Posts Tagged ‘Abdelhaleem Ashqar’

Muslim terrorist CAIR exposed

Image result for cair terroristYou know the world is upside down and severely corrupted when the terrorist organization Muslim Brotherhood was banned in United Arab Emigrates, Russia, Jordan and its members were sentenced to death in Egypt, yet it and its terrorist-linked subsidiary Council of American Islamic Relation (CAIR) not only enjoyed a full protection from the Obama administration but also infiltrate the U.S. governments, at both state and federal levels, and conduct their terrorist activities freely with impunity.

  • CAIR chapters demonstrated in the streets across America in July 2014 to show their support for Hamas even declaring that “We are Hamas.”   
  • Omar Ahmad, Chairman and founder of the Council on American Islamic Relations, told a Muslim crowd Islam isn’t in America to be equal to any other faiths, but to become dominant. The Koran, the Muslim book of scripture, should be the highest authority in America, and Islam the only accepted religion on Earth.   At the Islamic Association of Palestine’s third annual convention in Chicago in November 1999, Omar Ahmad gave a speech at a youth session praising suicide bombers who kill themselves for Islam.  Fighting for freedom, fighting for Islam — that is not suicide. They kill themselves for Islam, he said.
  • CAIR was incorporated in 1994 by Nihad Awad, Omar Ahmad, and Rafeeq Jaber, all of whom were leaders of the Islamic Association of Palestine (IAP), a now-defunct Hamas organization in the U.S.
  • Nihad Awad, CAIR Executive Director, said I am in support of the Hamas movement.
  • Mustafa Carroll, executive director of the Dallas-Fort Worth CAIR branch, told a crowd at a Muslim rally in Austin, Texas in 2013 If we are practicing Muslims, we are above the law of the land.
  • Ghassan Elashi, founder of CAIR’s Texas chapter, in 2009 received a 65-year prison sentence for funneling over $12 million from the Islamic charity known as the Holy Land Foundation to the jihad terrorist group Hamas, which is responsible for murdering hundreds of Israeli civilians.
  • Mousa Abu Marzook, a former CAIR official, was in 1995 designated by the U.S. government in 1995 as a “terrorist and Hamas leader.” He now is a Hamas leader in Syria.
  • Randall Royer, CAIR’s former civil rights coordinator, in 2004 began serving a 20-year prison sentence for aiding al-Qaida and the Taliban against American troops in Afghanistan and recruiting for Lashkar e-Taiba, the jihadist group responsible for the 2008 Mumbai jihad massacres.
  • Bassem Khafagi, CAIR’s former community relations director, was arrested for involvement with the Islamic Assembly of North America, which was linked to al-Qaida. After pleading guilty to visa and bank fraud charges, Khafagi was deported.
  • Rabih Haddad, a former CAIR fundraiser, was deported for his work with the Global Relief Foundation (which he co-founded), a terror-financing organization.
  • CAIR is an unindicted co-conspirator in a Hamas terror funding case—so named by the Justice Department during the HLF trial.
  • The Council on American Islamic Relations is vigorously fighting bills in twenty state legislatures that would prohibit courts from considering provisions of foreign laws including Sharia if they are inconsistent with the United States and state constitutions.  Sharia law is antithetical to the rights and liberties afforded under the United States Constitution.


At least a dozen of CAIR’s leaders have been arrested, convicted, deported, and sentenced by the U.S. Department of Justice for engaging in subversive activities and providing material support, either directly or indirectly, to  terrorist organization Hamas in murdering civilians in Israel and worldwide.


Similarly ingrained in Islamic tactics, CAIR uses intimidation widely against its opponents and non-Muslims to achieve its goals. CAIR attempts to close down public debate about itself and Islam in several ways, starting with astring of lawsuits against public and private individuals and several publications. CAIR’s Rabiah Ahmed has openly acknowledged that lawsuits are increasingly an “instrument” for it to use.

In addition, CAIR has resorted to financial pressure in an effort to silence critics. One such case concerns ABC radio personality Paul Harvey, who on December 4, 2003, described the vicious nature of cock fighting in Iraq, then commented: “Add to the [Iraqi] thirst for blood, a religion which encourages killing, and it is entirely understandable if Americans came to this bloody party unprepared.” CAIR responded a day later with a demand for “an on-air apology.” CAIR then issued a call to its supporters to contact Harvey’s advertising sponsors to press them to pull their ads “until Harvey responds to Muslim concerns.” Although Harvey quickly and publicly retracted his remarks, CAIR continued its campaign against him.

Another case of financial intimidation took place in March 2005, when CAIR campaigned to haveNational Review remove two books—Serge Trifkovic’s The Sword of the Prophet[115] and J.L. Menezes’ The Life and Religion of Mohammed—as well as the positive reviews of those books, from its on-line bookstore. CAIR claimed the books defame Islam and the Prophet Muhammad. When it did not get immediate satisfaction from National Review, it instructed its partisans to pressure the Boeing Corporation to withdraw its advertisements from the magazine. National Reviewbriefly took down both books but then quickly reposted the one by Trifkovic. Trifkovic himself argued that CAIR’s success here “will only whet Islamist appetites and encourage their hope that the end-result will be a crescent on the Capitol a generation or two from now.”

CAIR resorted to another form of intimidation versus Florida radio show host and Baptist pastor Mike Frazier. Frazier had criticized local and state officials in September 2004 for attending a CAIR awards dinner because, as he put it, “If these people would have bothered to check CAIR out beforehand they would have seen that it is a radical group.” He termed what followed “absolutely unbelievable.” Within a month, he says he received six death threats and forty-seven threatening phone calls, was accosted by strangers, was labeled an “extremist” and a “fundamentalist zealot,” and accused of “propagating fear, terror and disunity” by the St. Petersburg Times. Several members of his church fled his congregation because, according to Frazier, “they were afraid.”

Other CAIR targets of intimidation have included the Simon Wiesenthal Center for juxtaposing a picture of the Ayatollah Khomeini next to Adolf Hitler, and the Reader’s Digest for an article, “The Global War on Christians,” which CAIR found “smears Islam” by citing well-documented cases of Christian persecution. CAIR’s Nihad Awad faulted the Reader’s Digest for leaving the impression that “Islam somehow encourages or permits rape, kidnapping, torture, and forced conversion.”

In December 2003, CAIR ruined the career of an army officer and nurse, Captain Edwina McCall, who had treated American soldiers wounded in Iraq and Afghanistan but ended up resigning under a cloud of suspicion. Her crime? Using her military e-mail address on an Internet discussion board concerning the Islamist agenda. CAIR sent the comments to the secretary of defense, calling attention to her allegedly “bigoted anti-Muslim comments” and demanding that her “extremist and Islamophobic views” be investigated and then followed by “appropriate action.” The Army immediately cast the officer under suspicion, leading her to resign from a career she had loved.

At times, CAIR inspires its attack dogs to make threats and sits back when they follow through. After Daniel Pipes published an article in July 1999 explaining the difference between moderate and radical Islam, CAIR launched fifteen separate attacks on him in the space of two months, attacks widely reprinted in Muslim publications. Dozens of letters followed to the newspapers that carried Pipes’ articles, some calling him harsh names (“bigot and racist”), others comparing him to the Ku Klux Klan and the neo-Nazis, or characterizing his writings as an “atrocity” filled with “pure poison” and “outright lies.” More alarmingly, the letter-writers accused the author of perpetrating a hate crime against Muslims or of promoting and abetting such crimes. One threatened: “Is Pipes ready to answer the Creator for his hatred or is he a secular humanist …? He will soon find out.”

CAIR metes out even worse treatment to Muslim opponents, as the case of Khalid Durán shows. Durán taught at leading universities and wrote about Islam for think tanks; he was commissioned by the American Jewish Committee to write Children of Abraham: An Introduction to Islam for Jews. Fourteen scholars of Islam endorsed the manuscript prior to publication; it won glowing reviews from such authoritative figures as Cardinal William Keeler of Baltimore, the eminent church historian Martin Marty, and Prince Hassan of Jordan. Then, before the book was even released, CAIR issued two press releases insulting Durán personally and demanding that the Children of Abraham be withheld until a group of CAIR-approved academics could review the book to correct what it assumed (without having read the manuscript) would be its “stereotypical or inaccurate content.” Islamist publications quickly picked up CAIR’s message, with Cairo’s Al-Wafd newspaper announcing that Durán’s book “spreads anti-Muslim propaganda” through its “distortions of Islamic concepts.” A weekly in Jordan reported that ‘Abd al-Mun’im Abu Zant—one of that country’s most powerful Islamist leaders—had declared that Durán “should be regarded as an apostate,” and on this basis called for an Islamic ruling to condone Durán’s death. Days later, Durán’s car was broken into, and a dead squirrel and excrement were thrown inside. CAIR, far from apologizing for the evil results of its handiwork, accused the American Jewish Committee of fabricating the death edict as a “cheap publicity stunt to boost book sales.”


CAIR has a long record of unreliability and deceit even in relatively minor matters. To begin with, it has the audacity to claim to be “America’s largest civil rights group,” ignoring much larger groups by far, such as the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People and the Anti-Defamation League.

In May 2005, CAIR published its annual report on the violations of Muslim civil rights in America which purported to document a significant rise in the number of hate crimes directed at Muslims. According to the report, “anti-Muslim hate crimes in the United States” have gone up dramatically: from 42 cases in 2002, to 93 cases in 2003, to 141 in 2004. The mainstream media dutifully recycled CAIR’s press release, effectively endorsing this study by reporting it as a serious piece of research. But closer inspection shows that of twenty “anti-Muslim hate crimes” for which CAIR gives information, at least six are invalid.

David Skinner points out a further problem with the 2004 report: its credulity in reporting any incident, no matter how trivial, subjective or unsubstantiated. One anecdote concerns a Muslim college student who encountered “flyers and posters with false and degrading statements about the Qur’an and the prophet Muhammad”; another concerns a student at Roger Williams in Rhode Island who wrote that “a true Muslim is taught to slay infidels.” Also, any reluctance to accommodate Muslim women wearing a headscarf or veil was tallied as a bias incident, even in the case of genuine quandaries (such as veiled athletes or drivers applying for their licenses).

Nor is this the first unreliable CAIR study. Referring to the 1996 version, Steven Emerson noted in congressional testimony that “a large proportion of the complaints have been found to be fabricated, manufactured, distorted, or outside standard definitions of hate crimes.” Jorge Martinez of the U.S. Department of Justice dismissed CAIR’s 2003 report, Guilt by Association, as “unfair criticism based on a lot of misinformation and propaganda.”

CAIR’s manipulative habits assert themselves even in petty ways. For example, CAIR is not aboveconducting straw polls in an effort to forward its political agenda and may even be willing toexaggerate its own outreach efforts. This seems to be the case in CAIR’s library project, where it claims to have sent thousands of packages of books and tapes to American libraries. An inquiry turned up the curious fact that while CAIR claimed the District of Columbia had received thirty-seven such packages, records showed only one such copy being recorded. Maybe the mailmen lost the remaining thirty-six?

In September 2005, CAIR indulged in some Stalinist revisionism: as Robert Spencer revealed, CAIR doctored a photo on its website to make it more Islamically correct by manually adding a hijab onto a Muslim woman.Despite all this, CAIR’s statements continue to gain the respectful attention of uncritical media outlets.

There are exhaustive sources of incriminating and unflattering information about this terrorist designated organization ….

In 2003 CAIR employee Randall “Ismael” Royer was arrested for his role in the Northern Virginia jihad terrorist network. California Senator Barbara Boxer in 2006 withdrew a “certificate of accomplishment” originally given to former CAIR official Basim Elkarra after Boxer’s staff looked into CAIR, and she became concerned about some of CAIR’s past statements and actions, and statements by some law enforcement officials that it provides aid to international terrorist groups. 2007, the U.S. filed an action against the Holy Land Foundation (the largest Muslim charity in the United States at the time) for providing funds to Hamas. In 2008, the FBI discontinued its long-standing relationship with CAIR. Officials said the decision followed the conviction of the HLF directors for funneling millions of dollars to Hamas, revelations that Nihal Awad had participated in planning meetings with HLF, and CAIR’s failure to provide details of its ties to Hamas. During a 2008 retrial of the HLF case, FBI Special Agent Lara Burns labeled CAIR “a front group for Hamas.” 2009, the FBI’s DC office instructed all field offices to cut ties with CAIR, as the ban extended into the Obama administration…
U.S. Congressmen Sue Myrick (R-N.C.), Trent Franks (R-Ariz.), John Shadegg (R-Ariz.), and Paul Broun (R-Ga.) wrote that they were concerned about CAIR’s relationships with terrorist groups… to determine if CAIR was successful in placing interns in the committees’ offices
In June 2011, CAIR lost its federal tax-exempt status for failure to file the appropriate 990 forms for the previous 3 years…
Steven Pomerantz, the FBI’s former chief of counterterrorism, notes that “CAIR, its leaders, and its activities effectively give aid to international terrorist groups.
Counterterrorism expert Steven Emerson calls it ‘radical front group for Hamas’

The Investigative Project on Terrorism (IPT) made the following conclusion about CAIR:

“The Washington, D.C.-based organization purports to be a “leading advocate for justice and mutual understanding” and claims to speak for the majority of American Muslims. However, after a careful review of the history, activities, statements, and causes of and by CAIR, it seems that its primary goals are to silence and de-legitimize its critics and redefine what it means to be a moderate Muslim. And when it comes to U.S. efforts to crack down on terrorists and their financiers, CAIR takes an almost visceral stand in opposition. This has the effect of undermining the legitimate security-related concerns and campaigns of the United States and its allies. These conclusions and the summary immediately below are based upon the evidence and examples that follow in this report; beginning with CAIR’s very founding.”

“CAIR was named an unindicted co-conspirator in the Hamas-support trial of the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development (HLF). CAIR was listed among “entities who are and/or were members of the US Muslim Brotherhood’s Palestine Committee.” That committee, prosecutors say, was created to advance the Hamas agenda within the United States”

Prosecutors described CAIR as “having conspired with other affiliates of the Muslim Brotherhood to support terrorists.” The government also stated that “proof that the conspirators used deception to conceal from the American public their connections to terrorists was introduced” in the Dallas Holy Land Foundation trial last year and the Chicago trial of the Hamas men in 2006.

That is a strong and consistent message from career prosecutors working with mounds of eavesdropped conversation transcripts, other intercepted communications and internal documents. It is within those previously secret communications that CAIR’s true history as described in the various court files emerges.

Two CAIR founders participated in a secret 1993 meeting of Hamas members and sympathizers. That meeting, held at a Philadelphia Marriott, focused on Hamas’ opposition to the Oslo Accords, which called for a peaceful, two-state solution to the Israeli- Palestinian conflict. But the group also discussed life and politics in America, agreeing that a more organized and effective lobbying program was needed here to help their cause.

CAIR was formed the following summer by three men, including the two – Omar Ahmad and Nihad Awad – who were present at that secret Philadelphia meeting. Both Ahmad and Awad worked for the Islamic Association for Palestine (IAP) before forming CAIR. We know details about this 1993 meeting because the FBI secretly monitored the Philadelphia gathering, concluding all 25 participants were Hamas members or sympathizers.

The IAP already was a central player in Hamas’ U.S. support network. It was part of a broad-based “Palestine Committee” in America established by the Muslim Brotherhood. Awad and Ahmad were individual members of the effort which a 1991 Committee internal memorandum said was charged with serving “the Muslim Palestinian cause on the American front in cooperation and coordination with the Ikhwan [Muslim Brotherhood] inside America and out of it…”

Mousa Abu Marzook, the current deputy political chief of Hamas, served on the IAP’s governing board in 1989 and gave the IAP nearly $500,000. Its conferences promoted Hamas’ agenda by featuring leaders of the terrorist group and by soliciting money for the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development (HLF), Hamas’ primary fundraising arm in the United States. The IAP’s audiovisual wing, Aqsa Vision, distributed videos celebrating Hamas attacks and showing operatives undergoing training.

Ahmad’s two fellow CAIR incorporators also served prominent roles at IAP. CAIR Executive Director Nihad Awad was the IAP’s public relations director. And CAIR’s third founding officer, Rafeeq Jaber, left the group to become the IAP’s president from 1996 until it closed a decade later.

Biographies of Awad and Ahmad on CAIR’s website make no reference to their years of service to the IAP. That may be due to the court findings about IAP.

One federal judge found in 2002 that “the Islamic Association for Palestine has acted in support of Hamas.” Two years later, a federal magistrate found “an abundance of evidence” that “IAP…desired to help Hamas’ activities succeed, and…engaged in some act of helping those activities succeed.” She added, “If IAP has never outrightly cheered on Hamas’ terrorist activities, it has come awfully close.”

IAP is defunct. In 2007, CAIR found itself identified as an unindicted co-conspirator in the trial of five HLF officials and the foundation itself. The defendants stood accused of providing material support to Hamas to the tune of $12 million. At the 2007 trial of the foundation and five former officers, one defendant, Mohammad El-Mezain, was acquitted on all but one of the charges against him. But the jury was unable to reach a verdict on the remaining count against him or any of the charges against the other defendants. A second trial is expected in August 2008.

With so many connections, it should come as no surprise then that CAIR’s Awad has declared at a 1994 forum, “I am in support of the Hamas movement.” Yet, Awad demurred before a Senate committee in September 2003: “CAIR,” he said, “has never voiced support for Hamas…”

Similarly, Ahmad acknowledged during the Philadelphia meeting that his true ambition for a Palestinian state covers the “’48 territories,” or one in which there is no Israel. Unaware that the FBI was eavesdropping on the meeting, Ahmad further acknowledged “we didn’t say that to the Americans.”

CAIR’s record often contradicts its public claims. The organization has said it receives no “support from any overseas group or government.” But CAIR has received funding from both the World Assembly of Muslim Youth (WAMY) and the International Islamic Relief Organization (IIRO) — two Saudi-funded organizations whose U.S. offices have been raided to investigate possible links to Hamas and Al Qaeda. IIRO offices and personnel from around the world have been linked to al Qaeda. And CAIR received $500,000 from a Saudi prince in 2002 and, in 1999, $250,000 from a Saudi-based bank currently headed by the former director of the Muslim World League (MWL), a charity identified by Osama bin Laden as a primary source of Al Qaeda’s funds. MWL’s U.S. office has been raided by federal terrorism investigators.

When pressed, CAIR leaders refuse to offer any criticism of Hamas actions. “We’re not in the business of condemning,” spokesman Ibrahim Hooper told the Pittsburgh Post Gazette in 2002. They exhibit no such reluctance when American law enforcement acts against suspected terrorists and the organizations supporting them.

CAIR denounced the 1995 arrest and detention of Marzook, the former IAP board member and current Hamas deputy political chief mentioned above, on an Israeli murder warrant.

Co-founder Nihad Awad called it “politically motivated … [and] orchestrated to serve as a wedge between America and Islamic countries.” CAIR also signed an open letter to then- Secretary of State Warren Christopher complaining that “our judicial system has been kidnapped by Israeli interests.”

Similarly, CAIR supported Hamas member Abdelhaleem Ashqar in 1998 when he was held in contempt for refusing to testify before a grand jury investigating Hamas fund-raising in the United States. It co-sponsored a letter to the judge “request[ing] the immediate release of Dr. Ashqar” so that he could “continue offering positive contributions to this society.”

CAIR railed against the December 2001 closing of the Texas-based HLF as “unjust and counterproductive.” The government labeled HLF a Specially Designated Terrorist Organization that illegally funneled money to Hamas.

CAIR branch offices have staunchly defended other HLF officials investigated by the government. CAIR-Dallas-Fort Worth said the investigation of HLF’s Resource Development Director on immigration charges reflected “the campaign of a few government agents who are abusing their positions of authority to whip up anti-Muslim hysteria within our community.” That officer was eventually deported.

The vice president of CAIR-Dallas-Fort Worth said that the Israeli detention of an HLF fund-raiser and spokeswoman “should outrage every freedom-loving American.”

CAIR maintained personal and financial relations with HLF. The foundation seeded CAIR with a $5,000 donation soon after its founding. Throughout the 1990s, despite significant, widely reported evidence of HLF’s ties to Hamas, CAIR raised money for HLF via its electronic mailing list. CAIR also co-sponsored an HLF fundraiser and its Northern California chapter made direct donations to HLF. Immediately after 9/11, CAIR’s website featured an appeal for donations to aid the victims. One was for the Red Cross. Another, labeled “Donate to the NY/DC Emergency Relief Fund,” redirected readers to the HLF website.

CAIR’s links with HLF go even deeper. Ghassan Elashi, a participant in the 1993 Philadelphia Hamas meeting and a founding board member of CAIR-Texas, also incorporated an IAP office in California, and served as chairman and treasurer of HLF. He was convicted in 2004 of conspiracy, money laundering and dealing in property of a terrorist and was indicted again with other HLF officials in the foundation’s criminal case in Dallas. Other defendants facing a possible retrial on those charges include CAIR’s former western region spokesman and a former endowments chair.

While CAIR has 32 regional chapters across the United States and Canada, its headquarters exercises much control over the agenda and operations of the regional offices.

In one public example of the ties between CAIR National and a regional office, in a sworn affidavit of former CAIR-Canada director Sheema Khan, she states that “In 1996 a Canadian chapter of CAIR UNITED STATES was established in Montreal.  The purpose  of the chapter was to promote CAIR UNITED STATES awareness in Montreal. One of the means of promoting awareness was through the distribution in Canada of CAIR UNITED STATES’ newsletters, publicity kits, brochures and handbooks. CAIR UNITED STATES had direct control over the character and quality of the activities of the Canadian chapter in Montreal.” (Emphasis added)

Even when CAIR seems to take a stand against terrorism, the results are inconsistent at best. CAIR maintains that it has unequivocally condemned 9/11. However, its national leadership tolerates outlandish conspiracy theories. It remained silent when the executive director of CAIR-New York told Newsday on October 14, 2001, “Mohammed Atta is alive and living in the United Arab Emirates. His passport was stolen.” On October 18th, the same CAIR official asked, “Who really benefits from such a horrible tragedy that is blamed on Muslims and Arabs?” And after a speaker at a September 2003 CAIR-New York banquet asked, “Why would the Bush administration allow 9/11 to happen?” Executive Director Nihad Awad affirmed that “there are many unanswered questions” about 9/11.

CAIR has consistently opposed all efforts to shut down organizations that the government identified as financing terrorism and has vehemently defended accused terrorists, accusing the U.S. government of launching a war on Islam. Within hours of arrests or raids, no matter how compelling the case may seem, CAIR usually issues press releases that accuse the government of politically motivated selective prosecution, a “fishing expedition,” or scapegoating. For example, after the indictment of now-convicted IAP co-founder Sami Al- Arian on charges of serving as the North American head of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad, Omar Ahmad noted, “This action could leave the impression that Al-Arian’s arrest is based on political considerations, not legitimate national security concerns.”

After the arrest of Nuradin Abdi, an alleged al Qaeda operative plotting to blow up a Columbus, Ohio shopping mall, CAIR-Ohio’s president commented that the indictment “raises questions of whether the U.S. government is covering up its troubles in Iraq and elsewhere by reasserting the threat of domestic terrorism and again using immigrants and minorities as scapegoats.”

And yet, when defendants have been found guilty of terror or related criminal charges, CAIR’s silence is deafening. There has been no comment on Abdi’s guilty plea in the summer of 2007.

A CAIR director in Florida cast doubt on the May 2005 arrest of Boca Raton Dr. Rafiq Sabir for allegedly agreeing to “provide medical assistance to wounded jihadists” in Saudi Arabia,” “There have been many incidents where Muslims have been wrongfully arrested. We want to make sure he receives a fair trial as any American,” Altaf Ali said. Sabir was convicted in May 2007 after jurors saw a video of him pledging allegiance to Al Qaeda. CAIR has not issued any statement concerning the verdict or Sabir’s documented support for Al Qaeda.

In the Al-Arian case, he pleaded guilty in 2006 to conspiring to provide goods and services to the Palestinian Islamic Jihad but CAIR routinely defends him as an innocent man.

Further, CAIR minimizes the challenges and threats posed by radical Islam. For example, its officials have asserted that Wahhabism is a term “invented to scare people about Muslim bogeymen,” and have denied that “jihad” is the motivating ideology underlying Islamic terrorism. Similarly, CAIR protested the use of the term “Islamist terrorism” in the 9/11 Commission Report.

CAIR leaders also spew bigotry and extremism, and their propaganda supports terrorists and those who incite terror. CAIR has repeatedly defended the Muslim Brotherhood-linked cleric Yusuf al-Qaradawi, calling him a “moderate,” despite his support for suicide bombings in Israel and attacks against Western troops and civilians in Iraq. CAIR officials also have claimed that Jews control U.S. policy and defended the oppressive Iranian and Sudanese governments.

According to Steve Pomerantz, who served as the FBI’s assistant director and Counterterrorism Section chief, the success of groups like CAIR could affect the nation’s success against terrorists. Pomerantz said, “By masquerading as a mainstream public affairs organization, CAIR has taken the lead in trying to mislead the public about the terrorist underpinnings of militant Islamic movements, in particular, Hamas.

Thus, in reality, CAIR is a radical group operating under a moderate veneer. Instead of “building bridges” as it purports to do between law enforcement and the Muslim community in the United States, CAIR creates a wedge of mistrust and fear.

I. CAIR’s Origins

  • CAIR is an offshoot of the Islamic Association for Palestine (IAP)

Founded in 1994, CAIR was incorporated by three leaders of IAP — Nihad Awad, Omar Ahmad, and Rafeeq Jaber. Mousa Abu Marzook, the current deputy political chief of Hamas, served on the board of directors of IAP in 1989 and provided the group with $490,000. IAP, which is now defunct, was long a central player in Hamas’ U.S. support network while CAIR’s future founders controlled IAP. A 2001 Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) memo extensively documented IAP’s support for Hamas and noted that the “facts strongly suggest” that IAP is “part of Hamas’ propaganda apparatus.”

In August 2002, a federal judge ruled that there was evidence that “the Islamic Association for Palestine has acted in support of Hamas.”

In November 2004, a federal magistrate judge held IAP civilly liable for $156 million in the 1996 shooting of an American teenager by a Hamas member in the West Bank. The judge ruled that there was “an abundance of evidence” that “IAP…desired to help Hamas’ activities succeed, and…engaged in some act of helping those activities succeed.” She added, “If IAP has never outrightly cheered on Hamas’ terrorist activities, it has come awfully close.”

The U.S. Appeals Court in the Seventh Circuit overturned the award in December 2007 after determining the Joyce and Stanley Boim had not done enough to establish that the groups’ support for Hamas contributed, even indirectly, to their son David’s murder. The case was sent the case back to the district court to allow for additional proceedings.

In the summer of 2007, evidence from the Dallas trial charging HLF and its officers with providing material support for Hamas shows that the IAP played a central role in the Muslim Brotherhood’s Palestine Committee. The trial marked this first time the Committee’s existence was publicly disclosed. A sampling of those exhibits includes:

  • A 1991 memo suggesting changes to Committee bylaws which show the IAP, the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development and a Virginia think-tank Marzook founded were the Committee’s primary
  • A November 1991 status report approved by the Shura Council explained that the Ikhwan, or Brotherhood, created IAP “to serve the cause of Palestine on the political and media fronts … The Association’s work has developed a great deal since its inception, particularly with the formation of the Palestine Committee, the beginning of the Intifada at the end of 1987 and the proclamation of the Hamas ”
  • A 1992 internal memo, which calls on the Palestine Committees, to work to “increase the financial and the moral support for Hamas” to “fight surrendering solutions,” and to publicize and focus on “the savagery of the ”
  • A later report, dated July 30, 1994, includes CAIR along with HLF, the IAP and the United Association for Studies and Research think tank as Committee members. Each group was listed among more than 300 unindicted co-conspirators in the

The documents were found in the home of Ismail Elbarrasse, a former assistant to Marzook, records and testimony from the HLF trial show.

An internal memo, also taken from Elbarrasse, defines in chilling fashion the role the Muslim Brothers play in North America.

Records from the 2004 Boim lawsuit brought show how the IAP acted upon these plans. As the magistrate judge noted, IAP has “published and distributed an abundance of pro-Hamas documents.” The group published the Hamas charter – a viciously anti-Semitic document that calls for the murder of Jews – and noted in the October 1988 issue of its Arabic- language publication, Ila Filastin, “The IAP will deliver this charter of the Hamas movement to all over the American continents.” Similarly, a statement in the December 1988 edition of Ila Filastin read, “The call for Jihad in the name of Allah, is the only path for liberation of Palestine and all the Muslims lands … We (Hamas) promise Allah, in continuing the Jihad way and with the martyrdom’s way.”

In addition to disseminating Hamas statements in Ila Filastin, IAP published the English- language Muslim World Monitor and the Arabic periodical, Al-Zaitounah, which frequently praised Hamas terror attacks. An October 1994 Al-Zaitounah headline captures the magazine’s ideological bent: “In Its Greatest Operation, Hamas Takes Credit for the Bombing of an Israeli Bus in the Center of Tel Aviv.”

In August 1994, the Muslim American Youth Association (MAYA) conference featured a booklet called “America’s Greatest Enemy: THE JEW! and an UNHOLY ALLIANCE” which featured Jewish and Zionist conspiracies for global domination, as well as Holocaust denial claims among its contents.

Another key element of IAP’s Hamas propaganda machine was its audiovisual wing, Aqsa Vision, which distributed videos celebrating Hamas attacks and showcasing operatives undergoing training. One of these videos, titled “Iz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades,” showed Hamas members armed with Kalashnikovs, making Molotov cocktails, and bragging about the killing of Jews. The video also contained interviews with blindfolded Palestinian “collaborators” prior to their execution.

Annual conferences also allowed IAP to promote the Hamas agenda. As the October 1988 Ila Filastin noted, “The Islamic Association for Palestine held conferences and activities to celebrate [the] one year anniversary of the blessed Intifada and…the inception of the Hamas movement.” Hamas members made frequent appearances at IAP’s conferences. At these conferences, IAP raised significant amounts of money for the Holy Land Foundation (HLF), Hamas’ primary fundraising arm in the United States, which was shut down by the government in 2001, and indicted for providing material support to Hamas in 2004.

In fact, all of the money IAP collected during its Intifada celebrations in the late 1980s and early 1990s went to HLF, or the Occupied Land Fund, as it was then known.25 Additionally, all the proceeds from IAP’s 1996 convention went to HLF. Jaber, one of CAIR’s founders, became IAP president earlier that year.

IAP consistently encouraged people to donate to HLF in its publications and on its website, and the two organizations formalized their close relationship. The following is an exchange between the IAP’s president and the attorney representing the family in the Boim civil case against Hamas-front groups referenced above:

Q: Was there any communication that you or anybody else at IAP had with the Holy Land Foundation about putting Holy Land Foundation in as a potential recipient for donors in action alerts such as this?

A: I think it’s part of our contract that to promote them in every way we can.

In 1993 and 1994, Omar Ahmad, who served as CAIR’s chairman from its incorporation until 2005, was also the president of IAP National. He acknowledged in a 2003 deposition that Hamas speakers and others advocating its positions routinely were invited to IAP conferences.

At IAP, Ahmad “worked closely” with Nihad Awad, the group’s public relations director in 1993 and 1994, as well as a contributing editor of its English language publication The Muslim World Monitor.

In a 2000 article in The Link, Awad, who now is CAIR’s executive director, described how Ahmad had suggested that they split off from IAP: “Omar…had the insight to realize that the central issue facing the Muslim community in the United States was not being addressed. The core challenge, that of stereotyping and defamation, was having a devastating effect on our children and paralyzing adults from taking their due roles in civic affairs. Omar suggested to me that we leave the IAP and concentrate on combating anti- Muslim discrimination nationwide. He proposed that I move to Washington, D.C., where any effective national effort would have to be based, while he tried to raise the seed money for the project.”

Rafeeq Jaber, the third incorporator of CAIR and a board member in 1994 and 1995, headed IAP’s Chicago office in 1991. He also served as IAP president from 1996-1998 and again from 1999 until the organization closed its doors in 2005. Additionally, he was president of the Chicago-based American Muslim Society (AMS) since its inception in 1993 through 1996. In 1994, AMS applied for the name “Islamic Association for Palestine in Chicago.”

There are other significant links between CAIR and IAP.

Ghassan Elashi, a founding board member of CAIR-Texas in 1998, incorporated an IAP office in California in 1986. Elashi’s brother, Basman, was IAP-Texas president from 1995-1998.

In 2001, Oliver Revell, the FBI’s former counterterrorism chief, said that IAP and CAIR had had “intertwined membership in the past.” Moreover, CAIR and IAP have co-issued a number of statements and co-hosted a number of radical events (discussed later in greater depth).

And IAP’s website has redirected visitors to a webpage titled “CAIR List Server.

Given the opportunity to distance himself from IAP in September 2003 Senate testimony, CAIR Executive Director Awad instead chose to defend the group: “The Islamic Association of Palestine (IAP) is a grassroots organization which continues to function legally and has only been ‘linked’ through allusion and no charge of criminality has been brought against the organization.”

I. The 1993 Philadelphia Hamas Meeting

In order to fully understand CAIR’s origins and its close relationship with IAP and HLF, it is critical to first examine a meeting in a Philadelphia, Pa. Marriott hotel that took place less than a year before CAIR’s incorporation.

Organized by senior Hamas operative Abdelhaleem Ashqar, who was indicted in August 2004 for allegedly participating in a 15-year racketeering conspiracy to finance Hamas’ activities, the meeting was called in the wake of the Oslo Accords. In the Accords, Yasser Arafat and Yitzhak Rabin agreed to a future of coexistence and independence for the Israelis and Palestinians.

The 25-person gathering represented, according to the FBI, “a meeting…among senior leaders of HAMAS, the HLFRD and the IAP.” A FBI analysis further noted: “all attendees of this meeting are Hamas members” or sympathizers.

According to the July 2004 HLF indictment, “The purpose of the meeting was to determine their course of action in support of Hamas’ opposition to the peace plan and to decide how to conceal their activities from the scrutiny of the United States government.”

Attendees at the FBI-monitored meeting included five HLF officials who were indicted with the group in July 2004: Executive Director Haitham Maghawri, Chief Executive Officer Shukri Abu Baker, Treasurer Ghassan Elashi, Chairman of the Board Mohammad El-Mezain, and fundraiser Mufid Abdulqader. Highlighting the familial ties binding HLF’s top officials to Mousa Abu Marzook, the godfather of IAP and HLF, Elashi (cousins through marriage) and El-Mezain (cousin) are both related to him.

Also at the meeting was Abdel-Jabbar Hamdan, an HLF fundraiser who was arrested on immigration charges the same day that the HLF indictment was unsealed. But surely the most notable attendees were future CAIR Chairman Omar Ahmad, whose presence is documented in the FBI-certified hotel registry; and CAIR Executive Director Nihad Awad.

Awad’s presence was not confirmed until August 2007, when FBI Special Agent Lara Burns testified about it during the HLF trial in Dallas. Previous references to a Nihad LNU (last name unknown) appeared in government transcripts of the meeting that were released in other court proceedings.

According to the FBI’s wiretaps of the meeting, Ahmad referred to himself as Omar Yahya. Although he claimed in a 2003 deposition that he “can’t recall attending this meeting,” he acknowledged that “some people call me” Omar Yahya “because it’s like one of my middle names.” Ahmad also acknowledged knowing many of the men who were in Philadelphia, including Ashqar, Abu-Baker, Elashi and Maghawri.

While he testified that he could not remember being there, transcripts show it was Ahmad who called the meeting to order:

This meeting was called for by the Palestine Committee in order to have a seminar or a meeting to the brothers present here today in order to study the situation in light of the latest developments on the Palestinian arena, its effects and impact on our work here in America. Awad, like Ahmad, said he could not remember whether he attended the Philadelphia meeting when asked during a 2003 deposition.

But government transcripts show Awad was an active participant, including this exchange in which he and Ahmad discuss tailoring their message to appeal to Americans while hiding their true intent:

Awad: What is important is that the language of the address is there even for the American. But, the issue is how to use it…

Omar Ahmad: There is a difference between you saying “I want to restore the ‘land” and when you say “I want to destroy Israel”…

Awad: Yes, there are different but parallel types of address. There shouldn’t be contradiction. Address people according to their minds. When I speak with the American, I speak with someone who doesn’t know anything. As for the Palestinian who has a martyr brother or something, I know how to address him, you see?

According to the hotel registry, Ahmad shared a room with “Abdul Rahman Baraski,” which is likely a misspelling of “Abdul Rahman Barajki.” Barajki would become CAIR- Northern California’s registered agent, a CAIR-National Board member, and a director of IAP-Texas.

Participants in the Philadelphia meeting apparently attempted to cover up their true agenda. As an FBI analysis of the wiretaps states, they “spent much effort hiding their association with the Islamic Resistance Movement, a.k.a. HAMAS. Instead, they referred to HAMAS as ‘Samah,’ which is HAMAS spelled backwards.”

Ahmad employed this unsophisticated counter-surveillance technique, remarking:

We can’t, as an American organization, say we represent Samah. Can we go to the Congressman and tell him, I am Omar Yehya, Chairman of the Union [IAP], Yassir Arafat doesn’t represent me, but Ahmad Yassin does?

Sheikh Ahmad Yassin was the spiritual leader of Hamas.

In addition to trying to obscure their ties to “Samah,” those at the meeting discussed how organizations in the United States could support Hamas. A speaker contemplated the merger of HLF and IAP and noted, “The institutions here should be at the service of the Movement over there…This should include finance, information, political, and everything.” Another urged his colleagues to “focus on those people who are directly connected with Jihad.”

In conjunction with their support for the jihad in Palestine, the participants also recognized the critical importance of domestic lobbying. Stressing the need for deeper engagement with the American Muslim community, one attendee discussed the groups “attempting to encourage the Islamic community to be involved in the political life in this country.” He commented, “We should assist them in this task. This will be an entrance for us to put, through the Islamic community, pressure on the Congress and the decision makers in America.”

CAIR Founder Omar Ahmad went a step further, envisioning a lobby because “we don’t have influence over the Congress…This will bolster our position in America with the U.S. Administration and other media and political organizations.” He concluded:

This can be achieved by infiltrating the American media outlets, universities and research centers as we previously said. … if Muslims engage in political activism in American and started to be concerned with Congress and public relations we will have an entry point to use them to pressure Congress and the decision-makers in America.

CAIR was incorporated the following summer.

II. CAIR’s Funding

  • CAIR was founded in part with donations from the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development (HLF), later tagged as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist organization that has been indicted for providing material support to Hamas.

In October 1994, barely a year after the 1993 Philadelphia meeting and less than two months after CAIR filed its articles of incorporation; the organization received a $5,000 check from HLF.

Unwilling to admit a direct financial link to Hamas’ main U.S. financier, CAIR’s leadership has been quick to deny the existence of this payment. During a 2003 civil deposition, CAIR incorporator Ahmad was asked, “Did they [HLF] give you any money to help start CAIR?” He responded unequivocally, “No.”

Bank records show CAIR received a second $5,000 payment from HLF on October 31, 1994.94

In written testimony submitted to the Senate Subcommittee on Terrorism, Technology and Homeland Security’s September 10, 2003 hearing, “Terrorism: Two Years After 9/11, Connecting the Dots,” CAIR Executive Director Awad also denied that CAIR had ever received money from HLF, declaring, “Our organization did not receive any seed money from HLFRD.”

When The Investigative Project’s Matthew Epstein produced a copy of the check at the Senate hearing, however, Awad had no choice but to admit, in supplemental testimony submitted to the Senate, that CAIR had, indeed, received money from HLF: “CAIR is a nonprofit, grassroots organization. Our only source of income is through donations and the amount in question was a donation like any other.”

CHECK were frozen by the Justice Department seven years later in December 2001.” He added that HLF’s “relatively small donation” came “seven years before any wrongdoing was attributed to Holy Land Foundation.”

Awad then attempted to minimize the significance of the CAIR/HLF money trail: “HLF was not indicted for any criminal activity at the time of its donation in 1994 and its assets were frozen by the Justice Department seven years later in December 2001.” He added that HLF’s “relatively small donation” came “seven years before any wrongdoing was attributed to Holy Land Foundation.”

Given their attendance at the Philadelphia meeting and prior leadership roles with AMELP and IAP, Awad and Ahmad were intimately familiar with HLF’s role on the Palestine Committee and the goals of its members. In fact, Ahmad testified in the 2003 deposition that IAP advertised for and encouraged people to donate to HLF.

Moreover, Rafeeq Jaber, one of CAIR’s three incorporators and a member of CAIR’s board in 1994, worked with IAP to sponsor the annual Intifada celebrations in the late 1980s and early 1990s mentioned in “CAIR’s Origins.” Jaber testified in the same civil case that, as noted previously, all of the funds raised at these events went to HLF.

While trying to downplay HLF’s donation to CAIR, Awad also has sought to cloud his admission by narrowly defining the term “seed money.” When presented with the check while being deposed in October 2003, he commented “If this is a true document, it would [have] been months after that organization started…the word ‘seed’ does not apply.” Indeed, Awad even attempted to distance himself from the supplemental testimony, stating, “I had other people prepare it for me…it was in a rush.”

CAIR’s ties to HLF continued after the 1994 HLF check, even after the Israeli government raided HLF’s Jerusalem office on May 7, 1995 and New York Congressman Charles Schumer held a March 13, 1996 press conference to highlight HLF’s role in support of Hamas.

In September 1996, CAIR distributed an “Action Alert” soliciting money for HLF after Israel opened a tunnel below the Temple Mount and Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem. In that emailed “Action Alert,” CAIR urged recipients to “SEND DONATIONS to help those who are suffering under occupation. Every mosque should ask each person for at least one dollar. Donations may be sent to the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development…”

Less than a year later, HLF’s offices in Israel were closed by Israeli authorities. Three months later, the chairman of HLF’s Jerusalem office, Mohammad Anati, was arrested for aiding and abetting a terrorist organization.

Nonetheless, CAIR refused to sever its connections with HLF.

In May 1999, CAIR co-sponsored an HLF fundraiser, held in Virginia and attended by HLF Executive Director Haitham Maghawri, who also had attended the 1993 Philadelphia meeting. At the event, titled “Holy Land Foundation Kosovar Solidarity Night,” Maghawri solicited donations that he claimed would help the 800,000 refugees forced to flee Kosovo.110 CAIR also solicited donations for HLF’s Kosovo relief efforts via the Internet.

Then, on June 1, 2000, CAIR Chairman Ahmad wrote a letter to HLF in which he said, “It is truly an honor to congratulate the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development on ten years of outstanding achievement….On behalf of the Council on American Islamic Relations, please accept our best wishes for many years of continued excellence in your field.”

Three months later, in September 2000, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) notified HLF that, at the State Department’s urging, it planned to terminate HLF’s USAID registration. The State Department determined that “HLF’s registration with USAID is contrary to the national defense and foreign policy interests of the United States.”

That same month, Charles Schumer, by then a U.S. senator, wrote Secretary of State Madeline Albright and Attorney General Janet Reno to demand that the government shut down HLF. A press release on Schumer’s website stated, “The Holy Land Foundation…has clear links to the terrorist organization Hamas.”

Nonetheless, CAIR continued to solicit donations for HLF. At an October 22, 2000 rally outside the Israeli Consulate in Los Angeles, CAIR Southern California’s Hussam Ayloush told the crowd, “We need to make sure to send our donations” to HLF. Also in 2000, a CAIR Action Alert asked people to “sponsor a Palestinian child orphaned in the recent massacres” by contacting HLF, and provided a direct link to HLF’s donation page (

But the most glaring CAIR solicitation for HLF came after the 9/11 atrocities. The appeal, titled “what you can do for the victims of the WTC and Pentagon attacks,” appeared on CAIR’s website for over a month and urged people to donate to HLF among other charities.

Foreign Financial Support

CAIR denies receiving funding from Saudi Arabia and other foreign sources. In a November 2001 press release, CAIR stated, “We do not support directly or indirectly, or receive support from, any overseas group or government.”

However, financial records tell a different story as detailed below.

Islamic Development Bank: In August 1999, the Islamic Development Bank (IDB), a Saudi-based entity, donated “$250,000 as a contribution to the purchase of land in Washington DC to be the headquarters for an education and research center under the aegis of the Council for American Islamic Relations.”

Dr. Ahmad Mohamed Ali, who has served as IDB President for more than 20 years, was Secretary General of the Muslim World League (MWL) from 1993-1995. Founded in 1962 to “promote Islamic unity,” MWL is one of the largest of the Saudi Islamic evangelical charities. According to a government trial proffer in 2003, Osama bin Laden identified MWL as one of three Muslim charities that provided the primary sources of Al Qaeda’s funds during conversations a decade earlier with former senior Al Qaeda lieutenant Jamal Ahmed Al-Fadl. MWL’s U.S. office was raided in 2002 as part of a massive terrorism financing probe.

In 2002, MWL Secretary General Dr. Abdullah Ibn Abdul Mohsin Al Turki toured CAIR’s Washington D.C. headquarters and received a briefing from Nihad Awad. According to a report in the official Saudi publication Ain-Al-Yaqeen, Al Turki “stressed the necessity of promoting effective coordination among Islamic organisations in the United States of America…Dr. Al Turki expressed the League’s readiness to offer assistance in the promotion and coordination of Islamic works, and noted that it will establish a Commission for this purpose.”

Also in 2002, CAIR received $500,000 from Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal.

World Assembly of Muslim Youth: Additionally, CAIR has received significant financial support from WAMY, a Saudi-supported group that publishes materials that promote religious hatred. WAMY’s Washington, D.C. office, raided in May 2004 by federal agents, had once been headed by Osama bin Laden’s nephew, Abdullah bin Laden. When Ahmad Ajaj was arrested in 1992 while trying to enter the United States with Ramzi Yousef, investigators found among Ajaj’s belongings a WAMY envelope with the organization’s Saudi Arabia address.  The envelope contained a manual entitled, “Military Lessons in the Jihad against the Tyrants.” Both Yousef and Ajaj were later convicted for their roles in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing.

WAMY publishes materials that promote religious hatred through such books as Islamic Views, printed in Arabic by the Armed Forces Printing Press of the Saudi government.

Islamic Views teaches that Islam “is a religion of Jihad” and that Jihad “was an answer for the Jews, the liars.”   Islamic Views also advises Muslims to teach our children to love taking revenge on the Jews and the oppressors, and teach them that our youngsters will liberate Palestine and Al Quds when they go back to Islam and make Jihad for the sake of Allah.

According to a Dec. 23, 1999 Arab News article, WAMY announced at a Riyadh press conference that it “was extending both moral and financial support to CAIR in its effort to construct a $3.5 million headquarters in Washington, D.C.”   The article noted that WAMY would “introduce CAIR to Saudi philanthropists and recommend their financial support for the headquarters project.”   Nihad Awad attended the press conference.

On November 9, 2002, The Muslim World, MWL’s weekly newspaper, reported that CAIR and WAMY would cooperate on a million dollar public relations campaign and that Awad was scheduled to meet with Prince Walled Ibn Talal.

International Relief Organization: Additionally, CAIR received a $5,000 check on June 13, 1994 from the International Relief Organization (IRO), the American branch of the Saudi-funded International Islamic Relief Organization (IIRO). CAIR also received

$2,172 from IRO in 1995 and $10,000 in 1997.

The U.S. Treasury Department designated the Philippine and Indonesian branches of IIRO in 2006 “for facilitating fundraising for al Qaida and affiliated terrorist groups.”

“A former ASG member in the Philippines familiar with IIRO operations in the country reported that a limited amount of foreign IIRO funding goes to legitimate projects and the rest is directed to terrorist operations,” the Treasury statement said.

IRO’s Virginia office was raided by the FBI in 1997 as part of a money laundering and terrorism investigation. In an affidavit, FBI Agent Valerie Donohue stated, “IRO holds itself out to the public as a charitable organization, but has disbursed significant sums of money in ways that do not appear consistent with a charitable mission.”

In 2002, IRO was again raided by Operation Green Quest, a federal task force targeting the financiers of Al Qaeda and other international terrorist groups.145 CAIR also received over $15,000 from IIRO, which was raided by federal law enforcement in 1997 and 2002.

CAIR founder and chairman Omar Ahmad testified on behalf of Mohamed Jamal Khalifah, Osama bin Laden’s brother-in law and the one-time head of IIRO’s office in the Philippines.

Khalifah was arrested by the INS and the FBI in San Francisco on Dec. 16, 1994. At the time of his arrest, he had been convicted in absentia in Jordan for his alleged involvement in a series of bombings in Jordan in 1993 and 1994. Additionally, authorities found documents in his possession referring to the assassination of bishops and bombings of churches. Moreover, Khalifah has been identified as the financier of Ramzi Yousef’s plot to simultaneously blow up 12 U.S. airplanes over the Pacific.

Despite Khalifah’s deep involvement in terrorism, Ahmad testified that, although he did not know him personally, he was familiar with IIRO’s work, Ahmad said. “I’m very familiar with their work. I work very closely with their office in Washington D.C….And also I know…a lot of people who work in their office in Jiddah, in Saudi Arabia, who are very close friends of mine.”154 During the testimony, Ahmad’s attorney stated that, “[Ahmad] has known and worked with the International Islamic Relief Organization for approximately ten years.”

U.S. officials deported Khalifah to Jordan in 1995. He was killed in January 2007 by a number of assailants at a mine he owned in Madagascar.

International Institute of Islamic Thought: Further, CAIR received $19,500 between 2000 and 2003 from the International Institute of Islamic Thought (IIIT). Significant financial, ideological and personal connections exist between IIIT and the World and Islam Studies Enterprise (WISE), which the U.S. government has identified as a front for the Palestinian Islamic Jihad. Like IIRO, IIIT was raided by Operation Green Quest. Independent of the foreign financial support, the depth of CAIR’s support in America is difficult to gauge. During the summer of 2007, CAIR officials claimed membership was robust and growing, only to contradict themselves two months later in fighting the Justice Department’s identification of CAIR as an unindicted co-conspirator in the HLF trial.

CAIR balked at a Washington Times report on June 12, 2007 that cited IRS returns to show membership plummeting 90 percent – from 29,000 members in 2000 to less than 1,700 in 2006. A CAIR news release issued the same day accused the Times of “agenda-driven reporting” and claimed that the story ignored 25,000 people who joined for $10 each.

“Support for CAIR has grown as ordinary Muslims witnessed the exponential growth in attacks on their faith by Islamophobes seeking to marginalize and disenfranchise the American Islamic community,” said CAIR Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper.

On Aug. 14, 2007, CAIR filed a court brief in which it acknowledged membership indeed was down. “This negative reaction by the American public can be seen in the decline of membership rates and donations resulting from the government’s publicizing of CAIR as an unindicted co-conspirator,” attorney William Moffitt wrote in a brief to the court.

Among the proof cited, the same Washington Times story CAIR originally dismissed as false and “agenda driven.”

III. The Suspect Ties of CAIR Officials, Fundraisers & Trainers

A number of CAIR officials and some other individuals who have raised funds for CAIR have in some cases committed criminal acts themselves, or in other cases have ties to organizations connected to Islamic extremism. The fact that such individuals have played significant roles for CAIR casts doubt on CAIR’s claims of moderation and restraint. The individuals discussed in this section of the report are included not to suggest that any is responsible for the acts of the others or that those convicted of crimes should be lumped together with those that have not been, but rather to demonstrate a pattern of extremism that appears to pervade CAIR.

Ghassan Elashi

Though Elashi attended the 1993 Philadelphia Hamas meeting and was a founding board member of CAIR-Texas,164 CAIR attempts to minimize his ties to the group. That is understandable, given Elashi’s 2004 conviction on six criminal counts, including making false statements, conspiracy to violate the Export Administration Regulations and the Libyan Sanctions Regulations, and conspiracy to file false shipper’s export declaration forms.165 Jurors were unable to reach unanimous verdicts on the charges against him in the HLF trial.

In Senate testimony, CAIR’s Nihad Awad said “Mr. Elashi was never an employee or officer of our corporation. The fact that he was once associated with one of our almost twenty regional chapters has no legal significance to our corporation.”166 Again, in January 2007, Awad had this to say when U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Cal.) rescinded an award to CAIR employee Bassim Elkarra: “Ghassan Elashi was a former member of CAIR in Dallas.

— he did not do it on CAIR’s behalf. This is true guilt by association. We have tens of thousands of members nationwide, and it will be very unfair to hold the organization responsible for the actions of an individual.”

Elashi was also chairman168 and treasurer of HLF and vice president of marketing for Infocom, a computer export company.170 On December 17, 2002, Elashi and Infocom were indicted for engaging in financial transactions with Libya, Syria, and Mousa Abu Marzook. According to the indictment, Elashi and Infocom received at least $250,000 from accounts controlled by Marzook. Infocom was found guilty on all 10 counts with which it was charged. Additionally, Elashi and his brothers, Basman and Bayan, were found guilty of the Marzook-related charges on April 13, 2005.

The Elashi brothers were convicted on the Infocom computer equipment charges in July 2004 and on the Marzook/Hamas related charges in April 2005. Ghassan and Basman Elashi were sentenced to 80 months in prison and Bayan Elashi was sentenced to 84 months in prison. Ihsan Elashi was sentenced to 72 months in prison; he had already been sentenced to 48 months on separate charges and his terms will run consecutively.

Hazim Elashi was sentenced to 66 months in prison and will be deported upon completion of his term.

Randall (Ismail) Royer

According to a biography posted on, Royer began working as a CAIR communication specialist in 1997. According to media reports, he continued to work for CAIR at least through the beginning of October 2001.

When police stopped Royer for a traffic violation in September 2001, they found in his automobile an AK-47-style rifle and 219 rounds of ammunition.

He was indicted in June 2003, with 10 others, on a variety of charges stemming from participation in the ongoing jihad in Kashmir. Specifically, the indictment charged that Royer engaged in propaganda work for Lashkar-e-Taiba and “fired at Indian positions in Kashmir.” Lashkar-e-Taiba was designated a Foreign Terrorist Organization on December 26, 2001.

Thus, while news reports indicated he still worked for CAIR, according to a federal indictment, Royer purchased an AK-47 assault rifle and 219 rounds of ammunition, distributed newsletters for a group later designated as a foreign terrorist organization, and fired at Indian targets in Kashmir. Again, Awad has minimized CAIR’s ties to Royer, noting Royer was also “a former employee of Starbucks Coffee.”185 In January 2007, in response to Senator Boxer’s withdrawal of the award to Elkarra, Awad claimed that “CAIR had no knowledge of Royer’s travels and activities before he joined CAIR.”

Additional charges listed in a superseding indictment against Royer and his 10 co- conspirators included conspiracy to levy war against the United States and conspiracy to provide material support to Al Qaeda.

On January 16, 2004, Royer pleaded guilty to weapons and explosives charges and agreed to cooperate fully with the government. He was sentenced to 20 years in prison.

In January 2007, two weeks after U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Cal.) rescinded an award to one of its employees, CAIR released an open letter, ironically titled, “DE-MYSTIFYING ‘URBAN LEGENDS’ ABOUT CAIR.” It once again downplayed Royer’s conviction and ties to CAIR, writing:


In January 2004, Royer pleaded guilty to weapons charges and did not plead guilty to any charge of “terrorism.” Notwithstanding the fact that any criminal action to which he pleaded guilty was done when Royer was no longer employed with CAIR and not at CAIR’s direction, it is important to note that the only crimes that he pleaded guilty to were weapons charges, not charges of terrorism.

The word “terrorism” does not, in fact, appear in the charges to which Royer pleaded guilty. But the charges were related to his activities in connection to Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), a Specially Designated Global Terrorist, and in furtherance of the terrorist activities of that group, including against the U.S. military.

As part of his plea, Royer admitted to calling his LeT contact in Pakistan – in September 2001 while press accounts indicate he was still employed with CAIR – and providing physical descriptions of his associates who wanted to join the jihad, as well as giving one of his cell members instructions and contact information for reaching LeT once they arrived in Pakistan. Four of his friends then departed Northern Virginia for Pakistan – two on September 19, 2001 and two on September 20 – to train with LeT with the intention of fighting alongside the Taliban against U.S. forces in anticipation of an American invasion of Afghanistan.

On page two of his plea agreement, Royer “admits the facts set forth in the statement of facts filed with this plea agreement.” That statement clearly explains Royer’s relationship to LeT, which the government alleged began in February 2000, meaning almost all of it coincided with Royer’s employment with CAIR.

  1. In or about the fall of 2001, in the Eastern District of Virginia, RANDALL TODD ROYER aided and abetted the use and discharge of a semi-automatic pistol by Masoud Khan, Yong Kwon, Mohammad Aatique, and Khwaja Hasan in Pakistan during, in relation to, and in furtherance of a crime of violence for which the defendant may be prosecuted in a court of the United States. In specific, ROYER assisted Khan, Kwon, Aatique, and Hasan in gaining entry to a jihad camp run by the Lashkar-e-Taiba in Pakistan so that they could train in the use of various weapons; as a foreseeable part of that training, and in furtherance of the conspiracy charged in Count One of the Indictment against the defendant, Khan, Kwon, Aatique, and Hasan fired semiautomatic
  1. In or about the summer of 2000, in the Eastern District of Virginia, RANDALL TODD ROYER aided and abetted the carrying of an explosive in Pakistan during the commission of a felony which may be prosecuted in a court of the United States. In specific, ROYER aided and abetted the carrying of a rocket-propelled grenade at a Lashkar-e-Taiba camp in Pakistan by Ibrahim Al-Hamdi, during the commission of a conspiracy to provide for, and prepare a means for taking part in a military expedition and enterprise to be carried on from the United States against the territory and dominion of India, a foreign state with whom the United States was at peace, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Sections 371 and
  1. On or about April 10, 2000, ROYER entered Pakistan, and found the LET office in Lahore. There, he said that he had previously fought in Bosnia and that-be wanted to go help fight in Chechnya. The LET representatives verified Royer’s story about having previously fought in Bosnia, and told him that LET could get him to Chechnya.
  1. During his time at the LET offices in Lahore, in or about early May 2000, ROYER was taken up to the LET training camps including Ibn Tayrniyaa, Aqsa, and fin Masood, and to the front line in Kashmir. At the front line, ROYER was given – – and took – – an opportunity to shoot some rounds at Indian positions in Kashmir with a machine gun.
  1. [After September 16, 2001 and before September 19, 2001] ROYER met with Kwon and Hasan at a 7-11 store in Virginia. Using a long distance telephone card purchased at the 7-11 store, ROYER provided to his LET contact in Pakistan the physical descriptions of Kwon and Hasan, as individuals who wished to go to LET. ROYER provided Kwon with instructions and a phone number to call when they arrived in Pakistan. (emphasis added)

CAIR’s word games regarding the word “terrorism” in Royer’s plea cannot change the fact that their employee conspired to engage in a holy war against an ally of the United States, and, as Royer has also admitted, against the U.S. itself.

In later grand jury testimony relating to a Virginia imam and released by the U.S. Attorney’s office, Royer admitted again that his terrorist cell’s goal was to directly fight the United States on behalf of the Taliban.

Royer’s testimony centers on a secret meeting Sept. 16, 2001 with his “Virginia Jihad” cell. There, Royer said, Imam Ali al-Timimi discussed his “view of the September 11th attacks and what the response of Muslims in the United States should be now.” Al-Timimi came equipped with a printout of a fatwa from a Saudi Sheikh which approved of the 9/11 attacks, Royer said, and predicted that the U.S. would soon invade Afghanistan and that “it was a positive thing for Muslims to go and help the Taliban defend against U.S. invasion.”

If possible, Royer recalled al-Timimi saying, cell members should go join the mujahedin. To Royer, that meant in pretty clear terms that, that it would be beneficial for us to go and help them – help the Taliban.”  Royer testified he wanted to act on that advice.

“Well, what I said was that if anyone wanted to, to join mujahedin then they should get training first, and if they wanted to so they, they could obtain it from Lashkar-e- Taiba, an organization based in Kashmir with whom I had contact.” (emphasis added)

As stated above, the meeting with al-Timimi, Royer and the other members of the Virginia Jihad cell occurred while news accounts say Royer was still employed with CAIR.

Bassem Khafagi

As late as November 1, 2002, Bassem Khafagi served as CAIR’s director of community relations.

Khafagi was arrested in January 2003 and indicted in February that year on bank fraud charges. “At the time of his arrest,” the Associated Press reported, “he was community affairs director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, a Muslim civil rights and advocacy group based in Washington.”199 In September 2003, he pleaded guilty to bank and visa fraud and agreed to be deported to Egypt.

In 2003 testimony, Awad claimed that “Khafagi was never an ‘employee’ of CAIR. He was commissioned as an independent contractor for CAIR, effective November 2, 2001.”

But even Khafagi’s own 2008 biography identifies him as the “former director of the Public Relations office” for CAIR. Khafagi also served as a founding member and president of the Islamic Assembly of North America (IANA). IANA was investigated for money laundering and recruiting terrorists over the Internet; the FBI raided its offices in February 2003.

IANA has created a dozen or more Web sites whose objective, prosecutors have stated in court papers, was the “dissemination of radical Islamic ideology, the purpose of which was indoctrination, recruitment of members and the instigation of acts of violence and terrorism.”

According to corporate records, Khafagi served in a leadership position at IANA during the period that senior Al Qaeda recruiter Abdelrahman al-Dosari (a.k.a. Shaykh Abu Abdel Aziz “Barbaros”) spoke at IANA’s 1993, 1994 and 1995 conferences.

Nabil Sadoun

Nabil Sadoun currently serves on CAIR’s board of directors and is a board member and past chair of CAIR-Texas. He helped found the United Association for Studies and Research (UASR) with Hamas leader Marzook. According to a government motion filed in a criminal prosecution, “UASR, through its Executive Director, has demonstrated its sympathies for Hamas and…several of its key associates are, or have been, integrally involved in Hamas activities.”

As noted earlier, the UASR was listed among the organizations in the Muslim Brotherhood’s “Palestine Committee” in America.

Sadoun also was a co-founder of the Muslim American Youth Association (MAYA) and was associated with MAYA through at least 2001. Other co-founders included Osama bin Laden’s nephew, Abdullah, and the group was funded with a $250,000 grant from the Bin Laden Construction Company in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.

MAYA’s conferences, many of which it co-sponsored with IAP, have long supported Hamas.

For example, in 1989, at an IAP/MAYA conference, a masked Hamas commander praised a Hamas operative for driving a civilian bus off the road into a ravine, killing 17 persons. The crowd responded with shouts of “God is great!” And Muhammad Jarrad, a detained Hamas terrorist, acknowledged in an April 1993 interrogation that he had been a member of MAYA for “4 or 5 years.” Jarrad said that, at the 1993 MAYA conference held in Oklahoma City, he had met Hamas leader Marzook.

Another convicted Hamas member, Nasser Hidmi, was invited by a senior Hamas recruiter to a MAYA conference in Kansas City, Missouri, in 1990.221 Hidmi alleged that separate meetings were conducted during the conference specifically for Hamas supporters. Hidmi testified that during another MAYA conference in Kansas City in 1991, Hamas members discussed preparing terrorist attacks against Israel.

Additionally, in December 1992, MAYA’s Arabic language periodical Al-Amal quoted Sadoun as saying that MAYA had “introduced to the whole American [people] symbols of the awakening like Dr. Abdullah Azzam.” Azzam was Osama bin Laden’s spiritual advisor and a co-founder of Al Qaeda’s predecessor, the Makhtab Al-Khidamat. In May 1988, Azzam had been invited to address the annual MAYA national conference held in the United States.

Sadoun also served as a director of American Products International (API). Federal investigators say API is a component of the SAAR network. Investigators believe that network provided “material or financial support to international terrorists and terrorist organizations through terrorist front organizations” including Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad.

Mohammad El-Mezain

El-Mezain is the former chairman and director of endowments for HLF. Three years after the Treasury Department froze HLF’s assets, El-Mezain conducted fundraising at a CAIR-New York event, soliciting over $100,000 for his CAIR hosts. Nihad Awad and Omar Ahmad both attended the event. Mezain was indicted soon afterward for providing material support to Hamas. Jurors acquitted El-Mezain of all but one count against him in the HLF trial. He still faces a charge of conspiring to provide material support to a terrorist group.

According to an FBI memorandum released in conjunction with freezing assets of the Holy Land Foundation in 2001 for providing material support to a terrorist group, El-Mezain helped raise $207,000 at the 1994 MAYA conference in Los Angeles. El-Mezain led a fundraising drive after a fiery speech by keynote speaker Sheik Muhammed Siyam, who was introduced as the head of the HAMAS military wing in Gaza.

In his speech, Siyam said “Finish off the Israelis. Kill them all! Exterminate them! No peace ever!”

An FBI informant reported that El-Mezain told the audience that money raised by HLF went to Hamas and that he had raised $1.8 million inside the United States for HAMAS. Further, the source said, El-Mezain said all HLF money was “strictly for Hamas.

Riad Abdelkarim

Abdelkarim served as CAIR’s Western Region communications director from 2000- 2002, as well as a CAIR Southern California board member in 2000 and 2002.

He also served as HLF’s secretary in 2000 and was an HLF board member when the organization was shut down in December 2001. He defended HLF after the shutdown, telling the Los Angeles Times, “I think it’s shameful that our country’s best known and most trusted American Muslim charity has been so horribly lynched by President Bush and offered as a sacrificial lamb to Israel…”

Following HLF’s shutdown, Abdelkarim formed an Islamic charity called KinderUSA with former HLF fundraiser and spokeswoman Dallel Mohmed. In May 2002, Abdelkarim and Mohmed, were detained in Israel and interrogated about their financial support for Hamas. Released after two weeks, he agreed never to return to Israel. In December 2004, KinderUSA suspended operations and entered a “period of evaluation and review” in the face of an FBI investigation but has since resumed operations.

Rabih Haddad

Rabih Haddad served as a fundraiser for CAIR’s Ann Arbor chapter. Haddad was chairman of the Global Relief Foundation (GRF). After 9/11, CAIR asked people to donate to GRF to assist the victims of the attacks.

On December 14, 2001 the FBI raided GRF’s Bridgeview headquarters and arrested Haddad, its chairman, on a visa violation. In November 2002, an immigration judge denied his application for asylum, concluding that he presented “a substantial risk to the national security of the United States.” According to the Treasury Department, Haddad was a member of Makhtab Al-Khidamat, the precursor organization to Al Qaeda.

He was deported to Lebanon in July 2003.

The Global Relief Foundation (GRF) began operating in the United States as a tax-exempt, nonprofit charitable organization in 1992. Based in Bridgeview, Illinois, it grew into one of the largest Islamic charities in the United States. GRF described itself as a not-for-profit, nongovernmental organization set up to provide humanitarian and charitable relief to Muslims, especially in conflict zones such as Afghanistan, Bosnia, Chechnya, Kashmir, and Lebanon, through a network of overseas offices. In addition to undertaking this charitable work, however, the organization served as a propaganda organ for global jihad, and the U.S. government has alleged that GRF funded violent jihadism. GRF had an initial budget of about $700,000. By the end of the 1990s, it was reporting more than $5 million in annual contributions. The organization’s tax filings indicate that 90 percent of the money donated between 1994 and 2000 was sent abroad. An FBI memorandum notes that “some materials distributed by GRF glorify ‘martyrdom through jihad’ and state that donations will be used to buy ammunition, equip ‘the raiders’ and support the Mujahedin.” GRF had overseas registered offices in Islamabad, Pakistan; Brussels, Belgium; Sarajevo, Bosnia; Zagreb, Croatia; and Baku, Azerbaijan.

The FBI began investigating GRF prior to 9/11, suspecting that it supported Islamic extremism and had high-level affiliations with an al Qaeda precursor organization in Pakistan. Chicago FBI agents summarized their findings in a January 6, 2000 memo:

Although the majority of GRF funding goes toward legitimate relief operations, a significant percentage is diverted to fund extremist causes. Among the terrorist groups known to have links to GRF are the Algerian Armed Islamic Group, the Egyptian Islamic Jihad, Gama’at Al Islamyia, and the Kashmiri Harakat Al Jihad El Islam, as well as the Al Qaeda organization of Usama Bin Laden. . . . In the past, GRF support to terrorists and other transnational mujahideen fighters has taken the form of purchase and shipment of large quantities of sophisticated communications equipment, provision of humanitarian cover documentation to suspected terrorists and fund-raising for terrorist groups under the cover of humanitarian relief.

On the day of Haddad’s 2001 arrest, NATO soldiers and United Nations police raided GRF’s offices in Kosovo. The U.S. Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) took control of GRF’s assets, informing the GRF:

The United States Government has reason to believe that Global Relief Foundation, Inc. (“GRFI”) may be engaged in activities that violate the International Emergency Economic Powers Act, 50 U.S.C. §§ 1701-06 (“IEEPA”). You are hereby notified that pursuant to the authorities granted by the IEEPA, the U.S. Department of the Treasury is blocking all funds and accounts and business records in which GRFI has any interest, pending further investigation and resolution of this matter.

GRF sued then-Treasury Secretary Paul O’Neill, then-Secretary of State Colin Powell, then-Attorney General John Ashcroft, and FBI Director Robert Mueller, challenging the seizure of its assets, in January 2002. The district court denied GRF’s request for an injunction against the government officials. The case went to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit where the court found in favor of the officials.

Sayyid Syeed

Syeed served on CAIR’s board of advisors in 2000.

He was IIIT’s director of academic outreach from 1984-1994, and is a current member of the international advisory board to the American Journal of Islamic Social Sciences, an IIIT publication.  There are significant financial, ideological and personal connections between IIIT and WISE, the latter of which the U.S. government has identified as “a front group” for the Palestinian Islamic Jihad.

Syeed also was a founding director of the American Muslim Council (AMC) in 1990274and is listed as a director and/or treasurer of the organization from 1990 to at least 1997.

During this time, AMC was headed by Abdurahman Alamoudi  — indicted in September 2003 for illegal financial dealings with Libya and, according to court documents, provided financial support to Hamas and Al Qaeda. Alamoudi pleaded guilty to engaging in prohibited transactions with a foreign country and was sentenced to 23 years in jail in October 2004. He also has admitted his involvement in a plot, masterminded by Libyan leader Muammar Qadaffi, to assassinate Crown Prince Abdullah of Saudi Arabia.

Syeed has served on the board of advisory editors of UASR’s publication, Middle East Affairs Journal.

Since 1995 Syeed has been the secretary general of the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), investigated by the Senate Finance Committee for its ties to terrorism. The investigation ended without drawing any conclusions. HLF (then known as the Occupied Land Fund) was initially located at the same address as ISNA. Furthermore, in 1986, ISNA gave $170,000 in start-up capital to the Islamic African Relief Agency (IARA), an organization that the U.S. government shut down in October 2004 for funding Hamas and Al Qaeda.

Siraj Wahhaj

Wahhaj has been a member of CAIR’s board of advisors and a frequent speaker at CAIR events.

As the imam of al-Taqwa mosque in Brooklyn, N.Y., he hosted speeches by Sheikh Omar Abdel Rahman, the mastermind of the New York City landmarks bombing plot. Wahhaj later served as a witness on the sheikh’s behalf during his 1995 trial. An October 2003 Wall Street Journal profile of Wahhaj noted that “the imam takes great pains to remain neutral about Osama bin Laden.”

In 1991, Wahhaj told the Islamic Association of Northern Texas that Operation Desert Storm was part of a plan “to destroy the greatest challenge to the Western world, and that is Islam.” He continued, “I see the demise of the Soviet Union as a sign for the American people that what happened to the Soviet Union will defiantly happen in America unless America changes its path from the new world order and accepts the Islamic agenda.”

Ihsan Bagby

Bagby served on CAIR’s national board of directors and as a member of ISNA’s Fiqh Committee. Bagby has said about Muslims in America, “Ultimately we can never be full citizens of this country…because there is no way we can be fully committed to the institutions and ideologies of this country.”

Muthanna Al-Hanooti

Once the executive director of CAIR’s Michigan office, Al-Hanooti was arrested in March 2008 on charges of conspiracy and providing false statements to federal law enforcement officials. Investigators say Al-Hanooti became a spy for Saddam Hussein’s government, working with Iraqi intelligence on a plan to persuade the United States to lift economic sanctions against Iraq.

The allegations involve Al-Hanooti’s work with Life for Relief and Development (LIFE), a Muslim charity that operates in Iraq, Afghanistan, Sierra Leone, and the Palestinian territories. According to the Free Press, the indictment alleges “Al-Hanooti would travel to Iraq and meet with conspirators of the Iraqi Intelligence Service. The indictment says that Al-Hanooti was rewarded with 2 million barrels of oil for his work.

The indictment also alleges that Al-Hanooti’s involvement in the conspiracy began in 1999 and ended in 2003, covering the time he worked for CAIR.

I. CAIR and Hamas

In addition to their roots in the IAP, a Palestine Committee organization that served as a Hamas propaganda organ, top CAIR officials have refused to criticize Hamas, even in the wake of deadly attacks.

CAIR incorporator and current executive director Nihad Awad has publicly expressed his support for Hamas. At a symposium at Barry University in Florida on March 22, 1994, he said, “I am in support of the Hamas movement.” Again, on CBS’ 60 Minutes in November 1994, when Mike Wallace asked him what he thought “of the military undertakings of Hamas,” Awad responded, “the United Nations Charter grants people who are under occupation [the right] to defend themselves against illegal occupation.”

Awad also has echoed Hamas’ absolute rejection of Israel’s legitimacy. In an April 1994 letter to the editor of The Message, an American-Muslim publication, he criticized the magazine for using the term “Israel.”  “I hope,” he wrote, “that the use of ‘Israel’ in your news briefs was the result of an oversight and not intentional…Furthermore I hope you will return to the terminology ‘Occupied Palestine’ to refer to that Holy Land.”

Awad has sought to justify these clear statements of support for Hamas in terms of their timing. In Senate testimony, he wrote, “You will never find a CAIR statement supporting Hamas after the commencement of suicide bombings and United States government’s designation of them as a foreign terrorist organization on January 24, 1995.” Similarly, Awad commented on the context of his Barry University remarks, “It [Hamas] has not attacked civilians then, and it was not designated by the United States government as a terrorist organization.”

In fact, Hamas had executed numerous attacks prior to the 1995 Executive Order. Here are just a few examples:

  • On May 3, 1989, a Hamas member stabbed five people, killing two of them, in a Jerusalem
  • On October 16, 1992, Hamas stabbed an orthodox Jewish seminary
  • On January 3, 1993, Hamas bombed a 
  • On September 24, 1993, Israeli discovered the body of an Israeli farm worker who had been stabbed to death. On his corpse was a note from
  • On April 6, 1994, a Hamas suicide bomber blew up a bus in northern Israel, killing eight and wounding
  • Days later, on April 13, 1994, another Hamas suicide bomber blew up a bus, killing five and injuring
  • On October 9, 1994, two Hamas terrorists ran down a busy street firing AK-47s indiscriminately. Two people were killed – one Israeli and one

Thirteen were injured including an American diplomat.

The 1992 State Department Patterns of Global Terrorism report states, “Various elements of HAMAS have used both political and violent means including terrorism, to pursue the goal of establishing an Islamic Palestinian State in place of Israel…Other elements, operating clandestinely, have advocated and used violence to advance their goals.”

It is also notable that CAIR opposed the 1995 Executive Order. CAIR spokesman Ibrahim Hooper told the Washington Post, “We’ve been fearing something like this for a long time because there have been elements in the pro-Israeli lobby accusing Muslim groups of raising money for these kinds of purposes, with no evidence whatsoever of diversion of funds.”

And while some CAIR officials have avoided openly stating their support for Hamas following the 1995 Executive Order, one leader was not so circumspect.

Speaking at a 2001 event at the New York Interfaith Center, Ghazi Khankan, who served as executive director of CAIR-NY from at least April 2001315 through September 2004,316 said, “The people of Hamas who direct their attacks on the Israeli military are in the correct position.” When pressed on his definition of a “civilian,” Khankan revealed his view that anyone over 18 was a legitimate target: “Who is a soldier in Israel and who is not? Anyone over eighteen is automatically inducted into the service and they are all reserves. Therefore, Hamas in my opinion looks at them as part of the military. Those who are below 18 should not be attacked.”

Others have also openly supported violence against Israelis.

The Cleveland Plain Dealer summarized the attitude of Hooper, CAIR’s chief spokesman like this:  “While the Islamic council says it has denounced suicide bombings against  Israeli civilians, spokesman Ibrahim Hooper yesterday would not criticize suicide attacks against Israeli soldiers. Instead, he spoke of Palestinians exercising ‘the right to resist military occupation.’” And, in January 2004, at an event in Los Angeles, CAIR-Southern California Executive Director Ayloush affirmed the “legitimate right of the Palestinians to defend themselves against the Israeli occupation.”

CAIR officials have been notably silent when asked to condemn Hamas.

An October 27, 2001 National Journal article reported, “Asked to describe CAIR’s view of Hamas, spokesman Hooper declined to comment.”321 A November 18, 2001 Washington Post article quoted Hooper as saying, in response to an Anti-Defamation League (ADL) request to condemn Hamas and Islamic Jihad by name, “It’s not our job to go around denouncing, that when they say jump, we say how high.” Asked by the Pittsburgh Post- Gazette in February 2002 to condemn Hamas, Hooper called such questions a “game” and declared, “We’re not in the business of condemning.”

Asked in a May 27, 2003 deposition, “Do you support Hamas,” Omar Ahmad responded, “It depends. Qualify ‘support.’” Similarly, he was asked whether he had “ever taken a position with respect to…[Hamas’] ‘martyrdom attacks.’” Ahmad responded, “No.”

In addition to voicing its support for “martyrs’” families and refusing to label Hamas a terrorist group, CAIR vocally protested the killing of Hamas leaders.

On March 22, 2004, Israel assassinated Hamas founder Ahmed Yassin “CAIR Condemns Israeli Assassination of Religious Leader,” the organization announced in a press release that day. It criticized Israel for killing a “wheelchair-bound Palestinian Muslim religious leader.” Similarly, after an Israeli missile killed Abdel Aziz Rantisi, Yassin’s replacement as head of Hamas, CAIR issued an April 17, 2004 press release blasting Israel for killing a “political leader.”

CAIR’s 1997 report, “The Status of Muslim Civil Rights in the United States,” characterized as an act of discrimination the failure of the U.S. government to respond to pressure by the Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC) to investigate and “to seek justice” for the death of Ahmed Hamida, an Arab-American terrorist killed in Jerusalem. In its description of the incident, CAIR depicted Ahmed as an innocent “Palestinian-American Muslim” visitor “gunned down by armed Israelis.”  CAIR also implied that the shooting was committed in retaliation for a Tel Aviv bus bombing that occurred a day prior to Hamida’s killing.

CAIR failed to mention that Hamida was shot by civilians while attempting to flee after deliberately driving his car into a group of Israelis waiting at a Jerusalem bus stop. In the attack, he killed a mother of two and injured 22 other Israelis. The subsequent investigation left no doubt that the car crash was not an accident, but rather a terrorist attack. Eyewitnesses heard Hamida yell “Allahu Akbar!” as he jumped out of his car. Also, he had indicated to friends on the morning before the attack that they would see him on television that night. Hamas later took credit for the attack.

Also of note is the fact that in 1994, IAP posted a CAIR press release that closely mirrored language in Hamas’ Covenant. The press release, which discussed the Hussein-Rabin Summit, was quickly modified to remove this text. The covenant says Hamas “believes that the land of Palestine has been an Islamic Waqf [endowment] throughout the generations and until the Day of Resurrection, no one can renounce it or part of it, or abandon it or part of it.”

CAIR’s original release described the Cairo and Oslo peace agreements as a chance “for all those who met secretly with the Zionists behind the scenes to come out in public and take their masks off.

We have affirmed repeatedly the danger of such agreements lies in abandoning the basic legitimate Palestinian rights, and it is a way to penetrate economically, politically, and culturally the ME region where Arab states are in their worst conditions.  Thus, we affirm the followings:

  1. Palestine is an Islamic and Arabic land which no one has the right to trade, sell, or give up
  2. The current situation of the Arab states is at a weakness stage that must end sooner or later, and rights can’t be lost with signing

Hamas has itself posted CAIR information and activities updates on its official web site (, including a June 5, 2001 article in which Nihad Awad called for a demonstration at the U.S. State Department to protest American support for Israel.

IV. CAIR and Terrorism: Blanket Opposition to U.S. Investigations, Equivocal Condemnations for Plots Against America

This section assesses CAIR’s reaction to direct questions about terrorist acts and American efforts to crack down on those who facilitate them. CAIR claims that it has unequivocally condemned 9/11, but a number of its officials openly and repeatedly espoused conspiracy theories questioning Al Qaeda’s responsibility for the most devastating terrorist attacks in American history.

And when it comes to domestic investigations CAIR casts virtually any law enforcement action as an assault on all American Muslims. Missing is any possibility that a radical element, unwelcome in its midst, has been exposed.

CAIR hesitated on a number of fronts immediately after 9/11. On Sept. 14, 2001, CAIR- New York issued a qualified condemnation on its email list: “If such attacks were carried out by a Muslim — as some biased groups claim — then we, in the name of our religion, deny the act and incriminate the perpetrator.”

Four days later, in an online chat with the Washington Post, CAIR-New York Executive Director Ghazi Khankan launched a propaganda campaign casting the attacks as part of a conspiracy to discredit Muslims. It would continue for weeks. A cousin in Saudi Arabia sent him local newspaper reports “that two of the supposed terrorists who hit the Twin Towers whose names were given showed up (sic) Saudi Arabia,” he said during the chat. “Somebody is stealing passports and using them for such horrific acts. I wonder who is behind this terrorism and who benefits from it. Based on this discovery of these two names printed in the Saudi newspaper along with their pictures, I believe that many of the names of the terrorists are people impersonating innocent Muslims and Arabs.”

Similarly, CAIR spokesman Ibrahim Hooper hesitated in condemning Al Qaeda. “We condemn terrorism.  We condemn the attacks on the buildings,” he told in a Sept. 26, 2001 article. He declined to condemn Bin Laden outright. “If Osama bin Laden was behind it, we condemn him by name.” Reporter Jake Tapper asked Hooper why the “if” — why qualify the response?

“Hooper said he resented the question.”

CAIR-NY then pushed Khankan’s conspiracy theory that the hijackers were misidentified. On Oct. 5, 2001 it encouraged constituents to write letters to The New York Times saying “two of the 19 suspects: Abdulaziz Alomari and Saeed Alghamdi could not have been on the hijacked planes because they are still alive and are working in Saudi Arabia…Last week, the father of Mohamed Atta…was interviewed on the Egyptian Satellite Arabic Channel and said that his son, Mohamed Atta, was well and alive working now in the Untied Arab Emirates!…If three of the 19 suspected ‘hijackers’ are still alive, who were the other 16? The important questions are: Who is impersonating these three Muslim Arabs? Why are Muslim Arabs been (sic) implicated in this terrorism? And, who could ‘benefit’ from this horrific tragedy?”

Khankan repeated himself at a CAIR fundraiser in Vienna, Va. two days later, asking “Why is it assumed that Muslims were behind the attack on Sept. 11? …We know for sure at least three (unintelligible) whose names appear as part of the nineteen hijackers, who, in my opinion, have hijacked Islam. These people are still alive in the Middle East. The question is, who is impersonating these Muslim names? Who benefits from assuming that Muslims are behind this tragedy, and who benefits from this tragedy?”

At no point did CAIR publicly rebuke Khankan or disassociate itself from his statements. Khankan was at it again in an Oct. 14, 2001 Newsday article. Atta, he said yet again, was alive and well in the United Arab Emirates, the victim of a stolen passport. “Yet the FBI insists he was one of the hijackers. Why hasn’t the media reported this?” He insisted at least two hijackers were in Saudi Arabia in a subsequent Newsday story four days later. “I spoke with the Saudi ambassador recently and he confirmed that.” Again, he asked “who really benefits from such a horrible tragedy that is blamed on Muslims and Arabs?” It was not until December 2001, three months after the attacks, that CAIR finally released a statement acknowledging Bin Laden’s role in 9/11. And that was only after Bin Laden himself claimed credit for the attacks in a videotape aired around the world.

· CAIR-Canada Board Member’s 9/11 Conspiracy Theory

Advisory Board member Jamal Badawi, called the 9/11 attacks “un-Islamic” and “I strongly condemn” them, he told the Saudi Gazette. But, he said, it had not yet been confirmed who was actually behind the attacks. This wasn’t weeks after the attack, but in June 2005.

To Badawi, terrorists “are the ones who occupy others land by force, subjugate people and take away their rights by killing them and destroying their property.”

He applied similar logic to the violence in Iraq, alleging the America government was behind suicide car bomb attacks killing civilians: “There have been allegations that I cannot confirm that people going to the market to buy vegetables are stopped in the name of inspecting their cars by [American] forces, their hands are tied and they are blindfolded. There have been cases and I want a clarification from American officials to these allegations. After inspecting their cars they are allowed to go and when the car reaches [the] checkpoint it explodes and they call them suicide bombers, perhaps the occupants of the car were not even aware that they are carrying a bomb in their car. Such incidents should be thoroughly probed.”

· CAIR “Know Your Rights” Speaker Promotes 9/11 Conspiracy Theory, Anti- Semitism

CAIR tolerated continued 9/11 revisionism at a “Know Your Rights” workshop it sponsored in San Diego two months later. Invited speaker and civil rights lawyer Randall Hamud said he understood an audience member’s comment that “enemies of Islam are successful at… putting Muslims on the defensive. There’s still no evidence that Muslims carried out 9-11.”

A lot of people felt that way, Hamud said. “And maybe a hundred years from now we’ll find that out.”

At the same event, Hamud dismissed a recent “Fatwa Against Terrorism” from the Fiqh Council and endorsed by CAIR as an empty public relations gesture:  “And this latest one, if it’s worded appropriately with the leadership of the various masjids across the country and they want to sign it, fine. You just need to read it and sign it and decide what you want to do with it. But it’s a fatwa I think for popular consumption in the United States. You try to get the religion off the hook with the media, it isn’t gonna work. Because a lot of the people in the media is controlled by basically Zionists.”

CAIR Consistently Opposes the U.S. Government’s Investigations into Terrorist Financiers and Supporters

As the following examples show, when the Treasury Department freezes the assets of a charity which sent money to a terrorist group, it’s a baseless attack on the Muslim community. When the FBI raids offices of a suspected terrorist supporter it’s “a fishing expedition” with no proof. And when federal grand juries indict people on charges of supporting or even planning terrorist attacks, it’s evidence of a justice system that can’t be fair to Muslims.

· CAIR Florida defends Boca Raton doctor accused of conspiring to provide material support to Al-Qaeda.

Dr. Rafiq Sabir of Boca Raton was charged, along with an accomplice (Tariq Shah of New York), in May of 2005 with providing material support to al-Qaeda. The government alleges that Sabir agreed to “provide medical assistance to wounded jihadists” in Saudi Arabia, while Shah was to provide them with martial arts and hand-to-hand combat training.

Altaf Ali, the CAIR executive director in Pembroke Pines, attended Sabir’s court hearing on May 31, 2005. He told the Palm Beach Post that Sabir’s companion “is devastated over the ordeal and she has remained adamant” that Sabir is innocent.

Ali told the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, “We’ve seen cases where Muslims are charged for XYZ and then cleared of the charges, so we need to make sure that all the facts are revealed. … Muslims, in general, in America are still facing a lot of adversity……………………………………………………… I understand that our country has been on a high state of alert since 9-11, but in the American justice system there’s still the presumption of innocence.”

At his trial, Sabir was shown on video making the bayat, the pledge of allegiance, to Al Qaeda. Sabir was convicted May 21, 2007. He was sentenced to 25 years in prison on November 28, 2007. CAIR has yet to issue any statement regarding the conviction.

· CAIR warned that the arrest of two Albany men on charges of taking part in what they thought was a plot to import a shoulder-fired missile and assassinate a Pakistani diplomat could be used to “smear Muslims and to demonize Islam.”

On Aug. 5, 2004, Yassin Aref, the imam of the Masjid As-Salam mosque in Albany, N.Y., and Mohammed Hossain, the mosque’s founder, were indicted after a yearlong sting operation. The pair allegedly had taken part in what they believed was a money-laundering scheme connected to the purchase of shoulder-fired missiles and the planned assassination of the Pakistani ambassador to the United Nations.

According to the criminal complaint, Hossain told an FBI informant that “he was a member of Jamaat-e-Islami (‘JEI’), a group identified…as an Islamic fundamentalist political party in Pakistan…” Additionally, in the summer of 2003, U.S. troops raided an Ansar al-Islam terrorist training camp in northern Iraq and found a notebook that contained Aref’s name along with his former Albany address and telephone number.

CAIR issued a press release following the indictment calling the allegations “deeply troubling to the American Muslim community…All too often, these types of cases are used by those with political or religious agendas to smear Muslims and to demonize Islam. We should stick to the facts of the case and avoid generalizations and stereotypes that only serve to create societal divisions and promote anti-Muslim bigotry.”

Additionally, Hooper commented, “There’s always a concern that people may be targeted for a sting operation like this solely because they are Muslims…It’s a perplexing case, and the question we have is whether the government got these men to do something they otherwise wouldn’t have done.”

Aref was convicted of material support in connection with an attack involving a weapon of mass destruction, money laundering, and conspiracy to provide material support to a terrorist organization in October 2006 and sentenced to 15 years in prison. Hossain was convicted on 27 counts and also sentenced to 15 years in prison.

· CAIR called the sentencing of three members of a jihad network in Northern Virginia “draconian,” and “call[ed] on Congress to conduct hearings into the selective prosecution of Muslims since the 9/11 terror attacks.”

In September 2003, 11 men alleged to be part of a Virginia jihad network were charged with conspiracy to wage war against the United States and conspiracy to provide material support to Al Qaeda.

Three of the men, Masoud Khan, Seifullah Chapman, and Hammad Abdur-Raheem were convicted on multiple charges the following March. Khan was convicted of conspiracy to wage war against the United States and providing material support to the Taliban. All three were convicted of conspiring to provide material support to Lashkar-e-Taiba, a Designated Foreign Terrorist Organization, and to attack India in violation of the Neutrality Act, as well as various firearms-related offenses, for actions during 2000 to 2003.

Six others pleaded guilty to various charges. Two men, Caliph Basha Abdur-Raheem and Sabri Benkahla, were acquitted.

CAIR-Maryland issued a press release decrying the convictions. The group’s executive director stated, “Although we pride our legal system on the theory of ‘presumption of innocence,’ the perception within the American Muslim community is that Muslims and Arabs are automatically considered guilty until proven innocent.”

Abdur-Raheem was sentenced to life in prison, Chapman to 85 years, and Khan to 97 months.

“It is the near universal perception in the Islamic community that these men would never have been charged had they not been Muslims, and that once convicted, prosecutors would never have sought such draconian sentences,” CAIR said in response.

“Under the current administration,” the statement continued, “we are quickly approaching a state of affairs in which there is a two-tier prosecutorial system in America; one system for Muslims, and one for all other Americans. This disturbing trend should be of concern to everyone who values America’s centuries-long tradition of equal justice under the law. We call on Congress to conduct hearings into the selective prosecution of Muslims since the 9/11 terror attacks.”

The Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development

As noted in the section on “The Suspect Ties of CAIR Officials,” the U.S. government shut down HLF on Dec. 4, 2001 for funneling money to Hamas. “Money raised by the Holy Land Foundation is used by Hamas to support schools and indoctrinate children to grow up into suicide bombers,” President Bush explained at the White House. “Money raised by the Holy Land Foundation is also used by Hamas to recruit suicide bombers and to support their families.”

CAIR spokesman Ibrahim Hooper dismissed the president’s words in interviews throughout the country. He told the Dallas Morning News the president made “political statements. These are not criminal allegations.” He told Cox News the move was “ill- advised and counter-productive. The only specific accusation is that [HLF funds] feed the orphans of suicide bombers along with hundreds of other children.” Interviewed by the New York Times, Hooper said, “This action is really creating outrage in the Muslim community. The holy foundation has a long history of being a respected Muslim charity that does good work….”

CAIR joined seven other Islamic groups in a statement the day HLF was shut down. Their release stated:

American Muslims support President Bush’s effort to cut off funding for terrorism and we call for a peaceful resolution to the Middle East conflict. These goals will not be achieved by taking food out of the mouths of Palestinian orphans or by succumbing to politically-motivated smear campaigns by those who would perpetuate Israel’s brutal occupation.

The statement continued:

“We ask that President Bush reconsider what we believe is an unjust and counterproductive move that can only damage America’s credibility with Muslims in this country and around the world and could create the impression that there has been a shift from a war on terrorism to an attack on Islam.”

Hussam Ayloush, CAIR-Southern California executive director, appeared on CNN the following day, saying the shutdown “sends a very wrong message to the American Muslim community. Because here we are, we’re saying this is a war on terrorism. Yet we target the most trusted and largest Islamic charitable organization in the U.S. It sends a wrong message to Muslims all over the world, basically, that Israel gets to dictate our foreign policy.”

HLF and its key officials were indicted in July 2004 for allegedly providing material support to Hamas. Some of the government’s evidence would come from material seized from Hamas offices by the Israeli military, a fact CAIR used to attempt to de-legitimize the case. “The government should not use evidence apparently tainted by foreign intelligence sources from a nation that has its own political agenda,” CAIR argued in a release.

Jurors deadlocked on all counts in the 2007 trial against HLF and four of the individual defendants. Jurors acquitted Mohammad El-Mezain on all but one count, that of conspiracy to provide material support to a terrorist group. A second trial is expected in 2008.

CAIR trumpeted the verdicts as a full exoneration of the defendants. “The reason it failed is the government does not have the facts; it has fear,” Awad told a reporter. Later, Awad invoked the McCarthy era as a comparison to government investigations of Muslim charities. “Today’s campaign has a different name and a different target,” Awad said. “The campaign is anti-terrorism and the target is the American Muslim community.”

Awad has not addressed his presence at the Philadelphia meeting or CAIR’s listing on the Palestine Committee roster.

DePaul University law professor M. Cherif Bassiouni issued a letter through CAIR calling the case “one of the great abuses of the American legal process.”


On the heels of the HLF designation, the U.S. government blocked the assets of the Benevolence International and Global Relief foundations on Dec. 14, 2001 saying they gave financial support to Al Qaeda.

CAIR issued an alert urging its constituents to “contact Attorney General Ashcroft to demand due process of law.” It stated, “three of the largest Muslim charities (Holy Land Foundation, Global Relief Foundation and Benevolence International Foundation) have been shut down without any judge making a ruling or any jury hearing evidence of criminal behavior.”

CAIR-NY posted on its website a petition to Ashcroft that contended, “The funds collected by these American charitable institutions do not belong to them [the U.S. government] but to the intended orphans who are waiting for their food and other necessities to survive.”

BIF’s executive director, Enaam Arnaout, was arrested on perjury charges in April 2002 for stating under oath that BIF did not support terrorism,391 CAIR spokesman Jason Erb said, “You’re going to be charged with perjury for declaring your innocence? I think it really makes American Muslims feel that they are not going to get a fair shake in the justice system.” And Hooper accused the government of using “backhanded legal technicalities.” In February 2003, Arnaout pleaded guilty to racketeering conspiracy, admitted providing items to fighters in Chechnya and Bosnia, and agreed to cooperate with the government.

When the government detained GRF co-founder Rabih Haddad on a visa violation on December 14, 2001, CAIR-Michigan board member Homam Albaroudi co-founded the Free Rabih Haddad Committee.395 In January 2002, CAIR co-sponsored a rally held outside Haddad’s court hearing. “This is not about one man. It is about defending the principles that our nation was built on,” CAIR-Michigan’s executive director, Haaris Ahmad, said.

Hooper later criticized the government for bringing Haddad’s case administratively, rather than criminally, “so evidence does not have to be produced.” In November 2002, an immigration judge denied Haddad’s application for asylum and withholding of removal, concluding that he presented “a substantial risk to the national security of the United States.” In July 2003, he was deported to Lebanon.

Additionally, CAIR-NY defended Alaa Al Sadawi, who was indicted in July 2002 along with his son, Hassan, on currency reporting violations.400 Two months earlier, federal agents had discovered that Hassan Al Sadawi, a passenger on an Egypt-bound flight

Further dismissing the legitimacy of the Infocom raid, CAIR Executive Director Awad invoked McCarthyism and called it “an assault and an insult to Muslims in America…We don’t see that there is a good probable cause for this except stereotypes.”

The raid led to indictments in December 2002 of Infocom, the Elashi brothers, Mousa Abu Marzook, and his wife Nadia Elashi. Infocom and the Elashi brothers were charged with illegally sending computer equipment to Libya and Syria and with engaging in financial transactions with Marzook, a Specially Designated Terrorist.

Marzook and Nadia Elashi live abroad and have never been apprehended in the case.

Mohamed Elmougy, CAIR Dallas-Fort Worth chairman, and Khalid Hamideh, registered agent for CAIR-Texas, held a press conference to protest the government’s action.424 “We are concerned that these charges result from what appears to be a war on Islam and Muslims rather than a war on terror,” Elmougy said.

And CAIR-DFW Executive Director Tamir Ayad426 commented, “We’re hoping that this is not a case of the government trying to limit people’s freedom of speech in their dissent of

  • foreign policy by focusing on these ”

CAIR and the IAP used their email list servers to solicit donations to the Muslim Legal Fund of America (MLFA), formed to raise money for Elashis’ defense. Three current and former CAIR officials, Waseem Nasrallah, Khalil Meek, and Ghassan Hitto were on MLFA’s board of directors in February 2007.

MLFA’s website states that the group “has built strong alliances with national organizations such as CAIR…” and MLFA advertised Omar Ahmad as a speaker at its “first Special Dinner” in March 2002.

In July 2004, Ghassan Elashi was convicted on six counts, and Infocom was found guilty on 10 at one of the two trials that resulted from the 2002 indictment.

CAIR Dallas-Fort Worth issued a statement casting the verdicts as evidence of “a growing disparity and climate of injustice for Muslims, who we feel are being selectively prosecuted and given unfair sentences precisely because they are Muslim or Arab…This growing trend of selective prosecution only furthers much of the community’s view that this is nothing but a witch-hunt against the Muslim community…The injustice waged against this family, by which over 20 children were robbed of their fathers for their crime of being Muslims in America, is only part of this tragedy we witnessed. The other victim in this ordeal is justice itself.

The indictment produced separate trials – one in 2004 on the export charges and one in 2005 for money laundering and dealing with Marzook, a specially designated terrorist. On April 13, 2005, Ghassan and Bayan Elashi, and Infocom were found guilty of all 21 federal counts they faced at the second trial resulting from the 2002 indictment, including conspiracy, money laundering and dealing in property of a terrorist. Basman Elashi, who faced the same charges, was convicted of three counts of conspiracy but acquitted on the rest. Ghassan and Basman Elashi were sentenced to 80 months in prison and Bayan Elashi was sentenced to 84 months in prison. Ihsan Elashi was sentenced to 72 months in prison; he had already been sentenced to 48 months on other charges and his terms will run consecutively. Hazim Elashi was sentenced to 66 months in prison and will be deported upon completion of his term.

· CAIR Chicago’s executive director called the Boim verdict holding IAP and HLF liable in damages for a Hamas murder a “modern day lynching and a mockery of justice.”

In December 2004, a federal magistrate judge in Illinois held three American Muslim organizations, IAP, HLF, and the Quranic Literacy Institute (QLI), as well as a high level Hamas operative, Mohammad Salah, liable for $156 million in damages440 in the 1996 death of David Boim. Boim, a 17-year-old New York native, was shot to death by a Hamas gunman while waiting at a bus stop in the West Bank town of Beit El.

Declaring the verdict a travesty of justice, then CAIR Chicago’s executive director, Yaser Tabbara, commented, “We feel that the decision is unfortunate but expected. I think this will only serve to discourage American Muslims from giving to charity.” Tabbara asserted that “there is redress for Israeli victims of Palestinian ‘terrorism’ but no redress for Palestinian victims of Israeli ‘terrorism,’… By the same logic, it should be possible for a Palestinian American to sue a U.S. organisation like the Friends of the Israeli Defence Force for the unlawful killings they perpetrate.”

Tabbara disputed the judge’s finding that Hamas terrorists killed David Boim, observing that “to my knowledge they have never claimed” responsibility. In his decision, Judge Arlander Keys had said, “all of the evidence in the record on this issue points to Hamas as the entity responsible for David’s murder.”

Previously, Tabbara had taken issue with Keys’ failure to grant a continuance to QLI, stating, “At the end of the day, what we are witnessing is a modern day lynching and a mockery of justice.”

As mentioned in “CAIR’s Origins,” an appellate court overturned the damage award and remanded the case back to the district court for further proceedings. In its ruling, the appellate judges found “the ample record evidence (particularly taking into account the classified information presented to the court in camera) establishing HLF’s role in the funding of Hamas and of its terrorist activities is incontrovertible.”

· CAIR endorsed a brochure contending that the case against Mohammed Salah and the Quranic Literacy Institute was rooted in “outrageous complaints.”

On January 25, 1993, Mohammad Salah, a naturalized American citizen and Chicago-area resident, was arrested in Israel for his membership in Hamas. In January 1995, Salah pleaded guilty in an Israeli military court to belonging to Hamas and was sentenced to five years in prison. Also in 1995, the U.S. Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Asset Control named Salah a Specially Designated Terrorist. He was released by Israel in November 1997 and permitted to return to the United States.

On June 9, 1998, the U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois filed an action for forfeiture of bank accounts and other properties belonging to Salah, his wife, and the Quranic Literacy Institute.”

The affidavit of FBI Special Agent Robert Wright stated, “A review of bank records further indicates that QLI and QLI-related entities or individuals likely were a source of funds for Salah’s Hamas-related expenditures between 1991 and his arrest in January of 1993 and beyond.” 450

A brochure published by the Chicago-based Muslim Americans for Civil Rights and Legal Defense (whose Treasurer was CAIR incorporator Rafeeq Jaber),451 contended, “Properties of well known and well respected Muslim leaders were seized by the U.S. government with some outrageous complaints.”452 The brochure listed CAIR and IAP as supporters “of this cause.” 453

· CAIR defended Hamas leader Mousa Abu Marzook.

On Aug. 7, 1995, the U.S. attorney’s office for the Southern District of New York (SDNY) requested the arrest and extradition to Israel of Mousa Abu Marzook.454 An investigation undertaken by the government of Israel had determined that Marzook should be prosecuted for murder.

Marzook was arrested at New York’s Kennedy Airport on his return from a trip to the Middle East.

On May 7, 1996, Judge Kevin Duffy (SDNY) found probable cause that Marzook “engaged in and intended to further the aims of the conspiracy by his membership in and support of the Hamas organization. I also find that probable cause exists that Abu Marzook knew of Hamas’ plan to carry out violent, murderous attacks, that he selected the leadership

and supplied the money to enable the attacks to take place, and that such attacks were, therefore, a foreseeable consequence of the conspiracy.”

As authorities mulled Marzook’s fate, CAIR came out in his support. Nihad Awad organized a press conference three days later where he called the case politically motivated and part of a campaign to drive  a wedge between America and Islamic countries.”

The following month, CAIR signed an open letter to then-Secretary of State Warren Christopher that railed against “the injustice that has prevailed against Dr. Marzook” and alleged that “our judicial system has been kidnapped by Israeli interests.” The letter added, “Dr. Abu Marzook is a political leader; no more, no less than any other political leader in the world…”459 Additionally, CAIR’s 1996 The Status of Muslim Civil Rights in the United States included Marzook’s arrest in its list of incidents of anti-Muslim bias and violence.

Marzook was deported to Jordan in May 1997.

In August 2004 he was indicted for allegedly participating in a 15-year racketeering conspiracy in the United States and abroad to finance terrorist activities in Israel, the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.462 The indictment, which for the first time identified Hamas as a criminal enterprise, alleged that the affairs of the enterprise were conducted through multiple acts of conspiracy to commit and solicit first degree murder, conspiracy to kill persons in a foreign country, money laundering, obstruction of justice, providing material support or resources to designated foreign terrorist organizations, and hostage taking.

Marzook remains abroad.

· CAIR defended Hamas operative Abdulhaleem al-Ashqar.

Abdulhaleem al-Ashqar organized the 1993 Hamas meeting in Philadelphia464 and is the former executive director of the Al Aqsa Educational Fund.465 According to the FBI, the Al Aqsa Educational Fund – along with HLF — was the main American fundraising front for Hamas in 1994.

In February 1998, Ashqar was called to testify before a grand jury in the Southern District of New York investigating Hamas fund-raising in the United States.   He refused to cooperate and, on February 23, 1998, Judge Denise Cote found him in contempt and incarcerated him.469 He subsequently began a hunger strike to protest his detention.

CAIR co-sponsored471 a letter to Judge Cote “request[ing] the immediate release of Dr. Abdelhaleem Ashqar” to enable him to “continue offering positive contributions to this society.”472 The letter stated, “This respected member of our community is being held for refusing to cooperate in what they, and we, believe is a politically motivated investigation prompted by and in the service of a foreign government.”

Ashqar was indicted along with Marzook in August 2004 on the racketeering conspiracy charges discussed above.474 He was acquitted of racketeering but convicted of obstruction of justice and criminal contempt of court. He was sentenced to 11 years in prison after a 90-minute statement in which he said he refused to give testimony that could help Israel against the Palestinians.

“It is something I will not do as long as I live,” Ashqar said, adding he refused “to live as a traitor or as a collaborator.”

· CAIR vehemently defended convicted Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) leader Sami Al-Arian and alleged that his arrest was based on “political considerations.”

After a 10-year investigation, University of South Florida Computer Science Professor Sami Al-Arian was indicted in February 2003 on charges of establishing and operating the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) network in the United States. In December 2005, after a six month trial, Al-Arian was acquitted of eight charges, while the jury deadlocked on the nine other charges, including conspiracy to provide material support PIJ.

The Al-Arian indictment alleged the PIJ allegedly is responsible for the deaths of two Americans and more than 100 Israelis.

On April 14, 2006, after more than a decade of denying any involvement with PIJ, and five months after the conclusion of his jury trial, Al-Arian pleaded guilty to “conspiracy to make or receive contributions of funds, goods or services to or for the benefit of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad, a Specially Designated Terrorist.” Al-Arian agreed to be deported as part of his plea.”

He also admitted that he “performed services for the PIJ in 1995 and thereafter” and that he was “aware that the PIJ achieved its objectives by, among other means, acts of violence.”480 The services Al-Arian performed “included filing for immigration benefits for individuals associated with the PIJ, hiding the identities of individuals associated with the PIJ, and providing assistance for an individual (Mazen al-Najjar) associated with the PIJ in a United States Court proceeding,” the plea agreement states.

CAIR Executive Director Nihad Awad, whose organization insisted upon Al-Arian’s innocence for years, did not comment on the plea itself. Rather, he lamented that Al- Arian’s family has been inconvenienced by his trial.

“We welcome the decision not to retry Professor Al-Arian. We are concerned however that the price paid for his freedom is deportation to another country, an additional burden on a family that has suffered tremendously over the past few years.”

The 50-count, 121-page indictment against Al-Arian and seven others was based on years of painstaking FBI surveillance, during which investigators amassed reams of phone conversation transcripts, faxes, letters, videotapes and other documents. Those intercepts showed Al-Arian played a leadership role in the Jihad and worked to keep it together during a financial crisis during the mid 1990s.

Despite Al-Arian’s documented history of extremism, CAIR officials have consistently defended him.

On the day of Al-Arian’s arrest, Hooper appeared on MSNBC’s “Buchanan & Press” to suggest that the charges were “politically motivated”:

I think the problem we’re seeing is that the Israelization of American policy and procedures, the failed tactics of the Israelis, where, if you just kill a few more people, destroy a few more homes, seize a few more acres, everything will be OK. We don’t want to take that and translate it into the American setting…The entire controversy began with the attack dogs of the pro-Israel lobby going after Sami Al- Arian…

CAIR chairman Omar Ahmad issued a press release the same day repeating what Hooper said on television: “This action could leave the impression that Al-Arian’s arrest is based on political considerations, not legitimate national security concerns.”

At a news conference outside Tampa’s federal courthouse the next day, CAIR-Florida spokesman Ahmed Bedier said Al-Arian’s arrest was “not about Sami as a person. It’s about a situation that could set a precedent for other Muslims across the country. The core of the judicial system is that all men are innocent until proven guilty. In this case, it seems like the other way around.”

Bedier upped the ante later that year, telling the Christian Science Monitor that Al-Arian’s arrest was “an effective tool to silence anti-Israeli views in the country.”

Rather than confront the indictment’s damaging disclosures, Bedier and others in CAIR tried to turn Al-Arian in to a victim. At a May 27, 2004 news conference, Nihad Awad protested the “inhumane” treatment Al-Arian and fellow defendant Sameeh Hammoudeh received in jail while awaiting trial.

Awad added, “we have the feeling…that probably their religion and their ethnicities and the…climate that we have and we live under has to do a lot with the way they are being treated…We just feel that it is discriminatory, it’s inhumane and it may affect the final outcome of the judicial ruling towards their cases.”

As the trial date approached, CAIR joined a “coalition of religious, human rights and civil liberties” groups, in support of a defense motion to change the venue.487 Bedier, the Central Florida director of CAIR, said “As a civil right (sic) organization, we have a fundamental belief in the right to due process, fairness, and individual’s 6th amendment right to an impartial jury for all Americans … We will continue to monitor this trial to insure that what happens in the court room does not have a negative backlash on the American Muslim Community.”488 Al-Arian’s change of venue motion was denied by the Middle District of Florida two days later, the court citing a relatively minimal amount of bias in the jury pool.

In February 2006, Bedier hosted a fundraiser for Al-Arian titled, “Justice Delayed is Justice Denied.”490 In a speech, he said the community hasn’t given the case proper attention.491

“Especially right after the arrest, many people disassociated themselves from Sami’s family, from the mosque, from the school. Understandably so, because there’s a lot of intimidation. And that’s what certain people that are in power wanted to create in our community. They want to scare us; they want to put fear in our hearts so we won’t react, so we won’t do anything about it, so they can cherry pick whoever they want, especially certain leaders are saying unpopular things…”

Al-Arian was sentenced to fifty-seven months in prison on May 1, 2006. U.S. District Judge James Moody stunned Al-Arian’s supporters with a strongly worded statement, calling the professor “a master manipulator.”

You looked your neighbors in the eyes and said you had nothing to do with the Palestinian Islamic Jihad. This trial exposed that as a lie…. The evidence was clear in this case that you were a leader of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad…

When Iran, the major funding source of the PIJ, became upset because the PIJ could not account for how it was spending its money, it was to your board of directors that it went to demand changes. Iran wanted its representative to have a say in how its money was spent. To stop that, you leaped into action. You offered to rewrite the bylaws of the organization…

But when it came to blowing up women and children on buses, did you leap into action then? Did you offer to form a committee to protect the innocent? Did you call your fellow [PIJ] directors and enlist their aid in stopping the bombing or even to stop the targeting of the innocent? No. You lifted not one finger, made not one phone call. To the contrary, you laughed when you heard about the bombings, what you euphemistically call “operations.” …

And yet, still in the face of your own words, you continue to lie to your friends and supporters, claiming to abhor violence and to seek only aid for widows and orphans. Your only connection to widows and orphans is that you create them, even among the Palestinians; and you create them, not by sending your children to blow themselves out of existence. No. You exhort others to send their children… You are indeed a master manipulator.

Bedier criticized Judge Moody’s statement as “political” and accused the judge of being “biased and unfair.”

CAIR’s support of Al-Arian has not wavered. He has refused to testify before a federal grand jury investigating terror financing in Northern Virginia, including the International Institute of Islamic Thought (IIIT), a think-tank that was among the largest donors to Al- Arian’s World and Islam Studies Enterprise (see section on CAIR’s Funding for more). This defiance led to a series of contempt orders, which essentially froze his prison sentence in place.

Al-Arian insisted his plea agreement included a promise that he would not have to cooperate in other investigations, though no such reference appears in the signed plea agreement or was mentioned during his plea hearing. Courts have rejected this argument at least three separate times, including an 11th Circuit Court of Appeals ruling in January 2008.

Al-Arian went on a hunger strike in March 2008 to protest the latest grand jury subpoena. CAIR issued a call for American Muslims to support his strike by writing letters urging his release to judges, members of Congress and Attorney General Michael Mukasey.498 Awad then led a delegation to visit Al-Arian in prison on March 31, 2008. “He believes in his just cause and we were there to support him,” Awad explained.

· After Cleveland imam Fawaz Damra was convicted of concealing his involvement in groups that advocated “violent terrorist attacks against Jews and others” on his citizenship application, CAIR-Ohio’s executive director defended him as a “great interfaith leader.”

On June 18, 2004, Fawaz Damra, the Islamic Center of Cleveland’s imam, was convicted of unlawfully obtaining his U.S. citizenship through a fraudulent application. The indictment had alleged that Damra concealed from the INS his affiliation with Al-Kifah Refugee Center, PIJ and the Islamic Committee for Palestine (ICP). The Al-Kifah Refugee Center was established as the American-based affiliate of Mekhtab Al-Khidemat, which after the end of the Soviet-Afghan war became Al Qaeda. PIJ is a designated Foreign Terrorist Organization and ICP channeled funds to support PIJ activities.

Additionally, Damra concealed from INS the fact that he had, before applying for citizenship, “incited, assisted, or otherwise participated in the persecution” of Jews and others by advocating violent terrorist attacks against them. During the trial, jurors were shown footage of a 1991 speech in which Damra called Jews “the sons of monkeys and pigs” and a 1989 speech in which he said “terrorism and terrorism alone is the path to liberation.”

Damra “was the guy…brought in to raise the money for Islamic Jihad” federal prosecutor Cherie Krigsman said after the verdict.

Jad Humeidan, CAIR-Ohio executive director, said Damra “has been a great interfaith leader in the Cleveland community.” In January 2004, he had called the Damra case “part of a pattern of attacking the Muslim community, its leaders and its institutions.”

At the start of Damra’s trial, CAIR spokesman Hooper commented, “we’re concerned that all of his due process is maintained and evidence be free of religious or ethnic stereotyping… We’re always concerned when prominent leaders of the American Islamic community are charged, or detained or harassed.”

Damra was sentenced to two months in prison in September 2004 and stripped of his citizenship. He was deported in January 2007.

· After Nuradin Abdi was indicted on charges of conspiracy to provide material support to Al Qaeda, CAIR-Ohio’s president said Abdi’s arrest “raises questions of whether the U.S. government is covering up its troubles in Iraq and elsewhere by reasserting the threat of domestic terrorism and again using immigrants and minorities as scapegoats.

On June 14, 2004, Nuradin Abdi was indicted in Columbus, Ohio on four counts, including conspiracy to provide material support to Al Qaeda.515 Abdi allegedly was involved — with admitted Al Qaeda member Iyman Faris516 — in a plot to blow up a Columbus shopping mall, received bomb-making instructions from a co-conspirator, and had intended to travel to Ethiopia to receive training in guns, guerilla warfare and bombs at a military-style camp.

Following Abdi’s indictment, Ahmad al-Akhras, president of CAIR-Ohio, commented, “This may be one of the cases also that may not have enough evidence or there’s no evidence at all.”518 Akhras added that the indictment “raises questions of whether the U.S. government is covering up its troubles in Iraq and elsewhere by reasserting the threat of domestic terrorism and again using immigrants and minorities as scapegoats.”

CAIR-Ohio Executive Director Jad Humeidan sought to minimize Abdi’s connection with convicted Al Qaeda terrorist Iyman Faris, noting, “I’ve shaken hands with Iyman Faris.

Does that make me guilty? That doesn’t make me guilty and shouldn’t make anyone else guilty. It shouldn’t make us afraid with being friends with people”

In addition, CAIR Ohio board chairwoman Asma Mobin-Uddin, a physician, accused Abdi’s jailers of psychological abuse and called for an investigation into his treatment.

“Those who knew Abdi before he was taken into custody describe him as a friendly community member who was helpful to others around him,” she wrote in a column published in the Columbus Dispatch. “After seeing him in court in June, they were shocked at how different he was and described him twitching, laughing inappropriately, banging his head against the table, making noises, speaking to himself and staring strangely into space. As a physician, I am extremely concerned that his behaviors might indicate mental and possibly physical abuse during his detention, and that his mental injuries may be permanent.”

But separate psychiatric evaluations ordered by U.S. District Judge Algenon L. Marbley found he was competent to stand trial.522 The original review concluded Abdi was faking his symptoms when he said Hillary Clinton and Teresa Heinz Kerry would be his attorneys, showered fully clothed and tore pages for a Quran and put them in a toilet.

“We believe such behaviors were calculated attempts to appear severely mentally ill,” forensic psychologist Andrew Simcox and staff psychiatrist Daniel Shine Jr. wrote to the court.

Abdi pleaded guilty to providing material support to terrorists on July 31, 2007, one week before his scheduled trial. Abdi was sentenced to 10 years in prison after which he will be deported to his native Somalia.

· CAIR-Arizona’s executive director defended a former U.S. Navy sailor who praised the attack on the USS Cole and who passed classified information about his battle-group to an Al Qaeda-linked terrorist.

In August 2004, authorities in England arrested Babar Ahmad on a criminal complaint issued in Connecticut that charged him with conspiracy to provide material support to terrorists and conspiracy to support the Taliban. Ahmad was formally indicted in October 2004 for providing material support to terrorists.

While searching Ahmad’s home, British authorities discovered a floppy disk that set forth plans for a U.S. naval battle-group operating in the Straits of Hormuz in April 2001. The document also discussed the vulnerabilities of the naval group to a terrorist attack.

“They have nothing to stop a small craft with RPG etc. except their Seals’ stinger missiles,” one email said.

Investigators later discovered a series of email correspondence between an American sailor and Azzam Publications, a video distribution center Ahmad helped run. Hassan Abu- Jihaad, a signalman on the U.S. guided missile destroyer, “Benfold,” in the Middle East in late 2000 and 2001, ordered violent videos from Azzam Publications. In emails, he called the attack on the USS Cole that killed 17 sailors a “martyrdom operation.” He also expressed anti-American sentiments and praised the “men who have brought honor…to the ummah in the lands of Jihad Afghanistan, Bosnia, Chechnya, etc.”

Abu-Jihaad was indicted in March 2007 of providing material support to terrorists and leaking secret Navy information. At a pretrial hearing, an FBI agent testified that Abu- Jihaad also had extensive discussions about attacking a San Diego military base with at least two other men.533 In court papers, prosecutors say Abu-Jihaad pledged to do “whatever I can . . . with whatever Allah has instilled me to . . . help out with” the alleged plot.

CAIR-Arizona Executive Director Deedra Abboud served as spokeswoman for Abu-Jihaad when reports of his e-mails first surfaced. As The Los Angeles Times reported, “Deedra Abboud…said he [Abu-Jihaad] had done nothing wrong and never mishandled classified information.” According to Abboud, the Times said, Abu-Jihaad “was very surprised to hear he might be connected to anything related to terrorism… He’s now scared he might get picked up for something he can’t imagine being a part of.”

Prosecutors say he, in fact, did all of those things. On March 5, 2008, a 12-member jury in New Haven, CT agreed, convicting Abu-Jihaad on both counts against him. He faces up to 25 years in prison when sentenced in May 2008.

After the verdict, Abboud, now with the American Muslim Society, told the Arizona Republic that Abu-Jihaad had been critical of American policy but didn’t express anti- American sentiments.

“What traditionally happens in our community is we have a lot of complainers, outrage against the injustices of the world and a lot of victim mentality,” Abboud said. “Sometimes, you get somebody who gets passionate and is a little delusional to begin with.”

Investigators reportedly found Abu-Jihaad’s military e-mail address among the computer files upon execution of the search warrant involving Ahmad. An FBI affidavit contends Abu-Jihaad’s secret security clearance allowed him access to such information. Ahmad has exhausted his British appeals and could be extradited to the United States at any time.

· CAIR Canada defended accused bomb-plot suspect Mohammad Momin Khawaja, and noted that “the struggle for safety and security should not come at the expense of basic constitutional rights.”

In March 2004, Canadian authorities charged Mohammad Momin Khawaja of Ottawa with aiding a terrorist group and facilitating terrorist activity in Ottawa and London. Khawaja allegedly had traveled to England the month before to meet with a cell that planned to launch a bombing campaign there. At the meeting, he was said to have shown his co- conspirators images of explosive devices and told them how to detonate bombs using mobile phones.

On March 30, eight men were arrested in London during anti-terrorist raids in which half a ton of ammonium nitrate fertilizer was seized. A ninth person was arrested two days later.

CAIR Canada  quickly mobilized support for Khawaja. The day that his house was raided, the organization issued a press release that “expressed concern” about the government’s action and noted, “The reasons and details for the raid have not yet been disclosed.” After Khawaja was charged under the nation’s anti-terrorism law, a CAIR Canada press release commented, “There have been repeated concerns that the legislation violates fundamental constitutional liberties and makes a transparent trial difficult.” CAIR-Canada Executive Director Riad Salojee added, “The struggle for safety and security should not come at the expense of basic constitutional rights.”

Five men were sentenced to life in prison by a British court in May 2007 after being convicted for their roles the bombing plot. Khawaja’s case in Canada has been slowed by a series of pre-trial motions by his counsel. He has yet to stand trial.

· CAIR condemned the detention of two Saudis who may have carried out a dry run of the 9/11 attack.

On Nov. 18, 1999, Mohammad Al-Qudhaieen and Hamdan G. Al-Shalawi, two Saudi doctoral students, were detained for trying to gain access to the cockpit of an America West commercial airliner on a flight headed from Phoenix to Washington, D.C. Qudhaieen denied having jiggled the handle on the cockpit door, and insisted that he was searching for the bathroom at the front of the cabin. Shalawi and Qudhaieen were released and said they were singled out because of their appearance.

CAIR Ohio provided a lawyer for the two men and called for a boycott of America West.

At a press briefing on Capitol Hill, Nihad Awad said the Saudis’ detention was based on “racial and religious profiling.” He told United Press International, “The hysteria around [the crash of] EgyptAir [Flight 990] has created a negative atmosphere that leads to such incidents. Stereotyping is deeply rooted in the minds of many people, thanks of decades of Hollywood movies.”

In an Orange County Register op-ed, CAIR Southern California’s Hussam Ayloush blamed the incident on the “‘Islamophobia’ generated by this irresponsible reporting.”

CAIR Ohio President Ahmad al-Akhras also charged racial profiling, declaring, “It seems like they single out some individuals because of their name, the way they look or their national origin.”

In fact, the incident does not appear to have been benign. As The 9/11 Commission Report documented, Shalawi had trained in an Al Qaeda camp in Afghanistan in November 2000, receiving instruction in how to conduct “Khobar-style” attacks that he and a colleague planned to execute in Saudi Arabia.

Further, according to the 9/11 Commission, Shalawi was a friend of Ghassan al Sharbi, who was captured in Pakistan along with Al Qaeda leader Abu Zubaydah in March of 2002. Sharbi, who reportedly attended Al Qaeda training camps in Afghanistan and swore bayat, an oath, to Bin Ladin, attended Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Prescott, Arizona.

Neither the 9/11 Commission Report nor media accounts say more about Al-Qudhaieen. He was arrested on a visa violation in June 2003 and deported to Saudi Arabia two months later.

Following 9/11, FBI agents in Phoenix considered the possibility that the America West incident was a “dry run” for the attacks.

· After radical imam Wagdy Ghoneim was arrested on an immigration violation, CAIR Los Angeles’ Sabiha Khan assailed his “callous treatment.”

Wagdy Ghoneim is a radical Egyptian cleric who was denied entrance to Canada after immigration officials determined he was a member of Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood.561 He also led the audience in a song with the lyrics, “No to the Jews, descendants of the apes,” at a CAIR co-sponsored rally at Brooklyn College in New York in May 1998.

A year earlier, Ghoneim defended the practice of suicide bombings and advocated their continuance.

Palestine will not be liberated by speeches and peaceful means, but through jihad. The Jews are scared by the word ‘jihad.’ They came to Sharm el Shaikh after they were hit by 4 martyrdom [suicide] operations. Those young people who explode themselves to kill the Jews were not committing suicide but jihad. They are Mujahideen [holy warriors] because there is no way to struggle and fight the Jews except that way. Allah bless those martyrs. We have to prepare ourselves for jihad against Jews and to liberate Aqsa Masjid. This is a must whether we accept it or not.

In November 2004, Ghoneim was arrested on immigration violations and held without bond, in the words of Immigration and Customs Enforcement spokeswoman Virginia Kice, “based upon Department of Homeland Security concerns that his past speeches and participation in fund-raising activities could be supportive of terrorist organizations.”

CAIR Southern California Executive Director Hussam Ayloush questioned the arrest, complaining, “The whole Muslim community today is under a microscope of scrutiny. Committing a mistake that would invite a slap on the wrist for anyone else could lead to prison or deportation for a Muslim.”

Similarly, Ra’id Faraj, public relations director for CAIR-Anaheim, said, “There is a perception in the community that there is selective targeting and enforcement, and that is a widespread perception.”

When Ghoneim was hospitalized with chest pains, CAIR Los Angeles’ Sabiha Khan commented, “Such callous treatment of someone who is only charged with minor immigration violations goes against American values of compassion and justice. We call for an urgent investigation into Imam Ghoneim’s treatment and urge that Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the Department of Homeland Security release the Imam on bail on humanitarian and medical grounds.”

CAIR-Southern California also met with DHS officials and Congressman Chris Cox (R- Calif.) to protest Ghoneim’s detention.

Ghoneim agreed to leave the country voluntarily in December 2004. Ayloush called his departure “a dent in our civil rights struggle” and lamented the “high level of fear” in the community. Addressing the secrecy surrounding Ghoneim’s removal, Ayloush commented, “This is not the KGB [the former Soviet state security agency] but the DHS.”

Subsequent to his departure from the United States, Switzerland also refused to allow Ghoneim into the country to attend a conference in 2005 but did not offer any public explanation.

V. CAIR Claims that the “War on Terrorism” is a “War on Islam”

“The new perception is that the United States has entered a war with Islam itself,” CAIR national board chairman Parvez Ahmed said on July 17, 2007 at a National Press Club Forum.574 If it’s a new perception, it’s not for a lack of effort by Ahmad’s organization.

Since the 9/11 attacks, CAIR consistently has accused the U.S. government of targeting Islam itself in the war on terrorism. CAIR denies the legitimacy of virtually all U.S. anti- terrorist efforts and claims that almost every prosecution or attack on a terrorist who is Muslim, or any investigation or prosecution of an alleged terrorist front group, is an attack on Islam itself.

CAIR Press Releases/Action Alerts

  • After HLF’s assets were frozen in December 2001, CAIR issued a joint statement with a number of other Muslim groups that stated, “We ask that President Bush reconsider what we believe is an unjust and counterproductive move that can only damage America’s credibility with Muslims in this country and around the world and could create the impression that there has been a shift from a war on terrorism to an attack on Islam.”
  • In December 2001, CAIR issued a press release that stated, “American Muslims are now under a cloud of suspicion produced by a drumbeat of anti-Muslim rhetoric from those who are taking advantage of the 9-11 tragedy to carry out their agenda of silencing our community and its leadership once and for ”
  • Following the Elashi arrests, CAIR-Dallas issued a press release that said, “We are concerned that these charges result from what appears to be a ‘war on Islam and Muslims’ rather than a ‘war on terror.’ Recent actions by the Department of Justice have brought into question the intention of arrests such as these. We, as American Muslims are facing an uphill battle in defending our own government’s foreign policy, as well as the, so-called, war on terrorism, while being targeted by our own

law enforcement agencies.”

Nihad Awad, Executive Director of CAIR National

  • Responding to a Department of Justice initiative to fingerprint and photograph nearly 100,000 foreigners who were already in the country in an effort to weed out suspected terrorists, Awad said, in June 2002, “What is next? Forcing American Muslims to wear a star and crescent as a means of identification for law enforcement authorities?”
  • In a February 2003 press release, Awad commented, “That the FBI is seeking lists of ordinary, law-abiding American Muslims only serves to confirm the Islamic community’s worst fears of religious and ethnic ”
  • In a February 2003 live dialogue, Awad remarked, “Now we see extremists, including the Christian Right and the pro-Israel lobby, carrying out a coordinated campaign against Islam and Muslims. The result of this is clearly apparent from the racist policies and practices being carried out by some branches of the U.S. government influenced by these groups, in contradiction to the assurances President Bush gave us on more than one occasion: that this war is not against Islam.”
  • Referring to the Department of Justice’s desire to question 5,000 Muslim Americans in the wake of September 11, Awad said, in a November 2001 Chicago

Tribune article, “This type of sweeping investigation carries with it the potential to create the impression that interviewees are being singled out because of their race, ethnicity or religion.”

  • After the FBI announced it would interview Muslims and Arabs during the lead-up to the 2004 elections in an effort to gain information concerning possible terrorist attacks, Awad said, “The way it’s being done stigmatizes the entire community and makes Muslims objects of suspicion to their neighbors and co-workers….This is more politics than security…Muslims should be enlisted in the war on terror, not blacklisted.”
  • In a November 2001 Connecticut Post report, Awad was quoted as saying, “The question [of a cease-fire] is a political one. If this war goes on and the S. continues to bomb Afghanistan, it will lose… [credibility] in the Muslim world in terms of support. It will be seen by Muslims as a war against Muslims. It’s a phenomenon right now in the minds of some Muslims.”
  • Commenting on a Justice Department plan requiring Muslim and Middle Eastern visa holders to register with the government and be fingerprinted, Awad said, in a June 5, 2002 CAIR press release, “Policies that single out particular religious and ethnic groups create a false sense of security and end up further damaging America’s image and reputation around the world.” He added:

Recent policies targeting Muslims and Arabs, including the interviewing of 8,000 legal visa holders, the detention without due process of some 1,200 individuals, the targeting of Muslim and Arab ‘absconders,’ the use of secret evidence, the raids on Muslim homes and institutions, and the new FBI guidelines allowing surveillance of mosques engaged in legal activities, all failed to result in a single terrorism-related arrest. Law- abiding residents in this country should not be made the scapegoats for past intelligence failures.

  • The following is an excerpt from a March 2002 article that refers to the SAAR raids: “Nihad Awad, executive director of Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR), who was in Saudi Arabia at the time of the raids, described how he had to defend his government to the Saudis he was meeting with, whose first reaction to the news of the raids was, ‘This is a war against Islam and ’

‘Our administration has the burden of proving otherwise,’ he said.”

  • During a September 2001 CNN interview, Awad said, “To see myself and my fellow Muslims and Arabs being stopped in airports because of our look, because of our feature, because of our names, because of the way that we dress I think speaks volumes.
  • On January 7, 2006, Awad and other Muslim leaders flew to Tampa to attend a rally in support of Sami Al-Arian. The Orlando Sentinel reported:

Nihad Awad said Al-Arian was the victim of a politically charged environment three years ago that resulted in the persecution of Muslims. “Is this about what we did or what we are?” said Awad, executive director of the Council on American Islamic Relations civil rights group in Washington. “Most of these cases are done for political reasons…………………………. I

think the government is abusing the system.”

Omar Ahmad, Chairman Emeritus of CAIR National

  • Speaking at a CAIR fundraiser in October 2002, Ahmad said, “These people hated Islam…before September 11. They are using the opportunity of September 11 to detain Islam Muslims or find the problem and attack the foundations of Islam…We are under ”
  • At a December 2003 CAIR fundraiser, Ahmad said, “We should not be blinded by the few who hated Islam and Muslims before September 11. They’re exploiting September 11 for their own political ”
  • At the same December 2003 event, he said, “Many of our civil liberties have been taken away since September 11 in the name of fighting terrorism. The process of marginalizing our community, pushing us to the margins…is ongoing. A lot of media outlets, especially the right-wing outlets, are having a field day attacking Islam, attacking Muslims…”

Parvez Ahmed, Chairman of the Board of CAIR National

In July 2007, in an op-ed for the Dallas Morning News, Ahmed wrote, “As a nation, we can ill afford the perception that we are at war with a faith practiced by more than a billion people accounting for more than a fifth of humanity today,” 595 and argued that “Islamophobia” was on the rise in A

Ibrahim Hooper, Spokesman for CAIR National

  • Hooper is quoted in a December 2001 Denver Post report as saying, “There has been a demonization of ”
  • In a May 2004 New York Times article, Hooper commented, “I’d be surprised if there’s a mosque in the country that hasn’t come under scrutiny these days. It becomes the whole Kevin Bacon game – no Muslim is more than six degrees away from ”
  • In a July 2003 Chicago Tribune article, Hooper said that the Department of Justice has a “general policy of targeting Muslims because they are ”
  • After FBI Director Robert Mueller announced “a heightened threat to U.S. interests around the world” in May 2004 and asked the nation to be on the lookout for seven Muslim terrorism suspects,600 Hooper said, “It’s part of the ‘round up the usual suspects’ mentality. When you don’t have any other leads, you gather up the Muslims.”
  • After President Bush released a most-wanted terrorist list that included only Middle Easterners, Hooper responded, “This creates a very troubling perception. This list perpetuates the stereotype that while all Muslims may not be terrorists, all terrorists are ”602
  • Asked about the Justice Department plan to fingerprint and photograph visitors from designated Muslim and Arab countries, Hooper told The Chicago Tribune in June 2002 that the initiative “sends a message that Muslims and Arabs are guilty until they are proven innocent, that there is some reason to suspect Muslims and Arab people before anyone ”
  • When the FBI’s plan to count the number of mosques in the U.S. was made public in February 2003, Hooper told Newsweek, “It’s frightening to hear that this is actual policy. This just shows how they are viewing every Islamic community in the country with ”
  • Hooper was interviewed for a September 29, 2003 com story on the hearings that Senators Charles Schumer and Jon Kyl held in June605 and September, 2003 on Wahhabi influence in America. Hooper commented, “elected representatives like Senator Schumer and Senator Kyl…are jumping on this issue in order to demonize all Muslim groups and all Muslims in America.”

Arsalan Iftikhar, CAIR Legal Director

  • Iftikhar wrote in The Kansas City Star in March 2002, “It is high time that the United States proves to the 7 million Muslim-Americans that indeed, this is not a war on ”

Riad Abdelkarim, Former Communications Director for CAIR-Western Region

  • Writing in Q-News in 2002, Abdelkarim remarked, “On Tuesday 4 December 2001, the U.S. government effectively declared war on Islam and Muslims in President George Bush accused the country’s largest Muslim charity – the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development – of funding Hamas and supporting terrorism. This witch-hunt of Muslim organizations (sic) is not a precautionary measure in the war against terrorism – it is a nationwide smear campaign to undermine Muslims and the institutions that serve them.”
  • Abdelkarim co-authored a May 2002 Washington Report on Middle East Affairs article which stated, “One thing, however, is certain: if American Muslims allow their charities and institutions to be destroyed without defending them with their words, actions, and funds, those organizations already targeted will not be the only American Muslim institutions eliminated in this war against American ”

Ahmad Al-Akhras, President of CAIR-Ohio

  • Quoted in a September 2003 United Press International article, Al-Akhras said, “Things that we took for granted as Muslims are not forgotten anymore, because unfortunately Islam is viewed in negative light. (We) are subject to more profiling and discrimination and that kind of thing. In the past it was under the surface sometimes. Today unfortunately, it has become institutionalized by government sponsored agencies whether the Department of Justice does the profiling through the Patriot Act.”

Ahmed Bedier, CAIR-Florida Communications Director

  • In a June 2004 Associated Press article, Bedier said, “From our position, prominent Muslim individuals are being targeted selectively by the government. The allegations are overstated and Muslims are facing a double ”

Helal Omeira, Executive Director of CAIR-San Francisco Bay

  • In a September 2003 com report, Omeira said, “[Immigration] issues have upset the community tremendously and show that this is a target on our community and that this whole war on terrorism, at least domestically, does not apply to everybody equally.”
  • Based on intelligence of an Al Qaeda strike to be carried out before the 2004 elections, the FBI announced it would interview U.S. Muslims and Arabs to find terror operatives before they could act.619 Omeira is quoted in a July 2004 Associated Press article as saying, “When will the suspicion end? We’ve been so open, and three years later everyone is still a suspect…It’s a loss of credibility for

the Department of Justice to focus on the Muslim community when there are so many other things going on out there.”

  • Responding to the INS registration program for male visitors from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Sudan, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan and Syria, Omeira said, “You can’t just detain people and keep it a secret and all these Gestapo tactics. This is not my America. My America wouldn’t treat people like ”
  • Omeira responded to the government shutdown of HLF by declaring, “There are some opportunistic elements in the international scene, primarily Israel, that see… [9/11] as an opportunity to further put their stranglehold on the Palestinians by removing the most prominent and respectable relief organization in the ”

Deedra Aboud, Executive Director of CAIR-Arizona

  • Referring to FBI interviews of Muslims, Aboud said, in July 2004, “It’s just little things like this that gives us the perception that somehow Muslims are second-class citizens.”

Hussam Ayloush, Executive Director of CAIR-Southern California

  • In May 2004, Ayloush said that the war on terror had become a “war on Muslims,” the Associated Press  Ayloush added that the United States had become the “new Saddam” and should “end this hypocrisy, this hypocrisy that we are better than the other dictator.”
  • At an Oct. 4, 2003 CAIR fundraiser in Anaheim, California, Ayloush stated:

Those hate-mongers want to tell us that it is OK to target someone because of his race, his color or the religion he or she follows. These people attacked our religion, attacked our holy book the Koran, attacked our prophets, all of our prophets, attacked our leaders, religious and political leaders, our organizations and every day average Muslims.  And those attacks, believe me, have not stopped.626

  • In December 2001, Ayloush said, “As we see one charitable organization after the other having its assets frozen and its offices closed, you know, the shift from fighting terrorism is slowly happening towards a fight against symbols of Islam or Islamic activism in the S.”

Christina Abraham, CAIR-Chicago Civil Rights Coordinator

  • Abraham wrote an op-ed on CAIR-Chicago’s website entitled, “The Malicious Prosecution of Muslims,” in which she writes, “Muslims in America worry every day about being singled out because of their religion. They fear that their religious ties will make them targets of law enforcement, employers, colleagues, or hate- filled criminals. For many Muslims, this fear has been actualized. One phenomenon recently observed by CAIR-Chicago is the malicious prosecution of Muslims. It begins when federal law enforcement investigates a Muslim for purported ties to terrorism. Then, when nothing can be found against them, other unrelated charges are brought. Many times, the charges are tenuous. Often, the charges are eventually dropped or the individuals are cleared through a trial, but not without an emotional and financial ”

VI. CAIR Has Participated in and Co-Sponsored Islamist Conferences Within the United States

  • CAIR co-sponsored a rally at which Jews were referred to as “descendants of the apes.”

On May 24, 1998, CAIR co-sponsored a rally with IAP, MAYA and other groups at Brooklyn College in New York where speakers spewed anti-Jewish rhetoric.629 Featured speaker Wagdy Ghoneim, a radical Egyptian cleric who has been arrested eight times in Egypt for “opposition activities,”630 told his listeners that “…Allah says he who equips a warrior of Jihad is like the one [who] makes Jihad himself.” Ghoneim also led the audience in a song with the lyrics: “No to the Jews, descendants of the apes.”631 Earlier in the year, Ghoneim had been denied entrance to Canada after immigration officials determined he was a member of Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood.

The May 1998 rally was co-organized by IAP and co-sponsored by HLF.

Despite the fact that the program lists it as a co-sponsor, CAIR denies co-sponsoring this rally. In September 2003 Senate testimony, Nihad Awad said, “As Executive Director of CAIR, I had never heard of this event, let alone authorize sponsorship for it.”635 Ibrahim Hooper went even further. After denying CAIR’s sponsorship of the event, he commented, “I don’t even know if that [rally] happened.” And in December 2006, CAIR Southern California Executive Director Hussam Ayloush proclaimed, “CAIR has no connection, direct or indirect, to the [1998] event he referred to in New York.”

The denial came during an exchange of correspondence with Investigative Project on Terrorism Executive Director Steven Emerson in the Jewish Journal’s Reader Forums. Ayloush accused Emerson of “trying to defame CAIR by linking it to some New York event that CAIR did not organize, nor sponsor, nor participate in. CAIR was not even in existence in New York at the time of that event.”

CAIR may not have had a New York chapter in May 1998, but the national organization had been operating for four years when the event took place.

·         In October 2000, CAIR sponsored a Washington D.C. rally at which the crowd cheered enthusiastically in support of Hamas and Hizballah.

On October 28, 2000, CAIR co-sponsored an anti-Israel rally in which participants marched from Freedom Plaza to Lafayette Park in Washington, D.C. singing “Victory comes from Allah and Hizballah is our model” and “Oh dear (Hizballah Chief Sheikh) Nasrallah, we are allied with you in liberation.”

At the rally, Abdurahman Alamoudi said, “I have been labeled by the media in New York to be a supporter of Hamas. Anybody supports Hamas here? [crowd cheers]…Hear that, Bill Clinton? We are all supporters of Hamas. Allahu akbar! [crowd cheers]…I wish they would have added that I am also a supporter of Hizballah…anybody supports Hizballah here? [crowd cheers]”

As noted in the section, “The Suspect Ties of CAIR Officials,” Alamoudi pleaded guilty to engaging in prohibited transactions with a foreign country and admitted his involvement in a plot, masterminded by Libyan leader Muammar Qadaffi, to assassinate Crown Prince Abdullah of Saudi Arabia. He was sentenced to 23 years in jail in October 2004.

A range of groups co-sponsored this rally with CAIR, including IAP, ISNA, IANA, the Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA), and the Muslim Student Association (MSA).

·         CAIR sponsored the 1994 U.S. tour by Jordanian Islamist leader Bassam Alamoush

The September 1994 issue of CAIR News said that CAIR coordinated a series of meetings for Bassam Alamoush with U.S. government officials.

At the MAYA conference in Chicago in December 1994, Alamoush called the killing of a Jew “a good deed.”

In that speech, Alamoush said: “Somebody approached me at the mosque [in Amman] and asked me, ‘if I see a Jew in the street, should I kill him?’” After pausing a moment with a dumbfounded face, Alamoush answered the question to a laughing crowd: “Don’t ask me. After you kill him, come and tell me. What do you want from me, a fatwa [legal ruling]? Really, a good deed does not require one.” Later in the speech, Alamoush was interrupted by an aide with a note carrying word of a suicide bombing against Israelis. The aide called the report “good news.”

· CAIR Austin planned a picnic featuring the rabidly anti-Semitic and Hamas- supporting band, Al Nojoum.

CAIR Austin scheduled an October 2002 picnic featuring “entertainment” by Al Nojoum, a band based in Dallas.

Al Nojoum, previously known as the Al-Sakhra band, frequently performed at IAP conventions. According to the HLF indictment, Al-Sakhra’s “skits and songs…advocated the destruction of the State of Israel and glorified the killing of Jewish people.”

Mufid Abdulqader, who is a half-brother of Hamas leader Khalid Mishaal, was a member of the Al-Sakhra band. Abdulqader, an HLF fundraiser and 1993 Philadelphia meeting attendee, was among the defendants jurors deadlocked over in the 2007 trial.

VII.CAIR Intimidates and Censors Muslim Moderates

  • CAIR attacked Sheikh Muhammad Hisham

On Jan. 7, 1999, Sheikh Muhammad Hisham Kabbani, speaking as chairman of the Islamic Supreme Council of America (ISCA), spoke at the State Department’s Open Forum. ISCA is a Washington D.C.-based non-profit organization that says it “supports peace wherever it exists…supports the precept of ‘justice for all,’ condemning all violations of human rights and commits to strengthening the values of charity, family love, education and public responsibility in American life.”

During his talk, Kabbani condemned radical Islamists and charged that extremists dominated the leadership of more than 80% of U.S. mosques.

CAIR attacked Kabbani, co-sponsoring a statement that read:

Mr. Kabbani has put the entire American Muslim community under unjustified suspicion. In effect, Mr. Kabbani is telling government officials that the majority of American Muslims pose a danger to our society… The issue is not that of a mere difference of opinion within an American religious community, but involves the irresponsible act of providing false information to government officials. This false information can jeopardize the safety and well-being of our community and hurt America itself by damaging its values of inclusiveness, fairness, and liberty.658

In response, ISCA issued a press release accusing CAIR and the six other organizations that issued the statement as unifying “to stifle the First Amendment rights of Shaykh Hisham Kabbani, chairman of the Islamic Supreme Council of America (ISCA), and have instigated a modern day Muslim lynch mob.” False statements in the CAIR statement “create hysteria amongst American Muslims. Death threats, harassment and acts of discrimination ensue,” the ISCA release said.

The release cited several explicit threats of death and violence against Kabbani. ISCA General Secretary Hedieh Mirahmadi was quoted as saying:

The carefully orchestrated and calculated plot to intimidate Shaykh Kabbani into retracting his statements only goes to prove the unwillingness to tolerate differences of opinion and belief; as well as the extent to which they would go to silence the voice of opposition.  These organizations have recklessly

endangered the lives of our officers and members by unjustly provoking the community against us

· CAIR attacked Khalid Duran

In 2001, Khalid Duran, a journalist and author who has taught at a number of U.S. universities and who edits TransIslam Magazine, prepared to release a book, Children of Abraham: An Introduction to Islam for Jews, that was being published by the American Jewish Committee (AJC) to deepen “understanding and mutual respect between Muslims and Jews.”

On April 4, 2001, CAIR issued a press release attacking Duran and his book. The release noted that Duran had a “mysterious identity.” It quoted Omar Ahmad as saying, “Any effort to deepen mutual respect between faiths must, at a minimum, avoid the kind of conspiracy theories that are Duran’s stock-in-trade. A sincere attempt to build bridges of understanding would not focus on ‘hot-button’ issues that have so often been used to stereotype Islam and Muslims.”

Nihad Awad also wrote a letter to the head of the AJC, in which he said:

Given the AJC’s stated intent of promoting ‘understanding and mutual respect,’ it is puzzling as to why your organization would first of all engage an author who has little credibility in the Muslim community and then add insult to injury by using a cover image that many Muslims will find offensive. This book has the potential to do more harm than good in terms of interfaith relations.

CAIR called for a committee of trusted Muslim scholars to examine the book and correct its “distortions,” Muslims in the Middle East took note. Shortly afterward, Sheik Abdel Moneim Abu Zant, a radical Muslim cleric in Jordan, declared Duran an apostate and called on U.S. Muslims to “unify against him.”

CAIR sought to minimize the import of Abu Zant’s comments, issuing a July 2, 2001 press release titled, “Jewish Group’s ‘Phony Fatwa’ Slammed as Publicity Stunt.” Hooper commented, “it is not a fatwa, it is just some guy in a party newspaper in Jordan…This isn’t about a death edict, it is about the American Jewish Committee going around pressing Islamaphobic hot buttons trying to get publicity for their deceitful book.”

On July 22, Abu Zant again called Duran an apostate and declared it lawful (halal) to shed his blood.

As Duran later wrote, “CAIR’s attack snowballed into a campaign of personal vilification, which eventuated in a Jordanian political leader calling me an apostate (murtadd). Neither CAIR nor Sheikh Abd al-Mun‘im Abu Zant of Jordan’s Islamic Action Front had ever read or even seen my book, but the CAIR attack prompted the latter to issue an appeal to Muslims, asking them to unite to kill me.”

· CAIR dismissed an October 2004 conference held by moderate Muslims as unrepresentative of the community.

In October 2004, a coalition of national Muslim groups, including the Free Muslim Coalition Against Terrorism and the American Islamic Congress, met in Washington D.C. to speak out against terrorism and Islamic radicalism and for the creation of a more pluralist Islamic faith.

CAIR, which was not invited, said groups such as the Free Muslim Coalition Against Terrorism and the American Islamic Congress did not represent mainstream American Islam. “They’re free to reflect their viewpoint,” Hooper said. “We have our views, and we believe our views reflect the mainstream of the American Islamic community.”

· CAIR attacks founder of American Islamic Forum for Democracy

The Philadelphia Inquirer carried this report on founders of the American Islamic Forum for Democracy and other newly-formed U.S. Muslim groups:

  1. Zuhdi Jasser still gets worked up when he recalls what some Muslim Americans said after the 9/11 attacks. “Their criticism of America was just unbelievable,” said Jasser, an internist who describes himself as a pious Muslim. Jasser saw it differently. He grew up in Wisconsin, where his parents settled after escaping Syria’s dictatorship. He was raised an observant Muslim, and he prays five times daily. He served 11 years in the U.S. Navy. He has a Bush-Cheney bumper sticker on his black Corvette convertible. “I cannot sit idly silent,” said Jasser, 37. “I have an obligation to do what I can to create a world where my children can grow up, and there’s no conflict in their hearts between being American and being Muslim.” Two years ago, Jasser and a few like-minded Muslims in Arizona founded the American Islamic Forum for Democracy. This Phoenix organization was one of the first created by Muslims to promote a tolerant form of Islam compatible with a secular, democratic nation. The leaders of the new organizations say the established national Islamic groups promote a political strain of Islam that creates sympathy for the extremists – a charge the national groups deny. “Until we as Muslims admit we have some illness in our religion that needs to be cured, we won’t go anywhere,” said Ali Homsi, a civil engineer who joined the Phoenix organization’s board.

The Inquirer story included a dismissive comment by Hooper:

Indeed, Hooper said criticism from Muslims such as Jasser was “providing others with an opportunity to advance an agenda that is hostile to the American Muslim community.”

VIII.     CAIR’s Propaganda Minimizes Terrorism

  • CAIR refuses to condemn Islamic

Although Nihad Awad claimed in September 2003 Senate testimony that “CAIR’s principled position on terrorism has always been evident,” CAIR, in fact, refuses to condemn terrorists.

As documented in Section V, “CAIR and Hamas,” Awad is obscuring reality when it comes to attitudes toward that terrorist group.

Moreover, CAIR issued a press release offering condolences on Yasser Arafat’s death. Ignoring the fact that he had overseen countless terrorist attacks by the PLO and stolen perhaps billions of dollars, CAIR noted, “President Arafat was the embodiment of the Palestinian struggle for justice and freedom.”

In an appearance on MSNBC’s Buchanan & Press program on Feb. 20, 2003, Ibrahim Hooper downplayed the actions of PIJ, a terrorist group responsible for over 100 deaths (including those of two Americans):

Well, obviously, I’m not going to support some tactics of the Islamic Jihad, but they’re in a world apart from al Qaeda.

They’ve never threatened anyone outside of Israel and the occupied territory.

At the May 27, 2004 CAIR-Tampa press conference in support of Sami Al-Arian, CAIR Florida spokesman Ahmed Bedier was asked, “Do you agree with the government designation of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad as a terrorist organization?” He responded, “We are not here to discuss the Palestinian Islamic Jihad or any other terrorist organization or any other group. We are here strictly to discuss the confinement conditions of this individual who is not in Palestine or in Israel. You are here is right here in Florida.” When later pressed on the issue, asked if CAIR has a position on the Palestinian Islamic Jihad, Bedier dismissively said, “We haven’t published one,” and was ushered away by Nihad Awad and other colleagues.

And rather than condemn attacks against U.S. troops in Afghanistan and Iraq, CAIR Research Director Mohamed Nimer affirmed Muslims’ “right to self-defense” and noted that “CAIR criticized American bombing in Afghanistan and Iraq when the conduct of warfare contradicted Islamic values.”

Even when four American civilian contractors were ambushed in Iraq in March 2004 and their bodies were burned, mutilated, dragged, and finally hung from a bridge, CAIR condemned only “the mutilation of [the] bodies,” not the murders themselves and the terrorist murderers.

· CAIR criticizes any reference to militant Islamic activity as “stereotyping” all Muslims and uses intimidation tactics to harass anyone who criticizes Islam in any fashion.

While professing to serve as a watchdog group promoting fair and balanced reporting,683 CAIR criticizes any articles that expose or detail Islamic extremism, discuss terrorism, or involve other issues deemed “offensive” to CAIR — regardless of accuracy.

CAIR officials have attacked as “anti-Muslim” a wide range of publications, including The New Republic, US News & World Report, The Atlantic Monthly (it had an article about the militant Islamic rule and oppression in Sudan), The Dallas Morning News (it exposed the Hamas infrastructure in Texas), The Reader’s Digest (it published an article exposing the repression of Christians by Communist regimes and Islamic extremists), The Tampa Tribune (it exposed the Islamic Jihad infrastructure in Tampa), The Weekly Reader’s Current Events (it featured a story on international terrorism) and even The Journal of the American Medical Association (for an article about the victims of terrorism).

CAIR has also attacked a wide variety of other media outlets for their reporting or presentation of Muslim issues.

For example, CAIR’s Southern California branch issued a press release on Oct. 28, 1998 to protest the existence of billboards in the Los Angeles area that featured pictures of Osama Bin Laden with the headline “the sworn enemy.” 684 CAIR argued that the billboards, which were displayed by Los Angeles-based KCOP Television, Inc., were offensive to, and negatively stereotypical of, all Muslims.

CAIR says it has similarly “succeeded in defending Muslim rights and Islam” in cases involving NPR, Paul Harvey News, Seneca Foods, the House of Representatives, Adirondack Transit Lines, Denny’s, 20th Century Fox and Connecticut University.”

CAIR attacked former vice president and Democratic presidential nominee Al Gore for using the word “jihad,” and New York Times columnist Abe Rosenthal for praising the documentary “Jihad in America.”

Gore had referred in 1996 to a “jihad” against environmental protection. In response, Awad wrote: “If this type of casual stereotyping is used by the administration’s top decision-makers, what does that say about the objectivity of policies impacting upon the Muslim community in America and around the world. We call upon the vice president to re-affirm the positive statements about Islam he made in the recent past and to clarify his position on the stereotyping of religious minorities.”

After The New York Times published an article entitled “Cry of Muslim Women for Equal Rights is Rising,” which was critical of the state of women’s rights under Quranic law in Morocco, Awad protested the author’s reporting as unprofessional and labeled the writer “Islamophobic” and biased.

In the October 1997 issue of First Things, Father Richard John Neuhaus reviewed The Decline of Eastern Christianity Under Islam: from Jihad to Dhimmitude, by Bat Ye’or. He favorably reviewed the book and commented about the growing threat of militant Islam.

CAIR responded with a press release calling upon the Catholic Church to investigate Neuhaus because he:

portrayed Islam as a permanent threat to Western society, used racial and ethnic slurs against Arabs, offered inaccurate and offensive information about the spread of Islam, seemed to agree with those who think Muslim immigration is a ‘low- level jihad’ and suggested Christian-Muslim dialogue might be a ‘delusion.’…”

In a letter to the general secretary of the National Council of Catholic Bishops, Awad called for an investigation to determine whether Neuhaus’ article reflected authentic church doctrine, and demanded appropriate actions to bring him into conformity with these teachings.

Following CAIR’s statement, Neuhaus received a flood of hostile communications, including terms such as “venomous diatribe,” “hateful xenophobia,” “doing the work of Adolph Hitler,” “agitating for a new Crusade” and “obviously mentally ill.” Neuhaus commented:

The attack initiated by CAIR produced dozens and dozens of letters from as far away as Australia, some of them accompanied by hundreds of signatures of Muslims who claimed to be deeply offended by the review…The campaign obviously had the aim of intimidating into silence anyone who dares to say anything less than complimentary about things Muslim…My best judgment is that the critics of CAIR are credible and that CAIR is less than candid about its connections with the politics of the Middle East. Confidence in CAIR is not enhanced by its ham-fisted efforts to intimidate and silence its critics.

CAIR similarly attacked columnist Nat Hentoff, a consistent advocate of human rights and free expression, for two columns criticizing Louis Farrakhan, Jesse Jackson and others for failing to speak out against slavery in Sudan and Mauritania. Hooper wrote, “Perhaps this hesitancy results from a reluctance to indulge in politically and religiously motivated sensationalism that plays on and amplifies existing Islamophobic tendencies in Western society. Mr. Hentoff demonstrated the nastier aspects of this trend with his use of offensive terms such as ‘Islamic enslavement’…”

CAIR also takes on movies, sometimes even before they are produced. The organization launched a two-year campaign to have Paramount Pictures ensure that “Muslim” terrorists did not set off a nuclear bomb in the film, “The Sum of All Fears.” “Before we had typed a word on paper,” producer Mace Neufeld told Slate, “I was getting complaints. Due in large part to CAIR’s protests, the terrorists in the movie were subsequently changed from Arabs to neo-Nazis.

More recently, CAIR has expanded its intimidation campaign by filing lawsuits. Ayloush sued National Review in 2003, when a guest article by Shawn Steel on National

Review Online stated that the CAIR official had co-hosted an event at which an Egyptian Muslim leader called Jews the “descendants of apes.”

Ayloush did not, in fact, co-host the event, and was not present at it. However, it was sponsored by another branch of CAIR and the offending remarks were made.

The National Review acknowledged its error but Ayloush continued his lawsuit. CAIR-LA Communications Director Sabiha Khan said, “We hope this action will deter hate-mongers from undermining the character and work of those who do not share their extremist views.” National Review stated, “We viewed this as an attempt to intimidate and punish NR.”

In February 2004, the court found that Ayloush failed to prove that the article was false or defamatory and failed to produce evidence showing NRO acted recklessly in publishing it.698 Still, the suit cost National Review $65,000 in legal fees.

In April 2004, David Harris, a former Canadian Security and Intelligence Service agent, charged on radio station CFRA’s morning show, “Madeley in the Morning,” that the U.S. CAIR group had links to terrorism and called on the Canadian group to clarify its own position. CAIR-Canada sued him for libel,700 eventually settling for no damages and without an apology or retraction issued by Harris.701 In November 2004, CAIR-Canada also sued David Frum and The National Post for libel for accusing CAIR of being an “unscrupulous, Islamist, extremist sympathetic group in Canada supporting terrorism.”

CAIR also has sued for defamation and threatened the Cornell University newspaper and a student reporter with a defamation lawsuit.

· CAIR Chicago’s executive director refused to label Hamas and Hizballah as terrorist groups.

In an interview with the BBC’s Stephen Sackur on the program “Hard Talk,” Ahmed Rehab refused to label Hamas and Hizballah as terrorist groups, only describing some of their actions as “terrorist activity.” The fact that they run hospitals and schools makes it inaccurate to characterize them in their entirety as terrorist groups, he argued.

SACKUR: So you would entirely condemn a group like Hamas, would you?

REHAB: Well, Hamas definitely has an arm that engages in terrorist activity and I would condemn terrorism if it were at the hands of Israelis or at the hands of Palestinians. So I do condemn that…

SACKUR: But that wasn’t exactly straight-forward…

REHAB: Well, I will finish and then you may feel that it is straight- forward…

SACKUR: Do you condemn Hamas straight-forward, yes or no?

REHAB: Do I condemn the hospitals run by Hamas, or the schools that help children learn, in Hamas? No, I don’t condemn that. But do I condemn the blowing up of Tel Aviv pizzerias or cafes. Definitely, I condemn that. That’s a straight-forward answer.

SACKUR: Then you agree with the American government that Hizballah for example is a terrorist organization?

REHAB: Well, once again the militant arm of Hizballah because of the

acts they have done against civilians would qualify them as terrorists, but as far as the schools and the hospitals –

SACKUR: It’s not so easy for you, is it? It’s not so simple.

REHAB: Well, to me that is a pretty simple answer. I mean, I would be hard-pressed to condemn a school or a hospital where no one else is helping these individuals empower themselves. They’re living in ghettos with high unemployment rates, no electricity for many hours of the day, no food or running water and when a certain group attempts to educate these individuals or create hospitals to help them our when they’re sick or injured; for me to turn and say these are terrorists – not that particular group of individuals.

A 2004 class-action lawsuit brought in New York federal court in the name of John. P. O’Neill, Sr., a former FBI international terrorist operations chief killed in the 9/11 attacks at the World Trade Center challenges the conduct of CAIR and CAIR Canada among other organizations. The complaint accuses the defendants of “hav[ing] aided, abetted, and materially sponsored al Qaeda and international terrorism…CAIR and CAIR-Canada have, since their inception, been part of the criminal conspiracy of radical Islamic terrorism.”

The two organizations “manipulate the legal systems of the United States and Canada in a manner that allows them to silence critics, analysts, commentators, media organizations, and government officials by leveling false charges of discrimination, libel, slander and defamation,” the lawsuit says. “In addition, both organizations have actively sought to hamper governmental anti-terrorism efforts by direct propaganda activities aimed at police, first-responders, and intelligence agencies through so-called sensitivity training. Their goal is to create as much self-doubt, hesitation, fear of name-calling, and litigation within police departments and intelligence agencies as possible so as to render such authorities ineffective in pursuing international and domestic terrorist entities.

The role of CAIR and CAIR-Canada is to wage PSYOPS (psychological warfare) and disinformation activities on behalf of Whabbi-based (sic) Islamic terrorists throughout North America. They are the intellectual “shock troops” of Islamic terrorism.”

The litigation, with CAIR as a defendant, remains active.

IX. CAIR’s “Hate Crimes”

CAIR has created a niche for itself in the American-Muslim community by documenting what it perceives as anti-Muslim incidents,708 challenging the “stereotyping” of Muslims and connections between Islam and terrorism on grounds that these depictions make Muslims vulnerable to harassment and hate crimes. As Awad wrote in his 2003 testimony before a U.S. Senate panel, “there has…been an astonishing increase in the volume of anti- Muslim rhetoric in the media and politics today.”

Each year, CAIR bemoans the “anti-Muslim hysteria” that has turned Muslim-Americans into “second-class citizens.” For example, in its 2004 report, “The Status of Muslim Civil Rights in the United States 2004: Unpatriotic Acts,” CAIR states, “Last year marked the highest number of Muslim civil rights cases ever recorded by CAIR’s annual report…Reports of harassment, violence, and discriminatory treatment increased nearly 70 percent over 2002.”

But CAIR considers law enforcement investigations involving Muslims to be anti-Muslim acts. It has repeatedly included such investigations in its annual report on alleged civil rights abuses and discrimination against Muslims.

In its 2002 report, CAIR included the closure of HLF, GRF, and BIF and wrote, “Those who oppose the government closure of the charities believe the government violated the Fourth Amendment of the Bill of Rights.” The report also included the 2002 SAAR raids. CAIR wrote, “No criminal charges were filed and no evidence was produced to back up the government’s actions.” The report later stated, “In the view of many Muslims, what transpired was a form of collective punishment targeting Arabs and Muslims.”

In the “Anti-Muslim Agitation” section, the 2002 report also listed the following: “Senator Gordon Smith (R-OR) made a public statement that Oregon has been a hub of terrorist fund-raising activities. Smith, citing unclassified information he learned in confidential security briefings, said terrorism-related fundraising has occurred in Corvallis and at Portland State University.”

More generally, the report tries to persuade American citizens that government policy has resulted in an undeserved backlash against ordinary Muslims. By doing so, CAIR hopes to muster opposition to the anti-terror laws it finds objectionable. A June 2003 US News and World Report column elaborates on CAIR’s motives:

Why do CAIR and other groups push the ‘bias’ button so hard? Well, the victim stance works. It attracts press attention and has made the ‘bias against Muslims’ article a staple of big-city dailies. It encourages Muslims to feel angry and non- Muslims to feel guilty. It raises a great deal of money, garners a lot of TV time, and gets the attention of Congress. And by pre-positioning all future criticism as bias, it tends to intimidate or silence even the most sensible critics. From a lobbying point of view, who would want to give up a set of advantages like this?

As US News and World Report indicates, there are serious problems with CAIR’s claims of a “growing Islamophobic prejudice.”The Weekly Standard blasted CAIR after it released its 2004 report for its “shoddy information gathering” and “its politicized interpretation of the ‘data.’” The article added that CAIR “clearly has an axe to grind,” that it relies entirely on self-reporting, and that it makes “molehills become mountains.”The Washington Times notes that CAIR “unashamedly exaggerates the number of such incidents” and that “the data is phony.”

Responding to CAIR’s 2003 report, the Justice Department called the group’s claims irresponsible: “We’re talking about unfair criticism based on a lot of misinformation and propaganda,” a department spokesman said.

CAIR allows people to file complaints online, or download the complaint form and mail it in with optional supporting documents, such as photos and police reports. The group urges the complainant to file a report, “even if you believe it is a ‘small’ incident.”

CAIR impedes federal rights investigations to further promote its agenda of “Muslim as victim.”

According to the FBI, CAIR purposefully ignores the request of its agents to keep quiet about ongoing investigations.

Ross Rice, a spokesman for the Chicago FBI, cited the 2005 case of a local Muslim family who received telephone death threats from an unidentified individual. The FBI was investigating the complaint and the caller, if found, could face felony charges, Rice said.

Rice told the Chicago Tribune that the FBI had asked CAIR not to publicize the case. But CAIR issued a release anyway, which drew local media coverage. By failing to heed the FBI’s wishes, he said, CAIR “compromised or impeded our investigation.”

Yaser Tabbara, then executive director of CAIR’s Chicago office, said his organization issued a statement to make the FBI and other agencies “more responsive” and to put the matter “under spotlight.” He added, “That makes them take this as seriously as we would want them to take it….We believe we did this in the best interest of the victim.”

Other incidents that CAIR has labeled “hate crimes” have turned out to be dubious.

On July 9, 2004, a fire caused $50,000 in damage at the Continental Spices Cash & Carry, a Pakistani-owned grocery store in Everett, Washington, specializing in Pakistani, Indian and Middle Eastern foods. After putting out the fire, Everett police and firefighters found a gasoline can and a derogatory message directed toward Arabs spray-painted on a wall. A white cross was spray-painted on a refrigerator in the back of the store.

Police cautioned against hastily labeling the incident a hate crime. The department spokesman, Sgt. Boyd Bryant, said, “we need to give the detectives time to do their job.”

Rejecting that advice, CAIR issued a press release the following day that “called on local and national leaders to address the issue of growing Islamophobic prejudice following an arson attack on a Muslim-owned business in Washington State.”

But on August 19, police arrested the store’s owner, Mirza Akram, on a federal arson warrant. He was accused of setting fire to the store to collect insurance on the building and its contents. The U.S. attorney alleged that mounting financial losses led Akram to stage the arson and then make it look like a hate crime.

Jurors deadlocked 10-2 in favor of conviction at Akram’s 2006 trial. He subsequently was convicted of food stamp fraud and is scheduled for release in March 2008.

Similarly, CAIR issued a press release on August 13, 2004 titled, “Texas Muslim Store Torched, NY Muslim Beaten.” The release stated:

The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) today called on the FBI to investigate an intentionally-set fire at a Muslim store in McAllen, Texas…According to the Texas grocery store owner, a U.S. resident of Jordanian origin, the fire occurred late last week and followed two separate incidents in which unknown parties painted the phrase ‘Go Home’ on the door of the store that sells halal meat and other items…Jewelry kept in the store was reportedly stolen.

CAIR’s Hooper added, “If whoever set this fire was motivated by anti-Muslim bias, that person needs to be brought to justice before he or she can strike again.”

In September 2004, Amjad Abunar, the owner of the store, was arrested and charged with setting the fire himself.730 The case remains open – Abunar disappeared shortly before his December 2005 trial date and a bench warrant for his arrest remains in effect.

X. CAIR’s Extremism and Anti-Semitism

  • CAIR national spokesman Ibrahim Hooper supports Saudi financial assistance to the families of “martyrs.”

In April 2002, United Press International reported on $33 million dollars that Saudi Arabia had paid to the families of Palestinians killed or injured during the Intifada. The Saudis had also set aside an additional $50 million for these payments, which went to, among others, the families of suicide bombers:

According to Ibrahim Hooper, spokesman for the Washington-based Council on American Islamic Relations, the Islamic faith enjoins Muslims to take care of widows and especially orphans. The families of suicide bombers are just as needy as those killed by military attacks, he said.

“They want to make it sound like… [all the money is for] the families of suicide bombers,” Hooper told United Press International.

Hooper is further quoted in the UPI story challenging critics “to find a list of Palestinian orphans who shouldn’t be fed. Give us a list of Palestinian widows and orphans so Muslims can comply with dictates of not feeding the wrong people. Are you supposed to penalize some child, some widow, because of what their father did or did not do?”

Criticism of the Saudi financial support “plays very well [in the United States] when you have this hysteria fed by the far right,” Hooper said.

· Director of CAIR-Southern California Hussam Ayloush has used the term “zionazi” to describe Israeli Jews.

In e-mail correspondence, Ayloush has compared Israelis to Nazis, writing: “Indeed, the zionazis are a bunch of nice people; just like their nazi brethren! It is just that the world keeps making up lies about them! It is so unfair.”

· CAIR has claimed that Jews control U.S. policy.

CAIR officials routinely turn criticism of American foreign policy into canards about Jewish control over the American government. For example, Awad told a Georgetown University Muslim Students Association audience in 1998 that the Jewish origin of many Clinton administration officials helps drive U.S. policy.

Among Clinton advisors, he asked, “Who is opposing the latest agreement with Iraq? Look at their names.  Look at their ethnic, their ethnic or religious or racial background. You will see that these are the same groups that belong to the same interest groups in the Administration,” Awad said.  “These are the same people who are pushing the United States to go to war on behalf of a third party, and they are the same people who are opposing the peace process…”

Following President George W. Bush’s election, CAIR made almost the identical claim about his administration. CAIR officers sent the new president a letter warning him to beware of the penetration of Zionist voices in U.S. decision-making, Al-Arab al-Yawm reported Jan. 29, 2001.

At CAIR’s “Meet Your Congressman” event two months later, Omar Ahmad told the audience that “Muslims in the U.S. are willing to be a catalyst to unite the Muslim world with Washington.  It is the Israeli lobby that is demonizing Islam.”

Similarly, Al-Lewa’a newspaper reported on August 30, 2000 that Awad said, “The Jews plan to distort Islam’s image and have succeeded in their plans. This Jewish plan had borne hostility towards Islam and deforming its image.”

On Aug. 8, 2001, CAIR-NY circulated a letter to the editor of the New York Daily News complaining about “Zionists’ Attempts to Intimidate Muslims or Block their Political Rights in America”:

All of the 1.3 billion Muslims of the world, 7 million of whom are American citizens, and all fair-minded people, oppose the Israeli brutal apartheid policies and support the right of the expelled Palestinians to return to their own homes under international law. We also categorically reject any attempt by the ADL or extremist Zionists like Dov Hikind to impose a pro-Israel “litmus test” on Americans exercising

their political rights in the election process.

A week later, on August 15, CAIR-NY circulated an open letter addressed to President Bush and Secretary of State Colin Powell calling on them to condemn Israel’s “ongoing campaign of political assassination.” The document stated, “Political intimidation by the domestic Zionist and pro-Israeli lobbying groups should never prevent the U.S., a ‘superpower,’ from upholding the basic standards of international law and human rights.”

When votes approached in May 2002 on congressional resolutions supporting Israeli actions against terrorist strongholds in the West Bank, CAIR issued a press release stating that the move “amounted to American elected officials ‘pledging allegiance’ to a foreign government.”

Awad added, “It is truly disturbing to see American elected officials falling over themselves in an unseemly attempt to ‘pledge allegiance’ to a foreign government and its domestic lobby. Perhaps these same politicians should be reminded that they were elected by American, not Israeli voters.”

Following the April 2004 assassination of Hamas leader Abdel Aziz Rantisi, a CAIR press release, which referred to Rantisi merely as a “Palestinian political leader,” stated, “Until our leaders act in America’s interests, and not just those of a foreign state or its domestic lobby, we will continue to be viewed worldwide as a party to oppression, not as a force for freedom or justice.”

In a July 9, 2004 press release, CAIR asked, “How long will America’s international image and interests be held hostage by a domestic lobby for a foreign government?”

· CAIR-Chicago executive director’s college web page defends Holocaust denial, asserts Jews control the media

As a DePaul University graduate student in the mid 1990s, Ahmed Rehab published a web page. It featured personal information such as his interests in music and film, his favorite athletes and entertainers and even his pet peeve: “Having to repeat what I just said.”

It also served as an outlet for his essays. In one, entitled “Double Standardism: The Case of the Two Books,” Rehab challenges Holocaust history, calling it “the established opinions of the able Jewish historians regarding the details of the holocaust.”

It was written just after a May 1996 Charlie Rose show that featured a debate about St. Martin’s Press’ withdrawal from a contract to publish a biography of Nazi propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels. Rehab, now CAIR-Chicago’s executive director, contrasted western reaction to David Irving’s book to that of Salman Rushdie’s novel “The Satanic Verses.”

In doing so, Rehab rewrote history to cut the Nazi death toll of Jews in half.

“Rushdie targeted a world-wide religion, 1300 years of history, and one billion people,” Rehab wrote. “Irving targeted a historical event, 2 years of history and three million people.”

Rehab distanced his views from the fatwa calling for Rushdie’s death, but said the book never should have been published. But he defended Irving’s book as merely presenting an alternative – and perhaps more sober – viewpoint.

“If the Jewish historians have the right to research the history of the Holocaust and dictate it for schools and Universities, why can’t other historians do the same even if their findings are different? aren’t they less likely to be biased and non-objectively sympathetic?”

Rose stayed mostly out of the fray as guests Christopher Hitchens and Eric Breindel debated St. Martin’s decision. But at the end, he asked Hitchens whether he was persuaded by Irving’s conclusions about the Holocaust. Hitchens said he wasn’t.

“By that,” Rehab wrote, “Rose confirmed the Jewish control over the media.”

· CAIR has invited neo-Nazi William Baker to speak at several conferences, and attacked those who pointed out Baker’s history.

CAIR invited the Rev. William Baker to speak at multiple events, including a Sept. 7, 2002 CAIR New York event at which he was the keynoter756, a CAIR-Florida meeting Aug. 12, 2003, a November 29, 2003 dinner in Northern Virginia, and an Oct. 18, 2003 CAIR New Jersey conference.

Baker was chairman of the “Populist Party” — founded by neo-Nazi Willis Carto in 1984, and organized its national convention that year.  Carto, a founder of the American Nazi party, also started the Southern California-based Institute for Historical Review, a group whose central purpose is to deny the Holocaust.

Baker has attempted to reinvent himself, seeking to jettison his past as a member of a neo- Nazi party and become known as a pro-Palestinian Middle East expert. He authored Theft of a Nation, a stridently pro-Arab, anti-Israel and anti-Jewish book, published in 1982. Baker has written that achievement of “true justice and real conciliation” in the Middle East requires that “all Jews who entered Palestine during the British Mandate from 1917 to 1948 and after the establishment of the state of Israel should return to the various countries of their origin” and also that the “Zionist state of Israel . . . should be dismantled and eventually eliminated.”

After the Anti-Defamation League wrote letters complaining of CAIR’s association with Baker, CAIR countered with a press release attacking the ADL for “attempts to defame Muslims.”

· CAIR has repeatedly defended Muslim Brotherhood leader Yusuf al- Qaradawi.

Qaradawi is a prominent and vehemently anti-Semitic leader of the Muslim Brotherhood in Qatar. The Muslim Brotherhood is the ideological underpinning for all modern Islamic terrorist groups, including Hamas and Al Qaeda.

In response to the critically acclaimed 1994 PBS documentary, Jihad in America, which showed Qaradawi at a 1989 conference in Kansas City predicting “On the hour of judgment, Muslims will fight the Jews and kill them,” CAIR claimed that he actually had “often spoken out against religious extremism.” In fact, however — as documented below

— Qaradawi defends suicide bombings, is hostile to Jews, and has called for attacks on U.S. civilians in Iraq.

In January 1998, the Associated Press quoted Qaradawi as writing, “There should be no dialogue with these people [Israelis] except with swords.” And in April 2001, commenting on suicide bombings, he said, “They are not suicide operations…These are heroic martyrdom operations.”

And yet, at the 2002 Orange County CAIR fundraiser, Hussam Ayloush referred to Qaradawi as a “scholar:”

Several people were asking about the eligibility claim for CAIR. And according to many scholars including Yusuf Qaradawi, basically this is one of the venues of Zakat for your money as vis a vis basically educating about Islam in America and the West.

On July 26, 2005, in an interview on MSNBC,770 CAIR’s legal director Arsalan Iftikhar said:

For example, if you look at Sheik Yusuf Al-Qaradawi, the — one of the most famous Muslim scholars in Cairo, Egypt, he has said unequivocally that people who commit suicide bombings and — and acts of terror are completely outside the bounds of Islam.

In September 2004, Qaradawi ruled it a religious duty for Muslims to fight Americans in Iraq, including U.S. civilians.

· CAIR officials have expressed their ultimate desire for an Islamic government in the United States.

In the April 4, 1993 Minneapolis Star Tribune, Hooper is quoted as saying, “I wouldn’t want to create the impression that I wouldn’t like the government of the United States to be Islamic sometime in the future.”

CAIR Chairman Ahmad was bolder during a July 1998 gathering of California Muslims. “Islam isn’t in America to be equal to any other faith, but to become dominant,” Ahmad said, according to the San Ramon Valley Herald. “The Koran . . . should be the highest authority in America, and Islam the only accepted religion on earth.” Although CAIR denied that Ahmad made the remark and claimed that it was seeking a retraction, the paper was never contacted and the reporter sticks by her story.

And current CAIR board member Ihsan Bagby was quoted in Steve A. Johnson’s “Political Activities of Muslims in America” as saying, “Ultimately we can never be full citizens of this country…because there is no way we can be fully committed to the institutions and ideologies of this country.”

· CAIR undertakes the free distribution of a Saudi-approved version of the Quran that has been banned for blatant anti-Semitism.

After subsequently discredited reporting by Newsweek had sparked riots in Afghanistan, CAIR offered to distribute free Qurans to anyone who requested a copy, “as a response to those who would defame and desecrate the holy book of Muslims without full knowledge of its teachings.”  CAIR’s website further stated, “False and uninformed accusations have been leveled against the Qur’an for some time. But now, this initiative places the sacred text directly in the hands of the American people and encourages all people of conscience to discover the truth about Islam.”

However, the version of the Quran (The Meaning of the Holy Quran) being distributed by CAIR was one that has been banned by the Los Angeles School district, which deemed it to be anti-Semitic.

This version’s commentary and index shows that the Quran sometimes describes Jews as “apes” and “pigs.”  An assistant professor of religious studies at San Diego State University, Khaleel Mohammed, says the Saudi-approved edition was first published by Abdullah Yusuf Ali in 1934 at “a time both of growing Arab animosity toward Zionism and in a milieu that condoned anti-Semitism.” According to the professor, Ali designed this version of the Quran as a “polemic against Jews.” And despite various revisions since its initial publication in 1934, Mohammed stated that the footnoted commentary about Jews “remained so egregious” that in April 2002 the Los Angeles school district banned its use at local schools.

CAIR continued its use of the same version in its free Quran distribution project.

· CAIR chairman supports “blasphemy laws.”

At a CAIR-sponsored event at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., titled “Religious and Political Perspectives on the Cartoon Controversy,” CAIR Chairman Ahmed called for the U.S. government, and those around the world, to adopt “blasphemy” laws to ensure that cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed like those originally published by the Danish newspaper, Jyllands-Posten, could not be published again.

At the event, Ahmed stated:

I think the next steps would be to broaden the scope of anti- hate laws and even contemplate about passing blasphemy laws, because blasphemy with such sacred icons, like the Prophet Muhammad, like the Quran, or the cross, or other religious symbols … So governments, legislatures, international bodies … must contemplate about what are the ways in which an anti-blasphemy law can be passed that can protect the right to exercise freedom of religion.

· CAIR Florida official spreads misinformation about stoning in Iran.

Ahmed Bedier, executive director of CAIR’s Tampa chapter, appeared on a local public television forum in August 2007 to rebut the findings of the documentary “Islam vs.

Islamists,” which chronicled the efforts of moderate Muslims to minimize the influence of radicals over their faith.

Part of the discussion focused on video the documentary included of a veiled woman apparently being stoned to death. The panelists, including Bedier, criticized the documentary for not providing specific information about where and when the video was shot. Bedier then portrayed stoning as a part of all monotheistic traditions. It is nearly impossible to have stoning as a punishment for adultery, he said, because four eyewitnesses to the act are required.

So you have to be like a porn star to get convicted,” he said.

Asked whether he, as a Muslim, would sanction stoning or lashing someone, Bedier evaded the question. “It’s definitely not government sanctioned,” he said, “that punishment is not carried out these days. You never hear about it.”

In fact, an Iranian woman was reported stoned to death a month earlier. Amnesty International routinely monitors nations that sentence people to punishments of stoning. In October 2005, the human rights group issued a statement expressing its horror that Iran continues to pass sentences of stoning despite having announced a moratorium on such executions.”

In September 2006, the organization identified seven Iranian women it said were “at risk of execution by stoning.” In addition, the organization said a man and a woman had been stoned to death in May 2006.

XI. CAIR Denies the Challenges Posed by Radical Islamists

  • CAIR officials have denied that “jihad” is the motivating ideology underlying Islamic terrorism.

In an apparent effort to sanitize Islamic fundamentalism, Nihad Awad redefined “jihad” in an August 23, 1998 interview with Liane Hansen on NPR’s “Weekend Sunday”:

You know, holy war is like fatwa, it’s become a buzz word. And I think they’re severely misunderstood. I don’t see holy war as a concept in Islam, it is not, it does not exist. There is a word jihad. Jihad is severely misunderstood. Jihad means legitimate struggle.

The United States army, when it goes to defend innocent people, that’s a form of jihad. Whenever a conductor (sic) tries to save the life of a baby, is a — is a jihad. A mother to raise her children is jihad. You know, an honest person who wants to get good life is jihad. And also to struggle against injustice is jihad.

All these things are noble meanings of jihad in  Islam. It never means holy war. It does not exist in the Arabic or Islamic literature, it is not in the Koran, it is not in the prophetic tradition. It is a misnomer, it is a mis-translation of a noble concept in Islam which is jihad.

Similarly, Hussam Ayloush, director of CAIR-Southern California, said in a January 2004 talk, “jihad definitely does not mean holy war. Actually, the term ‘holy war’ does not exist in Islamic terminology.”791 He repeated this view during an April 2005 lecture at Chaffey College in Rancho Cucamonga, Calif., saying “Jihad is the Arabic word for strive. Any struggle in a person’s life, not just a Muslim’s, is a jihad.” He added, “Being a student is a jihad because you are striving to learn.”

And CAIR New York’s Ghazi Khankan commented, “The term ‘holy war’ is of non- Islamic origin.  It was used by the crusaders in the 10th century…There is no such two words in Al-Quraan, the holy book…Some media unfortunately translate the word ‘jihad’ incorrectly as ‘holy war.’”

Those benign definitions are for public consumption. In contrast, when CAIR Chairman Omar Ahmad spoke at the 1999 IAP convention, he defined “jihad” as, in part, “to fight in the Way of Allah.  To make war.”

CAIR’s denial of jihad’s militant meaning has continued as recently as early 2004, when several teams participating in a Muslim football tournament in California chose names such as “Intifada,” “Mujahedeen” and “Soldiers of Allah,” creating considerable controversy.

As an article in The Washington Post described the teams’ uniforms: “Intifada featured a man wearing a military helmet, his face — save his eyes — covered by a bandana. The Soldiers of Allah emblem showed a masked man in the act of firing a slingshot, and Mujahedeen’s depicted a horse-borne figure in flowing robes, bearing a weapon on his shoulder.”

Despite community protests that the names were offensive, Sabiha Khan, communications director of the Southern California chapter of CAIR, asserted:

These terms are basically very positive terms within the Muslim community and historically speaking…The popular definitions . . . are twisted. They’re no longer what they mean, Islamically speaking.

· CAIR officials protested the use of the term “Islamist” terrorism in the 9/11 Commission Report.

Following the release of the 9/11 Commission Report, Ibrahim Hooper criticized the use of the term “Islamist” terrorism, arguing that it appears to unfairly attack Islam as a whole.

Hooper remarked, “‘Islamist’ is one of those hot-button terms that are ill-defined or not defined at all…They’re basically saying this is a label for Muslims we don’t like or agree with.”

Arsalan Iftikhar, CAIR Legal Director, said the commission “seems to stigmatize anyone with ties to Islam.” In a guest column published by the Dallas Morning News, Iftikhar said “the term ‘Islamist terrorism’ is nothing more than an oversimplification of our complex and kaleidoscopic national security paradigm.”

·         CAIR spokesman Ibrahim Hooper has said that Wahhabism is a term “invented to scare people about Muslim bogeymen.”

When asked about Wahhabism in July 2003, Hooper said, “It’s one of those terms which is invented to scare people about Muslim bogeymen. It’s just all part of the extremely powerful right wing and their agenda right now to demonize Saudi Arabia and demonize anything associated with Saudi Arabia.”

Wahhabism is “a made-up word by those who don’t want to appear to be attacking Islam,” Hooper said in a separate interview two months later.

· CAIR officials downplayed the significance of a report documenting the presence of Saudi hate literature in U.S. mosques and a Saudi school in Virginia.

A Freedom House report issued in January 2005 exposed the Saudi government’s dissemination of hate literature in the United States. Many of the documents cited by Freedom House advocated jihad, taught hatred of Jews and Shiite Muslims, or condemned democratic societies.

After arguing that most American Muslims could not read the documents because they do not understand Arabic, Hooper told The Christian Science Monitor, “we can rely on the good judgment and common sense of Muslims to reject such thinking if they come across it.”

CAIR board member Nabil Sadoun also challenged the Freedom House report in a Dallas Morning News op-ed. Sadoun, a member of the Dallas Central Mosque — where Freedom House had found a document declaring, “We consider ourselves to be in a continuous war against the Zionist enemy in every way until we achieve the hopes of the Arab nation driving the occupier out” — condemned the researchers’ methodology. He wrote, “The study has a sample size of 15, too low in my estimation…Moreover, the study does not cite how the materials were obtained…The authors did not offer any process by which independent verification could be made of the materials and the translation’s accuracy of those materials from Arabic…The Freedom House report fails to rise to the level of an objective, unbiased and academically worthy study.

In the same Dallas Morning News issue, Legal Director Iftikhar wrote, “there may be more hysteria than substance in what Freedom House would want us to believe.” Instead of addressing the radicalism within the American Muslim community, Iftikhar changed the topic, urging Freedom House to “write a report on hate speech levied against Islam and Muslims by some of America’s most notable evangelical leaders.”

Similarly, CAIR downplayed the July 2004 revelation that textbooks at the Islamic Saudi Academy in Virginia were teaching first graders that Judaism and Christianity were false religions. Hooper told the Associated Press, “The fact that one sentence in one book, out of an entire curriculum, needs to be changed or clarified hardly justifies sweeping charges of extremism.”

In September 2005, U.S. Undersecretary of State for Public Diplomacy Karen Hughes, while on an official visit to Saudi Arabia, told a group of Saudi journalists that the Bush administration was concerned about a study (Freedom House) that identified anti-Christian and anti-Semitic literature, connected to Saudi religious organizations, found in American mosques. She told the reporters, “We are concerned that literature has been found in American mosques that has a message that is not tolerant, and we hope the people of Saudi Arabia will work with us as we try to deal with this issue.” CAIR attacked both her comments and the initial Freedom House report, charging that her remarks were based on a faulty study with an “inherent bias.” Hooper said, “We don’t agree that there is widespread literature of that kind in mosques in America.

Most recently, Hooper has tried to downplay the May 2007 Pew Research Center survey showing 26 percent of American Muslims under age 30 justify suicide bombings in defense of Islam. Appearing on MSNBC with host Tucker Carlson May 23, 2007, Hooper dismissed questions about suicide bombing and the 60 percent of respondents who didn’t believe Muslims carried out the 9/11 attacks.

“They‘re not against al Qaeda in the numbers that most people are, judging by these numbers. And they don‘t believe that Muslims were behind 9/11,” Carlson said. “You know what, objectively, that is a problem.  But you don‘t see it as one.”

Muslim American attitudes in general “mirrored the views of people of all faiths in America,” Hooper said. “Work hard to get ahead, send your kids to school.” He accused Carlson of “cherry picking” a handful of negative responses from among hundreds of questions.

That seemed to set Carlson off, prompting this exchange:

CARLSON: I have the—some of the questions right here. They are not hundreds. And I thought those were the most telling and you are not concerned, but I am. But I appreciate your coming on.

HOOPER:  I’m concerned that you would pick on only negative.

CARLSON: Right! You‘re a victim! Of course! I totally forgot! It‘s always the media‘s fault, right. … no one in the community is unreasonable. It is always the media.  I‘m sorry, I forgot my talking points.

XII. CAIR’s Rejection of an Arab-Israeli Peace

CAIR is vehemently opposed to both the Israeli-Palestinian peace process and to the normalization of relations between Israel and the Palestinians. For example, in a 1999 interview, Omar Ahmad rejected the peace process as “a security arrangement in which the stronger party (Israel), backed by the U.S., is getting the most and the weaker party (Palestinians) are forced to accept whatever is thrown at them.”   And in a statement given to the London-based Al-Awsat newspaper, Nihad Awad said that a bias in favor of countries like Israel “has brought the United States nothing but losses, an absence of a sense of justice, and an erosion in its international credibility.”

Despite claims to the contrary, CAIR officials have rejected a two-state solution and justified violence as a means to a legitimate end.

In the July 2001 Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, Awad said, “Our preference is peaceful negotiation…but if the peace process is flawed, then resistance is necessary.”

At a Right of Return rally in front of the White House on September 16, 2000, Awad rejected coexistence between Israelis and Palestinians, stating, “they [the Jews] have been saying ‘next year to Jerusalem,’ we say ‘next year to all Palestine.’”

The U.S. and Israel are the true terrorists, he said at an Oct. 7, 2000 rally outside the Israeli Embassy in Washington, D.C.:

Israel receives more than $6.3 billion every year (from the United States)…more than $50 billion have financed terrorism against the Palestinians…more than $50 billion have been given to soldiers acting in the name of Israel but in reality they were acting in the name of the United States… who is the real terrorist? Isn’t it the Israelis? The Israelis have been maiming children, have been killing innocent people, have been bombing cities, no objection by the United States…all these things are happening, are happening in the name of the United States.

During the rally, spectators chanted, “Khaibar, Khaibar, Ya Yahud, Jaysh Muhammed Safayood” (“Khaibar, Khaibar, O Jews, the Army of Mohammed is coming for you”), as well as the Hamas slogans, “With our blood and soul we will liberate Palestine,” and “with our blood and soul we will sacrifice our life on your behalf, martyr.”

And, as noted earlier, CAIR founders Omar Ahmad and Nihad Awad participated in a 1993 meeting called by Hamas members and sympathizers to discuss ways to “derail” the Oslo Accords. The group’s conversation emphasized that a successful peace deal could boost the secular Palestine Liberation Organization and marginalize the Islamist movement. In addition, Ahmad and others acknowledged that their objective was the “’48 territories,” meaning all of what is now Israel.820

XIII. CAIR Supports Totalitarian Islamic Regimes in Iran and Sudan

CAIR is silent regarding human rights violations committed by Islamists, failing perhaps most notably when it comes to the plight of women under fundamentalist regimes in Iran and Sudan. In fact, CAIR has attacked critical reports on this subject by The New York Times, CBS and anti-slavery groups and activists.  Whenever any such issues are brought to light in the media, CAIR launches campaigns attacking those who report these atrocities as being biased against Islam.

· CAIR supports the totalitarian regime in Iran

CAIR has consistently lobbied to normalize U.S. relations with the Islamic Republic of Iran.  When the U.S. government hinted at a change in policy in early 2000, the organization declared Secretary of State Madeleine Albright’s effort an attempt “to heal the wounds of the past,” and declared that the change in official policy “could be the beginning of a new chapter in relations between America and the Muslim community.”

Anisa Abd El Fattah, who served as a member of CAIR’s board of directors, has led its campaign to rehabilitate Iran in the United States. In a series of articles and interviews in 1998-2000, she portrayed Iran as a moderate, democratic, and unfairly demonized nation.

For example, in a June 1998 letter to the editor of the Washington Times, she wrote: The United States has only one strategic asset in the Middle

East, namely Israel. This is ludicrous when the region consists of nearly 25 other countries, mostly Arabian. Iran, though not Arabian, is by far the most prosperous and stable of them all. It is also the only one of these countries that is truly democratic. In fact, an Iranian representative chairs the Organization of the Islamic Conference, a representative body of the Muslim world.822

Abd El Fattah co-hosted a panel sponsored by UASR at the 1999 AMC convention in Crystal City, Virginia. The panel, entitled “U.S. and Iran, Time to Talk,” was scheduled to feature Iranian Ambassador to the United Nations Sayyid Hadi Najad Hossenian, but he was barred from the event by the State Department. Advising the audience that Hossenian would not appear, Abd El Fattah spoke out against the pro-Israel pundits who she claimed were responsible for Hossenian’s exclusion. “I don’t know about you, but what that tells me is that I have a challenge; and that challenge is to speak louder than them [the pro-Israel groups], be more active than they are. They love Israel. We love America, and we also love Iran,” she said.

CAIR as an organization also has backed Iran. In December 1997, it condemned the Simon Wiesenthal Center Museum of Tolerance for the museum’s inclusion of Ayatollah Khomeini among other totalitarian leaders such as Adolf Hitler. CAIR, along with MPAC and the Islamic Shura Council of Southern California, sent a letter to Wiesenthal Center founder, Rabbi Marvin Hier, stating:

The museum contains several displays that could raise the existing level of intolerance toward Muslims and Islam. For example:

  1. The ‘Wall of Demagogues’ contains a very offensive juxtaposition of Hitler and the Ayatollah Whatever one thinks of Khomeini, to place his image alongside that of Hitler can only serve to equate Islam with Nazism.
  2. Both images of Ayatollah Khomeini show his hand extended in a ‘Nazi’ salute….825

It is noteworthy that CAIR and its supporters have themselves frequently compared Zionism to Nazism, and Prime Minister Ariel Sharon to Hitler.

In a March 1, 1999, Internet posting, CAIR attacked a February 28, 1999 New York Times article titled “Trip of Discoveries, Some Unhappy, in Iran,” written by Elaine Sciolino. The article criticized Iranian practices of discrimination against women, including foreign visitors. Without specifically instructing its readers what to say, the CAIR posting asked them to contact Sciolino’s supervisor or send a letter to the editor.

· CAIR supports Sudan despite its human rights violations and endemic slavery.

CAIR has been outspoken in its support for Sudan, a country also included on the U.S. State Department’s list of state sponsors of terrorism. Specifically, the U.S. government has condemned Hasan al-Turabi, the head of the National Islamic Front, for supporting terrorism (including giving sanctuary to Osama bin Laden), launching a genocidal war in southern Sudan, and committing continued human rights violations.

One of the pivotal human rights issues in Sudan is the presence of a thriving slave trade. CAIR denies the existence of such a slave trade and considers any reference to slavery in Sudan an affront to Islam, because Sudan is governed by Islamic law.

In 2000, CAIR’s Hussam Ayloush attempted to gloss over the presence of the Sudanese slave trade and also to distort the basis for the conflict in Sudan: “It’s really stretching the situation away from the truth if we call them slavery raids by Muslims to enslave Christians. This information had been coming out from certain groups from clear political agendas.” Ayloush argued that the civil conflict in Sudan was based on factors beyond religion such as ethnic and tribal rivalries and land and water resources.

In 2001, the U.S. Congress approved the Sudan Peace Act, barring foreign companies operating in Sudan from listing on U.S. stock exchanges unless they fully disclosed their activities in Sudan. The law also put $10 million at the disposal of the National Democratic Alliance (NDA), the umbrella opposition group that included the main armed opposition force, the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA).

Responding to the congressional action, Awad commented, “American Muslims have grown increasingly concerned that the issue of Sudan is being used by those with anti- Islamic political or religious agendas to stereotype Islam and Muslims worldwide.”

Moreover, in July 2004, despite solid evidence that Arab militiamen were carrying out a genocidal ethnic cleansing campaign against the African Fur, Massaleit, and Zaghawa ethnic groups, Hooper stated, “We don’t have enough knowledge of the situation to make judgments.”

Even when CAIR added its name to a “unity statement” calling for action in Sudan, Hooper cautioned against “allowing exploitation of the suffering to promote political or religious agendas.”

CAIR later complained about a rally sponsored by the group that organized the “unity statement,” stating in a press release that the lack of speakers from the “major American Muslim groups,” demonstrated that the organizers had an ulterior “agenda”:

(WASHINGTON, DC, 4/30/2006) — The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) today questioned why no representatives of major American Muslim groups are listed as speakers at the Save Darfur Coalition “Rally to Stop Genocide” this afternoon in Washington, D.C.

CAIR and other American Muslim groups, including the Islamic Society of North America, the Islamic Circle of North America, the Muslim Public Affairs Council, and the Muslim American Society Freedom Foundation, are members of the coalition. But no representative from these, or any Muslim coalition member, is listed on the latest rally program. (Several Muslims will speak, but they do not represent Islamic groups that are coalition members.)…

“It is unfortunate that the Save Darfur Coalition chose not to list any mainstream American Muslim groups in the rally program,” said CAIR Executive Director Nihad Awad. “This disturbing omission calls into question the coalition’s true agenda at the rally.”

XIV. What Others Say about CAIR

a. Steven Pomerantz, former assistant director and former chief of the Counterterrorism Section, FBI

It is clear from a review of CAIR’s statements and activities that one of its goals is to further the agenda of radical Islamic terrorist groups by providing political support. By masquerading as a mainstream public affairs organization, CAIR has taken the lead in trying to mislead the public about the terrorist underpinnings of militant Islamic movements, in particular, Hamas

Any objective assessment of the material…leads to the conclusion that CAIR, its leaders, and its activities, effectively give aid to international terrorist groups.

Unfortunately, CAIR is but one of a new generation of new groups in the United States that hide under a veneer of “civil rights” or “academic” status but in fact are tethered to a platform that supports terrorism. The degree to which these groups are able to deceive the American public and intimidate writers and counter-terrorist officials will be a significant ingredient in whether this country will be rendered more vulnerable to terrorism in future years.

b. Senator Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.)

Speaking during the Senate Subcommittee on Terrorism, Technology and Homeland Security’s September 10, 2003 hearing, Schumer said to a witness: “You point out that the Islamic Development Bank has given large sums of money to CAIR, which we know has ties to terrorism.” At the same hearing, Schumer also stated, “prominent members of (CAIR’s) current leadership, who you, Mr. Chairman, invited to the hearings today, they declined to testify, also have intimate connections with Hamas, and that is another terrorist group that has received funding from Saudi Arabia and supports in many ways the tenet of Wahhabism.”

c. Senator Richard Durbin (D-Ill.)

At the same September 10, 2003 hearing, Durbin said, “I would hope that if there was a future hearing involving this, Mr. Chairman, that other than the CAIR organization, which apparently from what I have read is unusual in its extreme rhetoric and its association with groups that are suspect…[T]here are many mainstream groups of Muslim Americans who fully support this war against terrorism and I would hope that they would be invited to speak to their heartfelt beliefs about this effort …”

d. Senator Barbara Boxer (D-Cal.)

In December 2006, Senator Boxer rescinded an award issued to Basim Elkarra, a CAIR official in Sacramento. Boxer said she was unaware the award had been issued and that her staff had failed to investigate CAIR’s background sufficiently.

To praise an organization because they haven’t been indicted is like somebody saying, ‘I’m not a crook,’” Boxer says. “I’m going to take a lot of hits for this. But I’m just doing what I think is right.”

e. Khalim Massoud, president of Muslims Against Sharia

So-called “civil rights” groups, i.e. , CAIR, MPAC, ICNA, MAS, etc. that comprise Muslim establishment are nothing more than offshoots of the Muslim Brotherhood and fronts for Hamas and al-Qaeda. They are very well financed and are extremely skillful manipulators of the media. And most of the people in government and media truly believe that those groups are moderate, because they are either too lazy to do research or they choose to ignore terrorist ties

f. Ibrahim Abdul Mu’min, New York chapter president of Free Muslim Coalition Against Terrorism

In February 2005, Abdul Mu’min wrote, “I denounce the so-called Islamic organizations such as CAIR (The Council on American-Islamic Relations), which constantly tells Muslims in America that they are in danger from some sort of non-existent plot to defame Islam. These fear-mongering organizations succeed because their followers are too ignorant of their own religion and history to see them as liars and hypocrites.”

“CAIR should be helping Muslims to become part of the ‘American Fabric,’ to co- operate, and integrate into our society. Instead, CAIR pushes Muslims into a kind of emotional helplessness, trying to force upon them the unpleasant gratification of feeling themselves victims, and then filling them with a sort of lurking, sardonic consciousness that the “victim” is stronger than the “victimizer.” In the end they want the victims to pull down their victimizer like a pack of hyenas on an unwary lion… America. The victimization by America, however, is false. The real victimizer is CAIR itself. Expose their Wahabbi (sic) Saudi backed agenda. Muslims are not in danger from or in America. America and Muslims are in danger from CAIR.”

g. Tashbih Sayyed, editor-in-chief of Pakistan Today, a California-based weekly newspaper, president of Council for Democracy and Tolerance and adjunct fellow of Hudson Institute

In January 2004, Sayyed wrote, “CAIR, to many Muslims, is a front for the Arab terrorist groups like HAMAS and Hizballah. The fact that CAIR has never condemned HAMAS and Hizballah leadership or the imams who defy Quraa’n’s teachings by preparing young and innocent Muslims to become homicide bombers, supported this impression.

CAIR is always on the lookout for an opening to condemn U.S. policies, has never used its influence to condemn Al-Qaeda, Osama bin Laden, Aiman al Zwahiri and their ilk. CAIR has never used its control over the hearts and minds of the American Muslims to refute the Muslim belief that the United States of America’s war on terror is not a crusade against Islam.”

h. Jamal Hasan, Council for Democracy and Tolerance

The voices of all the Islamic groups resonate as one. That is, Spread Islamic hegemony the world over by hook or by crook”. CAIR in many cases had been dubious about its assessment of Islamic terrorism on US soil. Starting from First WTC bombing to its view on Osama bin Laden before WTC II bombing, CAIR failed to come up clean. Paradoxically, CAIR’s burden of history pushed it into the pile of those entities, which needed a closer scrutiny.

i. Kamal Nawash, founder of the Free Muslim Coalition Against Terrorism

Discussing CAIR and “similar groups” in an October 2004 Washington Times article, Nawash said, “Almost all of their members are theocratic Muslims who reject secularism and want to establish Islamic states. …The heart of the extremism and terrorism in the Muslim world is the idea of political Islam. … Terrorism and extremism is a natural result of theocratic rule.

j. Professor Abdul Hadi Palazzi, director of the Cultural Institute of the Italian Islamic Community and Muslim co- chairman of the Islam-Israel Fellowship

In a March 2003 interview with, Palazzi called CAIR the “U.S. section of Hamas.” He added, “Nihad Awad is a leader of Hamas in the same way that Sami Al-Arian was a leader of Palestinian Islamic Jihad…Why is the same standard not applied?

Palazzi also wrote, “CAIR is an organization that was created and is controlled by the [Muslim] Brotherhood; it works in the United States as a lobby against journalists, media operators, movie producers, etc. who dares [sic] to write things that do not fit their limited interpretation. Their level of intolerance is quite extreme…”

k. Tarek Fatah, host, The Muslim Chronicles on CTS-TV in Toronto

In October 2001, Fatah stated, “It saddens me that CAIR Canada has become one of the leading organizations speaking on behalf of Muslims…And they won’t even come out and formally denounce the people we know are behind the terrorism, because they have indirect support from the same groups. This nonsense of condemning the act and then wriggling out of their responsibility needs to be confronted.”

l. Seif Ashmawy, publisher, Voice of Peace

In January 1996, Ashmaway wrote:

Both organizations [CAIR and AMC] champion extremists whose views do not represent Islam. They do not represent moderate Muslims such as myself…Those Muslims, who defend extremists who promote the hatred of the non-Muslim as well as moderate Muslims undermine our own image.”

The real challenge to moderate Muslims like myself is to prevent my Muslim brethren from being deceived by extremist groups that pretend to represent their interests. The difficulty in [this] job is compounded when the deception is perpetrated by American journalists who should know better.

It is a known fact that both the AMC and CAIR have defended, apologized for and rationalized the actions of extremists groups and leaders such as convicted World Trade Center conspirator Sheik Omar Abdul Rahman, Egyptian extremists, Hassan al-Turabi, the Sudanese National Islamic Front, and extremist parliamentarians from the Jordanian Islamic Action Front

CAIR in its position claiming that imprisoned Hamas leader Musa Abu Marzuk and convicted World Trade Center leader Sheik Omar Abdul Rahman were denied their civil rights because of religious discrimination is not correct. The imprisonment of these two has nothing to do with religion and does not pertain to Islam.

m. Khalid Duran, publisher, TransIslam Magazine

In an October 1995 letter to the President of the Council on Foreign Relations, Duran wrote, “What I find galling — and very harmful — is the publicity Awad/Hooper get as CAIR, that is, as self-proclaimed spokesmen of a community that does not want them. They do not have the interest of the community at heart, their sole concern is self- promotion which then is used for party purposes. Whatever publicity they get helps them obtain the legitimacy they would never get through honest means. With their fraudulent ways they have been singularly successful and soon there will be many in the community who, not knowing the background of this team will simply assume that these are our spokesmen, because that is what we hear all the time in the news.”

n. Dr. M. Zuhdi Jasser, director of the American Islamic Forum for Democracy

An April 2004 Washington Times piece on Jasser noted, “What is especially disturbing to him is the hate-filled rhetoric emanating from Muslim groups like the Council on American Islamic Relations, whose executive director has declared he is ‘in support of the Hamas movement.’”

o. Ahmed Nassef, editor-in-chief of

In June 2004, Nassef wrote, “CAIR’s questionable research methodology holds the key to unraveling the myth of an overwhelmingly conservative American Muslim population…It all comes down to an inescapable reality that CAIR and the other ultra- conservative Muslim organizations just refuse to face — the vast majority of American Muslims are not connected with mosques at all and are not politically conservative.”

p. Matthew Levitt, former FBI terrorism analyst and senior fellow in terrorism studies with the Washington Institute for Near East Studies

In September 2003 Senate testimony, Levitt stated:

The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), which says it was “established to promote a positive image of Islam and Muslims in America,” was co-founded by Omar Ahmed, the same person who co- founded the Islamic Association for Palestine (IAP) — the Hamas front organization which first published the Hamas charter in English — together with Hamas leader and Specially Designated Terrorist Mousa Abu Marzouk. CAIR’s pro-Hamas and pro-Hizballah positions should not surprise, given that it regularly rises to the defense of terrorism suspects and openly supports designated terrorist groups.

q. Yigal Kahana, a North Miami attorney who leads “Jews and Muslims and All,” a local interfaith group that promotes peaceful coexistence

In July 2004, Kahana told a newspaper reporter, “CAIR? We stay away from them with a 10-foot pole. Frankly it’s my opinion that they’re funded by the Saudis, and they have the attitude that creates the environment in which terrorist stuff is taken as normal.”

r. David Keene, Chairman, American Conservative Union

“Osama bin Laden and the terrorists who attacked the West in the name of Islam may represent no one but themselves, but those who represent Islam have an obligation to themselves and to the faith they profess, to condemn them, lest they suffer inadvertently for their crimes….“If CAIR wants respect as representing the best of Islam to the West it must shun the role of enabler by siding with the enemies of terror and intolerance, wherever they’re from.

s. Stephen Schwartz, founder of the Center for Islamic Pluralism

I believe that like the Stalinists of the 1930s and 1940s, CAIR represents an alien ideology without roots in our society. But also like the Communists, I see in CAIR an organization adept at confusing and otherwise dealing with most of its opponents.

CAIR appears to seek subordination of the whole of Sunni Islam in the U.S. to its control. The organization’s outsized ambitions are reflected in its very name – as if it has authority for all relations between the U.S. as a society and the entirety of Islam.

t. Imam Muhammad Shakoor, Irving, Texas

In a September 2006 letter to the editor, Imam Shakoor wrote, “I’ve been a Muslim for 30 years, and I have never been followed, harassed or stopped by the FBI or CIA or at the airport just because I’m a Muslim. Our scriptures say, ‘Be fair and just in our dealing,’ and ‘Stand up for what is right regardless of whom it is against.’ For someone on the Council on American-Islamic Relations to say, ‘Every Muslim has been the victim of suspicion,’ is ignorance. Neither CAIR nor any other group speaks for all Muslims. Some Muslims have to stop thinking that Americans are unintelligent. As an imam, I will never say that I represent all Muslims because I know we have some bad ones and some who need to be checked out. I’m all for that. I will not stand up for bad people.”