Tag Archives: Council on American-Islamic Relations

CAIR Answers Hamas Question With Dishonesty, Bullying

Steven Emerson

Cornered by a straightforward question he did not want to answer, the head of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) Los Angeles office chose instead to misrepresent his organization’s actions and feign outrage that the question itself was bigoted.

“Will CAIR-Los Angeles or CAIR-National – will you condemn Hamas?” Hussam Ayloush was asked outside his chapter’s annual fundraising banquet Saturday evening.

Initially, Ayloush tried CAIR’s standard response, saying he condemns “any group … who engages in the harming of civilians, innocent people.” That sounds like an answer to the question, but avoids specifically addressing whether Hamas is included.

Then the deception and intimidation kicks in.

“But as a civil rights organization we’re not here in the business of being dragged into the Middle East affairs and the conflicts of the Middle East,” Ayloush said. “We are an American organization.” The question itself is “not acceptable” and “proves that you have nothing but bigotry in you.”

You can see the full encounter here.

Ayloush’s claim that CAIR is “not here in the business of being dragged into the Middle East affairs and the conflicts of the Middle East” is beyond disingenuous, given how often CAIR chooses to weigh in on Middle East issues. Its statements on the Palestinian-Israeli conflict always condemn Israeli actions. If Hamas is referenced at all, it is to minimize the threat of attacks by Hamas, a group which rejects any peaceful settlement to the conflict and which vows to destroy Israel.

For example, CAIR held a news conference in Washington to condemn Israel’s 2008 “Cast Lead” incursion into Gaza aimed at stopping rampant Hamas rocket attacks targeting Israeli civilians. CAIR co-founder and Executive Director Nihad Awad didn’t need to be “dragged into the Middle East” debate. He demanded “that our government, the U.S. government, take immediate steps to end the immoral and illegal Israeli bombardment of Gaza and its population.”

Hamas is never mentioned.

Ayloush made a nearly identical statement during a Southern California press conference, demanding that “our government take immediate steps to end the immoral and illegal Israeli bombardment of Gaza.”

When the rocket fire continued unabated, Israel again took military action last year to protect millions of civilians who continually were sent scurrying into bomb shelters. Ayloush seemed more than happy to get into the business of Middle East conflicts, appearing on a Los Angeles television station to place the blame solely on Israel and minimize Hamas’ culpability.

In 2004, CAIR issued a press release condemning Israel’s targeted killing of Hamas founder Ahmed Yassin. The statement never mentions Hamas or Yassin’s role as a Hamas founder and leader at a time when Hamas conducted waves of suicide bombings. Rather, CAIR “condemned the assassination of a wheelchair-bound Palestinian Muslim religious leader, calling it an act of ‘state terrorism.’”

The Roots of CAIR’s Hamas Support

The question about CAIR’s attitude toward Hamas is more than fair game given the organization’s roots in a Muslim Brotherhood-created Hamas support network in the United States. Internal documents seized by the FBI show that Awad participated in a key meeting of support-network members, known as the Palestine Committee, which was called to discuss ways to “derail” U.S.-led peace efforts between Israelis and Palestinians. The meeting, secretly recorded by the FBI, included talk of how a new accord would marginalize Hamas and lead to Palestinian recognition of Israel’s right to exist.

CAIR was created after that meeting, and quickly appeared on an agenda among the Palestine Committee’s other branches. Awad also was listed in a Palestine Committee telephone list.

“[U] ntil we can resolve whether there continues to be a connection between CAIR or its executives and HAMAS,” an FBI official wrote in 2009, “the FBI does not view CAIR as an appropriate liaison partner.”

Ayloush is not a stupid man. He knows this history, and he knows that a federal judge in Texas found “ample evidence to establish the associations of CAIR, ISNA, NAIT, with NAIT, the Islamic Association for Palestine, and with Hamas.”

His options, therefore, are to acknowledge that record and perhaps try to claim that CAIR has changed, or to bluster his way into changing the subject. On Saturday, he chose the latter.

Ayloush pretended those court exhibits simply don’t exist and claimed the FBI’s decision to shun CAIR is “just part of the politics of civil rights in America.”

“For you to ask that question,” he said, “it’s almost there is an assumption that an American Muslim somehow accepts terrorism or condones terrorism.”

The question does nothing of the sort. It’s clear from the video that the questioner was asking specifically about whether Ayloush and his organization condemn Hamas for its terrorist acts. At no time was Ayloush asked to answer for the broader Muslim community.

We’ve shown how bogus accusations of “Islamophobia” are used as a shield by CAIR and other Islamist groups to duck difficult questions. Ayloush’s response offers the latest example of a technique CAIR officials have used for years. In 2001, journalist Jake Tapper spotlighted the dodge:

Questions about whether CAIR would condemn organizations by name unequivocally, instead of qualifying the condemnations, were just “word games from the pro-Israel lobby,” Hooper said. Instead, Hooper said that the very questions were the problem, and part of a Zionist conspiracy. “This is a game they play,” Hooper said, referring to the pro-Israel lobby. “They give me a long list of people to condemn and if you don’t give sufficient condemnation you’re a terrorist. We would condemn any person or any group that kills innocent civilians. But it’s not my duty that when the pro-Israel lobby says ‘Jump’ I say ‘How high?’”

In 2011, CAIR legislative director Corey Saylor tried to dance around the same direct question from Fox News reporter David Lee Miller:

Saylor: “I’m telling you in a very clear fashion – CAIR condemns terrorist acts, whoever commits them, wherever they commit them, whenever they commit them.”

Miller: “That’s not the same thing as saying you condemn Hamas and you condemn Hizballah.”

Saylor: “Well I recognize that you don’t like my answer to the question, but that’s the answer to the question.”

And this is standard behavior for Ayloush. In January, he criticized “Jihad in America: The Grand Deception,” the documentary I made as executive director of the Investigative Project on Terrorism, claiming that it promoted intolerance of Islam. I responded by pointing out that “Ayloush failed to make a single reference to [the film’s] content” but chose instead to make ad hominem attacks. I even proposed a public meeting in which Ayloush could discuss the film’s actual content.

Eleven months later, we’re still waiting for a response. But the question of whether CAIR condemns Hamas as a terrorist group is one that likely will never be answered.

CAIR Impeded FBI Probe of Somali Terrorist Group in Kenya Attack


Figures Hamas gets involved..

The Al Qaeda affiliate that terrorized a Kenyan shopping center and murdered scores of innocent people has a powerful and influential advocate in the United States, the Muslim “civil rights” group known as the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR).

It’s unlikely that the mainstream media will mention the connection, but it’s deep and it involves interfering in federal probes involving the radicalization of young Somali men in the U.S., like the ones carrying out the attack at the Westgate Shopping Mall in Northern Nairobi. CAIR has also wielded its power to silence critics of the Al Qaeda offshoot—Somalia’s Al Shabaab—that stormed into the mall, murdered at least 68 and took dozens of hostages.

Several of the jihadists involved in the attack are Somalis from Minnesota, according to a mainstream news report. They include 22-year-old Ahmed Mohamed Isse of St. Paul and 24-year-old Abdifatah Osman Keenadiid of Minneapolis. In the last few years the FBI and Congress have launched probes into the radicalization of the Somali American community in Minnesota. Al Shabaab recruits young men in local mosques and ships them off to train and fight in Somalia.

CAIR, an Islamic terrorist front group that reportedly raises money for Hamas, has interfered with the U.S. government’s investigation into this operation. A few years ago it actually hampered an FBI probe into the disappearance of dozens of Twin Cities Somali men. Many in the local Somali community denounced CAIR’s actions, saying that the group was actually discouraging them from cooperating with the FBI.

During congressional testimony, the uncle of one of the missing men—recruited and radicalized by Al Shabaab—blasted CAIR for instructing the Somali American community not to cooperate with law enforcement and standing blindly behind the mosque that radicalized his nephew. “CAIR held meetings for some members of the community and told them not to talk to the FBI, which was a slap in the face for the Somali American Muslim mothers who were knocking on doors day and night with pictures of their missing children and asking for the community to talk to law enforcement about what they know of the missing kids,” Abdirizak Bihi told the House Committee on Homeland Security.

CAIR has also tried to silence critics of Al Shabaab in parts of Minnesota that have been impacted by the Al Qaeda affiliate. A few years ago CAIR blasted two Minneapolis Muslim activists for participating in a seminar (“Al Shabaab: An Islamic Extremist Terrorism Organization”) about the Islamic terrorist group in Somalia. Among other things CAIR said the seminar failed to distinguish between Islam and terrorism and that it offered inaccurate and biased information about Muslims and Somalis.

During the Obama administration we’ve seen CAIR gain tremendous power and influence, which is incredibly alarming considering the group has extensive links to foreign and domestic Islamists. It was founded in 1994 by three Middle Eastern extremists (Omar Ahmad, Nihad Awad and Rafeeq Jaber) who ran the American propaganda wing of Hamas, known then as the Islamic Association for Palestine. In 2008 CAIR was a co-conspirator in a federal terror-finance case involving the Hamas front group Holy Land Foundation. Read more in a Judicial Watch special report that focuses on Muslim charities.

Yet last year President Obama’s deputies held hundreds of closed-door meetings with CAIR officials. Little information was discussed publicly about the secret sessions, but the news organization that broke the story quoted a White House director saying that government departments and agencies discussed a “range of issues.”

Around the same time, the FBI purged its anti-terrorism training curricula of material determined to be “offensive” to Muslims. Judicial Watch uncovered this scandal and obtained the FBI records just a few weeks ago. CAIR is not specifically named but the records show that an undisclosed group of “Subject Matter Experts” (SME) determined the federal training material was offensive to Muslims. Just last month, several police departments in Illinois cancelled their anti-terrorism training because CAIR complained that the instructor was blatantly anti-Muslim.

FBI Instructed to Break Rules Banning Interactions With Hamas aka CAIR

by J. Christian Adams

Congressman Frank Wolf (R-VA) pulled out a Sharpie marker and wrote in big block letters at the bottom of a letter: ”THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT. THE FBI MUST COMPLY WITH THE LAW.”

The letter was addressed to FBI Director James Comey:


Wolf was referring to the FBI’s violation of the ban on cooperation with the unindicted co-conspirator terrorist organization CAIR (Council on American-Islamic Relations), according to a just-released DOJ Inspector General report. CAIR was determined to be related to the web of terrorist financing during the Holy Land Foundation trials in Dallas, a trial which resulted in guilty verdicts. Afterwards, the FBI issued a blanket policy: no cooperation in the field with CAIR.

But the FBI’s Office of Public Affairs issued instructions to ignore the policy.

Why are DOJ press flunkies in Washington, D.C. issuing directives to FBI field offices about how to deal with CAIR? The answer to this question lies at the heart of the scandal, demonstrating that the politicized lawlessness of the Eric Holder Justice Department now is affecting the FBI.

From the DOJ Inspector General’s report:

Instead, a different headquarters entity, the Office of Public Affairs (OPA), provided policy interpretation and advice to FBI field offices on potential interactions with local CAIR chapters, without consulting [NAME REDACTED].

I suspect the redacted name is a national security component that would have objected to the interaction.

Following the directive, the FBI brought in CAIR to teach “diversity training” to FBI officials in New Haven, Connecticut, in October 2010, and in Chicago in December 2010. Yet the rules specifically prohibited CAIR from participating in an “FBI Citizens Academy” community outreach program:

Nevertheless, based on guidance it received from OPA, the Philadelphia Field Office allowed a local CAIR official to attend as an invited guest. A few days later, CAIR-Philadelphia posted an article on its website describing its participation in the training program, with a link to the FBI’s website.

The DOJ Inspector General report only pertains to five documented instances of CAIR being brought into the DOJ family.  Mr. Wolf correctly notes in his letter that this probably “only represents a fraction” of everything else going on.

The insertion of the FBI press office into political and policy affairs is similar to the behavior of former DOJ OPA head Tracy Schmaler. Schmaler pushed leaked information to left-wing websites like Media Matters, and managed a campaign to smear Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA) and other Fast and Furious whistleblowers. In the Holder Justice Department, OPA doesn’t merely provide information to reporters. Instead, they are top political operatives driving department policy.

Such is the state of the nation: the institutions responsible for enforcing the law are instead in need of bold capital letter lectures from a congressman just to remind them to comply with the law.

Will anything happen to the officials who broke the rules? Not likely. The only remedy the Constitution provides is a significant defunding of OPA operations, so that there is no funding for the salaries of the people responsible. Consider: Schmaler landed a high-dollar gig at David Axelrod’s shop. Rewards await those who push the ideological boundaries inside the DOJ and FBI.

Pay attention. This crowd rewards their lawless fighters, like the Chicago gangsters of old. The response from conservatives and the GOP must be more than shock and outrage at their behavior, or else it will continue.


UPDATE: This post was updated to reflect that the FBI Office of Public Affairs intervened in the national security policy, not the DOJ OPA. The summary of the still-secret report by the DOJ Office of Inspector General made reference to the “Office of Public Affairs (OPA)” without any specificity as to which office of public affairs was involved. It required Congressional inquiries this morning to obtain an answer as to which OPA was at issue. The updated post clarifies that previously unclear question.