Group treated as voice of Muslims despite fresh evidence of terror ties
Despite recent reports of new evidence of its ties to terrorism, the Council on American-Islamic Relations is boasting of its success in the wake of the Fort Hood massacre as a spokesman in numerous major media outlets for a religious community “shocked” by the attack and incensed that anyone would associate them with it.
In a fundraising letter, CAIR Executive Director Nihad Awad told potential donors that within hours of the attack by a Muslim Army major, the Washington, D.C.-based group issued a statement of condemnation to thousands of local, national and international media outlets.
“Perhaps you saw CAIR spokespeople interviewed on MSNBC’s Hardball or on PBS‘s NewsHour with Jim Lehrer, CNN, MSNBC, or the BBC,” Awad writes. “Or maybe you read CAIR quotes in the Washington Post, New York Times, Christian Science Monitor, or USA Today.”
Awad said staff at CAIR – which was designated an unindicted co-conspirator in the largest terrorism-finance case in U.S. history last year – have been “working non-stop in dealing with these crises.” The Muslim group, he said, “provided advice and support for Islamic centers nationwide on how to handle the crisis, including ensuring your safety in case of an anti-Muslim backlash.”
CAIR soon became the most watched non-profit on You Tube.com, Awad noted.
CAIR’s access to major media comes weeks after the release of “Muslim Mafia: Inside the Secret Underworld That’s Conspiring to Islamize America,” a WND Books publication by former Air Force special agent P. David Gaubatz and “Infiltration” author Paul Sperry. The authors present first-hand evidence CAIR is acting as a front for a well-funded conspiracy of the Muslim Brotherhood – the parent of al-Qaida and Hamas – to infiltrate the American system and help pave the way for Saudi-style Islamic law to rule the U.S.
The FBI cut off ties to CAIR in January after the group was named an unindicted co-conspirator in the Holy Land Foundation case in Texas. Democratic Sen. Charles Schumer of New York and other lawmakers have called for a government-wide ban on CAIR.
“Our tone and immediate response is paying off,” Awad said in the fundraising appeal. “Major media acknowledged the strong statement that American Muslims issued condemning the Fort Hood attack. On CNN, Anderson Cooper reported that CAIR ‘reacted to the shooting spree, condemning the attack in the strongest terms possible.’ On MSNBC’s ‘Hardball,’ Chris Matthews noted that CAIR was ‘quick to condemn the massacre.'”
Awad himself has direct ties to Hamas, FBI evidence shows.
He was at a Philadelphia meeting of Hamas leaders in 1993 that hatched a plot to disguise payments to Hamas terrorists as charitable giving, according to wiretap evidence from the Holy Land case.
An April 28 letter from FBI assistant director Richard C. Powers to Sen. Jon Kyl, R-Ariz. – which singles out Awad for suspicion – explains how the group’s many Hamas connections caused the FBI to sever ties with CAIR.
Awad’s contact information was listed in a Muslim Brotherhood document seized by federal investigators revealing “important phone numbers” for the “Palestine Section” of the Brotherhood in America. The court exhibit shows Hamas fugitive Mousa Abu Marzook listed on the same page with Awad.
Awad told donors in the fundraising appeal CAIR needs their “financial help to meet these crises and push back against those who seek to score political points off the Muslim community in the wake of the Fort Hood tragedy.”
Fort Hood killer ‘not devout’?
One day after the Nov. 5 shooting at the Texas Army post, the Fox News Channel invited Awad to appear with host Martha MacCallum, who asked the CAIR leader what his reaction was when he heard the suspect was a devout Muslim from Virginia.
Awad said “the American Muslim community is shocked by this vicious attack on innocent people,” noting that as soon as CAIR heard the news it issued a statement of condemnation “on behalf of American Muslims.”
See Nihad Awad’s interview on the Fox News Channel:
“There is absolutely no justification, can be found in an ideology or any religion for this horrific crime,” he said.
“I am really disturbed when I hear they are referring to him as a devout Muslim. There is no link between being devout and committing heinous crime like this,” he emphasized.
“Our belief system, like any other belief system, calls for peace and for harmony, for reconciliation, for coexistence. And I’m really disturbed to link him to the religion of Islam and the Muslim community. Our condemnation cannot be more clear than this. Our community is very shocked and disturbed by this incident.”
MacCallum replied: “I understand what you are saying, and there is a very similar sentiment being expressed by his family today. They’re saying he was an American, he was raised in Virginia, that this behavior shocks and saddens the family and you can only imagine what they’re going through today.”
MacCallum asked Awad to comment on a report that the shooter yelled “Allahu Akbar,” the Arabic phrase for “Allah is greatest,” as he began shooting. But Awad refused to address it, arguing conclusions could not be drawn with the investigation just getting under way.
Awad concluded saying “we ask for calm, for unity and for America to show the best of its values and tradition. In times of crisis we are united and we will not allow anybody to jump to any conclusion or, for that matter, to cause any backlash against innocent people. Enough innocent people have been killed and we do not want more people to be harmed.”
MacCallum cut in.
“You’re absolutely right,” she said, wrapping up with, “All right Mr. Awad, we thank you very much for sharing that message with us today. We’re glad to have you on. Thank you.”
Awad was quoted in a New York Times story, “Muslims at Fort Voice Outrage and Ask Questions,” stating, “We reiterate the American Muslim community’s condemnation of this cowardly attack.”
“Right now, we call on all Americans to assist those who are responding to this atrocity,” he said. “We must ensure that the wounded are treated and the families of those who were murdered have an opportunity to mourn.”
On the PBS News Hour, CAIR communications director Ibrahim Hooper complained of a “cottage industry of Muslim-bashers who are already using this incident and exploiting it to further promote interfaith mistrust and hostility and to create divisions within our society.”
“And that’s why we ask mainstream practitioners of all faiths in America to not allow that to happen, to remain calm, to remain unified in the face of those who would exploit this kind of tragic incident,” Hooper said.
Hooper, like other CAIR leaders, is on record expressing his desire that the U.S. become a Muslim country.
“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,” Hooper told the Minneapolis Star Tribune in 1993. “But I’m not going to do anything violent to promote that. I’m going to do it through education.”
Hooper said in the PBS interview that when an incident like the Fort Hood massacre occurs, “despite our attempts every day to enhance understanding of Islam and show American Muslims are ordinary citizens that go about their daily lives, it ends up being one step forward and two steps back for our community.”
“And that’s just the facts we have to face in the post-9/11 era,” he said.
IMPORTANT NOTE: The Council on American-Islamic Relations, or CAIR, is suing “Muslim Mafia” co-author P. David Gaubatz and his son Chris over the evidentiary documents they obtained during Chris’s 6-month undercover penetration of the organization, which both the FBI and Justice Department have branded as a terror co-conspirator. As a result of revelations in “Muslim Mafia,” the bipartisan Congressional Anti-Terrorism Caucus is calling for new, wide-ranging federal probes of CAIR. In the meantime, however, someone has to defend these two courageous investigators who have, at great personal risk, revealed so much about this dangerous group. WND has stepped up to the plate, procured the best First Amendment attorneys in the country and is paying for the Gaubatzes’ defense – but we can’t do it without your help. Please donate to WND’s Legal Defense Fund now. Thank you.