The Hamas-founded Council on American-Islamic Relations has long pretended to be a civil rights organization, comparing itself at times to the NAACP, but a close look at its record reveals the real CAIR agenda to be – in common with all Islamists – promoting the Shari'a. This can be achieved two ways. The more circuitous method influences American public opinion through the educational system, the media, the arts, the courts, and the political process. The more direct method converts Americans to Islam.
Route #1 is CAIR's stock-in-trade, what it does most of the time. But every so often it tries route #2. For example, in 2004, CAIR published an advertisement titled "More in Common Than You Think" that argued for the similarities between Christian and Islam: "Like Christians, Muslims respect and revere Jesus. … Like Christians, every day, over 1.3 billion Muslims strive to live by his teachings of love, peace, and forgiveness."
Today, CAIR took what is probably its most major step ever in the direction of da'wa (call to Islam) with the announcement of a "Share the Quran" campaign. It involves sending free copies of the Koran over the next six months to 100,000 leaders: "governors, state attorney generals, educators, law enforcement officials, state and national legislators, local elected and public officials, media professionals, and other local or national leaders who shape public opinion or determine policy."
Ibrahim Hooper looks on as Nihad Awad announces CAIR's plan to distribute 100,000 Korans.
Awad sought to portray this step as not da'wa. "This is not an effort to proselytize, but is instead intended to provide an educational resource for those who will shape the future direction of our nation." But testimony by converts to Islam reiterates that putting the Koran into the hands of non-Muslims is the best bet for winning them to the faith. (June 30, 2009)
Aug. 9, 2009 update: CAIR further confirmed its proselyting activities by issuing its Action Alert #585, "U.S. Mosques Urged to Host 'Share the Quran' Iftars," which consists of giving Korans to "local opinion leaders and policymakers" after they take part at a mosque in a Ramadan iftar, or breaking of the fast. CAIR Board Chairman Larry Shaw explains: "Because many public officials, law enforcement authorities and community leaders are invited to Ramadan fast-breaking meals, it is a perfect opportunity to present them with a beautiful copy of the Quran for their reference libraries." (Those last four words are supposed to negate the da'wa intent, it appears.) If that weren't enough, CAIR also announced it is "helping local Muslim communities organize 'Sharing Ramadan' iftars by providing step-by-step instructions for hosting the events."