CAIRwatch Radical Review (newsletter) The Politics of Terrorism (radio show) BLOG

Saturday, December 30, 2006

Boxer to CAIR: Take my statement off your site.

Hats off to Michael Isikoff and Mark Hosenball from Newsweek for their article, 'CAIR Play?,' confirming that Senator Barbara Boxer rescinded an award to CAIR's Basim Elkarra.

It turns out that not only did Sen. Boxer rescind the award, but she asked CAIR to take down a statement made in her name from CAIR's site, as well. According to Newsweek, "The senator directed her staff to withdraw the certificate - which she routinely gives to community leaders in California - and asked that a statement she had previously made endorsing CAIR be stricken from the group's Web site..."

The statement was from a letter addressed to the CAIR-California office, which according to Boxer, she had never seen. Yet, regardless of that letter, CAIR has been actively using a quote from Boxer on its national website. In the site's section, 'WHAT THEY SAY ABOUT CAIR,' Boxer is quoted as saying, "I want to take this opportunity to commend CAIR for working to defend the rights of Muslim-Americans. I applaud CAIR's dedication to fostering community and understanding between peoples of all faiths in the U.S."

Unfortunately, the Boxer quote is not the only one on the page. Many other government officials are quoted as well. Everyone should heed Senator Boxer's actions, with regards to her award and letter. As well, everyone must understand that CAIR is using them and their quotes for nefarious purposes - to protect itself from those that expose the group's terrorist ties. NO ONE SHOULD EVER PRAISE CAIR AGAIN! NEVER AGAIN!

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Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Carter's Book: Frank Speech About Israel-Palestine?

So says this CAIR News Brief. Follow this link to read the entire text of the editorial. Forgive me if I don't agree with this editorial's assessment.
President Carter has done what few American politicians have dared to do: speak frankly about the Israel-Palestine conflict. He has done this nation, and the cause of peace, an enormous service by focusing attention on what he calls "the abominable oppression and persecution in the occupied Palestinian territories, with a rigid system of required passes and strict segregation between Palestine's citizens and Jewish settlers in the West Bank."
What the editorialist doesn't talk about is that Israeli policies would change if terrorist groups like Hamas and al-Aqsa and Fatah didn't use those areas for initiating terrorist attacks from. What the editorialist doesn't bother considering is that Israel established policies designed to protect Israelis. But that's of little or no consequence to this editorialist, or CAIR for that matter.
In Israel's history, no Arab-led party has ever been asked to join a coalition government. And, among scores of Jewish ministers, there has only ever been one Arab minister, of junior rank.
Might this history have something to do with the fact that Arab-led parties couldn't be trusted to work as part of the team in strengthening Israel's right to exist?

I'd further suggest that Carter hasn't contributed anything meaningful to the Israeli-Palestinian debate because he's relied on revisionist history and pure fantasy. I'd support that with the fact that he isn't even man enough to debate Alan Dershowitz on the subject. If Carter had the truth on his side, he'd welcome a debate so that he could win the argument. He won't do that because he knows he'd get taken to the proverbial woodshed by Prof. Dershowitz.

Cross-posted at LetFreedomRingBlog

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Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Fisking Keith Ellison

Speaking to a cheering audience Sunday night, Keith Ellison "told a cheering crowd of Muslims they should remain steadfast in their faith and push for justice", according to this Detroit Free Press article. What's noteworthy about this is that Ellison made these comments at annual convention of the Muslim American Society and the Islamic Circle of North America, two groups linked with the extremist/terrorist group Muslim Brotherhood. Here's what Discover the Network has to say about ICNA:
Yehudit Barsky, a terrorism expert at the American Jewish Committee, has said that ICNA "is composed of members of Jamaat e-Islami, a Pakistani Islamic radical organization similar to the Muslim Brotherhood that helped to establish the Taliban." (Pakistani newspapers have reported that Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, a leading architect of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, was offered refuge in the home of Jamaat e-Islami's leader, Ahmed Quddoos.)
Similarly, MAS has an equally troubling background:
In May 2005, Daveed Gartenstein-Ross reported in The Weekly Standard that MAS is a U.S. front group for the Muslim Brotherhood and, as such, wishes to see the United States governed by sharia, or Islamic law. "The message that all countries should be ruled by Islamic law," writes Gartenstein-Ross, "is echoed throughout MAS's membership curriculum. For example, MAS requires all its adjunct members to read Fathi Yakun's book To Be a Muslim. In that volume, Yakun spells out his expansive agenda: 'Until the nations of the world have functionally Islamic governments, every individual who is careless or lazy in working for Islam is sinful.'"
It isn't surprising that Keith Ellison didn't wait until his swearing in to become a featured speaker at radical Islamic groups' conventions. He has a history of being an outspoken advocate of radicals, saying this about Kathleen Soliah:
In 2000 he spoke at a fundraiser for longtime fugitive Kathleen Soliah, aka Sara Jane Olson. The text of his speech was posted on a website,, by Minneapolis resident Greg Lang.
Ellison praised Soliah for "fighting for freedom." At the time, she faced charges of planting pipe bombs under two Los Angeles police cars as a member of the Symbionese Liberation Army, a paramilitary organization whose slogan was "Death to the fascist insect that preys on the life of the people." Soliah pleaded guilty in 2001. In 2002 she also pleaded guilty to the murder of Myrna Opsahl, a bank customer shot by another SLA member during a holdup. She’s now serving a long prison sentence.
But Ellison’s call to the crowd was broader than a plea to aid Soliah. "We need to come together and free…all the Saras," he proclaimed.
Based solely on this, it isn't difficult to conclude that Keith Ellison never met a left wing radical he couldn't support. It's relatively easy to make the case that Ellison isn't as interested in justice as he is in supporting radicals who break the law. Here's another bit of proof:
But Ellison’s call to the crowd was broader than a plea to aid Soliah. "We need to come together and free…all the Saras," he proclaimed.

Like who? Like Assata Shakur, Ellison told his audience. Shakur is a former member of the Black Liberation Army, a "revolutionary activist organization," who killed a New Jersey state trooper "execution-style at point-blank range," according to the FBI’s Wanted Fugitives website.

Shakur escaped from prison in 1979, and eventually fled to Cuba. She "should be considered armed and extremely dangerous," says the FBI, which is offering a reward of up to $1 million for information leading to her apprehension.

Ellison, however, lauded Shakur. "I am praying that Castro does not get to the point where he has to really barter with these guys over here because they’re going to get Assata Shakur, they’re going to get a whole lot of other people," he told the crowd. "I hope the Cuba[n] people can stick to it, because the freedom of some good decent people depends on it."
Considering this information, it's worth asking what Keith Ellison's qualifications are to talk about justice. Considering this information, one wonders what issues Ellison will advocate in Congress. The voters in Minnesota's Fifth District should have serious worries about Ellison, though I doubt they do. MN-5 is one of the most liberal districts in the United States, possibly among the 'top 5' districts in terms of liberal extremism.

This is 'proof' that Keith Ellison isn't satisfied with just being "CAIR's congressman."

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Cross-posted at LetFreedomRingBlog

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Monday, December 25, 2006

Latest CW Profile - Omar Abdel-Rahman

Check out the latest profile for CAIR Watch, The Blind Sheikh, Omar Abdel-Rahman. Go to our ever-expanding profiles page, at

It seems that Sheikh Abdel-Rahman's sight is not all that he will be losing soon, as he gets ready to meet his 72 virgins up in Never Never Land. I feel sorry for the virgins. See 'Worsening Health of Terror Cleric, Omar Abdel Rahman'

The Sheikh will be forever remembered for being the spiritual leader of both the group that was responsible for the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center and the group that was responsible for Egyptian President Anwar Sadat's assassination.

He will also be remembered for popularizing the Santa-like Al-Azhar alumni hats. Ho ho ho, so happy to see you go!

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Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Tell Senator Boxer To Take Back the Award!

Senator Barbara Boxer from California has given CAIR-Sacramento Executive Director Basim Elkarra an award for "Outstanding Service."

There is no excuse whatsoever for giving an award to a representative from CAIR, a group with direct ties to Hamas.

If you CARE about this unfortunate action taken by a representative from our United States government, then help us tell Senator Boxer to rescind the award immediately.

Contact info:

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Saturday, December 16, 2006

Latest CW Profile - Danya Shakfeh (a.k.a. Ms. Jihad U.)

"Syrian by blood, Syrian-American by citizenship" - That's how Danya Shakfeh describes herself in one of her blog profiles. Danya is certainly proud of her Syrian heritage, and we at Americans Against Hate hope that she is equally as proud to have been chosen as the first female CAIR-related individual to have a CAIR Watch Profile made of her.

Congrats, Danya!

You can find Danya's profile here, along with profiles for her former CAIR boss, Ahmed Bedier, and many of their CAIR friends...

For further info about Danya, check out the FrontPage Magazine article, 'Ms. Jihad U.'

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Thursday, December 14, 2006

Latest CW Profile - Hesham Hassaballa

Check out the latest profile on CAIR Watch -- Hesham Hassaballa. Of Egyptian ancestry, he is a co-founder of CAIR-Chicago, a former Executive Board member of CAIR-Chicago, and a former writer for CAIR's (disolved) Independent Writer's Syndicate (IWS).

He also has a very interesting last name. It has a familiar ring to it. Know what I mean? ;)

And it seems he's a bit of a comedian: "I frequently joke with my friends that, in this post-9/11 era, I have to be extra careful not to get a speeding ticket because 'they'll take me to Guantanamo Bay.' I always get a hearty laugh."

Well, we're not laughing. See his full profile here, along with all of his extremist friends...

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Blown Out of the Water

The Strib's Katherine Kersten has blown the lid off of what's behind the 'Flying Imam Fiasco'. Here's what Katherine has written about the imams' motivations:
On Dec. 1, a curious report on the grounded-imams incident at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport appeared on the website of the Iranian Quran News Agency. The report quoted extensively from Madhi Bray, executive director of the Muslim American Society Freedom Foundation. The foundation is the American arm of the Muslim Brotherhood, "the world's most influential Islamic fundamentalist group," according to the Chicago Tribune.
Bray's initial statement about the incident had an all-American, see-you-in-court ring. He demanded "large financial compensation for the imams," adding, "We want US Airways and any other airline displaying this type of behavior against Muslims to be hit where it hurts, the pocketbook."
The report echoed statements made by the imams themselves. Omar Shahin, their spokesman, has portrayed the incident in a way that's consistent with a lawsuit and a public relations offensive. He's called for a Jesse Jackson-style boycott of US Airways, and applied classic civil-rights rhetoric to the incident: "This is prejudice; this is obvious discrimination," the Star Tribune quoted him as saying. "I cannot change the color of my skin," he told Newsweek.
But the report on the Iranian website, which has appeared on a variety of Muslim websites worldwide, had a larger primary focus. After the imams incident, it quoted Bray as saying Muslims want "new, broad-sweeping legislation that will extract even larger financial and civil penalties for any airline that participates in racial and religious profiling."
The report is optimistic that Rep. Keith Ellison, the first Muslim elected to Congress, will lend his support to new legislation. Ellison, it says, has expressed his opposition to "such racial and religious profiling." Ellison, through a spokesman, declined to comment.
One piece of legislation in the works is the End Racial Profiling Act. It is an important priority of Rep. John Conyers of Michigan, whose district includes one of the largest Muslim populations in the country. Conyers introduced the bill in 2004 and 2005, but it went nowhere. Now the alignment of forces may be changing. Conyers will probably be chairman of the House Judiciary Committee when the new Democratic-controlled Congress convenes next month.
Read more »

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Senator Nelson Should Be Condemned

According to the Communications Director for CAIR-Florida, Ahmed Bedier, "Bill Nelson should be commended for speaking to Syria, others should follow."

In fact, Senator Nelson should be condemned for meeting with Syrian President Bashar Assad -- the same Bashar Assad that aligns himself with Iran's nuclear anti-Semite, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

As well, Syria -- a terrorist supporting nation -- harbors leaders of Hamas, Hezbollah and Islamic Jihad. This includes "CAIR's Grandfather," Mousa Abu Marzook. That explains why Bedier is in favor of it, but Senator Nelson has made a big mistake -- hopefully one that people will remember during his next election.

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UAC: Second annual Rally Against Islamofascism Day announced

Red highlights are my emphasis.

Second annual Rally Against Islamofascism Day announced

A prominent educational and action group today announced the date set for a second annual Rally Against Islamofascism Day, with rallies planned for various locations across the United States, as well as around the world.

(LOS ANGELES, CA, 12/13/2006) - With the successful execution of simultaneous rallies against Islamic militancy held across the United States in early 2006, the United American Committee today announced a second Rally Against Islamofascism Day (R.A.I.D.), this time international, set for Saturday March 31st, 2007. The event, described on the UAC's website at will be a joint effort of organizations in a common goal of educating others to the dangers posed by radical Islam. "This is an opportunity for people of all walks of life to come together, setting aside political or religious differences." remarks United American Committee Chairman Jesse Petrilla, who also noted that Muslims are especially encouraged to join in the rallies.

Prior to the announcement, the UAC reached out to an array of organizations to build a coalition to ensure the success of the rallies. While many organizations joined in support, one organization in particular refused to unite in the effort. CAIR, the Council on American Islamic Relations, when asked by the United American Committee if they would join in the rallies, refused by not answering e-mails from the group's members, and even hung up on UAC officials when the United American Committee attempted to contact CAIR's Washington DC offices. CAIR has been criticized by many prominent individuals including U.S. Senators Richard Durbin, and Charles Schumer, due to CAIR's documented ties to the militant group Hamas as well as their engagement in what many view as suspect activities. Some individuals have gone as far as stating that CAIR is a front for supporting Islamic terror.

The UAC has engaged in past activities which it will tie into the March 31st rallies. In July of 2006, the United American Committee issued a challenge to patriotic American Muslim leaders to issue a fatwa, or Islamic edict, calling for condemnation and denunciation of Osama bin Laden and other terrorists by name. This was in response to a previous fatwa supported by The Council on American Islamic Relations which according to the UAC ambiguously defined terrorism without naming specific terrorists. CAIR was personally sent the challenge for the new fatwa by the UAC, and has as of yet not issued a letter of support for such an edict. "Why won't they [CAIR] issue a fatwa against bin Laden? Against Ayman al-Zawahiri? Or against other terrorists by name? They issue a fatwa condemning the killing of innocents, but who is innocent? Are the infidels innocent to them?" said homeless activist and UAC Board Member Ted Hayes. When the UAC's challenge was taken to the Saudi funded King Fahd Mosque in Culver City, California the leaders of the mosque refused to entertain the idea, so on September 10th, 2006 the United American Committee staged a protest outside of the mosque where they hung an effigy of Osama bin Laden from makeshift gallows, inviting all of the mosque's members and leaders to join in the rally. While some members of the mosque came out and stood alongside UAC members hitting and throwing shoes at the dummy, the leadership of the mosque remained on the opposite side of the road where a counter protest was staged. "The hanging of bin Laden in effigy was an opportunity to hold the mosque leaders' feet to the fire for not supporting the fatwa, and I believe this Rally Against Islamofascism Day will be an opportunity to hold CAIR's feet to the fire." said UAC Chairman Petrilla. The UAC stated that by CAIR's refusing to support the fatwa, and by their nonsupport of the Rally Against Islamofascism Day, that CAIR has unwittingly chosen the location of the rallies. The United American Committee plans on setting the location of the March 31st rallies to take place in front of many of CAIR's 32 nationwide offices. "I want to see effigies of Osama bin Laden hung at all of these rallies, let the terrorists know we are on the offense, and let those who are with us join with us." said Petrilla, urging those who will be organizing rallies to include a hanging of bin Laden in effigy at each event if possible.

Some members of Islamic groups have expressed concern over the set date of the rallies against Islamofascism, March 31st, 2007 being the Islamic holiday Mawlid al-Nabi, the Islamic prophet Mohammad's birthday. United American Committee officials contend that this is purely by coincidence, saying the last Saturday in March was chosen for its generally good weather and the fact that most people will be off work on a Saturday and available to attend a rally. UAC has assured that the rally will stride forward to be held on the date set.

Individuals are encouraged to organize rallies in their areas on the date of the Rally Against Islamofascism Day, and may contact the United American Committee via the UAC's web page which will post the locations of rallies as they are formed at


United American Committee
P.O. Box 3301
Burbank, CA 91508

Moderate Muslims, I genuinely hope you can attend this rally as well. Stand up against these monsters who misrepresent your interpretation of your faith. Show the world that you do not accept what they are doing. You are our allies and we love you. Please come and protest and don't be afraid. We will support you.
If you live in Saudi Arabia, I can understand why you cannot protest publicly. But if you live in a healthy democracy, such as the United States or Canada, I see no reason why peace-loving Muslims cannot come out. After all, they did come out and protest loudly during this summer's Israeli-Lebanese conflict.
As for CAIR, well... Their response (or lack of it), as described by the UAC, speaks for itself.
Speak out against hate!

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Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Flying While Muslim

(All emphases by Always On Watch)

Just in time for the Hajj, which begins on December 29, CAIR, now the legal representative of five of the six praying imams and pursuing an out-of-court settlement, is stirring the pot:
American Muslims making a religious pilgrimage to Mecca are being encouraged to file civil rights complaints if they feel discriminated against by airlines.

The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), citing what it called the "airport profiling" of six imams removed from a recent flight, yesterday said Muslims traveling this month to the holy site in Saudi Arabia need to be aware of their rights.

"Given the increase in the number of complaints CAIR has received alleging airport profiling of American Muslims, we believe it is important that all those taking part in this year's hajj be aware of their legal and civil rights," said Ibrahim Hooper, CAIR spokesman.
Apparently CAIR has distributed materials specifically delineating how to promote this flying-while-Muslim agenda:
A guide issued by CAIR advises Muslims that "as an airline passenger, you are entitled to courteous, respectful and non-stigmatizing treatment by airline and security personnel."

"You have the right to complain about treatment that you believe is discriminatory," the guide says.

Those treated in a discriminatory manner are advised by CAIR to "ask for the names and ID numbers of all persons involved in the incident. Be sure to write this information down."
CAIR recently held this day-long conference:
On December 9, the Maryland and Virginia chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-MD/VA), in cooperation with the D.C. Coordinating Council of Muslim Organizations (DC-CCMO) and the Fairfax Institute, will hold its first annual Imams' media relations conference in Herndon, Va.

The one-day conference is designed to teach Imams, community leaders and activists how to interact effectively with media professionals. Sessions will cover basic media relations skills.
"Basic media relations skills"? And something else, too, including the distribution of materials as to how to intimidate the airlines from following proper security-procedures? According to one airline official,
"You do wonder what the ultimate aim is here [with regard to the six praying imams and CAIR's involvement]; to eliminate a discriminatory practice that does not exist, or is there some other agenda afoot."
The above-cited article in the Washington Times also contains the following with regard to CAIR's possible agenda:
Pilots and air marshals called the incident a "PC probe" to intimidate passengers and crew from reporting suspicious behavior by Muslim passengers and are fearful the incident will set off a domino effect of lawsuits.

Debra Burlingame, whose brother was the pilot of American Airlines Flight 77 that crashed into the Pentagon on September 11, thinks this is a ploy to extort money from the airlines.

"I think CAIR is soliciting complaints, and if they don't get it, they will make it up," said Miss Burlingame, who is also a director for the World Trade Center Memorial Foundation.
Although CAIR likes to promote itself as representative of all or of the majority of American Muslims, such is not the case:
M. Zuhdi Jasser, a Phoenix physician and chairman of the American Islamic Forum for Democracy (AIFD), said the announcement by CAIR "continues the tired stoking of the flames of victimization."

"They are unfortunately exploiting, for purely political reasons, what should be a sacred and purely spiritual story of our faith's annual holy pilgrimage to Mecca," Dr. Jasser said.

"We need new leadership and organizations which use their passions and the bandwidth of the media to lead the ideological fight against radical and political Islam rather than this tired pre-emption of supposed discrimination."

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Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Katherine Kersten: Suspicion about imams grows as terror links pile up

Kudos to the Star Tribune's Katherine Kersten for being one of the few journalists who actually passed Journalism 101 by exposing Flying Imam Omar Shahin with his pants down, and by bringing to light tough issues the American public needs to confront CAIR with.

You can read the entire article here. Thanks to Little Green Footballs for bringing it to my attention.

The Council on American-Islamic Relations, the imams' legal representative,
is an organization that "we know has ties to terrorism," Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., said in 2003. And the Muslim American Society, which is also supporting the imams? It's the American arm of the Muslim Brotherhood, according to the Chicago Tribune, which called it "the world's most influential Islamic fundamentalist group."

How about Omar Shahin, the imams' spokesman and also president of the
North American Imams Federation? He is a native of Jordan, who says he became a
U.S. citizen in 2003. From 2000 to 2003, Shahin served as president of Islamic Center of Tucson (ICT), that city's largest mosque.


The Washington Post described these links in a 2002 article. "Tucson
one of the first points of contact in the United States for the jihadist
group that evolved into al Qaeda," the Post reported. And the ICT? It held
"basically the first cell of al Qaeda in the United States; that is where it all
started," said Rita Katz, a terrorism expert quoted by the Post.

But wait. Let's give Shahin a chance to defend himself:

Shahin has downplayed the ICT's connections to terrorism. The mosque should
not be held accountable for former members who may have engaged in terrorism
after they left Arizona, he told the Post in 2002. Al-Qaida nests in America?
"All of these, they make it up," he told the Arizona Republic shortly after

How ignorant of me. Of course it was the Jews. Why do you think Joe Kaufman (an undercover Mossad... Shh! Don't tell him or he'll have to kill us all!) won't let go of you?! He's afraid you're going to expose the Mossad's role in 9/11. MUHAHAHAHAHA...!

Go shove your filthy anti-Semitic remarks elsewhere. The American people are smarter than to sympathize with the likes of you, let alone believe your wild claims that Muslims didn't commit 9/11.

Like it or not, Muslims committed the 9/11 attacks. Does that mean Islam is a religion of terror? Not if the 'moderates' stand up against this the same way they protested the Pope's remarks, or the Danish cartoons.

Mr. Shahin, can you not at least admit that today's jihadis make use of your holy book to justify their terrorism? Can you not at least promise to tackle these people who are, well, misrepresenting your peaceful faith? Isn't that worth protesting over, as opposed to some silly Danish cartoons? Grow up.

"The mosque should not be held accountable for former members," he says? Let's read on and see:

But dubious activity continued when Shahin became ICT president. For example, the mosque raised thousands of dollars for an Islamic charity called the Holy Land Foundation in 2001, and Shahin served as the charity's Arizona coordinator, according to the Associated Press. Holy Land "collects funds for widows and orphans and needy people," he told the AP.

See? We're Islamophobic! How dare we accuse this gentlemean who wants to fund the poor and needy of terrorism?!

Actually, that's more taqiyya from his part:

In December 2001, the Treasury Department froze Holy Land's assets, citing its funding of the terrorist organization Hamas' efforts to recruit suicide bombers.

Read it all.

Please don't forget to thank Kersten with an e-mail message. You can also comment on her article here.

If CAIR truly does have the American public in its best interest, its members should have no trouble refuting Kersten's article (and other well-documented facts about them) - that is, without resorting to intimidation tactics like, well, waving their Islamophobia cards (ad hominen fallacy), or launching lawsuits against the Star Tribune.

Come on, CAIR. Stop hiding and defend yourselves with logic. Stop your peaceful form of jihad known as dhimmitude. The light of truth is shining, and as much as it hurts the eyes of those who want to stay in the dark, it is still there and it will prevail.

Just you wait.

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Monday, December 11, 2006

CAIR Has Been Here Before

It seems that CAIR has a penchant for defending those involved in suspicious activities aboard airliners. From the December 10, 2006 edition of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune:

Another incident of interest occurred during Shahin's tenure at ITC. On June 13, 2003, the FBI arrested Muhammad Al-Qudhai'een, who was active at the mosque, and transported him to Virginia to testify as a material witness before a federal grand jury investigating 9/11.

According to the 9/11 Commission Report, Al-Qudhai'een and Hamdan al Shalawi, a fellow Saudi, were removed from an America West flight after engaging in what the flight crew considered suspicious activity. The crew asserted that Al-Qudhai'een had twice attempted to open the plane's cockpit door. After 9/11, FBI agents in Phoenix considered whether the incident had been a "dry run" for the attacks. The 9/11 Commission noted that Al Shalawi had reportedly trained in Afghan terrorist camps in November 2000, learning how to conduct "Khobar Towers"-type bombing attacks.

The America West incident attracted national attention in 1999. In 2000, the two Saudis filed a lawsuit alleging racial discrimination by the airline. "What happened to us was based on racial and religious discrimination," al Shalawi told the Arizona Republic. CAIR hired the Saudis' attorney for them, and urged a boycott of the airline. America West won the lawsuit. Al-Qudhai'een was later deported to Saudi Arabia.
[Hat-tip to Punditarian of THE ASTUTE BLOGGERS]

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CAIR-OH Responds to Minnesota Imam Story

Asma Mobin-Uddin, the president of CAIR-Ohio's Columbus chapter, wrote a letter to the editor about the imam fiasco. The Columbus Dispatch ran the editorial Sunday. She included some interesting things in her editorial that need to be challenged for the inaccuracies. Let's start at the beginning:
Six imams, who had passed through the airport security checks and boarded a US Airways flight in Minneapolis, were regarded as suspicious by a passenger, who alerted a flight attendant.
Actually, based on the reactions of all of the passengers, I'd say that the majority of passengers were suspicious of the imams. Here's what one of the passengers said in a letter to US Airways:
Most importantly, the public needs to be told that there was a series of "many suspicious events", which were observed by the crew and several passengers. The captain made his decision based on all of these events and not just one note.
Pauline's letter contradicts Mobin-Uddin's account. Based on the fact that Pauline was actually on the plane, I'm liable to trust her more than someone reciting the story she'd been told. At best, Mobin-Uddin's account is pure hearsay in a court of law. Here's the next thing that Mobin-Uddin stated in her letter to the editor:
The men were handcuffed, removed from the plane, detained and questioned for several hours.
Here's what Officer Wingate reported in the police report:
"Officer Desubijana and I asked the six passengers pointed out to us to get up and leave the aircraft. Systematically, from the rear to the front of the plane, we asked all six to leave the plane. All parties left the plane cooperatively. It should be noted that two of the individuals were seated in the rear; two were seated in the middle; and two were seated in the front of the aircraft; all of which stated they were travelling together. All of their carry-on bags were brought off the aircraft as well."
I find it a little peculiar that the police report said that the imams "left the plane cooperatively" while the letter to the editor said that the imams were "handcuffed" and "removed from the plane..." Let's remember that Imam Shahin said:
"This was humiliating, the worst moment of my life."
The first obvious question is "If the imams "left the plane cooperatively", why would they need to be handcuffed?
The second obvious question is why should Imam Shahin say that "This was humiliating, the worst moment of my life" if they weren't taken off in handcuffs?
The third obvious question that must be asked is "Should we believe the account of someone who wasn't there or should we believe the official police report"?

Here's another paragraph from the letter to the editor:
Many of the rumors and inaccurate information surrounding the alleged suspicious behavior of the men have been proved to be false. For example, contrary to what some media reports stated, all had roundtrip tickets and luggage.
Here's what the police report states:
"When I arrived, I met U.s. Airways manager Robbie Taylor Davis, who told me the following: "He stated the passengers were of Middle Eastern descent and three of which only had one way tickets and no checked luggage. He stated that most of the six passengers had requested seatbelt extensions."
Remember that Taylor-Davis made those statements part of the official police report. Remember that Taylor-Davis is doing so with the same penalties as if he made the statements in court under oath. What's the likelihood of a US Airways management official making such a statement if it weren't true? Finally, Mobin-Uddin writes this:
The incident boils down to overreaction by a passenger and the airline to Muslim men on the aircraft and their observance of routine prayers prior to boarding.
Actually, based on "Pauline's" letter to US Airways and on the police report, we know that the imams' removal had little to do with an "overreaction by a passenger" or on their prayer routine. We know that a main reason for their removal was because several of the imams had one-way tickets, that several didn't check in luggage and that they moved into seats to which they weren't assigned. We also know that the way they were seated was similar to the way the 9/11 hijackers sat that fateful morning. Based on that information, it's difficult to say that US Airways' decision was an "overreaction."

UPDATE: The Wshington Times' Audrey Hudson is all over the latest news about the Flying Imam Fiasco', reporting that the imams want an out-of-court settlement with US Airways.
A group of Muslim imams is seeking an out-of-court settlement with US Airways, saying they should not have been removed from a Minnesota-to-Phoenix flight last month and were not behaving suspiciously. Five of the six Islamic religious leaders have retained the Council on American-Islamic Relations for legal representation and are seeking a "mutually agreeable" resolution, said Nihad Awad, CAIR executive director. US Airways scheduled a meeting with the imams on Dec. 4 to discuss the incident, but the men canceled it and hired the activist group to act as legal counsel.
"With the hopes of reaching an amicable resolution to this matter, we would like to take this opportunity to ask for a formal meeting with US Airways executives and legal counsel," said Arsalan Iftikhar, CAIR's national legal director, in a letter to the airline.
The imams represented by CAIR include Omar Shahin, Didmar Faja, Ahmad Shqeirat, Marwan Sadeddin and Mohamed Ibrahim. Mahmoud Sulaiman of New Mexico is the only imam not included as a plaintiff. Mr. Sulaiman is the passenger who asked another passenger to switch seats with him to accommodate a blind imam and was one of three imams who asked for a seat-belt extension even though the police report cites his weight at 170 pounds.
I hope US Airways fights this one. I further hope that US Airways asks lots of questions during the deposition phase of that trial. The first question I'd ask is whether they have witnesses that will corroborate their version of events who aren't part of their travelling group. I'd ask because the group and their supporters have said that the reports coming out in the news are "smears and distortions" of what happened. Another question I'd ask is why some of the imams asked for extenders. That seems extremely strange and it'd be interesting to hear how they'd explain that.

Cross-posted at LetFreedomRingBlog

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Saturday, December 09, 2006

Emerson's Speech Sparks Controversy

Protests are being organized for Steve Emerson's presentation at Tucson's Jewish Community Center next Monday. Among the reasons given for the protest, the one tht stood out the most was that Mr. Emerson is a racist. Here's what Muhammad As'ad is quoted as saying:
"The organizations that sponsored this man are not helping peace between the Muslim and Jewish faiths," said Muhammad As'ad, a Muslim who plans to protest the talk Monday. "This is going to be a very upsetting scene."
Mr. As'ad's name sounded familiar so I did some checking. What I found is that he's a spokesman for the Islamic Center of Tucson. If you're thinking that you've heard of the Islamic Center of Tuscon before, there's a good reason for that. It's the spiritual home for Omar Shahin, the chief spokesman for the imams kicked off US Airways Flight 300 in Minneapolis just before Thanksgiving.
"I think he's a racist...He runs around and scapegoats Muslims," said Racheli Gai, a member of the local Women in Black group, which is an international peace network. She's also a co-founder of the Tucson Peace Walk, an annual walk and gathering of Muslims and Jews.
As a Jew, Gai said she's very angry that the Jewish community is supporting Emerson. Co-sponsors of the lectureship series include the Jewish Federation of Southern Arizona and the Tucson Jewish Community Center. Gai said she expects a group of Christians, Jews and Muslims will be protesting outside the center.
Gai's calling Steve Emerson a racist is bothersome at minimum. Then again, coming from someone in the anti-war movement, it's understandable. Here's a portion of Women In Black's mission statement:
Women in Black is an international peace network. Women in Black is not an organization, but a means of mobilization and a formula for action. Women in Black vigils were started in Israel in 1988 by women protesting against Israel’s Occupation of the West Bank and Gaza. Women in Black has developed in countries such as Italy, Spain, Germany, England, Azerbaijan, Colombia, and in FR Yugoslavia, where women in Belgrade have stood in weekly vigils since 1991 to protest war and the Serbian regime’s policies of nationalist aggression.
In other words, one protester quoted in the article is a spokesman for a Tuscon mosque with ties to radical Islam; the other is an anti-war activist who resorts to namecalling instead of explaining why she believes that Mr. Emerson is a racist. It isn't a surprise that they'd be protesting.

It's worth noting that the Islamic Center for Tuscon is the mosque that 9/11 hijacker Hani Hanjour attended. Hanjour "crashed American Airlines Flight 77 into the Pentagon on 9/11."

Cross-posted at LetFreedomRingBlog

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Friday, December 08, 2006

Return of the Jihadi

In light of the fact that CAIR-Florida's Communications Director Ahmed Bedier lists on his blog profile "The Star Wars Series" as one of his "Favorite Movies," the following seems appropriate:

Long ago, in a Tampa CAIR office far enough away
that nobody can see what's goin' on in there...

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Thursday, December 07, 2006

Rationalization Via Euphemism

The University of South Carolina's Vanguard has done a great disservice in dissembling the truth by only telling part of it. Now you'll get the rest of the information. Here's what the Vanguard's opinion editor Jason Shepard wrote:
The imams in question visibly prayed prior to boarding the plane. As they were boarding, a fellow passenger overheard one of the imams making "anti-American" remarks. Once on the plane, they "moved around." A concerned citizen passed the pilot a note, and as a result, the imams were subjugated to humiliation and detention, not to mention the major inconvenience that goes along with such consequences.
Mr. Shepard's saying "they 'moved around'" doesn't tell the whole story, to say the least. They didn't just "move around"; they "spread out just like the 9-11 hijackers. Two sat in first, two in the middle, and two back in the economy section." Mr. Shepard's not telling the whole truth raises serious questions about Mr. Shepard's motives in not including all the details from his column.

Mr. Shepard continues, saying:
But the fact of the matter is that there was no legitimate justification to even believe that these imams might have been terrorist. The most plausible explanation for their detention is plain and simple: They were victims of Islamophobia.
After hearing the term Islamophobia, I decided to check with the American Psychological Association to see if they recognize such a disease or condition. The researcher that I talked with said that she hadn't heard the term used in a scientific discussion. I expressed my skepticism that Islamophobia was a scientifically recognized term. The researcher said that she'd look into this. Then she said that she shared my skepticism.

The reason why I took this step is because I want to prove that this term isn't a scientific term but instead is a term used in criticizing anyone who disagrees with a Muslim. It's a term that's often used in silencing critics. It seems to me that Mr. Shepard could do better than just throw meaningless phrases around. I'd further suggest that using a term like Islamophobia shows an unwillingness to engage in serious debate about what really happened.

In other words, hearing terms like Islamophobe or Islamophobia should tell everyone that the person using those terms isn't interested in debate but is interested in denigrating the person that challenges their beliefs. I'd further suggest that Mr. Shepard's calling these imams victims is a stunning piece of propaganda. Frankly, I've read dozens of articles on what I'm now kiddingly calling the "Flying Imam Fiasco", both on the blogosphere and in the so-called MSM. Anyone who has read all of the information available can't seriously call these imams victims.

In fact, I'm not alone in suggesting that this fiasco was staged. If I'm right, then these imams aren't victims; they're victimizers. Let's finish with this:
The last time I checked, it is not only legal to critique the American government, but at least in theory, it is encouraged for all to participate in debates concerning our government and its policies.
That's true enough, except that I'd suggest that using the whole truth is needed if you're interested in having a legitimate debate. Using less than the whole truth in disputing an issue is nothing more than having an argument. It certainly wouldn't be termed deliberations, which is defined as "discussion and consideration of all sides of an issue or thoughtfulness in decision or action."

UPDATE: Jessica Kohout of the APA just got back to me with an email. Here's what Ms. Kohout said:
The word is in common use but is still considered new. There is no statement by the APA on the word or the "medical Value" of the phrase. It appears to be used descriptively as indicated by this encyclopedia.

The message is ready to be sent with the following file or link attachments:

Shortcut to:
In other words, Islamophobia isn't a scientific term but rather a term used for debating.

Cross-posted at LetFreedomRingBlog

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Imams Retain CAIR

The Arizona-bound imams who were removed from US Airways Flight 300 have retained CAIR as their legal counsel in the matter. That isn't surprising to anyone who has been watching this unfold. What is surprising is that CAIR and the imams are going forward with this after Richard Miniter's article on the incident. Here's a refresher on what Miniter wrote:
Contrary to press accounts that a single note from a passenger triggered the imams' removal, Captain John Howard Wood was weighing multiple factors.
  • An Arabic speaker was seated near two of the imams in the plane's tail. That passenger pulled a flight attendant aside and, in a whisper, translated what the men were saying: invoking "bin Laden" and condemning America for "killing Saddam," according to police reports.
  • An imam seated in first class asked for a seat-belt extender - the extra strap that obese people use because the standard belt is too short. According to both an on-duty and a deadheading flight attendant, he looked too thin to need one. A seat-belt extender can easily be used as a weapon - just wrap one end around your fist, and swing the heavy metal buckle.
  • All six imams had boarded together, with the first-class passengers - even though only one of them had a first-class ticket. Three had one-way tickets. Between the six men, only one had checked a bag.
  • And, Pauline said, they spread out - just like the 9/11 hijackers. Two sat in first class, two in the middle and two back in the economy section, police reports show. Some, according to Rader, took seats not assigned to them.
Here's a portion of CAIR's official statement:
Airline and law enforcement officials say the imams were taken off the flight November 20th for alleged "suspicious activity." They were handcuffed and questioned for several hours by authorities before being released. CAIR, along with other civil rights organizations, has called for congressional hearings on religious and ethnic profiling at airports in response to the incident.
Since their removal from the flight, a number of charges have circulated in the media and on the Internet that the imams say are false, distorted or a misrepresentation of actual events.
"Unfortunately, the false claims and smears used against these religious leaders only serve to cloud the real issue involved, that of how national security can be maintained while preserving constitutionally-protected freedoms and respect for religious diversity," said CAIR Executive Director Nihad Awad.
Since this statement came out, I found some additional information, at Powerline blog, in the form of an email from a Minneapolis Airport policeman. Here's what he said about the imams being handcuffed:
First off, none of the Imams were handcuffed in the airplane. They were handcuffed before they were placed in the squad car and the handcuffs were then taken off when they were brought back to our office. This is a standard operating procedure for when we transport anybody that is being arrested or being detained. Unless someone was looking out the window, it is doubtful anyone else would have known these guys were handcuffed.
You'd never know that the imams weren't handcuffed inside the airplane if all you had to go on was CAIR's official statement. Thank goodness for this airport police officer supplying that additional information.

Furthermore, CAIR's statement that "the false claims and smears used against these religious leaders only serve to cloud the real issue involved" is a smear to the people filing statements with the police. When they make such a report, they do so knowing that they can be prosecuted for making false allegations. CAIR pushes forward despite knowing that it's highly unlikely that the police reports filed are false or part of a smear campaign.

The fact that they're still pushing this issue raises some questions for me, not the least of which is:
  • Why does CAIR persist when the facts appear not to be on their side?
  • Is it that the facts aren't that important to CAIR?
  • Are they pushing this in an attempt to persuade members of Congress to vote for the Conyers Resolution? Remember that the Conyers Resolution would give "Muslims special civil-rights protections."
Though I don't expect CAIR to respond to my questions, I strongly encourage them to do so.

Cross-posted at LetFreedomRingBlog

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Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Dennis Prager Responds

Dennis Prager, the man who touched off a firestorm from the PC Police, has written another column to respond to their vitriolic charges. I strongly recommend you read the entire article. Here's what stood out to me:
So, for those who do cherish dialogue, including those on the Left who have trained themselves to avoid thought by merely choosing from a list of epithets, "racist," "bigoted," "homophobic," "Islamophobic," "sexist," "xenophobic," "fascist", here are my responses to the most frequently offered objections to my piece:
Thank you, Dennis Prager, for stating the sorry state of debate on the far left. This 'technique' is also used by CAIR and others in the Muslim community, as is the case here:
"No one who holds such bigoted, intolerant and divisive views should be in a policymaking position at a taxpayer-funded institution that seeks to educate Americans about the destructive impact hatred has had, and continues to have, on every society. As a presidential appointee, Prager's continued presence on the council would send a negative message to Muslims worldwide about America's commitment to religious tolerance."
CAIR doesn't address Mr. Prager's arguments. Instead, they open by accusing Mr. Prager of being bigoted and intolerant. What's striking is that they didn't attempt to show why Mr. Prager's views were wrong. They simply jump to namecalling.
Doesn't that strike you as an odd thing to do for an organization that "organizes regular conferences and training seminars for government and law enforcement agencies, media professionals and the academic community" and that "strives to educate others about Islam while building strong relationships with other faith communities"?
Let me frame it differently. How do you "strive to educate others about Islam" when your first response to a differing viewpoint is to start calling that person names? At best, that seems counterproductive to me. A skeptic might even say that such a response is a Freudian slip, a glimpse of their true nature and purpose. To be certain, it raises doubts about CAIR's purpose in their communications.

Likewise, it raises questions about what CAIR's goals are. Are they truly committed to "building strong relationships with other faith communities" or are they more committed to silencing and shouting down their critics?

Their actions going forward, not their words, will answer that question.

Cross-posted at LetFreedomRingBlog

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CAIR Caught Promoting Anti-Semitism & Hamas

Remember how CAIR denied having co-sponsored the Brooklyn rally that refered to Jews as "descendants of the apes?" Remember how Nihad Awad tried to disavow himself from the "I support Hamas" comment he made at Barry University?

Check out the article in today's FrontPage -- 'CAIR's Pro-Hamas Press' -- about the anti-Semitic, Hamas-defending article that CAIR was promoting on its website and via its e-mail list only five short days ago.

Here's the proof that it was on CAIR's website:


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CAIR's Double Standards

Last week, I predicted that Dennis Prager would get criticized for his column about Keith Ellison. This week, I'm proven right. Actually, it isn't just that he's being criticized. It's much worse:
A prominent national Islamic civil rights and advocacy group today called for the removal of a presidential appointee to the United States Holocaust Memorial Council because of his intolerant views toward Islam in American society.
The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) urged that talk show host and columnist Dennis Prager be removed from the taxpayer-supported museum's council because of a recent syndicated column in which he wrote that Keith Ellison, the first Muslim elected to Congress, should be prevented from taking his oath of office using the Quran.
(President Bush recently appointed Prager to the United States Holocaust Memorial Council, the governing board of the Holocaust Memorial Museum, for the remainder of a five year term expiring January 15, 2011.)
This is one of CAIR's time-tested techniques whenever anyone says anything that challenges their agenda. They simply try to silence the person rather than open up a discussion. On that note, I haven't seen proof that they've even sought to be on his show to challenge his column or debate this man to man. Everything that I've seen looks like proof that they simply want to silence Mr. Prager. They attempt to do this with a collection of quotes like this:
The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) called Prager's views "intolerant, misinformed and downright un-American."
I can think of many adjectives to describe Dennis Prager but misinformed isn't on that list. Here's what CAIR said about Prager in their official letter to Fred Zeidman, chairman of the United States Holocaust Memorial Council:
"No one who holds such bigoted, intolerant and divisive views should be in a policymaking position at a taxpayer-funded institution that seeks to educate Americans about the destructive impact hatred has had, and continues to have, on every society. As a presidential appointee, Prager's continued presence on the council would send a negative message to Muslims worldwide about America's commitment to religious tolerance."
I didn't detect any concern on CAIR's behalf of sending a negative message when they protested the LA billboard "describing Osama bin Laden as 'the sworn enemy,'" which they found as "offensive to Muslims'". Likewise, CAIR didn't consider the fact that Jews might find CAIR's attempt to get Dennis Prager fired from a Holocaust memorial board as an act of intolerance towards that community. They also didn't seem concerned about sending an offensive message to still-nervous Americans when they took the flying imams' side without knowing all of the facts involved. It's fair to characterize their reaction as one lacking in concern about airline security in a post-9/11 world.

Based solely on their words immediately after that incident, it's safe to say that they were most concerned about civil rights issues. Based on the information that came out later, it isn't unreasonable to question whether this was a staged thing. Here's the information that came out earlier:
Incoming Judiciary Chairman John Conyers, (D-MI), has already drafted a resolution, borrowing from CAIR rhetoric, that gives Muslims special civil-rights protections.
I find it more than a little too convenient to believe that John Conyers was able to write a Sense of the House resolution in less than a day. It's also interesting that he's planning on holding hearings on the matter in light of this information:
Working with Conyers, the Ranking Democrat on the House Judiciary Committee, Democrats have introduced legislation to end racial profiling, limit the reach of the Patriot Act, and make immigration safe and accessible. Leader Pelosi is a proud cosponsor of the End Racial Profiling Act, the Security and Freedom Ensured Act (SAFE), and the Safe, Orderly, and Legal Visas Enforcement Act (SOLVE).
Forgive me if I don't see this as coincidence.

Cross-posted at LetFreedomRingBlog

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Sunday, December 03, 2006


That's pretty much my reaction after reading this article.
Airport officials said Friday they will consider setting aside a private area for prayer and meditation at the request of imams concerned about the removal of six Muslim clerics from a US Airways flight last week. Steve Wareham, director of Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport, said other airports have "meditation rooms" used for prayers or by passengers who simply need quiet time.
Later in this article, it's pointed out that several airports have chapel areas so this wouldn't be precedent. This article serves a different purpose for the imams, though. Here's what I think it is. I think the imams want us to pretend that this is the solution to what I affectionately call the 'Flying Imam Fiasco'.

The imams keep telling America that they were kicked off US Airways flight 300 in Minneapolis simply for praying. Thanks to Richard Miniter's article, we now know that that isn't true. We now know that there is much more to their getting removed from that flight than the imams have talked about. Here's some key information that the imams haven't talked about:
  • An Arabic speaker was seated near two of the imams in the plane's tail. That passenger pulled a flight attendant aside and, in a whisper, translated what the men were saying: invoking "bin Laden" and condemning America for "killing Saddam," according to police reports.
  • All six imams had boarded together, with the first-class passengers, even though only one of them had a first-class ticket. Three had one-way tickets. Between the six men, only one had checked a bag.
  • And, Pauline said, they spread out, just like the 9/11 hijackers. Two sat in first class, two in the middle and two back in the economy section, police reports show. Some, according to Rader, took seats not assigned to them.
  • One more odd thing went unnoticed at the time: The men prayed both at the gate and on the plane. Yet observant Muslims pray only once at sundown, not twice.
I think Miniter's source, a woman he simply calls Pauline, got it right when she said "It was almost as if they were intentionally trying to get kicked off the flight." Pauline said.

Forgive me for being cynical but I strongly believe that that was the imams' intent. I believe that because of this information:
Two days earlier, Ellison, an African-American convert who wants to criminalize Muslim profiling, spoke at a fundraiser for the Council on American-Islamic Relations, the Muslim-rights group that wasted no time condemning US Airways for "prejudice and ignorance." CAIR wants congressional hearings to investigate other incidents of "flying while Muslim." Incoming Judiciary Chairman John Conyers, (D-MI), has already drafted a resolution, borrowing from CAIR rhetoric, that gives Muslims special civil-rights protections.
Logically thinking people might connect a few dots and come to the conclusion that the imams' goal was to get Congress to investigate this incident with the intent of stigmatizing US Airways as Islamophobic. Congressional hearings on the subject would be a shot across the bow to other airlines, essentially telling them they shouldn't react like US Airways reacted.

Logically thinking people might also conclude that John Conyers can't wait to hold these hearings, especially if they knew that he's carried CAIR's water for some time.
Working with Conyers, the Ranking Democrat on the House Judiciary Committee, Democrats have introduced legislation to end racial profiling, limit the reach of the Patriot Act, and make immigration safe and accessible. Leader Pelosi is a proud cosponsor of the End Racial Profiling Act, the Security and Freedom Ensured Act (SAFE), and the Safe, Orderly, and Legal Visas Enforcement Act (SOLVE).
This information was posted on CAIR's website and dated July 15, 2004. In other words, Democrats and CAIR have been trying for quite some time to end profiling even if it's a useful tool in preventing terrorist attacks.

It's time conscientious Americans asked Democrats and CAIR if they want to "limit the reach of the Patriot Act" so much that we can't protect ourselves from terrorist attacks. It's time for conscientious Americans asked Democrats and CAIR if they're more worried about perceived civil liberties abuses than they care about preventing terrorist attacks. Let's remember that, during the time they debated the reauthorization of the Patriot Act, they couldn't cite a specific instance of a person's civil rights being abused.

To give "Muslims special civil-rights protections" is a classic case of fixing what really isn't broken.

Doesn't this lead us to the point where conscientious Americans ask Democrats like Conyers and CAIR what their priorities are? Of course, they'll deny with their words that their legislation will weaken airport security. Their problem is that their words would be meaningless once Mr. Conyers' resolution is debated. Their words would further be diminished when Mr. Conyers' legislation is introduced.

It's time that we told the imams that we take airport security seriously and that we won't be intimidated by people seeking unwarranted, and potentially dangerous, special privileges. We should tell them that we'll keep doing what we've been doing to keep air travel safe.

We should tell them that we'll do that whether Minneapolis International Airport gets a prayer room or not.

Cross-posted at LetFreedomRingBlog

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Saturday, December 02, 2006

Hanania, Hamas & CAIR

CAIR e-mailed a pro-Hamas article to its list. The article, written by Ray Hanania and titled 'The kangaroo court taking place in Chicago,' states: "[Mohammed] Salah is not guilty of terrorism. Whether he supported Hamas or not is a non-issue. Many Palestinians support Hamas in part because Hamas is a creation of Israel's refusal to make genuine peace."

Here are screen captures of the CAIR e-mail:


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Article on CAIR's Website Bemoans "Kangaroo Court"

Why CAIR decided to include this article on their website baffles me. Here's the opening paragraph to the article:
So far, after 10 weeks of trial, all that the U.S. Government can say about Mohammed Salah and co-defendant Abdelhaleem Ashqar is that they opposed the Oslo Peace Accords and that they didn’t believe that their Muslim children should mingle in peace with Jews. Actor Mel Gibson and comedian Michael Richards said far worse about the Jews and they haven’t gone to jail for their anti-Semitism or racism. And in case anyone hasn’t noticed, the Oslo Peace Accords were a miserable failure in part because Israel’s governments dragged their feet on making real concessions in what was supposed to be "land for peace."
Somehow, I doubt Mr. Hanania's account of the trial, especially after reading this:
He was charged in this case in October 2003, and Salah was added as a defendant a year later. The racketeering indictment alleges Ashqar served as a U.S.-based "information clearinghouse" for Hamas, meticulously tracking the group's terrorist operations overseas and alleged money-raising efforts here. He's portrayed by the government as a behind-the-scenes Hamas guru: In a warrantless search of Ashqar's home in 1993, agents found debriefing reports of local operatives returning from missions in the Middle East.
Forgive me if I'm not buying Mr. Hanania's account in its entirety. It sounds to me like the U.S. government had quite a bit of information on Mr. Ashqar's racketeering activities. According to Wikipedia, RICO, which is short for the "Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations" Statute, "is sufficiently broad to encompass illegal activities relating to any enterprise affecting interstate or foreign commerce." Upon further digging, I found out that the Treasury Department "designated the al Aqsa foundation as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist (SDGT) entity under Executive Order 13224." Here's the result of that designation:
As a result of this designation by Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), all assets of the Al-Aqsa Foundation are blocked and transactions with the organization are prohibited.

"By designating the Al-Aqsa Foundation, we have deprived the Hamas terrorist organization of a vital source of funding and have shut off yet another pipeline of money financing terror. Today’s action demonstrates our commitment to prevent the perversion of charitable organizations for terrorist ends," Secretary Snow stated.
According to the Treasury Department's website, here's what OFAC's mission is:
The Office of Foreign Assets Control ("OFAC") of the US Department of the Treasury administers and enforces economic and trade sanctions based on US foreign policy and national security goals against targeted foreign countries, terrorists, international narcotics traffickers, and those engaged in activities related to the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. OFAC acts under Presidential wartime and national emergency powers, as well as authority granted by specific legislation, to impose controls on transactions and freeze foreign assets under US jurisdiction. Many of the sanctions are based on United Nations and other international mandates, are multilateral in scope, and involve close cooperation with allied governments.
What this means is that, far from Mr. Hanania's assertions that "all that the U.S. Government can say about Mohammed Salah and co-defendant Abdelhaleem Ashqar is that they opposed the Oslo Peace Accords and that they didn’t believe that their Muslim children should mingle in peace with Jews", the U.S Government can prove quite a bit more than that. It looks like they can prove that Mr. Ashqar was extremely helpful in funding Hamas.

Mr. Hanania also tips his hand saying this:
Well, the government did have the testimony of one Judith Miller, the proven professional liar at the New York Times whose exposes on Iraq’s "weapons of mass destruction" are lies that are far more criminal in nature than anything Salah or Ashqar have been proven to have done.
Mr. Hanania's statement that Judith Miller is a "proven professional liar" is over-the-top at minimum. At worst, it's an attempt to say "my friend is innocent because she's a liar, not because he isn't guilty."

Then there's this:
Miller admitted that her access to Salah was facilitated by the Israeli MOSSAD and Government. In other words, Miller has even less credibility on this case than she does on the issue of WMD’s. Let’s not get into the time she spent in jail for lying about the outing of the wife of a diplomat who criticized President Bush’s Iraq War policies.
Mr. Hanania's statement infers that anyone who has dealt with MOSSAD or anything Jewish doesn't have credibility. Furthermore, Mr. Hanania's credibility is further damaged by saying Judith Miller was jailed for lying about Valerie Plame. She was jailed for contempt of court for not revealing her confidential source. While I didn't agree with her withholding that information, I don't agree that keeping one's silence is the same as lying.

The bigger point in this is that CAIR reveals itself by simply posting Mr. Hanania's article on their website. The biggest thing that this reveals is that CAIR will go out of its way to defend the indefensible as long as the defendant is Muslim.

Another thing that this reveals is that they'll publish articles that are written by authors who reveal their anti-Semitic bias. Clearly, that's the case here.

Isn't it fair to question CAIR's claims of being a moderate Muslim organization specializing in Muslims' civil rights when they publish anti-Semitic authors?

UPDATE: It now appears that CAIR no longer has Mr. Hanania's article posted on their website. It also appears that they've scrubbed it from their website. The reason I know this article was posted on CAIR's website is because I remember the green color to the article's title line and because the article posted on CAIR's website only went to the sentence that said:
Isn’t the planning of violence a key component in a federal terrorism charge? Obviously not in this case.
I further remember the line in the upper left corner of the CAIR post was a link to Mr. Hanania's article with the notice that said:
Click here to view full text ...
On CAIR's page, the word HERE was used as a hyperlink to I'll keep tracking this and I'll update you with whatever I find.

Cross-posted at LetFreedomRingBlog

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