March 14, 2007

America's Newest Civil-Rights Group: CAIR

Hatched by Dafydd

This truly is "media madness," as the post category says. The New York Times has just published a virtual hagiography of the Council on American Islamic Relations, our chums of CAIR. In it, we discover that the "critics" of CAIR are all Moslem-hating fanatics -- and Jews:

CAIR and its supporters say its accusers are a small band of people who hate Muslims and deal in half-truths. Ms. Boxer’s decision to revoke the Sacramento commendation provoked an outcry from organizations that vouch for the group’s advocacy, including the American Civil Liberties Union [surprise!] and the California Council of Churches.

“They have been a leading organization that has advocated for civil rights and civil liberties in the face of fear and intolerance, in the face of religious and ethnic profiling,” said Maya Harris, the executive director of the A.C.L.U. of Northern California....

“Traditionally within the government there is only one point of view that is acceptable, which is the pro-Israel line,” said Nihad Awad, a founder of CAIR and its executive director. “Another enlightened perspective on the conflict is not there, and it causes some discomfort.”

The Times even slyly hints, a wink and a nod, that such authoritative sources as University of Chicago Professor John Mearsheimer and Harvard Kennedy School of Government Professor Stephen Walt work hand in glove with CAIR... so how bad could that civil-rights group be?

The Times doesn't actually name Mearsheimer and Walt, of course; that might allow net-savvy readers to Google them and discover just who they are. (For the record, they are the two academics who torpedoed their careers -- except among other antisemites -- trying to prove that the "Israel Lobby" actually controls the American government.) The paper refers to them as "two prominent academics who argue that the pro-Israeli lobby exercises detrimental influence on United States policy on the Middle East." But they're not fooling anyone.

(For more about Mearsheimer and Walt, follow the link to Power Line.)

Let's get a taste of how the Times sees this epochal struggle between the religion of peace and the Israel lobby:

The group, the Council on American-Islamic Relations, defines its mission as spreading the understanding of Islam and protecting civil liberties. Its officers appear frequently on television and are often quoted in newspapers, and its director has met with President Bush. Some 500,000 people receive the group’s daily e-mail newsletter.

Yet a debate rages behind the scenes in Washington about the group, commonly known as CAIR, its financing and its motives. A small band of critics have made a determined but unsuccessful effort to link it to Hamas and Hezbollah, which have been designated as terrorist organizations by the State Department, and have gone so far as calling the group an American front for the two....

Government officials in Washington said they were not aware of any criminal investigation of the group. More than one described the standards used by critics to link CAIR to terrorism as akin to McCarthyism, essentially guilt by association. [Lost in this lurid analogy is the curious fact that McCarthy was right: FDR's State Department and other government entities were, in fact, riddled with Stalinist spies in the 1930s and 1940s -- as Ann Coulter's book Treason clearly and meticulously demonstrates.]

“Of all the groups, there is probably more suspicion about CAIR, but when you ask people for cold hard facts, you get blank stares,” said Michael Rolince, a retired F.B.I. official who directed counterterrorism in the Washington field office from 2002 to 2005.

So what exactly is that determined but unsuccessful effort to link the fine, God-fearing folks at CAIR to Hamas and/or Hezbollah? Let's see what those "blank stares" actually look like:

Broadly summarized, critics accuse CAIR of pursuing an extreme Islamist political agenda and say at least five figures with ties to the group or its leadership have either been convicted or deported for links to terrorist groups. They include Mousa Abu Marzook, a Hamas leader deported in 1997 after the United States failed to produce any evidence directly linking him to any attacks.

There were no charges linked to CAIR in any of the cases involved, and law enforcement officials said that in the current climate, any hint of suspicious behavior would have resulted in a racketeering charge.

Curious that the Times says that critics claim "at least five figures" connected with CAIR have been convicted or deported; but they only mention one, Mousa Abu Marzook... and him for the sole purpose of ridiculing the charge ("innocence by association," I suppose).

Even more curious is that nobody claims that Marzook is a member of CAIR -- just as nobody but the Times denies he is a major terrorist figure. The Times appears to have mixed him up with Ghassan Elashi -- who was convicted of laundering money to Marzook (see below). The elite media's multiple layers of editorial scrutiny strike again.

All right; but what about the unnamed others? Perhaps the small band of critics are referring to these chaps, as documented by Daniel Pipes:

  • Rabih Haddad, CAIR fundraiser, deported for being the co-founder and executive director of Global Relief Foundation -- an al-Qaeda front group masquerading as an Islamic charity. The United States Department of the Treasury lists GRF as an al-Qaeda entity:

    The Global Relief Foundation (GRF), also known as Fondation Secours Mondial (FSM), and its officers and directors have connections to, and have provided support for and assistance to, Usama bin Laden (UBL), al Qaida, and other known terrorist groups.
  • Ghassan Elashi, Texas-chapter founder and board member and co-founder of the Holy Land Foundation -- yet another terrorist group, according to the United States government (USG). Elashi was convicted in federal court on 21 counts of funding the terrorist organization Hamas via Marzook; Elashi is currently serving seven years in a federal calabooza. (Funneling money to Hamas? Oh, another determined but unsuccessful effort to link CAIR and Hamas; another blank stare.
  • Bassem Khafagi, director of community relations (!) for CAIR, was busted by the FBI and charged with funneling funds to terrorist groups. Copped a plea to visa and bank fraud and agreed to be deported to Egypt.
  • Randall "Ismail" Royer, erstwhile civil rights coordinator (!!) for CAIR; arrested in 2003 as part of the "Virginia jihad group." Royer pled guilty to 32 counts of "conspiring to provide material support to al Qaeda and to the Taliban" and got a cool 20 years in the stripey hole. But wait -- no connection to the dangerous terrorist groups Hamas or Hezbollah here -- merely al-Qaeda; so CAIR is off the hook for this one!
  • Siraj Wahhaj, CAIR advisory board member; in 1995, Wahhaj was named by U.S. Attorney Mary Jo White as "a possible unindicted coconspirator in the plot to blow up New York City landmarks led by the blind sheikh, Omar Abdul Rahman."
  • Omar Ahmad, CAIR co-founder; Ahmad, along with Elashi, attended the 1993 meeting that hatched the fake Islamic charity scheme by which groups like the Holy Land Foundation and the Islamic Association of Palestine (IAP) would raise money to fund Hamas. Uh-oh, the determined effort is starting to seem a little less unsuccessful.
  • The IAP was such a big player in funding Hamas that in 2004, a federal judge found them liable for millions of dollars in damages for having "aided and abetted the Hamas murder of David Boim, an American citizen."

    And who ran the AIP? Its president was Omar Ahmad, co-founder of CAIR; the public relations director of IAP was Nihad Awad, the other co-founder of CAIR; another president of IAP was Rafeeq Jabar, a founding director of CAIR; and one of IAP's employees was Ibrahim Hooper -- CAIR's current communications director.

(Oh, wait; I forgot: Pipes, being a vocal Jew, is declared a member of the "Israel Lobby" by Mearsheimer and Walt in their "seminal" study. To quote Emily Litella, never mind!)

Evidently, the Times is aware of none of this. Rather, they state emphatically that --

Some activists and academics view the controversy surrounding the group as typical of why Washington fails so often in the Middle East, while extremism mushrooms.

Yeah. That explains it.

Perhaps the real reason "why Washington fails" is that the frequent cases where CAIR openly defends Hamas and Hezbollah, calls Israel a terrorist state, defends nearly every Moslem accused of terrorist connections -- and even the raft of top CAIR officials who have been arrested, convicted, or deported for terrorist activities -- has not "resulted in a racketeering charge" against them. CAIR appears to have high-level protection.

There appears to be a widespread belief within the USG that, if we were to declare CAIR a terrorist front group, the "Moslem street" would erupt with fury and violence.

Yes, it probably would... if by "Moslem street" we mean the interconnected chain of terrorist organizations, terrorist states, and apologists for terrorism. That group would almost certainly erupt with violence if we did the manly thing and sent CAIR packing.

But of course, that same group erupts with murderous violence when Shiite pilgrims head to Karbala to worship... so I wouldn't take the threat too seriously: al-Qaeda and its affiliates don't need an excuse to slaughter innocents; the drop of a veil will serve just as well.

Hatched by Dafydd on this day, March 14, 2007, at the time of 5:59 AM

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The following hissed in response by: charlotte

Terrific round-up.

The CAIR acronym intrigues me, in how it cleverly evokes the English verb ‘to care’, sounds like the charity/ humanitarian and now Progressive organization CARE, and also how it just truncates the name for the capital of Egypt founded/ rebuilt as a great Muslim center for Islamic culture and an extensive caliphate. How could charitable Americans, Progressive believers and faithful Muslims not care about CAIR?

Best part is how all of this "caring" is uni-directional. Non-Muslim America should extend its heartfelt care and unnatural benefit of the doubt toward all Muslim citizens and guests, while CAIR Muslims only care about Islam and its religious/political radical agenda sensibilities as vested by Allah the ACLU the US Constitution.

The above hissed in response by: charlotte [TypeKey Profile Page] at March 14, 2007 8:58 AM

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