Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Spotlight on CAIR

The NY Times finally deigns to notice concerns about CAIR, while dismissing them at the same time. What and who they're "advocating" for, as the headline says, is a matter of opinion:
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.

The group’s officials say the accusations are rooted in its refusal to endorse the American government’s blanket condemnations of Hezbollah and Hamas, although it has criticized Hamas for civilian deaths.

"Blanket condemnation" kind of skates over the fact that CAIR will not recognize Hezbollah and Hamas as terrorist organizations. Note this video.

I don't think it is guilt by association to call such an organization apologists for terrorists. And it is disturbing that an organization, which demands free speech on its own behalf, has barred CBN and The Washington Times from covering its press conferences, and attempted to intimidate speakers at the recent Secular Islam Summit. Other American Muslims have a few questions of their own for CAIR, about their support of the Holy Land Foundation (as laid out by Captain's Quarters) :

CAIR exploited 9/11 to help fund the very group that perpetrated the attack. Is that specific enough for MacFarquhar? Why didn't he bother to note this very specific charge in his article, filled as it was with protestations of lack of specificity?
And what about the board member named as an unindicted co-conspirator, who still sits on their board. In addition, CAIR Chicago has menaced a University of Chicago professor of Islamic History and Literature.

CAIR has also received donations from Saudi Arabia:
CAIR has raised some suspicion by accepting large donations from individuals or foundations closely identified with Arab governments. It has an annual operating budget of around $3 million, and the group said it solicited major donations for special projects, like $500,000 from Prince Alwaleed bin Talal of Saudi Arabia to help distribute the Koran and other books about Islam in the United States, some of which generated controversy.

The donations are a source of contention within CAIR itself. Several branch directors said they had avoided foreign financing and had criticized the national office for it.

Good for some of the branch directors. Perhaps they should start a new organization. The Saudi, Wahhabi version of the Koran is virulently and pointedly anti-Semitic and anti-Christian. It is their official text in translation and has been distributed by the Saudi government to American prisons. (see page 6).

We need to continue to shine a spotlight on CAIR, because it is clear they are trying to intimidate and crowd out moderate Muslims, as well as bully the rest of us.

UPDATE: Dafydd has more here.

Related posts: Two Views on Terror, A CAIR Package, A Saudi Valentine?

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