Coverage of lawmakers' charges ignores terror ties
Is the Council on American-Islamic Relations merely a civil rights organization exercising its constitutional right to lobby on Capitol Hill like hundreds of other non-profit organizations?
That's the way Politico and other mainstream news outlets have portrayed CAIR – despite the FBI's decision this year to cut off ties to the Muslim group after its designation by the Department of Justice as an "unindicted co-conspirator" in the largest terrorist-finance case in U.S. history.
In its coverage of a press conference on Capitol Hill in which four Republican House members presented an internal CAIR document revealed in the new WND Books release "Muslim Mafia" that shows the group sought to place interns in the intelligence, homeland security and judiciary committees, Politico characterized the document as a "fairly straightforward public relations and lobbying strategy."
There was no mention of the undisputed fact that along with CAIR's designation as an unindicted co-conspirator in the Texas-based Holy Land Foundation, many of its leaders and prominent supporters have been convicted in terrorism-related cases.
FBI officials have testified CAIR's parent group, the Islamic Association for Palestine, was founded as a front group for the Palestinian terrorist group Hamas. And evidence from the FBI presented at the Holy Land trial showed CAIR Executive Director Nihad Awad and founder Omar Awad participated in a three-day summit in 1993 of U.S.-based Hamas members and supporters.
Wiretaps revealed Ahmad argued for using Muslims as an "entry point" to "pressure Congress and the decision makers in America" to change U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East.
Democratic Sen. Charles Schumer of New York – who has described CAIR as an organization "which we know has ties to terrorism" – formally supported the FBI's divorce with CAIR in a letter to the agency's director signed with Sens. Jon Kyl, R-Ariz., and Tom Coburn, R-Okla.
In 2007, Democratic Sen. Barbara Boxer of California withdrew an award to the head of CAIR's Sacramento chapter, citing "concerns" about the group's associations. She explained her office had not thoroughly researched CAIR.
Internal e-mails, according to "Muslim Mafia," show CAIR debated going "all out against" Boxer in a smear campaign but decided against it because she's a popular Democrat, and CAIR didn't think it could make an attack "hurt her enough."