So far, the detailed and sustained critique of Islamist organizations has been a purely American affair. I remember when, about 1995 when Steven Emerson first mentioned the problems of "CAIR" to me – I thought he was talking about CARE, the relief agency, and was confused. Emerson has the distinction of being the first to understand the dangers posed by the Council on American-Islamic Relations and its many colleagues in extremism. Since then, other analysts have joined in what is now a robust critique.
Elsewhere in the West, however, there has been little comparable analysis. Who has looked in depth at radical mosques and jihadist organizations in Western Europe, Canada, Latin America, and Australia?
- Canadian Islamic Congress: The Ottawa Citizen published an editorial today, "Islamic congress does Muslims no favour," with a no-holds-barred analysis ("A visit to the CIC website … is often a journey into paranoia and fearmongering") and a call for Canadian politicians to boycott the CIC's annual dinner on Parliament Hill in October.
- Council on American-Islamic Relations-Canada: The Western Standard (Calgary) published on August 2, 2004, "Should we care about CAIR-CAN?" an analysis of the's lawsuit against David Harris, a former Canadian Security and Intelligence Service (CSIS) agent, for his linking the organization to terrorism. The website judeoscope.ca published an analysis by David Ouellette, "La présidente du lobby islamiste CAIR élue au comité de direction de l'Association canadienne des libertés civiles,"on Aug. 19. August 27, 2005 update: Margaret Wente of the Globe and Mail takes a good close look at CAIR's Canadian operation in "Rubin's humiliating fate no surprise."
- Muslim Association of Britain: The Times (London) published on August 11, 2004, "Time for the truth about this sinister brotherhood," by Anthony Browne, with examples of the MAB's extremism, a brief history of its rise, and a telling personal anecdote ("When I debated on the BBC with MAB last week, I briefed the producer on MAB, but I was told not to bring it up. When I did the presenter silenced me"). The Times published a reply from the MAB a day later, followed by four letters on Aug. 14.
Here's to hoping that these articles mark the first of many more such analyses and critiques in Canada, the United Kingdom, and other Western countries. (September 7, 2004)
July 7, 2005 update:
- Muslim Council of Britain: I began a weblog entry on this organization, "Downing Street's Favorite – The Muslim Council of Britain."