Category Archives: CAIR

US Senate Candidate Terror Ties Won’t Go Away

Joe Sestak

An ex-congressman with one-time ties to a pro-terrorist Muslim group has launched a second try for a U.S. Senate seat from Pennsylvania.

Then-Congressman Joe Sestak lost a close 2010 Senate race to Pat Toomey, in a race that included a controversy over Sestak’s relationship with the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR). A former admiral in the U.S. Navy, Sestak hired a CAIR leader to run his Washington Congressional office and soon thereafter agreed to serve as the keynote speaker for an April 2007 CAIR fundraising dinner in Philadelphia.

Sestak’s ties to CAIR became a significant issue in the 2010 campaign, in a mid-term election year otherwise largely dominated by domestic politics. The 2016 election cycle is likely to focus much more heavily on foreign affairs and national security issues.

According to the Anti-Defamation League, CAIR was “founded [in 1994] by leaders of the Islamic Association for Palestine (IAP), a Hamas affiliated anti-Semitic propaganda organization.” (The IAP has been characterized by the U.S. government as part of “Hamas’ propaganda apparatus.”)

The ADL’s web site reveals that some CAIR leaders have also been active in another “Hamas-linked anti-Semitic propaganda organization” called the United Association for Studies and Research (UASR). The Virginia-based UASR was established by Hamas leader Musa Abu Marzuq in 1989. Mohamed Nimer, CAIR’s director of research from 1995 to 2007, previously worked for the UASR and even spent a month in Lebanon in a camp of Hamas deportees from Israel.

Nimer is not the only prominent CAIR activist with links to the UASR. CAIR board member Caroline Keeble (also known as Anisa Abd el Fattah) has served as the USAR’s president and director of public relations and media affairs. CAIR vice chairman Nabil Sadoun was deported from the U.S. in 2010 because he failed to disclose his connections to the USAR when he immigrated to the United States.

As if to demonstrate its determination to associate with anti-Semites, on October 8, 2010, right smack in the middle of the Sestak-Toomey race, CAIR presented its “Lifetime Achievement Award” to Helen Thomas at its annual dinner–right after Thomas sparked a nationwide uproar over her assertion that all Jews in Israel should “get the hell out of Palestine” and “go back to Germany, Poland, or America.” President Barack Obama was among those who said at the time that Thomas should resign.

The ADL has also found that CAIR has a long record of making sympathetic statements about anti-Israel terrorist groups and terrorist attacks. In a March 1994 panel discussion at Barry University in Florida, CAIR executive director Nihad Awad said: “I am in support of the Hamas movement more than the PLO.” Ghazi Kankan, executive director of CAIR’s New York told the Jewish Week (Oct. 12, 2001) that, like Hamas, he considers all Israelis over the age of 18 to be “military” because “they are all reserves”–making them, in his eyes, legitimate targets. Speakers at CAIR rallies have frequently praised Hamas and Hezbollah, and participants in the rallies have waved placards endorsing those terror groups.

CAIR’s sympathy for terrorists has moved beyond mere rhetoric, the ADL points out. During the trial in Texas of the Holy Land Foundation for supporting Hamas, statement “evidence was produced by the Federal prosecutors demonstrating that CAIR and its founders were part of a group set up by the Muslim Brotherhood to support Hamas.” One of the defendants was the founder of CAIR’s Dallas chapter, Ghassan Elashi, who was convicted and sentenced to 65 years in prison.

CAIR communications specialist and civil rights coordinator Randall Royer is serving a 20-year jail term for his involvement with the Islamic terror group Lashkar-e-Taiba. That’s the group responsible for the heinous attack on the Jewish center in India last year, in which a rabbi and his wife were tortured and murdered. And CAIR fundraiser Rabih Haddad was deported from the United States after being arrested on terrorism-related charges.

All of this information was available at the time of Joe Sestak’s 2010 campaign, yet none of it moved him to condemn CAIR. If asked about it today, he would no doubt dismiss it all as “old news.”

But there has been a very recent development that makes the issue very relevant in his new campaign for the Senate. On November 15, 2014, the government of the United Arab Emirates announced that it was adding CAIR to its official list of terrorist organizations.

One does not need to be an actual bomb-thrower to be put on the UAE’s list. It includes groups that engage in “incitement or funding” of terrorists. Based on CAIR’s history, including the many connections between CAIR leaders and terrorists such as Hamas, the UAE has good reason for its concerns.

Despite what the Sestak campaign may think, this issue is not going away so quickly. At a time when the Free World is engaged in a life-or-death struggle against Islamist terror, it should expect voters to keep asking about it, unless and until Sestak denounces CAIR, unequivocally, once and for all.

[Moshe Phillips is president and Benyamin Korn is chairman of the Religious Zionists of America, Philadelphia, and both are candidates on the Religious Zionist slate ( in the World Zionist Congress elections.]

CAIR Sues California



The Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) has filed a federal civil rights lawsuit against the California Department of Corrections on behalf of Elsiddig Elhindi, a prison guard who claims to have suffered anti-Muslim harassment for 12 years.

Elhindi, 56, told the Huffington Post he had been subjected to “very very severe harassment” from co-workers and supervisors “as high as the warden’s office at some times.” He said he had been ridiculed because of his accent and “referred to as a terrorist” and a “suicide bomber.” This amounted to “emotional torture, for years and years” and it was “so severe, so frequent, it has affected my life in many ways.” Elhindi said co-workers called him a “rat and a snitch” and the prison administration was “dismissive of my cries for help” and suggested he retire.

Elhindi, who left Sudan at age 19, allegedly suffered this abuse while working a California State Prison, Sacramento. He told Steve Magagnini of the Sacramento Bee “My accent was joked about, my color was joked about, and the use of the N word was unbelievable, It’s scary.” The stress level, he told the Bee, “amounts to emotional torture” and “never stopped.” He declined to retire because “I have a family to support and have invested 27 years of my life into state service and cannot just walk away.” But it wasn’t just about him.

“I think it’s a systemic issue,” Elhindi told the Bee. “There are other Muslim officers that have complained of similar treatment, but the majority are scared to report it.” In 2011 Elhindi filed a complaint with Equal Opportunity Commission, which found reasonable cause to believe the California Department of Corrections may have violated Title VI of the Civil Rights Act. The U.S. Department of Justice, however, declined to pursue the case.

Elhindi’s lawyer, Brice Hamack, Civil Rights Coordinator for CAIR in northern California, told the Huffington Post that the DOJ had redacted part of their report, so he did not know why they declined to pursue the case. It was based on employment harassment, Hamack explained, “but at the end of the day it’s really about being able to exercise your right to practice whatever religion you see fit, without fear of having your livelihood affected by it.”

Hamack told Reuters that “while we understand most work environments come with some level of joking and personal banter, employers must protect employees who become subjected to severe and pervasive harassment by their co-workers.” Hamack charged that “When the State of California and the CDCR failed to protect Mr. Elhindi from harassment based on his religion, race and national origin, as well as from retaliation for seeking protection against such harassment, they violated his civil rights.”

When the Huffington Post asked Hamack why CAIR got involved, Hamack said that CAIR was a civil-rights organization that “fights for the rights of American Muslims to be safe in the workplace, to take on jobs that they believe in, take on causes they believe in, without fear of retaliation and harassment due to their Islamic beliefs.”

None of the reporters included background on CAIR, which as Joe Kaufman has noted, was “established as being a part of the American Palestine Committee, an umbrella organization run by then-global Hamas leader Mousa Abu Marzook, who was based in the U.S. at the time and who now operates out of Egypt as a spokesman for Hamas.” CAIR’s November 8, 2014, 20th anniversary banquet at the Santa Clara Convention featured speakers Nihad Awad, who worked for the propaganda wing of Hamas, and Siraj Wahhaj, the imam of the At-Taqwa Mosque, and a character witness for “Blind Sheikh” Omar Abdel Rahman, prosecuted for the 1993 attack on the World Trade Center.

On its own website, CAIR linked to the Sacramento Bee piece by Steve Magagnini, in which Elsiddig Elhindi claimed “emotional torture” and charged that anti-Muslim harassment was a “systemic issue.” The article also provides some clue as to how pervasive anti-Muslim harassment might be in California’s prison system, and why the U.S. Department of Justice declined to pursue the case. Elhindi, in fact, “has been promoted to sergeant, and since September has worked at California State Prison, Solano, where he has not experienced harassment.” The Bee reporter offers further enlightenment as to what the CAIR legal action may really be about.

“The suit asks the federal court to hold a jury trial and seeks special damages covering wages and benefits, general damages of pain, suffering, mental injury and emotional distress, past and future, reasonable legal fees and protection against future harassment. It also asks that the Corrections Department increase anti-discriminatory training for supervisors and employees.”

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