Curiously, the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) was silent following the arrest of the Lackawanna Five. Regarding the September 15 incident involving Miami-bound Islamic-Americans that tied up traffic on a major highway, Executive Director Altaf Ali was quick to protest, saying that the rising tide of anti-Muslim rhetoric in our society can trigger discrimination by a bigoted minority. However, after the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, CAIR characterized the trial and conviction of bombing mastermind, Sheik Omar Abdul-Rahman as an "incident of bias and violence" against Muslims. Suffice it to say, so far as CAIR is concerned, no Muslim is even capable of terrorist acts and any criticism of Muslims is bigotry.
Very well said Joe - Thought you'd be interested in the information below from "American Jihad".
Below is the excerpt from Steven Emerson's book, "AMERICAN JIHAD" regarding CAIR.
THE TERRORISTS' SUPPORT NETWORKS
The Sea in Which the Fish Swim
CAIR is the most prominent of the Muslim organizations concerned with "civil rights." In its charter, CAIR stated it would "promote interest and understanding among the general public with regards to Islam and Muslims in North America and conduct educational services in the fields of religion, culture, education, society and history concerning Islamic issues both in the United States and abroad." The organization generally purports to represent the Muslim viewpoint in America. Founded in 1994, CAIR is an outgrowth of the Islamic Association of Palestine. In 1994, then-IAP president Omar Ahmad approached Nihad Awad, IAP's public relations director, and suggested that they leave the IAP and concentrate on combating anti-Muslim discrimination nationwide. When the organization was incorporated, the three individuals involved were Awad, Ahmad, and Rafiq Jaber who served as Ahmad's successor to the position of president of the IAP CAIR takes the public position that it condemns terror. Shortly after the events of September 11, 2001, the organization took out a full-page advertisement in The Washington Post stating: We at the Council on American Islamic Relations, along with the entire American Muslim Community, are deeply saddened by the massive loss of life resulting from the tragic events of September 11th. American Muslims unequivocally condemn these vicious and cowardly acts of terrorism.... We join all Americans in calling for the swift apprehension and punishment of the perpetrators of these crimes.
On its Web site, the statement appears as an adjunct to a section labeled "Passenger Profiling," in which American Muslims are invited to submit complaints if you or someone you know has been a victim. Another subsection titled "Help for Victims" asks, "What you can do for the victims of the WTC and Pentagon attacks" and allows contributions through both the Red Cross and the Holy Land Foundation.
In fact CAIR has often served as an ideological support group for militants. On May 24,1998, for example, CAIR cosponsored an incendiary rally at Brooklyn College that featured speakers spouting anti-Jewish rhetoric. One speaker was Wagdy Ghuneim, a radical cleric from Egypt. He told listeners, "Allah says he who equips a warrior of jihad is like the one makes jihad himself." He led the audience in a song with the lyrics: No to the Jews, descendants of the apes. On October 28, 1998, CAIR's Southern California branch issued a press release to protest the existence of billboards in the Los Angeles area that depicted the visage of Osama bin Laden with the headline "the sworn enemy." The billboards had been sponsored by the Los Angeles-based KCOP Television, Inc., and were intended "to take recognizable characters and situations that affect people's lives because they are in the news" (as CAIR put it). The CAIR statement claimed that the billboard was an insult to the hundreds of thousands of Muslims who live in Southern California. CAIR has even refused to condemn the Taliban. A conference in Columbus, Ohio, entitled "Leadership Ambassadors, Making a Difference," featured a seminar led by CAIR's Director of Communications, Ibrahim Hooper. There, Hooper explained how he preferred to contextualize the regime: [O]ften I'm dealing with very sensitive controversial issues, and I don't want to be quoted about the Taliban, you know, but I want to put the Taliban into context for a reporter. So I'll say well, you know, CAIR doesn't comment on international issues where there is not an American component so we just don't have any comment. But, can we go off the record, and then I'll go off the record in trying to explain what is going on so that they don't just go away with a stereotypical, one dimensional portrayal ....
CAIR's executive director, Nihad Awad, explained his views regarding the Palestinian situation in a speech delivered in 1994 at Barry University in Florida: "After I researched the situation inside and outside Palestine, I am in support of the Hamas movement. . . ." In 2000 Awad appeared at a rally in front of the White House in Washington, D.C., and rejected any peaceful settlement between the Israelis and the Palestinians: "they [the Jews] have been saying 'Next year in Jerusalemwe say 'Next year to all Palestine' He also stated that Hollywood had distorted its treatment of groups engaged in violence in the Middle East by referring to them as terrorists: Hollywood is not our friend. Hollywood has distorted the facts. Hollywood has shown freedom fighters as terrorists. Hollywood has done the work that Zionists cannot done [sic].
CAIR officials have defended the action of suicide bombers. On the one hand, Awad told CNN's "Crossfire" that Suicide is an act of disbelief, because we Muslims believe that God is only in charge of life and death. And to take one's life or other people's life is an act of disbelief and it goes in sharp contradiction with Islamic teachings. On the other hand, at a conference of the Islamic Association for Palestine held a week later, Omar Ahmad, chairman of CAIR's board of directors, told a youth session: Someone in Islam is allowed to fight.... Fighting for freedom, fighting for Islamthat is not suicide. They kill themselves for Islam.
Much of CAIRs time is spent trying to persuade the press not to "overreact" to acts of Muslim terror and trying to prove that Muslims themselves are victims of discrimination and prejudice. A year after the bombings of the American embassies in Kenya and Tanzania in 1998 that killed 224 people, Jeff Jacoby of The Boston Globe wrote: "On that occasion, prominent Islamic voices in the United States did speak out. But their chief message was not one of horrified sympathy for the victims and their families or of shame that anyone calling himself a Muslim could perpetrate such an atrocity. Nowhat [these] Muslim leaders were eager to communicate was a warning to the media not to speculate about a possible Islamic connection to the slaughter.
Exercise Restraint in Reporting on Embassy Bombings, ran the headline. At the time, despite the ferocity of those bombings, America's major Islamic groups made no move to distance themselves from bin Ladenor even to label him a terrorist. A release issued by the Council on American-Islamic Rela tions was typical: 'American Muslims Ask Journalists to CAIR has several ties to the Hamas-connected organizations and individuals discussed in Chapter 5. At its founding, CAIR received funding of $5,000 from the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development. According to annual reports filed in the state of Illinois, Mohammad Nimer, the director of CAIRs Research Center, was on the Board of Directors of the United Association for Studies and Research (UASR). After September 11, 2001, and up until the U.S. government froze the assets of the Holy Land Foundation in December, CAIRs Web site included a feature, "What you can do for the victims of the WTC and Pentagon attacks" with a link to the Web site of HLF ("Donate through the Holy Land Foundation").
When Federal Judge Kevin Duffy ordered the extradition of Hamas leader Mousa abu Marzook in 1996, CAIR coordinated a press conference on May 10 to protest the decision. CAIR also signed a letter, printed in a June 1996 "Newsletter of the Marzuk [sic] Legal Fund," arguing that the extradition order was anti-Islamic and anti-American. Steve Pomerantz, former chief of the Counterterrorism Section of the FBI and former assistant director of the FBI, says: CAIR has defended individuals involved in terrorist violence, including Hamas leader Musa abu Marzook.... The modus operandi has been to falsely tar as 'anti-Muslim' the U.S. government, counter-terrorist officials, writers, journalists and others who have investigated or exposed the threat of Middle East-based terrorism.... Unfortunately, CAIR is but one of the new generation of new groups in the United States that hide under a veneer of 'civil rights' or 'academic' status but in fact are tethered to a platform that supports terrorism.
Seif Ashmawy, former publisher of Voice of Peace, wrote: It is a known fact that both the AMC and CAIR have defended, apologized for and rationalized the actions of extremist groups and leaders such as convicted World Trade Center conspirator Sheikh Omar Abdul Rahman, Egyptian extremists, Hassan al-Turabi, the Sudanese National Islamic Front, and extremist parliamentarians from the Jordanian Islamic Action Front and others who called for the overthrow of the Egyptian government. . . . As a proud American Muslim . . . I bow to no one on my defense of Muslim civil rights, but CAIR . . . champion[s] extremists whose views do not represent Islam.