It takes a Potemkin Village

The Washington Times has published Audrey Hudson’s story on CAIR. Hudson reports:

Membership in the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) has declined more than 90 percent since the 2001 terrorist attacks, according to tax documents obtained by The Washington Times.
The number of reported members spiraled down from more than 29,000 in 2000 to fewer than 1,700 in 2006. As a result, the Muslim rights group’s annual income from dues dropped from $732,765 in 2000, when yearly dues cost $25, to $58,750 last year, when the group charged $35.
The organization instead is relying on about two dozen donors a year to contribute the majority of the money for CAIR’s budget, which reached nearly $3 million last year.
Asked about the decline, Parvez Ahmed, CAIR’s board chairman, pointed to the number of donors.
“We are proud that our grass-roots support in the American Muslim community has allowed CAIR to grow from having eight chapters and offices in 2001 to having 33 today,” Mr. Ahmed said.

How many contributors does CAIR have? Hudson reports:

CAIR listed contributors in its Form 990 filings with the Internal Revenue Service, but the IRS redacted all the names before releasing the documents.
In 2001, 26 contributors gave more than $1.6 million; in 2002, 26 gave more than $2.6 million; in 2003, 24 gave more than $2 million; in 2004, 20 gave more than $1.4 million; in 2005, 19 contributed $1.3 million.

Money isn’t a problem for CAIR. Holding itself out as a representative civil rights group, however, CAIR is the organizational equivalent of a Potemkin village.
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