CAIR: The NAACP for Islamic Terrorists

by | May 7, 2002

The Washington-based Council on American-Islamic Relations presents itself as just another civil-rights group. “We are similar to a Muslim NAACP,” says spokesman Ibrahim Hooper. Its public language – about promoting “interest and understanding among the general public with regards to Islam and Muslims in North America” – certainly boosts an image of moderation. That reputation […]

The Washington-based Council on American-Islamic Relations presents itself as just another civil-rights group. “We are similar to a Muslim NAACP,” says spokesman Ibrahim Hooper. Its public language – about promoting “interest and understanding among the general public with regards to Islam and Muslims in North America” – certainly boosts an image of moderation.

That reputation has permitted CAIR to prosper since its founding in 1994, garnering sizeable donations, invitations to the White House, respectful media citations and a serious hearing by corporations.

In reality, CAIR is something quite different. For starters, it’s on the wrong side in the war on terrorism. One indication came in October 1998, when the group demanded the removal of a Los Angeles billboard describing Osama bin Laden as “the sworn enemy,” finding this depiction “offensive to Muslims.”

The same year, CAIR denied bin Laden’s responsibility for the twin East African embassy bombings. As Hooper saw it, those explosions resulted from some vague “misunderstandings of both sides.” (A New York court, however, blamed bin Laden’s side alone for the embassy blasts.)

In 2001, CAIR denied his culpability for the Sept. 11 massacre, saying only that “if [note the “if”] Osama bin Laden was behind it, we condemn him by name.” (Only in December was CAIR finally embarrassed into acknowledging his role.)

CAIR consistently defends other militant Islamic terrorists too. The conviction of the perpetrators of the 1993 World Trade Center bombing it deemed “a travesty of justice.” The conviction of Omar Abdel Rahman, the blind sheikh who planned to blow up New York City landmarks, it called a “hate crime.” The extradition order for suspected Hamas terrorist Mousa Abu Marook it labeled “anti-Islamic” and “anti-American.”

Not surprisingly, CAIR also backs those who finance terrorism. When President Bush closed the Holy Land Foundation in December for collecting money he said was “used to support the Hamas terror organization,” CAIR decried his action as “unjust” and “disturbing.”

CAIR even includes at least one person associated with terrorism in its own ranks. On Feb. 2, 1995, U.S. Attorney Mary Jo White named Siraj Wahhaj as one of the “unindicted persons who may be alleged as co-conspirators” in the attempt to blow up New York City monuments. Yet CAIR deems him “one of the most respected Muslim leaders in America” and includes him on its advisory board.

For these and other reasons, the FBI’s former chief of counterterrorism, Steven Pomerantz, concludes that “CAIR, its leaders and its activities effectively give aid to international terrorist groups.”

Nor is terrorism the only disturbing aspect of CAIR’s record. Other problems include:

Intimidating moderate Muslims. In at least two cases (Hisham Kabbani and Khalid Dur

Daniel Pipes is director of the Middle East Forum and a columnist for both the New York Post and The Jerusalem Post. His website, DanielPipes.org, offers an archive of his published writings and a si

The views expressed above represent those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of the editors and publishers of Capitalism Magazine. Capitalism Magazine sometimes publishes articles we disagree with because we think the article provides information, or a contrasting point of view, that may be of value to our readers.

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