitarian aid to Muslims but condemns its efforts at evangelizing. "These are starving people who are not thinking rationally. They'll do what you say to get the food to keep them alive. They'll pray with and say they're converted. And likely, they'll be back at the mosque on Friday." Of the Living Bread leadership, he says, "people are blinded by their zeal and things backfire. You have to question the motives of people who go into hostile environments to push their religion, when there's so much that needs to be done in this country." (Feb. 3, 2008)
CAIR staffer refuses to condemn stoning: Asked on video about the practice of stoning to death in Islam, Ahmed Bedier of the Tampa office wriggles and avoids. Here is Robert Spencer on the performance:
CAIR staffer canceled at CENTCOM: Ahmed Bedier of CAIR's Tampa office was to speak on January 15 to the military's Central Command about jihad, martyrdom and dhimmitude but, thanks to the timely intervention of Joe Kaufman of Americans Against Hate, the event has been indefinitely postponed. (Jan. 12, 2008)
"CAIR bears": Celebrating CAIR's exquisite avoidance of the Sudanese teddy-bear blasphemy crisis, Rude News has come out with an illustrated line of seven "CAIR bears." They are all worth looking at but I reproduce just one here: "Ayatollah Bear - Ayatollah Bear is greatly exalted for his issuing of death-fatwas upon infidels." (Nov. 29, 2007)
CAIR boss reveals his attitude toward Americans: The Investigative Project on Terrorism points out today advice from Nihad Awad to a group of Hamas supporters, speaking in confidence in 1993. From the transcript provided by the U.S. government:
Nihad Awad, CAIR's leader.
Nihad Awad, CAIR's leader.
CAIR staffer compares U.S. troops to "Crusaders": Joe Kaufman, still reading Affad Shaikh's blog (see Aug. 28, 2007 for a prior report), notes that CAIR's Los Angeles civil rights coordinator refers in an analysis, "The Crusader's Mark," to Americans in Iraq as "Crusaders."
(Sep. 6, 2007)
CAIR criticizes ADL: Responding with its usual rhetorical guns blazing to the Anti-Defamation League's cautious Aug. 10 statement (see below), CAIR denounces ADL for using "smears and exclusionary tactics," for "seeking to marginalize and disenfranchise American Muslims," and for allowing "its blind support for Israel's brutal policies toward the Palestinians and its zero-sum approach to public debate on the Middle East conflict to unnecessarily poison relations between the Jewish and American Muslim communities." (Aug. 31, 2007)
U.S. government explains why CAIR an unindicted co-conspirator: James T. Jacks, assistant U.S. attorney in Dallas, today filed a 27-page "Memorandum in Opposition to CAIR's Motion for Leave to File a Brief Amicus Curiae Instanter and Amicus Brief in Support of the Unindicted Coconspirators' First And Fifth Amendment Rights." As one might imagine, it contains some pungent passages about CAIR's truthfulness, especially when it comes to the claim that the unindicted co-conspirator status damaged its standing. (Aug. 28, 2007)
CAIR staffer gets candid: Joe Kaufman reports that Affad Shaikh, civil rights coordinator for CAIR's Los Angeles office, has
(Aug. 28, 2007)
ADL criticizes CAIR: The Anti-Defamation League, known for its caution in inter-communal matters, has issued a critique of CAIR, stating that its "credibility as a community relations agency promoting 'justice and mutual understanding' is tainted" by its many transgressions, and specifically documenting its "longstanding support for terror organizations and hostility toward Israel." (Aug. 10, 2007)
CAIR staffer goes public in niqab: Maryam Sayar Akbar, Esq. is listed as the civil rights director for CAIR's New York office. In an undated but recent newsletter from that office, "Empowering Muslims," she is shown pictured in a niqab as she discussed a CAIR study on the human rights of U.S. Muslims on Italian public television. Comment: This is a first, so far as I know. (Aug. 10, 2007)
CAIR joined with the Muslim Brethren: The Investigative Project on Terrorism, reporting from the Holy Land Foundation trial in Dallas, connects CAIR to the world-wide Islamist movement, the Muslim Brethren.
(Aug. 8, 2007)
CAIR apologizes for two held possessing explosives: As two University of South Florida engineering students, Ahmed Mohamed, 24, and Youseff Megahed, 21, were charged with possession of an incendiary device after police found a suspicious item in their car and detonated it, Ahmed Bedier of CAIR's Tampa chapter suggested that the explosives were just leftover fireworks from July 4, he called both of them "really naïve kids," and suggested that "If they didn't do anything wrong they need to be released." (Aug. 5, 2007) Aug. 6, 2007 update: Bedier has sharpened his stance, criticizing the arrest as racial profiling: "Definitely this is not related to terrorism. Had these been two good ol' boys from South Carolina driving through and speeding - and even if they did have some fireworks - nobody would have been arrested." Sep. 1, 2007 update: Mohamed has been indicted of giving help to terrorists by aiding, teaching, and demonstrating the use of an explosive device; both he and Megahed are charged with transporting explosives. Dec. 22, 2007 update: Offhand remarks about Mohamed and Megahed being Taliban and "graduates of suicide bomber school" by the deputy who stopped their car prompts Bedier to call this information "disturbing" and to state that "Somebody screwed up here and it may be costly. It will raise doubt about how this investigation was triggered." Jan. 17, 2008 update: Chuck Hustmyre of WorldNetDaily.com reports that "CAIR backs off support for terror suspects." Bedier now says it's possible the two Egyptians were not just carrying fireworks to the beach: "I've never said that these people were innocent, or that we were providing any kind of support for them. If they did anything wrong they should be punished." June 17, 2008 update: Ahmed Mohamed pleaded guilty.
CAIR defends the hijab: The Cincinnati Enquirer quotes Karen Dabdoub, executive director CAIR's Cincinnati office, saying that "Asking a Muslim woman to remove her head scarf is akin to asking her to remove her shirt." (July 14, 2007)
CAIR condemns "war on terror": Parvez Ahmed, CAIR's national board chairman, blamed the Bush administration for promoting "Islamophobia" ("The new perception is that the United States has entered a war with Islam itself") and announced that the war on terror won't stop terrorists ("Terrorism is a tactic. You cannot eradicate it by declaring a war against it. The war on terror is causing us infinitely more harm than the terrorists could have ever imagined"). He also declared that the war on terror is driven by an "irrational" fear. (July 4, 2007)
CAIR teams up with the OIC: The Organization of the Islamic Conference is a Saudi-backed organization, a sort-of United Nations for Muslims. Its head, Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, met yesterday with CAIR's head, Nihad Awad, in Jeddah to discuss what Awad termed "the situation of Muslims in the United States and to work on future projects." (July 4, 2007)
Fred Thompson lambastes CAIR: Former senator and now apparent Republican candidate for president, Fred Thompson has taken a uniquely forward position on the Council on American-Islamic Relations in a blog entry titled "Good News about CAIR." Excerpts:
(June 20, 2007)
CAIR membership collapses: Patrick Poole looked at CAIR's IRS Form 990s over the past couple of years and noted that its membership dropped from approximately 4,761 dues-paying members in 2005 to an estimated 2,615 in 2006. Poole calculates that 1 out of every 2,676 U.S. Muslims belongs to CAIR. Another fact of interest: CAIR's 2006 Annual Report (page 23, "CAIR Financial Activity Report") reveals that the organization spends only 9 percent of its funds on civil rights and 10 percent to government affairs – this from a group that declares its mission to be "civil rights and advocacy." (May 24, 2007) June 12, 2007 update: Audrey Hudson of the Washington Times works over the same figures and calculates that CAIR's membership has fallen by 90 percent in seven years, from over 29,000 in 2000 to fewer than 1,700 in 2006. CAIR immediately responded with a press release, "CAIR ACCUSES WASHINGTON TIMES OF 'AGENDA-DRIVEN REPORTING': Civil rights group says paper falsely suggested drop in its grassroots support," in which it accuses the Hudson of "sloppy and agenda-driven reporting." CAIR's Ibrahim Hooper is quoted claiming that, in fact, "Support for CAIR has grown." June 13, 2007 update: Poole notes CAIR's fundraising difficulties this month and concludes, perhaps prematurely, that has entered a "financial death spiral." Aug. 22, 2007 update: Scratch that, says CAIR – Aubrey Hudson was in fact right about the membership collapse. As she reports in The Washington Times today, "CAIR concedes membership down," it concedes this point in an effort to show the harm done by the Justice Department having listed it on May 29 as an unindicted co-conspirator in the Dallas Holy Land Foundation case. CAIR stated in an amicus curiae brief filed with the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas that "The public naming of CAIR as an unindicted co-conspirator has impeded its ability to collect donations as possible donors either do not want to give to them because they think they are a 'terrorist' organization or are too scared to give to them because of the possible legal ramifications of donating money to a 'terrorist' organization." In a startling turn-around, the brief even cites the Washington Times article as evidence, though CAIR earlier had denounced it as a "hit piece." Even if one accepts CAIR's turnaround, the logic still makes no sense, as Hudson's article came out just two weeks after the unindicted co-conspirator designation – too soon for its impact to have been felt.
CAIR praises accused terrorist: After Christopher Paul, 43, of Columbus, Ohio (previously known as Abdulmalek Kenyatta) was indicted today for having rained with Al-Qaeda and announcing his dedicatioin to violent jihad. To which, Ahmad Al-Akhras of CAIR's Columbus chapter said the charges are out of character: "From the things I know, he is a loving husband and he has a wife and parents in town. They are a good family together." (April 13, 2007)
CAIR staffer endorses Muslim men intermarrying: Arsalan Iftikhar, CAIR's national legal director has announced that "I'm actually a big proponent of intermarriage. I plan on marrying someone who does not look like me." Comment: It's not exactly clear what Iftikhar means by this or whether its company policy, but what I understand is that he, as a Muslim male, looks forward to wedding a non-Muslim woman to convert to his religion. (April 9, 2007)
CAIR sends free copies of Jimmy Carter's "Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid" to public libraries.
CAIR sends free copies of Jimmy Carter's "Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid" to public libraries.
CAIR again refuses to condemn Hamas and Hezbollah: An attempt to go on the offense backfired for CAIR's southern California office. First, its effort to prevent Dennis Prager from speaking at the North County Chabad Center in Yorba Linda let to a rebuff by the head of the congregation, Rabbi David Eliezrie, who called the criticism of Prager "outrageous" and "akin to a blood libel. … I think CAIR in this case has smeared a wonderful Jewish leader, somebody respected by Jews all over the country, in a despicable fashion." Second, the controversy prompted Christopher Goffard, the Los Angeles Times reporter covering the case, to ask some tough questions of CAIR, and not get satisfactory answers:
(January 24, 2007)
Why CAIR ignores me: I'd noticed back in 2005 that CAIR attacks on me had subsided, to the point of near-silence. I speculated that, what with the emergence of truly anti-Islamic opinions (as opposed to mine, which is anti-Islamist), the organization had more urgent priorities than besmirching my name. Confirmation of this arrived today with a quote from Ibrahim Hooper toward the end of an article about me by Sadanand Dhume, "Radical Departure: Is the country's most controversial Middle East scholar mellowing?" in the January 2007 issue of Philadelphia magazine. Dhume argues that my views have in two ways become mainstream: (1) figures like President Bush and Prime Minister Blair have moved rhetorically in my direction and (2) I am now in the political center, between those saying Islam is irrelevant and those blaming Islam the religion. Dhume then quotes Hooper about me: "In a strange way, now, he's almost on the B-team of Islamophobes. The real attacks are coming from those who say that Islam itself is evil must be challenged as a faith." (December 23, 2006)
Nihad Awad denies Muslim terrorism: In a priceless exchange with Bill O'Reilly on the O'Reilly Factor, CAIR's honcho has the temerity to deny that Muslims are carrying out most terrorism.
(November 28, 2006)
Keith Ellison's CAIR problem: Keith Ellison, the first Muslim elected to the U.S. Congress, has known Nihad Awad for years and he benefited from CAIR fundraising on his behalf, but, as Scott Johnson points out in "A Failure to Miscommunicate," Ellison could not get his story straight about his speaking at CAIR's annual banquet or not. This should be the start of an interesting relationship, as he seeks to win its favor without being seen as its creature. This should be interesting, as CAIR is the offspring of Hamas and Ellison has posted on his website a statement, "On the Issues: Israel and the Middle East," that rejects Hamas:
(November 20, 2006)
CAIR reaches out to the Nation of Islam: Sultan Muhammad, communications coordinator for CAIR's Chicago office, wrote an article, "A march towards martial law?" for Louis Farrakhan's Final Call. For a sense of its content and tone, here is the final paragraph:
John Esposito and Ahmed Rehab of CAIR speaking at the University of Chicago.
John Esposito and Ahmed Rehab of CAIR speaking at the University of Chicago.
CAIR enforces court-ordered sensitivity training: David Huffman, a high-school senior, was punished for tapping a Muslim woman on the head, nearly pulling off her headscarf, in a Chicago-area McDonald's. The judge did not make him serve time in jail but instead made him serve time in CAIR's Chicago office. (Actually, that sounds almost as bad.) There, in forty hours over three months, he engaged in such activities as watching Muslims play basketball, attend a 9/11 commemoration, and visit mosques. (October 23, 2006)
CAIR praises and solicits funds for accused Palestinian terrorist: Asked by Agence France-Presse about Muhammad Salah, the Palestinian on trial in Chicago after serving nearly five years in Israeli jail after admitting to crimes on behalf of Hamas, the head of CAIR's Chicago office, Ahmed Rehab, said that Salah is for many "a symbol of a larger Palestinian struggle." So pleased was the CAIR national headquarters, it placed this clipping on its website. Rehab also, in his personal capacity, signed a solicitation for the Salah Defense Fund. In part, the letter reads:
(October 20, 2006)
"CAIR Watch" opens doors: Joe Kaufman, chairman of Americans Against Hate, announces today the launching of CAIR Watch, with the goal of "exposing the extremist nature and terrorist ties of the Council on American-Islamic Relations." He is asking for volunteers to assist in the project as "CAIR Watchers." (October 9, 2006)
A moderate Muslim criticizes CAIR: Zuhdi Jasser, founder of the American Islamic Forum for Democracy, has some choice words:
(September 29, 2006)
CAIR declares itself zakat-worthy: Zakat are Islamic charitable donations. In a mailing today from the group's southern California office, it asks the question, "Does CAIR qualify to receive Zakat?" then replies in the affirmative:
(September 29, 2006)
A CAIR Rosh Hashanah: Dawud Walid, head of CAIR's Michigan chapter, addressed the holiday service at the Jewish Community Center of Washtenaw County in Ann Arbor, Michigan. According to an unposted press release, he "addressed the congregation for approximately 20 minutes and fielded numerous questions about Islam after the service." And for those who did not have enough of his enlightment, CAIR will be back for another round at the JCC during the fast-breaking service of Yom Kippur on October 2. (September 25, 2006)
CAIR vs. Hamas? At that fundraiser for Keith Ellison noted in the September 11, 2006 update (below), Nihad Awad told a reporter "I don't support Hamas today. My position and CAIR's position is extremely clear - we condemn suicide bombings. We are mainstream American Muslims." As Robert Spencer points out, this is big news, for CAIR has been overtly and consistently pro-Hamas statements since it was spawned by Hamas in 1994. Yet, the awesome CAIR p.r. machine has not exactly broadcast this sea change far and wide.
Comment: One can imagine Awad's Hamas masters calling him on the carpet for repudiating the terror organization. But the poor guy can probably convince them that his dual goals of supporting Hamas and operating within the American political arena at times force him to take such unbecoming steps. (September 25, 2006)
No money to CAIR from Saudi Arabia? Ibrahim Hooper announced on television tonight, speaking artfully about CAIR, that "To my knowledge we don't take money from the government of Saudi Arabia." What means this? Robert Spencer notes that Hooper "words his statements as carefully as the Pope. … So I'm not quite sure how to take this new statement. Does he mean that they don't take money from the Saudi government, but from individual Saudis? Or that CAIR may take money from the Saudi government, but if it does, no one is telling Ibrahim?" CAIR has a long history of taking money from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (for some examples, see "CAIR's Saudi Masters," so if Hooper is telling the truth, this marks a major change in funding for his organization.(September 21, 2006)
Dallas imam criticizes CAIR: After the Dallas Morning News ran the usual sort of article ("Cleared man cites prejudice: He says being Muslim was reason he was arrested in cell case"), full of whining by CAIR about the mistreatment of Muslims post-9/11, the newspaper ten days later published this robust reply from a local imam:
(September 18, 2006)
CAIR's man in the House: The first Muslim with a good chance to be elected to the U.S. Congress, Keith Ellison of Minnesota's 5th Congressional District, turns out to be CAIR-endorsed. Here is Alan Cooperman of the Washington Post on their connection: "Nihad Awad, executive director of the Washington-based Council on American-Islamic Relations, flew to Minneapolis for an Aug. 25 fundraiser for Ellison, who has collected about $400,000, mostly from individual contributors in his district." (September 11, 2006)
CAIR mangles my message, again: The Islamic Society of North America annual conference hosts a panel today titled "Countering Islamaphobia in the Media." The all-CAIR line-up of Arsalan Iftikhar, Ibrahim Hooper, Corey Saylor, and Ahmed Rehab is discussing this topic: "From Ann Coulter to Daniel Pipes, certain pundits and policymakers continue to make a living out of defaming Islam on print and broadcast media outlets." No, CAIR, I make a living trying to figure out the nature of the enemy, and I have often said it is not Islam but it is CAIR. (September 3, 2006)
Khatami is CAIR's kindred spirit: Iran's former president Mohammad Khatami spoke at a CAIR event during his U.S. visit. He was welcomed by Ahmed Rehab, head of CAIR's Chicago office, as "a kindred spirit in faith" and as "a reformist, a bridge-builder." Comment: This comment makes explicit what some of us have been saying for a while: That CAIR is sympathetic to the smiling face of the murderous Islamist regime in Tehran. (August 31, 2006)
Lentils no different from cash: The close scrutiny to Islamic "charities" and their connection to terrorism funding has prompted some Muslims to give charity in kind – diapers, water-purification tablets, lentils, rice, powdered milk, cooking oil, and the like, reports the Washington Post. The Post article then brings CAIR in, noting that it "reluctantly is encouraging donations of goods, on the grounds that they are better than nothing" and quotes its spokesman Ibrahim Hooper: "If you send lentils, at least no one can accuse you of supporting terrorism."
Worried that my friends at CAIR might make a big mistake, I checked with a U.S. government official familiar with these matters and learned that "Treasury's criteria for designation include: financial, material or technological support for terrorists. Were it learned that CAIR sent lentils to Hizbullah, Hamas or any other Specially Designated Global Terrorist, CAIR would be seen as supporting that terrorist organization." (August 9, 2006)
CAIR compared to flies at a picnic: Asked, "What are your thoughts about CAIR?" D.C. Watson, author of Truth is Not Bigotry, replies: "Like flies at a picnic, they've certainly done an outstanding job of making pests of themselves." (August 9, 2006)
CAIR stands with bin Laden buddy: Two star-struck CAIR "civil rights interns," Ausaf Farooqi and Azam Khan went to visit Enaam Arnaout on July 21 at the Federal Prison in Oxford, Wisconsin and wrote up their experiences for CAIR's Chicago branch, "Fighting for His Rights From Behind Bars." Arnaout, it will be recalled, is the former director of the Benevolence International Foundation (BIF), an Islamic "charity" that federal prosecutors accuse of having ties to Osama bin Laden, who was resentenced to 10 years in prison in February 2006. Here are excerpts from the glowing report, grammatical mistakes left intact:
(August 7, 2006)
CAIR rejects Zionism: In a Christian Science Monitor news story, Omar Sacirbey explains that "The Council on American-Islamic Relations says it does not reject the existence of Israel, but it does reject Zionism, the philosophy on which it says Israel is based." Comment: It's an interesting distinction, like saying one does not reject the existence of the United States but does reject the U.S. government. The implication seems to be that the name Israel is acceptable, but Jewish sovereignty is not. In other words, the Jewish state must be eliminated. (August 4, 2006)
CAIR's street intimidation: A 5'3" woman who goes by the handle "ciaospirit" videotaped a CAIR rally at the Federal Courthouse in downtown Columbus, Ohio, on July 28 and reports that she was twice physically assaulted by CAIR's national vice-chairman, Ahmad Al-Akhras. She has the tape to prove it, and it is posted at her website, http://hourglass1941.blogspot.com/, for the world to see. For a full account of what happened, see Patrick Poole's write-up at "CAIR, Assault and Videotape?" (August 8, 2006)
CAIR deems Hizbullah "somewhat" terrorist: At the Islamic Center of San Diego, CAIR's local spokesman, Edgar Hopida, discussed the current round of hostilities between Hizbullah and Israel. Elizabeth Fitzsimons of the San Diego Union-Tribune does not quote him directly on the subject of Hizbullah but she does write, elusively, that CAIR
Comment: That goes further in the right direction of calling an Islamist group terrorist than anything coming from CAIR I have previously seen. (July 21, 2006)
Following on the terror-related arrests of 17 young men in the Toronto area, CAIR co-organized a "Know Your Rights" seminar in the council chambers of Toronto's City Hall on July 15. The head of CAIR's Canadian office, Karl Nickner, asserted that "The community shouldn't have to apologize for 17 people who may have had extremist ideas. Do we ask the Italian community to apologize for the Mafia? No, we don't, and we shouldn't."
Comment: Good to have it in black-and-white that CAIR believes Muslims need not apologize for 17 would-be terrorists. It again suggests on which side of the war its sympathies lie. (July 16, 2006)
But CAIR supports the new, Taliban-like Somali regime. Here is Ahmad Al-Akhras, CAIR's national vice-chairman, in the Columbus Dispatch: "What has happened in Somalia, for the majority of Somalis inside and those who are abroad, is a positive change."
Comment: This is revealing. It shows that CAIR apologizes for even the most hideous Islamist regime. (June 28, 2006)
CAIR wants to close down blogs: LittleGreenFootballs.com has posted this brief item: "CAIR Complaining to FBI About Blogs":
Parvez Ahmad, CAIR chairman visited Dubai (with former congressman Paul Findley in tow) and held discussions with Khalaf Al Habtoor and other businessmen, seeking funds for a 5-year, $50-million public relations campaign CAIR has initiated. Ahmad called it "the most ambitious public relations campaign anywhere in the world that the Muslims have thought about to change perceptions about Islam."
He warned the businessmen that donating is in their own interest, raising the DP World fiasco and arguing that "If the image of Islam and Muslims is not repaired in America, Muslim and Arab business interests will continue to be on a downward slide in the US. Do not think about your contributions as donations. Think about it from the perspective of rate of return. The investment of $50 million will give you billions of dollars in return for 50 years." He argued for dealing with the image problem in the United States because it will "remain a superpower and the largest economy in the world for at least the next 50 years."
As for the finances, the article states that CAIR plans to construct a seven-storey, $24-million office building. It already has the land and is now raising funds for the edifice. Ahmad noted that "This building will provide CAIR $3 million per year in revenues. That will provide enough stability from an operational side." (May 16, 2006) [June 20, 2006 update: Paul Sperry reports at "The CAIR-U.A.E. Connection" that
CAIR board member accuses Zionists of designs on Sudan: In "Condemning Zionism is crucial to world peace, and essential to peace in the Muslim and Arab world," Anisa Abdel Fattah writes about the Zionists' "possible attempts to expand into Sudan through Darfur." (May 16, 2006)
CAIR excuses Sami Al-Arian: Responding to the judge throwing the book at Sami Al-Arian, Ahmed Bedier of CAIR's Florida office said it was unfair to punish Al-Arian because he failed to condemn the terrorism of his organization, Palestinian Islamic Jihad: "no one should pay the price for someone else's criminal acts." (May 2, 2006)
Khan subsequently complained that her civil rights were violated because when she was arrested, police removed her hijab. The attorney for Arlington Heights, Ernest Blomquist III, noted that police followed standard procedures that call for removing scarves, hats, belts and shoestrings, for these may be used as weapons or to hide weapons, from people under arrest. "We're pleased with the way our officers responded," said Capt. Jerry Lambert.
Khan's claims prompted efforts by Ahmed Rehab, executive director of the local CAIR chapter, to portray the police as insensitive thugs: "The arresting officers should not have ripped the hijab off Ms. Khan's head. Police officers do not normally strip arrestees, but rather pat them down or take them into private areas where they are searched by officers of the same gender."
Sadly for CAIR's campaign to win special privileges for Muslims, Khan's case collapsed in court yesterday, where she pleaded guilty to misdemeanor battery charges and was sentenced to a year of court supervision, 240 hours of community service and court fees. (April 26, 2006)
CAIR's wishful thinking about Sami Al-Arian: Sami Al-Arian's former lawyer, William Moffitt, told the press on April 14, that Al-Arian would be pleading guilty to a conspiracy to provide material support to a terrorist. To this, Ahmed Bedier of CAIR's Florida office, replied that Moffitt was wrong. Elaine Silvestrini reported his comments thus in The Tampa Tribune:
Comment: So much for relying on CAIR for accurate information. (April 17, 2006)
CAIR disapproves of Christian missionaries: In an article how Latin Americans are engaged in Christian missionary efforts, "Blending in and spreading the Word," CAIR's Ibrahim Hooper is quoted and he is highly displeased:
As Andrew Whitehead of Anti-CAIR points out,
(April 9, 2006)
CAIR indifferent to Muslim apostate facing death sentence: As word spread that one Abdul Rahman, born an Afghan Muslim and a convert to Christianity had been sentenced to death by a Kabul court for his conversion, the U.S. government and human rights groups voiced their horror. But not Ibrahim Hooper of CAIR, who had just this terse dismissal to offer: "We haven't dealt with that issue." (March 21, 2006) Mar. 22, 2006 update: Caught by the storm of criticism directed at the Afghan government, CAIR issued a press release today, "CAIR Calls for Release of Afghan Christian," in which it asserts that "the man's conversion is a personal matter not subject to the intervention of the state." Justifying this distinctly non-Shar'i position, CAIR asserts that "Islamic scholars say the original rulings on apostasy were similar to those for treasonous acts in legal systems worldwide and do not apply to an individual's choice of religion." Hooper's intial response gives a hint of what the CAIRites really think about this act of leaving Islam, but they have no choice in the American arena but to condemn Abdul Rahman's sentencing.
CAIR does foreign policy: It calls itself a "civil rights" organization, so why, one wonders, is CAIR calling for an investigation of U.S. foreign policy? In a press release titled "CAIR Calls for Probe of U.S. Role in Israeli Prison Attack," it called for "an independent investigation of allegations that America played a role in an Israeli attack on a Palestinian prison that came 10 minutes after U.S. and British monitors withdrew from the facility." The conspiratorial assumption behind this demand is vintage CAIR; the headlong immersion into the Arab-Israeli conflict points to its larger, political agenda. (March 16, 2006)
CAIR endorses censorhip: A CAIR mailing today includes a press release from its Canadian affiliate: "CAIR-CAN has received complaints that flyers containing an article promoting Islamophobia alongside an offensive cartoon of the Prophet Muhammad have been distributed at York University. In a statement released today, CAIR-CAN said: 'We are greatly alarmed to hear of this rise in Islamophobic incidents on university campuses in Toronto. These incidents have left Muslim students fearful'." The organization goes on to call on York University administrators "to take swift action against the spread of hate" on its campus and urges them "to work with the Toronto police in apprehending the perpetrators of these acts." Poor CAIR-US! The First Amendment prevents it from "working with" law enforcement to apprehend the "perpetrators" who distribute the Muhammad cartoons. No doubt it watches enviously its branch north of the border. (March 14, 2006)
CAIR's budgetary problems: After several years of steadily increasing income – $2.5 million, $4.0 million, and $5.6 million, for the years 2000, 2001, and 2002, respectively – CAIR's combined entities revenues, at least in the United States, are on a distinctly downward trend. Sharon Chadha notes that, according to its IRS filings, CAIR's revenues have declined from the $5.6 million in 2002 to $5.3 million in 2003 to $5.1 million in 2004 (the most recent year available). Cash on hand is in even worse shape, with CAIR's combined year-end balances in 2004 down $879,000 (to $2,425,000) from a year earlier. (All figures derive from IRS filings posted at www.guidestar.org.)
What happened? Did CAIR's foreign benefactors realize that their monies are better spent trying to improve the civil rights of Muslims in places like Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (the very countries that have been so generous to CAIR in the past)? Do they realize that CAIR's alarmism about the plight of Muslims in North America is mostly hype? Are American Muslims of good faith finally waking up to the disreputable nature of this organization that purports to represent them? Or have they begun to worry that CAIR's connections to terrorism could turn around and bite them? Whatever the reasons, the results are very welcome. (March 11, 2006)
"CAIR Supports Imam Jalil's Hateful Views": That is the title of a blog entry by Brian Hecht in which he notes two things: (1) CAIR has no problem with the comments of Umar Abdul-Jalil, chief imam of New York City's Department of Corrections that "the greatest terrorists in the world occupy the White House," complaining about the "Zionists of the media," and stating that Muslims must be "compassionate with each other" and "hard against the kufr [unbeliever]." To this and more, CAIR defended Abdul-Jalil. Its New York executive director, Wissam Nasr, said: "There are other things that are the truth in his statements."
(2) He points out the discrepancy between this and CAIR's criticism of newspapers that published the Muhammad cartoons it deemed insulting. Quoting Nasr again: "this is America and we are allowed to express our opinions publicly." In contrast, when the cartoons were the issue, the chairman of CAIR, Parvez Ahmed, wrote: "Free speech, like every other freedom, comes with the responsibility of good judgment. Newspapers ought to have the freedom to speak the truth, but a cartoon that defames does not further debate." (That suggests that Ahmed believes that statements about terrorists running the White House and the Zionist-controlled media do help "further debate.") As Cochran puts it, "In CAIR's view, when Muslims are offended, free speech is not absolute and should be exercised responsibly. But when a Muslim in a position of authority receiving a government salary says something offensive, free speech becomes an unlimited, cherished American right. In other words, everyone but Muslims must exhibit responsibility when exercising their right to free speech." (March 10, 2006)
Ahmed Rehab of CAIR's Chicago office.
Ahmed Rehab of CAIR's Chicago office.
Subject: [Shura-CAIR] Time for Oppositional Reseach & Counter Offense
Comments: (1) That URL posted by "Br. Hooper" at the bottom leads to an article by Sharon Chadha and me that appeared today.
(2) There is something amusing about CAIR, the original American Islamist attack machine, finding itself too passive. (For the record, I had not written about CAIR until its first oppo research piece on me appeared in August 1999, a which time I responded to it.)
(3) There is something ominous about the plan described here for CAIR to "invest in oppositional research," for three of its staff to "draft a water-tight team," and then to hide CAIR's role in this operation. It smacks more of Soviet disinformation tactics than the kind of debate Americans normally engage in.
(4) Clearly, the kind of critique Chadha and I did hurts – otherwise CAIR would ignore our work.
(5) Rehab mentions just two Muslims by name, Kamal Nawash and Stephen Schwartz. Nawash has sponsored anti-CAIR speakers like Khaleel Mohammed. Schwartz has written a study on the Wahhabi lobby and a host of short pieces on CAIR specifically, such as "A Wahhabi Crack-Up in America?" "CAIR's Axis of Evil," "Not So Holy After All," "The Varieties of Muslim Experience," and "Why American Muslims Stay Silent." (March 8, 2006)
CAIR forwards da'wa: It hardly comes as a shock that CAIR works to propagate the Islamic religion, but until now one could only surmise this. Thanks to actions by CAIR's Chicago branch, it's now on the record. The following information derives from a CAIR press release, dated today: The Muslim Women's Outreach wanted to purchase space on a billboard to advertise its event with the name, "Why Preachers and Priests are Converting to Islam" by. The advertising agency that owns the billboard initially agreed but changed its mind when its regional manager refused the billboard ad it on the grounds that he "was not comfortable" with it. He also refused to sell an advertisement of the Muslim Women's Outreach's website. Nor would he discuss the issue or meet with the Muslim Women's Outreach. At this point, CAIR entered the picture and contacted the manager "and began negotiations for a resolution between the two groups. The dispute was successfully resolved after CAIR-Chicago facilitated a settlement agreement and a meeting to address the concerns of the Muslim group." (Feb. 14, 2006)
CAIR's selective concern: A CAIR press release today describes its efforts to win the release of American journalist Jill Carroll by contacting Middle East media outlets. The press release includes this sentence: "The appeal, sent to CAIR's extensive database of contacts in the Arabic media, repeated the Washington-based group's past statement that no cause can be served by targeting journalists who are trying to relate the human suffering caused by war." Which raises the obvious question: What is CAIR's position about journalists taken captive who are not "trying to relate human suffering caused by war"? By implication, they are fair game. (Feb. 1, 2006)
CAIR v. the American flag: When members of the Jam e Masjid Islamic Center in Boonton, New Jersey discovered a large American flag nailed above the mosque's doorway, they called the police to investigate the incident as a possible bias crime. "It was very discomforting to see something blocking the door," said Hamida Amanat, education director of the center. "If it was small, we wouldn't mind. It was someone coming over our property line and doing this at night without permission." Nihad Awad of CAIR commented: "I believe ignorance plays a major factor in this problem, which automatically leads to prejudice. It could be an attempt at saying, 'You're not Americans, but we are.' It may be an attempt to de-Americanize the Muslim community. We are patriotic Americans, as well, and nobody has the right to question our love and affection and patriotism just because of our beliefs. I think it's sickening that people may think less of their fellow Americans because of their skin color or their faith." (Jan. 19, 2006)
CAIR makes up a "hate crime": Both parties involved in a stabbing incident at the John F. Kennedy High School in Paterson, New Jersey agree that it had to do with kids' hot tempers. Police Detective Robert Vogt said that "No ethnic or racial overtones had been reported uttered to us by the victim or the suspect." But CAIR's Hooper told a reporter, "We're very concerned with a bias motive of the stabbing." Will this incident make some list of CAIR's cataloguing American inequities? (Jan. 18, 2006)
Co-plaintiff blasts CAIR: Christopher Hitchens may have joined CAIR in a law suit concerning NSA wiretaps but he has nothing good to say about the organization: "I was revolted to see who I was in company with. CAIR is a lot to swallow. I think they're a shady and disgusting organization." (Jan. 18, 2006)
CAIR leader: "Nothing immoral" about Palestinian Islamic Jihad: Ahmed Bedier, communications director for CAIR's Florida office, made a revealing statement on Dec. 8, speaking on a local television program in Tampa, Florida, WTVT's "Your Turn with Kathy Fountain." As reported by Joe Kaufman of Americans Against Hate, the exchange went thus:
Kaufman notes that, prior to 1995, Palestinian Islamic Jihad took credit for five terrorist attacks, resulting in the murders of eight innocent people.
Comment: CAIR's true colors come out unpredictably like this from time to time. (Dec. 13, 2005) Dec. 14, 2005 update: Kaufman documents CAIR's shenanigans after he exposed Bedier's embarrassing statement. First, it edited out the statement. Second, it removed the entire video. Third, Americans Against Hate posted the entire video. Finally, CAIR restored the full version of the video on its website. As Kaufman points out, noting the hijab added to a photograph, "CAIR has a history of doctoring material on its website."
CAIR hosts Yemeni judge: "The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) was honored today to host Yemeni Judge Hamoud Abdulhameed Al-Hitar at its Capitol Hill headquarters. … Al-Hitar is known for his efforts to challenge the ideology of extremists through the use of basic Islamic source materials." Sound too good to be true? Well it is. As a devastating report by Tim Whewell of the BBC and the Daily Telegraph has shown, Al-Hitar's efforts look like a sham. Imprisoned Islamist terrorist suspects under his control readily agree – of course – to whatever he says so as to win their freedom. One of the 364 prisoners released under Al-Hitar's scheme, a former Al-Qaeda member named Nasser al-Bahri, denied there had been any debate with the judge. "We understood what the judge wanted and he understood what we wanted from him. The Yemeni Mujahideen in prison know Hitar is the way for them to get released, so they ingratiate themselves with him. There was no long or complex dialogue." A Yemeni observer, Professor Adel Sharjazee, commented that "The results of dialogue are very limited. As these people are being talked to they are put under a lot of pressure and when they are released from prison, nothing has changed." Indeed, Whewell reports that "Yemen's Foreign Minister Dr Abu Bakr Al-Qirbi refused to deny that prisoners released under the scheme had turned up in Iraq, where Yemenis are thought to account for more than 10% of the foreign anti-coalition fighters." Not surprisingly, CAIR is effectively endorsing Islamists freed from jail to go fight U.S. forces in Iraq. (Dec. 12, 2005)
Swear oaths on the Koran? CAIR joined a lawsuit in North Carolina enjoining the state to permit Muslims to swear on the Koran, which was just dismissed. Not for the first time, CAIR's ideologues got Islam wrong. Here, from a letter he wrote me, is the opinion of Khaleel Mohammed, assistant professor of religion at San Diego State University and someone who does know the subject:
(Dec. 8, 2005)
CAIR hosts a king: King Abdullah II of Jordan is to address a CAIR event on Dec. 3 by video, announces the Petra-Jordan News Agency. "Proceeds of the activity will go to support CAIR's activities in the next year," the news agency goes on to quote CAIR. It's a terrible disappointment to find that Abdullah, whom I have praised as one of only two Muslim leaders to work on developing a moderate version of Islam, should consciously help the extremists. This episode confirms yet again how even the most powerful moderate Muslims feel they must appease the Islamist beast. (Dec. 1, 2005)
CAIR goes international: On July 28, 2005, CAIR's Canadian branch pulled off the coup of arranging a meeting of Prime Minister Paul Martin with nineteen imams. On Nov. 18, it participated in a conference sponsored by the U.S. ambassador to Belgium, Tom Korologos. Today, it co-hosted (with MPAC) the French ambassador to the United States, Jean-David Levitte.
Comment: I note with interest that CAIR has sought international legitimacy the hard way, via Western governments, not the Saudis and others who make up their natural constituency. It's a sign of CAIR's confidence, I surmise. (Nov. 21, 2005)
CAIR on who the enemy is: In a letter to Chicago Tribune, Ahmed Rehab of CAIR's Chicago office writes that "Terrorism should be seen for what it is: a form of organized crime. Al-Qaeda, its collaborators and imitators, should be seen for what they are: international outlaws with no loyalty to anything but their own political aspirations and no kinship to anyone but themselves. Only then can a clash of civilizations be replaced by a collaboration of civilizations against the ultimate barbarity and cowardice that is terrorism."
Comment: As I often note (for example, here), the key argument in the aftermath of 9/11 is whether the problem is criminal or military in natuare. Seeing the enemy as a form of organized crime present an extreme form of answer. Also noteworthy is the bleaching out of any Islamic component from Rehab's analysis. (Nov. 18, 2005)
CAIR instructs synagogue whom to invite: Not content with telling mosques what to do, CAIR has expanded its mandate to include synagogues too. In a press release today, "CA Synagogue That Hosted Islamophobe Urged To Invite Muslim Speaker," the Islamist scolds berate Temple Shalom for the Arts in Los Angeles for having Robert Spencer speak in Yom Kippur-related event. They justify this intrusion by quoting comments by readers at Spencer's website, Jihad Watch, some of which are anti-Islamic. Spencer replies at "CAIR goes after me," pointing out that the comments on his website ran the gamut from anti-Islamic to pro-Islamist, that he does not even see most of the comments, and that "mostly it all just goes on without me." He concludes with this:
Comments: (1) Bravo to Robert Spencer. (2) I am in a roughly analogous position to him, having had over 28,000 comments submitted to my website, www.DanielPipes.org. Not only do they range all over the political spectrum but I have not read most of them. While my editors and I make every effort to keep the discourse civil and constructive, no doubt some have slipped through that are not. (Nov. 8, 2005)
CAIR falsely declares that "Islam" means "peace": I explain at "Islam" Does Not Mean "Peace" the distortion of this claim, then note how the director of the Florida office, Ahmed Bedier stated yesterday Islam
(Oct. 19, 2005)
CAIR doctors a photograph: In crude emulation of the notorious Stalinist practice of altering photographs, Robert Spencer reveals today that CAIR added a hijab to a woman in a picture on its website. To which Hugh Fitzgerald comments: "CAIR is only doing what comes naturally. Doctor words, doctor photographs, doctor and put a spin and omit and change and misinterpret and mislead and do whatever you have to do to keep the cause of Islam, the cause of Muslims, the role of Muslims, free from critical scrutiny." And Spencer asks: "Why do the mainstream media and many government organizations still give CAIR a free pass as a neutral civil rights group when its commitment to the truth is so manifestly tenuous?" It's a good question, and one I myself keep asking. (Sep. 15, 2005)
CAIR embraces Neturei Karta. It was only a matter of time until CAIR would fall into the embrace of Arafat's paid Jewish agents, the Hasidic group Neturei Karta International. It literally happened yesterday when Ghazi Khankan, executive director of CAIR's New York office from 2000 to 2004, approached Rabbi Yisroel Dovid Weiss and hugged him while both were at a small Neturei Karta rally to support the Israeli pullout from Gaza. Weiss called the withdrawal a "token beginning" to right a historic wrong, a view Khankan ardently supports. To make the mood more festive, more than 40 Neturei Karta members stood near the United Nations headquarters where a Hasidic boy held up the Palestinian flag. The demonstrators also held up placards; one read "Torah Forbids Any Jewish State" and another showed a map of "Palestine" replacing Israel. Maybe Neturei Karta members should celebrate this event by leaving New York and moving to Gaza? (Aug. 23, 2005)
It's the "so-called war on terrorism" according to CAIR: Speaking on behalf of Muslims, as CAIR routinely claims to do, Wissam Nasr, executive director of CAIR's New York office, stated that "Our best defense in this so-called war on terrorism, which many people feel is unfair, is public relations." (July 29, 2005)
CAIR mentioned in the Sami Al-Arian trial: At the Sami Al-Arian, et al. trial in Tampa, Florida, the government yesterday entered more than fifty telephone conversations, faxes, and other documents into evidence. One of those was an Aug. 28, 2002, conversation between two defendants, Hatim Naji Fariz and Ghassan Zayed Ballut, about the possibility that Al-Arian might be arrested. Fariz related how "Sami was somewhat scared," so he urgently called Fariz to meet. Fariz tells Ballut,
The Ibrahim Hooper School of Counterterrorism: CAIR's polymath spokesman opines on the subject of growing U.S. law enforcement cooperating with Israel in the New York Times: "Israel's antiterror tactics are largely based on profiling, whether it's on airlines or at checkpoints. And they've produced tremendous resentment and hostility in the Palestinian population through humiliating tactics and through abuses on a daily basis. And I don't think that's something we want to replicate." Funny, and here I had thought the goal of counterterrorism is security, not self-esteem. And Hooper might wish to read this sentence, coincidentally also in today's New York Times: "The Israelis have failed to stop suicide bombers many times. But they have succeeded far more often." (July 25, 2005)
CAIR allegations proven false: "extensive interviews by the News-Sentinel have found little hard evidence of abusive or unprofessional tactics by federal agents, as has been implied by some residents and CAIR, the Council on American-Islamic Relations." Lodi's newspaper (which has, by the way, been doing an outstanding job of covering the Hayat and related arrests) goes on to give more details:
Comment: It is all too rare that the mainstream media checks on CAIR's claims (as I have previously noted); that's a pity, for too often there is little substance to the allegations. (July 25, 2005)
Look who CAIR included in its ranks: Federal authorities detained Muhammad Adil Khan and Shabbir Ahmed, two imams in Lodi, California, on June 8 in connection with a terrorism inquiry. Eight months earlier, we learn from the San Francisco Chronicle, these two had been part of a CAIR delegation: "Khan and Ahmed were both present at a community meeting in October with [McGregor] Scott, the U.S. attorney, and [Keith] Slotter, the FBI agent, a Muslim activist said Wednesday. The meeting was set up by the Sacramento Valley chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations." Of note is that Khan gave a Koran recital and the opening of the CAIR office in Sacramento in May 2004. (June 9, 2005) Aug. 13, 2005 update: More on the connections between CAIR and Mohammed Adil Khan in today's Lodi News-Sentinel:
CAIR distributes antisemitic Korans: Joe Kaufman of "Americans Against Hate" notes today that the much-bruited CAIR offer to give out free Korans comes with a catch; the translation it is offering is "The Meaning of The Holy Quran," translated by Abdullah Yusuf Ali. This is the version that the Los Angeles public school system received gratis from the Omar Ibn Khattab Foundation, another Islamist organization, and removed from its shelves when the anti-Jewish comments in its footnotes came to light. One passage reads in this book reads: "The Jews in their arrogance claimed that all wisdom and all knowledge of Allah was enclosed in their hearts.... Their claim was not only arrogance but blasphemy." Kaufman quotes Khaleel Mohammed, writing in the current Middle East Quarterly: "Writing at a time both of growing Arab animosity toward Zionism and in a milieu that condoned anti-Semitism, Yusuf 'Ali constructed his oeuvre as a polemic against Jews." Does it come as a surprise that this should be the edition that CAIR chooses to hand out free? (And for that matter, has been handing out gratis to libraries since 2002?) (May 26, 2005)
CAIR's blindness to Islamist terror: TheReligionofPeace.com informs us that "From 9/11/01 to 5/18/05 there have been more than 2166 major Islamic terrorist attacks involving loss of life noted on this site. By our count, the number of attacks that CAIR has acknowledged and condemned is 6." (May 18, 2005)
What does the acronym "CAIR" stand for? When CAIR held its annual Florida annual fundraising banquet in Weston this evening, one protester outside the hotel carried an amusing sign showing the initials CAIR to stand for "Council on Angry Islamic Radicals." (March 26, 2005)
Muqtedar Khan works with CAIR: Muqtedar Khan may have his tactical differences with CAIR over such matters as a Ralph Nader talk (as noted below, on Aug. 29, 2004), but he acknowledges in a posting at The American Muslim that he has been "a member of the advisory Shura conducted by CAIR to plan its future ten years." In addition, he will speak at the CAIR conference in May 2005, "Islamophobia and Anti-Americanism." (March 22, 2005) Jan. 14, 2007 update: Khan is giving a talk today for CAIR in King of Prussia, Pennsylvania, on the topic of "Key challenges American Muslims face in post 9/11 era," with a second one scheduled for March 11, also in King of Prussia, on "American Muslims: What is the future." Looks like a cozy relationship to me.
CAIR gets stiffed by U.S. government officials: The Los Angeles Times reports about a "town hall" meeting on Dec. 20 in the Los Angeles area that did not quite go off as its Islamist hosts had planned. The topic was what they called the unfair targeting of Muslims after 9/11 but, as the Times delicately puts it, "not everyone on the coalition's guest list showed up." Omar Zaki, director of government relations for CAIR's office in Anaheim, acknowledged having invited officials from the Department of Homeland Security but their being no-shows. Zaki lashed out against them at the meeting, saying DHS has "completely closed the door on this community. They've taken the position that it isn't important for them to be here. They've avoided every opportunity to talk with us. Their arrogance is not acceptable. This is about accountability." Sabiha Khan of the organization's national office later expressed massive indignation, asking of the absent officials, "What message are they sending? Whatever happened to accountability?"
Comment: The insouciant arrogance of CAIR is a wonder to behold. It acts as though it has a right to the time and legitimation of government officials. But arrogance goes with the territory of being an Islamist. And it has more than once been their downfall. (Dec. 21, 2004)
Ibrahim Hooper, theologian: The great Islamist motor mouth turns out to have more talents than were previously evident. Following in the footsteps of James Zogby and the Muslim Public Affairs Council, CAIR's national communications director, Ibrahim Hooper, today stepped into the treacherous field of religious commentary, with an article on Christian-Muslim ties in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "A Muslim-Christian link." I'll skip his gloss on "Behold! The angels said" and the like, and go right to his last sentence: "We have more in common than we think." As I have previously shown, this signature line of CAIR's, one which it has used in an advertising campaign, derives from the work of William W. Baker, a known neo-Nazi. Whatever CAIR touches, it seems, is poisonous, even something so apparently innocuous as a Christmas-time article. (Dec. 18, 2004) Dec. 21, 2004 update: Robert Spencer notes Hooper's effort "to convince Christians that Muslims are Christians too" and colorfully calls this a "fresh steaming pile of taqiya." Dec. 4, 2005 update: Either Hooper is enamoured of his own prose or he is lazy. Whatever the reason, he published the exact same neo-Nazi inspired article of a year ago in today's Charleston, W.V. Gazette-Mail, this time titled "Unifying Factor: Love for Jesus can bring Christians, Muslims together." The grandees at CAIR have no shame; but then, they get away with so much, why should they? Nov. 24, 2006 update: Hooper really does love this article, having sent it out for a third year in a row. He sent it out to the CAIR mailing list, adding at the top that "This commentary was very popular with readers when it was first distributed before Christmas two years ago. It is being offered again this year for those publications that were unable to publish it previously." This precisely replicates his prose of a year earlier.
CAIR leader boasts of his boorish manners: The head of CAIR's Chicago office, Ahmed Rehab, got his new blog off to a nifty start with an entry titled "I come in Peace!" in which he reounts his anger at a woman, made nervous by his speaking Arabic at a Walgreen's store, who demanded he stop "freaking" her out. Rehab starts by ridiculing her physical attributes:
Then he relates his response: "Well, if you do the world a favor and never stray out of the trailer trash park from which you hail, I promise you will never have to hear any of the world's rich and diverse languages!" As he said this, he thought that "a nice pail of cold water thrown on her frizzy head" might do her some good. Finally, as she "stormed out of the store, muttering to herself," our hero yelled after her as his friend held him back, "Good riddance B****!"
Comment: CAIR portrays itself as a civil-rights group, but here is the behavior of its staff, as reported proudly by that staff itself. Enough said. (November 8, 2004)
CAIR over-reaches: The poster for CAIR's 10th Annual Fundraising Banquet in Washington grandly proclaims that George W. Bush and John Kerry will speak at the event. Of course, neither turned up for it. (Oct. 2, 2004)
Stop bugging us to condemn Islamist terrorism. Parvez Ahmed, a CAIR board member, vents about the "repeated demands made to the American-Muslim community to condemn every gruesome act that takes place overseas" in the Seattle Times. "What do repeated condemnations achieve anyway?" he demands to know. (Sept. 24, 2004)
Muqtedar Khan blasts CAIR: Muqtedar Khan, an eccentric in the world of Islamist politics (see my PBS debate with him for some examples) is upset that CAIR is cohosting an event with the Muslim Student Association at which Ralph Nader is speaking during the Republican National Convention. He called this stance a "pathetic desire to look influential" and get supporters to dish out financial contributions. (Aug. 29, 2004)
Getting it wrong about me. CAIR today posted an article stating that I "won" an award for "Islamophobia." Well, as usual, CAIR gets it wrong. I was only a runner up, as a blog entry of mine discusses in some detail. These people are so extreme, they not only can't get the big matters right, but also not even something so trivial as this. (Aug. 26, 2004)
Going into survivalist mode. As war with Iraq loomed in March 2003, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported that CAIR "said it was planning to issue an "action alert" proposing such safety measures as reinforcing mosque doors with metal and stockpiling three days' worth of food and water in case people feel unsafe going outside." Looks like CAIR went into survivalist mode a little prematurely this time. (April 28, 2004)
Don't learn Arabic for counterterrorism purposes. Deedra Abboud, CAIR's Arizona director, approves of the police learning the Arabic language if that lowers the chances of cultural and linguistic misunderstandings. "However, if they're learning it in order to better fight terrorism, that concerns me. Only because that assumes that the only fighting we have to do is among Arabic speakers. That's not a long-term strategy." (March 25, 2004)
"Extremists do not have a religion": An amazing statement by Ghazi Khankan, CAIR's executive director in New York office , reading Islamist terrorists out of Islam. (February 13, 2004)
CAIR co-hosts event with the Islamic Association for Palestine: CAIR generally tries to distance itself from its progenitor, the Islamic Association for Palestine, but the July 2001 issue of the Washington Report on Middle East Affairs contains a report by Shereef Ribi that shows they still work together:
(July 1, 2001)
CAIR's "civil rights director" admires anti-American terrorists: Joshua Salaam had this to say about the Islamists who bombed a U.S. naval ship in Yemen: "You have to have a lot of guts to attack the United States military." (October 17, 2000)
CAIR initiative leads to injuries in Kashmir. CAIR's efforts to have a representation of the Prophet Muhammad excised from the U.S. Supreme Court building failed, but the organization did manage to stir up trouble a half-world away. According to Reuters, Muslim demonstrators in Kashmir protesting the court's refusal led to tires set on fire, more than a dozen stone-pelting incidents, and more than a dozen demonstrators injured in a clash with Indian police using tear gas and batons to disperse the crowds. (March 13, 1997)
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