The Council on American-Islamic Relations holds itself out as a civil rights group and has insinuated itself into programs sponsored by government agencies as a bona fide spokesman for Americas Islamic community. Knowledgeable observers have nevertheless long had their doubts about CAIR. CAIR was, in fact, among the more than 300 unindicted co-conspirators of the Holy Land Foundation named by the government in the Holy Land Foundation prosecution.
The HLF trial produced evidentiary bombshells detonating along a path leading to CAIR including evidence placing CAIR executive director Nihad Awad at the 1993 Philadelphia meeting of the Muslim Brotherhoods Palestine Committee. FBI agent Lara Burns testified that CAIR was listed as a member of the Palestine Committee. Lilke the HLF, CAIR appears to be a Hamas front group. Among its primary goals is the thwarting of law enforcement activities designed to protect the United States from Islamist terrorism. The Investigative Project on Terrorism took full advantage of the evidence introduced at the HLF trial to produce CAIR Exposed.
One of CAIR’s current projects is the freeing of convicted Palestinian Islamic Jihad terrorist Sami al-Arian, who is being held in contempt of court for refusing to testify before a federal grand jury. Joining CAIR in its efforts to free al-Arian is the Muslim American Society, another offshoot of the Muslim Brotherhood. Like the HLF trial, CAIR’s efforts on behalf of al-Arian should alert sentient observers to the nature of the organization. Steven Emerson writes:
If CAIR and MAS were truly against terrorism, as they publicly proclaim, they would pressure Al Arian to testify, rather than pressure the government to let him go. That CAIR and MAS have embarked on such an aggressive campaign to free Al Arian demonstrates their support of terrorism. Thus it is even more disturbing to see Congressmen, FBI officials, State Department representatives and local law enforcement agree to meet with and embrace CAIR, MAS and others in their campaign on behalf of someone linked to terrorism and who has blocked efforts by prosecutors to unravel other terrorist connections. This is nothing short of scandalous.
Emerson reports the efforts of CAIR and the MAS to garner support for al-Arian on Capitol Hill:
CAIR and MAS helped secure face to face meetings between the Al-Arian family and members of Congress, including House Judiciary Chairman John Conyers, to lobby for pressure on the Department of Justice to release Al-Arian. At an event on Capitol Hill sponsored by Georgetown University April 3, attended by CAIR Executive Director Nihad Awad, Congressman Keith Ellison (D-M[N]), one of only two Muslims in Congress, asserted that he would seek additional congressional support for Al-Arian, stating “the Al-Arian case is very serious, members of the Al-Arian family are in D.C. today, and I think they’re working on his case, trying to get some attention from members of Congress, I’m speaking with them and I hope others do as well.”
My Weekly Standard article on Ellison is “Louis Farrakhan’s first congressman.” It should probably have been titled “CAIR’s first congressman.” But Ellison is only a leading indicator of the confluence of forces making the Democratic Party a vehicle for the likes of CAIR.