State of Israel

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Tuesday, November 16, 2004

Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR)

What is the Council on American-Islamic Relations? by Daniel Pipes

CAIR is particularly worrisome because it claims to be nothing but a mild public affairs organization promoting "interest and understanding among the general public with regards to Islam and Muslims in North America," and is widely seen as such. In fact, it is radical to the core; to quote its chairman, Omar M. Ahmad (as reported by the San Ramon Valley Herald in July 1998), "Islam isn't in America to be equal to any other faith, but to become dominant. The Koran . . . should be the highest authority in America, and Islam the only accepted religion on earth."

CAIR's record includes the following unpleasantries:

* Apologizing for killers such as Hamas (a group associated with the murder
of 7 Americans) and Usama bin Ladin (charged with the devastation of September 11, 2001).

* Helping promote terrorism: In the words of Steve Pomerantz., a former Chief of Counterterrorism for the FBI, "CAIR, its leaders, and its activities, effectively give aid to international terrorist groups."

* Intimidation of patriotic Muslims who disagree with CAIR's militant agenda: In one case (Sheikh Muhammad Hisham Kabbani), the FBI has looked into charges that he received death threats after renouncing the chauvinists. In another (Khalid DurĂ¡n), CAIR's attack on a writer led to a death edict against him - which CAIR has never denounced. (For details on this latter case, see

* Associating with terrorism: Siraj Wahaj, a potential unindicted co-conspirator in the World Trade Center bombing of 1993, sits on its advisory board.

* Bias against women: When a prosecutor in Cleveland argued that two Muslim men had engaged in the "honor killing" of their female cousin, CAIR accused him of "ethnic and religious stereotyping" and demanded he be investigated.

* Sponsorship of blatant antisemitism: At a May 1998 rally at Brooklyn College co-sponsored by CAIR, one speaker referred to Jews as "descendants of the apes."

In short, CAIR represents not the great civilization of Islam but a radical utopian movement originating in the Middle East that seeks to impose its ways on the United States. Americans should consider themselves warned: a new danger exists in their midst.

CAIR also has a history of vituperation and aggressiveness against anyone who opposes its Islamist vision for the United States. In my case, it has sent out nearly a hundred tirades impugning my reputation since July 1999. These have landed everywhere from the op-ed page of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune to the hands of street picketers in Washington, D.C. and Cornell University.


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