Yesterday, I engaged in another cheap shot against the Council on American-Islamic Relations. One commenter challenged me, saying that groups like CAIR that intend to reconcile the differences between Muslims and the West should be encouraged, not slammed.
Steve was right — at least, in part. We should be pushing for such groups to form and act.
Unfortunately, though, CAIR is not one of them.
CAIR is not a civil rights group, a public interest watchdog, or any of those other things usually considered laudable. They are an advocacy group at best, focused entirely on their own agenda. At worst, they’re the propaganda arm, the advance force, of Islamic fascism (the current name) in the United States.
Why don’t I like them? Like I said earlier about religions, I look past their words and focus on their deeds. And those deeds speak volumes. This may be an odd thing for a blogger to say, but talk is cheap. And CAIR has a lengthy history of actions that demonstrate their true agenda.
First off, they can be argued as “the fruit of the poisoned tree,” to use a legalistic metaphor. Several of their leaders have lengthy, established ties to Islamic terrorism. Ghassan Elashi, the founder of CAIR’s Texas chapter, has been convicted of raising money for Hamas under the guise of “charity.” Bassem Khafagi, former CAIR Community Affairs Director, pleaded guilty to bank and visa fraud and was deported back to Egypt. Randall Todd “Ismail” Royer, former CAIR spokesman, has pleaded guilty to weapons and explosives charges while trying to help Muslim terrorists trying to drive India out of Kashmir. And that’s just three I can find readily.
Secondly, they take on the stupidest causes and cry “discrimination” over the silliest reasons. In Florida, a convicted felon who had converted to Islam sued the state
of Alabama because they refused to allow her to pose for her driver’s license while wearing the fill hijab, leaving only her eyes exposed — and CAIR backed her suit. (Thanks, Oyster, for clarifying this. I initially said Florida, but changed it to Alabama when a very cursory check turned up the Alabama case, and I did indeed confuse the two.)
Thirdly, they engage in such petty lies and fraud as to PhotoShop (crudely) a hijab on a woman who dared show up for one of their events bare-headed, releasing the photo to the public.
Fourthly, they have a tendency to take their critics and those who dare to disagree with them to court over the most spurious reasons, in what I can only call a SLAPP (Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Protest)-like strategy. They have sued and/or otherwise hassled critics like Robert Spencer, Michael Graham (hounding him out of his DC talk show job, but he ended up with another gig in Boston), the Wiesenthal Center, Daniel Pipes, Lt. General William Boykin, Don Imus, the film “United 93,” Jackie Mason, and others. They sued the Anti-CAIR web site for “defamation,” then dropped their suit when Anti-CAIR refused to cave and instead threatened to subpoena all sorts of embarassing records that would have proven their allegations that CAIR labeled “defamatory.”
To my understanding, CAIR’s overall policy is that Muslims — especially those that practice their approved “brand” of Islam — have absolute rights to do whatever they want, and those who criticize them have no rights whatsoever. And if those practices should run up against others’ rights, others’ beliefs, or the laws of our nation, those competing interests must yield to Islam. The essential rightness or wrongness of the positions are irrelevant; the Muslims are always in the right. If they want a driver’s license with their face entirely masked save for their eyes, that’s fine. If they feel the need to fake a head covering on a woman who didn’t wear one at their event, that’s all right. And if anyone dares speak against them, using the plain, unvarnished, simple truth as their weapon, then they need to be denounced, protested against, even sued to silence them.
Yes, people and groups that wish to promote peace and understanding between Muslims and non-Muslims ought to be encouraged.
It’s just a pity that CAIR, one of the most prominent Muslim advocates in the United States, isn’t one of those groups.