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CAIRís Congressional Candidate--Moving one step closer to Capitol Hill
FrontPageMagazine.com ^ | September 11, 2006 | Joel Mowbray

Posted on 09/11/2006 5:39:47 AM PDT by SJackson

Tomorrow’s Democratic primary in Minnesota’s very blue fifth Congressional district could prove historic. If he wins, Keith Ellison would be all-but-assured to be the first Muslim ever elected to the U.S. Congressman. It would also mark the first time that someone ascended to Capitol Hill courtesy of key support from the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR).

Ellison has received financial and other help from executives at CAIR, which has deep connections to supporters of Islamic terrorism. Also among those who have contributed money to the candidate are an official from a group that participated in a “tribute” to the Iranian despot Ayatollah Khomenei and leaders of what is considered the political front in the U.S. for the Muslim Brotherhood.

While Ellison could be genuinely ignorant of the disturbing records of some his supporters, he at least owes voters an explanation—and hopefully, an apology. Assuming he does, though, he needs to re-build his credibility by being more forthcoming about the true extent of his past with the Nation of Islam.

It appears he’s not ready to apologize anytime soon, however. Though his campaign staff initially gave assurances that Ellison would be available for interview, the candidate for reasons unknown never returned this columnist’s repeated phone calls.

Awad’s assistance

At a fundraiser two weeks ago that the campaign estimates raised approximately $15,000 to $20,000, one of two speakers besides Ellison was Nihad Awad, the founder and executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR).

This wasn’t Awad’s first assist. A month earlier, he apparently delivered to the campaign “bundled” checks amounting to just over $10,000. (“Bundling” is the practice of one person soliciting multiple checks for a campaign.) The campaign denies the contributions were bundled, but seven checks from residents of Virginia, Awad’s home state, and Texas, where Awad has strong ties, were received by the campaign on July 22. One of the checks was for $2,000 from Awad himself, and on the next day, the campaign logged a contribution from CAIR’s Director of Government Affairs, Corey Saylor.

Though it claims to be simply a civil rights group for Muslims, CAIR is at best agnostic on Islamic terror, and at worst, a cheerleader for it. Two of its officials have been convicted on terrorism charges, and as an organization, while CAIR forcefully attacks critics of radical Islam, it has yet to condemn by name any Islamic terror organization other than al Qaeda—which it denounced only reluctantly several months after 9/11.

CAIR’s former communications and civil rights coordinator was convicted in 2004 on terror-related charges of plotting to wage violent jihad against the U.S., and the founder of its Texas branch last year was convicted of terror-related charges.

Given CAIR’s history, though, the convictions are not exactly surprising. The parent organization of CAIR is the Islamic Association of Palestine. Though CAIR bristles at that characterization, its two founders, Awad and Omar Ahmad, were both high-ranking IAP officials when they founded CAIR in 1994, and they maintained close relations for years afterward. IAP, which appears to have ceased operations within the past two years, was an openly anti-Semitic organization long believed to be Hamas’ political front in the U.S. A civil court judge in Illinois last year confirmed those suspicions when he declared that there was “strong evidence that IAP was supporting Hamas.”

Both of CAIR’s founders have given rhetorical support to Islamic terrorism. In a speech at Barry University in Florida in 1994, Awad declared, “I’m in support of the Hamas movement.” Addressing a youth session at the 1999 IAP annual convention in Chicago, Ahmad praised suicide bombers who “kill themselves for Islam”: “Fighting for freedom, fighting for Islam, that is not suicide. They kill themselves for Islam.” (Transcript provided by the Investigative Project.)

Although CAIR has repeatedly condemned “terrorism,” it has pointedly refused invitations to do so by naming specific Islamic terrorist organizations. In November 2001, the Washington Post asked a CAIR spokesman to condemn Hamas or Islamic Jihad. He refused, explaining, “It’s not our job to go around denouncing.” Given a similar opportunity to denounce Hamas and Hezbollah by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette in February 2002, CAIR spokesman Ibrahim Hooper called such queries a “game,” and added, “We’re not in the business of condemning.”

But for those unfamiliar with the group, CAIR is very much “in the business of condemning”—but only when it comes to TV shows, Israel, or U.S. policy.

Cash from Awad’s Associates

Also of concern are other contributors to Ellison’s campaign.

Ellison’s defense

In a written statement, Ellison’s campaign said, “As part of Keith’s overarching philosophy of peace, he supports reaching across the ideological and religious barriers.” What barriers? The ones that divide those who don’t support Islamic terror from those who do?

Keenly aware that Awad’s embrace of Ellison is creating controversy, the campaign claims it was local Minnesota Muslims who invited Awad, even though it is Ellison who has known him for almost two decades. Communications Director Jim Leinfelder defended the relationship with Awad, noting that CAIR’s executive director was at a Presidential gathering shortly after 9/11. But it was precisely because of that incident that outcry over Awad and CAIR skyrocketed. And after IAP shuttered in the wake of being found liable in a civil court in 2004 for supporting Hamas, focus on Awad has only intensified.

Credibility problems

It’s not just his refusal to explain his relationships with Awad and others that is troubling. Ellison’s credibility is thin, considering his lack of candor this spring when he apologized to the Jewish community for his past “ties” to the Nation of Islam. He appears to have understated both the duration and nature of his affiliation with the NOI.

Though Ellison claims he didn’t recognize NOI’s anti-Semitism while involved with the organization, news accounts from 1997 suggest otherwise. According to the Star-Tribune, Ellison served as the NOI spokesman at a public hearing concerning anti-Semitic comments allegedly made by then-executive director of the Minnesota Initiative Against Racism Joanne Jackson. Reading the NOI’s statement at the meeting, Ellison said he and his colleagues were there to “stand by the truth in the remarks attributed to her.” Even though Jackson claimed she was misquoted, Ellison added that she “had every right to say that some of the most racist whites she has ever met were Jewish.”

Ellison’s claims of ignorance ring hollow given some of the NOI’s anti-Semitism came out of his own mouth.

Which brings us back to his current company. Awareness of Awad’s true nature has sharply increased in recent years. A simple Google search would have made Ellison’s campaign leery of any affiliation.

Unfortunately, local press coverage has been appalling. Almost nothing about CAIR or Ellison’s ties to Awad have been reported in the Minneapolis Star-Tribune. National Democrats, though, should know all about CAIR, as leaders from the party, such as Sen. Dick Durbin and Sen. Chuck Schumer, have denounced the organization.

But if Ellison wins tomorrow, the media could begin showering “the first Muslim ever elected to Congress” with tremendous affection, creating a ripe opportunity for Democrats to pander to a new minority group.

How will the Democrats respond? Will they shun the politician who accepted CAIR’s embrace, or will they join in the celebration and sacrifice principle in the process?

Click Here to support Frontpagemag.com.


Joel Mowbray is author of Dangerous Diplomacy: How the State Department Threatens America’s Security.


TOPICS: Editorial; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: 2006election; cair; election2006; fifthanniversary; islam; islaminamerica; keithellison; muslimbrotherhood
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1 posted on 09/11/2006 5:39:48 AM PDT by SJackson
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To: SJackson

Heck, they've already got the entire Dembulbkrat Party, what's one candidate more or less?.......


2 posted on 09/11/2006 5:41:46 AM PDT by Red Badger (Is Castro dead yet?........)
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To: SJackson

"...Minnesota’s very blue fifth Congressional district..."

Well, of course he'll win.


3 posted on 09/11/2006 5:41:51 AM PDT by redstates4ever
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To: redstates4ever

***Ellison has received financial and other help from executives at CAIR, which has deep connections to supporters of Islamic terrorism. ****

This speaks for itself. And of course he is a Democrat. He will fit right in with the rest of them. hard to believe that on Sept 11th I am reading of any Muslim who may be elected to the House.


4 posted on 09/11/2006 5:45:29 AM PDT by sgtbono2002 (The fourth estate is a fifth column.)
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To: SJackson

Joel's article is not clear. First, is Ellison a genuine Muslim (what's his Muslim name?) or is he an ex-NOI member?

It's my understanding that "real" Muslims think NOI is a weird cult.

It's clear that this guy is going to be as bad as McKinney. Probably worse, if he isn't actually insane.


5 posted on 09/11/2006 5:45:54 AM PDT by AmishDude (`[N]on-state actors' can project force around the world more easily than Canada". -- Mark Steyn)
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To: sgtbono2002

Can you imagine if an extremist like this ran as a Republican? There would be a huge national outcry about the party of hate, bigotry, intolerance, etc etc.


6 posted on 09/11/2006 5:46:52 AM PDT by TNCMAXQ
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To: AmishDude

The very fact that this guy is a Muslim would be enough for me to do everything possible to keep him from being elected to Congress.

All Muslims are real!!!!!


7 posted on 09/11/2006 6:02:27 AM PDT by Coldwater Creek
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To: SJackson

Islam isn't in America to be equal to any other faith, but to become dominant. The Qur'an should be the highest authority in America, and Islam the only accepted religion on earth"

--Omar Ahmed, Chairman of the Board of CAIR (Council of American Islamic Relations), San Ramon Valley Herald, July 1998

The above statement by CoB of CAIR should be enough to disquallify this SOB!!!!


8 posted on 09/11/2006 6:06:05 AM PDT by Robe (Rome did not create a great empire by talking, they did it by killing all those who opposed them)
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To: SJackson
If the people of this district elected this mooselimb, then the people of this district will deserved to be known as fools.
9 posted on 09/11/2006 6:10:04 AM PDT by From One - Many (Trust the Old Media At Your Own Risk)
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To: AmishDude

He will be al jazeeras poster boy.

In fact everytime the MSM needs a Religion of Peace propaganda point, they will use him as the token Islamist.

This will be the same as arafat. Say one thing to the west another to the east.

MSM born stupid.


10 posted on 09/11/2006 6:10:36 AM PDT by longtermmemmory (VOTE! http://www.senate.gov and http://www.house.gov)
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To: From One - Many

deserved = deserve


11 posted on 09/11/2006 6:10:50 AM PDT by From One - Many (Trust the Old Media At Your Own Risk)
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To: SJackson

Bump. Does his wife do the hijab?


12 posted on 09/11/2006 6:12:00 AM PDT by Mamzelle
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To: SJackson

Islamics should be banned from holding any office in America.


13 posted on 09/11/2006 6:13:49 AM PDT by Lazamataz (Islam is a perversion of faith, a lie against human spirit, an obscenity shouted in the face of G_d)
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To: SJackson

"Almost nothing about CAIR or Ellison’s ties to Awad have been reported in the Minneapolis Star-Tribune. "


14 posted on 09/11/2006 6:22:21 AM PDT by sandra_789 (.)
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To: Lazamataz

What ever happened to Grover Norquist?


15 posted on 09/11/2006 6:23:03 AM PDT by sandra_789 (.)
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To: sgtbono2002; oldglory; MinuteGal; mcmuffin; sheikdetailfeather
"...And of course he is a Democrat. He will fit right in with the rest of them. .."

Exactly.


16 posted on 09/11/2006 6:44:47 AM PDT by Matchett-PI (DemocRAT leaders easily confuse the minds of the simple.)
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To: SJackson

Where is AIPAC when you need them?


17 posted on 09/11/2006 6:46:52 AM PDT by CPT Clay (Drill ANWR, Personal Accounts NOW.)
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To: SJackson
“the first Muslim ever elected to Congress”

Regardless of what is taught in American schools Muslims were among the first slave traders walking the Africans form Africa to the Muslim countries. The perception in American schools is that the United States was totally responsible for slavery and the transportation of Africans to the New World. The United States had little to do with the slave trade out of Africa and the transportation of Africans to the New World. Obviously the Blacks and other voters in the 5th dist. were taught in American schools.

How a Black can embrace Islam and the Koran is strange. Names such as El this and Al bear out this embrace. Blacks have gained more in the United States than any other country on Earth, a fact seldom mentioned.

18 posted on 09/11/2006 6:51:03 AM PDT by BIGZ
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To: SJackson
Tomorrow’s Democratic primary in Minnesota’s very blue fifth Congressional district could prove historic. If he wins, Keith Ellison would be all-but-assured to be the first Muslim ever elected to the U.S. Congressman. It would also mark the first time that someone ascended to Capitol Hill courtesy of key support from the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR).

"Islam isn't in America to be equal to any other faith, but to become dominant. The Qur'an should be the highest authority in America, and Islam the only accepted religion on earth"

--Omar Ahmed, Chairman of the Board of CAIR (Council of American Islamic Relations), San Ramon Valley Herald, July 1998
19 posted on 09/11/2006 6:53:26 AM PDT by Vision ("As a man thinks...so is he." Proverbs 23:7)
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To: Jay777

Ping (reply 16)


20 posted on 09/11/2006 7:02:09 AM PDT by EdReform (Protect our 2nd Amendment Rights - Join the NRA today - www.nra.org)
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