The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) is making a point on showing how much it treasures its interfaith defenders. Recent CAIR fundraisers and events have highlighted their partnership, flattering them enough to overlooking its well-documented ties to the Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas.
CAIR is an unindicted co-conspirator in the terrorism-financing trial of the Holy Land Foundation. The federal government specifically identified CAIR as an entity of the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood’s Palestine Committee, a secret body set up to advance the Hamas agenda. In 2009, a federal judge ruled in favor of preserving the label, citing the “ample” evidence linking CAIR to Hamas.
The annual banquet for the Oklahoma chapter of CAIR is honoring Reverend William Tabbernee of the Oklahoma Council of Churches with a Building Bridges Award. His group also sponsored the event. The keynote speaker of the event is Imam Johari Abdul-Malik, who endorsed attacks on Israeli infrastructure in 2001. He is the Outreach Director for Dar al-Hijrah, a Virginia mosque with extensive Islamist ties. Its imam, Shaker Elsayed, preached in favor of armed jihad at a Virginia high school in January.
The Cincinnati chapter of CAIR recently completed a series on interfaith dialogue that was hosted by the Transfiguration Spirituality Center in Glendale. Its website says it’s a “religious community for women in the Anglican/Episcopalian tradition.”
The Connecticut chapter of CAIR held a workshop on “Islamophobia” at All Souls Unitarian Church in New London. It was sponsored by the congregation and the Unitarian Universalist Fund for Social Responsibility. If the past is any indication, CAIR taught the 75 people in attendance that its critics are anti-Muslim bigots.
The New York chapter of CAIR honored the Interfaith Center of New York with a Partners of Justice Award at its fundraising banquet. One of the presenters of the award was Zead Ramadan, the CAIR-NY board president. In December 2011, he refused to condemn Hamas. He has also appeared on Iranian state television to complain about America’s treatment of Muslims. Cyrus McGoldrick, who was CAIR-NY’s leader until January 7, has a history of extremist statements that include supporting Hamas and the destruction of Israel.
Other sponsors of the CAIR fundraiser were the Islamic Circle of North America, a group that is listed by the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood in 1991 as one of “our organizations and the organizations of our friends.” Another sponsor was the Muslim American Society. Federal prosecutors said in 2008 that it was “founded as the overt arm of the Muslim Brotherhood in America.”
Basim Elkarra, executive director of CAIR-Sacramento, spoke at CAIR-NY’s fundraiser. He has suggested that “Islamophobes” be prosecuted just like Holocaust deniers and he refused to condemn Hamas and Hezbollah as terrorist groups in 2007. Democratic Senator Barbara Boxer gave Elkarra a “certificate of accomplishment” in 2006 and then rescinded it after learning of CAIR’s background.
The Interfaith Center of New York has Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf of “Ground Zero Mosque” fame as a vice chairman of the board. The Executive-Director of the Interfaith Center endorsed a March 13, 2012 letter protesting the NYPD’s showing of the film The Third Jihad to officers, claiming it contains anti-Muslim “misinformation” and is “harmful and offensive.”
The letter was written by a coalition called Shoulder-to-Shoulder that has the President of the Islamic Society of North America as an Executive Committee member. The Third Jihad pointed out that the Islamic Society of North America, like CAIR, is designated as an unindicted co-conspirator in the Holy Land trial. And, like CAIR, the U.S. government listed it as a U.S. Muslim Brotherhood entity. It is also the first mentioned in the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood’s list of “our organizations and the organizations of our friends.”
CAIR thanked the Interfaith Center of New York for organizing a joint condemnation of the subway advertisements that dared to say, “In any war between the civilized man and the savage, support the civilized man. Support Israel. Defeat Jihad.” Its press release listed CAIR-NY board member Zead Ramadan as a contact for the media. The Islamic Society of North America is named as a sponsor, as are two organizations founded by Imam Rauf.
As I documented at the time, the list of organizations signing the Interfaith Center’s letter includes many allies of the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood entities with a track record of activism against Israel. One even hypocritically posted anti-Israel subway ads before the controversy even started and escaped the ridicule of its co-signers. For these groups, “Islamophobia” is a verbal weapon to use against the opponents of CAIR.
You would CAIR’s background to repel Christians and Jews looking for Muslim partners. Apparently, for some, the desire to showcase their tolerance takes priority over thoughtful consideration of these facts. After all, applauses feel better than being called an “Islamophobe.”
This article was sponsored by the Institute on Religion and Democracy.