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Domestic Arab Fifth Column By: Lisa Makson
FrontPageMagazine.com | Friday, April 04, 2003

A new Arab-American group has joined forces with American peace groups to rally against the "injustice" of U.S. foreign policy on Iraq.

The Detroit based Focus on American and Arab Interests and Relations, which was founded after the September 11 terror attacks by two Iraqi ex-patriates, Mohammed Alomari and Muthana al-Hanooti, "to promote fair policies and a better understanding of the issues pertaining to the Arab World," has joined forces with a handful of radical anti-American, anti-Israel, leftist peace groups to take the U.S. to task for its hard-line stance on Iraq.

Visitors to FAAIR’s website will find an essay by Alomari entitled the "Twelve Years of Siege on Iraq," which probably gives readers a sampling of what is they can expect in his soon to be released book, "The Blockade and Destruction of Iraq: Crimes Against Humanity."

Alomari argues that America’s justifications for going to war against the "besieged nation" of Iraq is very flimsy, saying it runs "the entire gamut of war pretexts, everything from fighting terrorism and weapons of mass destruction to establishing democracies around the world."

"Unfortunately though, none of these arguments stand on any basis of fact or legality," he continues. "Iraq never had any ties or links whatsoever with the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks or with Al-Qaeda group. In fact, Iraq actually offered to help the U.S. in tracking down the culprits behind the 9-11 terrorist attacks."

"Aside from the terrorism and weapons arguments, the U.S. has no legal justification for launching an unprovoked war on Iraq," Alomari wrote. "Iraq has neither attacked the U.S. nor its interests around the world. Iraq does not pose any threat to the U.S. nor to its vital interests around the world."

FAAIR argues that the United States is using "old regurgitated and unsubstantiated rhetoric claiming that Iraq somehow poses a threat to the world." Therefore not only is another war illegal, but it is also "a crime against humanity" because of all the "suffering" it will inflict on the Iraqi people and since the attack was launched by would anti-Arab "extremists" in the Bush Administration.

In a previous article, Alomari goes to great detail in outlining the 32 Jewish Americans who are guiding President George Bush’s foreign policy in an essay entitled "Why Is George Walker Bush So Pro-Israel?" In it he advises Bush "to replace these pro-Israeli fanatics," such as Secretary of State Colin Powell who "wanted to toughen the sanctions on Iraq," with "patriotic Americans" and says that the "Israeli lobby will use (or create) some scandal," such as the "corporate scandals and the huge recession," to "blackmail Bush into attacking Iraq."

Alomari, who uses the Anglicized version of his name instead of the Arabic Al-Omari perhaps because he is afraid that people would think he is related to the Sept. 11 suicide pilot Abdul Al-Omari, also opines that the U.S. would never "justify a similar war against Israel for not allowing UN inspectors to monitor Israeli nuclear weapons" as "ordered" by the U.N. Security Council in 1981.

Thus, in light of these essays, it is easy to see why FAAIR has aligned itself with the following "peace" groups since they both share a common hatred for Israel and its U.S. ally.

The most shocking alliance is with the law breaking group Campaign of Conscience for the Iraqi People, which was formed by two leftist peace groups the American Friends Service Committee and Fellowship of Reconciliation.

The AFSC was founded after the Bolshevik Revolution by some Quakers who were "conscientious objectors" to World War I. The group is "committed to social justice, peace and humanitarian service" and spends much of its $35 million revenue on speakers who talk to students with the goal of dissuading them from joining the military; promoting gun control; and encouraging them to use the "power of love to overcome violence."

Disgust for WWI also led to FR’s founding, as well as its sister organization the American Civil Liberties Union, in 1915 by English Quaker Henry Hodgkin and German Lutheran Friedrich Sigmund-Schultze and focuses mainly on "nuclear disarmament" as well as bringing about a "moratorium on the death penalty."

CCIP’s website flagrantly parades its criminal efforts to subvert U.S. and international law by shipping supplies to Iraq without approval from the U.S. Treasury Department, which enforces the economic sanctions against Iraq.

But CCIP does not stop there. The group also encourages others -- so far some 150 groups -- to enlist in their illicit trade and "nonviolent defiance of U.S. law," noting on their website that it is not too late to make a donation for the next shipment of contraband.

FAAIR also has ties with the Iraq Action Coalition (iraqaction.org), an "independent grassroots coalition dedicated to providing information on the consequences of the blockade on Iraq and providing assistance to the Iraqi people" and was founded in 1993 by Dr. Rania Masri, a 30-year old Arab-American originally from Beirut, Lebanon.

The professor, who also serves as media director to the Palestinian rights group Al-Awda Right of Return Coalition and is the Institute for Southern Studies -- a progressive group dedicated to transforming the South into a liberal stronghold -- Environmental Justice director, is an outspoken Iraq and Arab advocate.

Masri goes to campuses to teach students how they can combat the "continuing war [of economic sanctions] against Iraq." When she’s not doing that, Masri is a regular on the progressive Pacifica Radio Network and is often a featured speaker at peace and Socialist youth rallies at such places like the University of Michigan – Alomari’s alma mater, which is infamous for its rabid anti-Israel, pro-Palestinian rallies.

During her speeches, Masri has decried how "simply looking Middle Eastern [in the U.S.] has become a crime" and is appalled with the "rise of racism" and the "erosion of civil rights" for Arab-Americans in the post-9/11 U.S. She even has been an apologist for Osama bin Laden because she doubts that he was responsible for the Sept. 11 terror attacks and will not change her mind until she gets more convincing "evidence" from the U.S. government.

However, this is not the worst of it. According to two Arabic websites, the IAC is listed as part of the Iraqi government.

Perhaps this explains why IAC’s website blames the U.S. for the twelve year "siege on the Iraqi populace;" states that the U.S. -- not Saddam Hussein -- used "internationally banned radiological, biological, and chemical weapons" on the Iraqi people during Gulf War I and is calling for a new definition of terrorism that includes a special category for the U.S.

Like Masri’s Iraq Action Coalition, another peace group FAAIR has joined forces with -- United for Peace & Justice -- also has anti-Israel leanings. UPJ has ties to Masri’s Al-Awada and ANSWER (Act Now to Stop War and End Racism), a "peace" group that has sponsored anti-Semitic rallies in support of Hamas and an avid recruiter of Arab and Muslim groups into the anti-war movement. UPJ was founded last fall after an Iraq conference in Washington, D.C. in which FAAIR participated. It is a coalition of more than 70 groups -- a "diverse roster of participating organizations [that] include anarchist, environmental, gay rights, socialist, Christian, Jewish, Islamic and antiwar representatives" -- that "work against war in Iraq and against new repressive measures at home" by staging mass protests.

Some of the groups in the UPJ coalition include: People Against Oppression and War, Anti-Capitalist Convergence, the Black Radical Congress, the Green Party, Coalition Against Global Exploitation, Feminist Peace Network, Socialist Party USA and the International Socialist Organization, National Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression, United Students Against Sweatshops, Women's International League for Peace and Freedom, Palestine Right to Return Coalition, US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation and American Muslims for Jerusalem -- a pro-Palestinian group that wants Israeli control of Jerusalem returned to the Palestinians.

And just like FAAIR’s three other comrades, FAAIR has ties to yet another anti-Israel "peace" group -- the Peace Action Network, an amalgam of two Cold War, arms control organizations -- the Committee for a Sane Nuclear Policy (SANE) and the Nuclear Weapons Freeze Campaign (FREEZE) – that is dedicated to "abolishing war" and nuclear weapons. PAN has made donations to two Palestinian terror organizations. (See Front Page’s "Orwellian ‘Peace’ Movement" by David Harsanyi.) Plus, PAN considers the U.S. and Israel – not North Korea or Iraq -- to be the greatest threats to world peace.

Ironically though, PAN says that it works on getting the U.S. to stop "weapons sales to human rights abusers" in "undemocratic countries" because of the harm it inflicts on innocent people.

Like FAAIR, the CCIP, the IAC and the UPJ, PAN is also a staunch ally of the Hussein regime. On Sept. 11, 2001, for example, the group posted a "Don’t Invade Iraq" message on their website and also sent IAC’s Masri, a PAN board member, on a media blitzkrieg to defend the Sept. 11 hijackers and excoriating the U.S. economic "massacre" of Iraqis.

Now, while FAAIR’s links with these "peace" groups is very worrisome, FAAIR’s founders have their own links to Islamic militarism and are working hard to lobby on its behalf.

FAAIR’s expertise in lobbying lies mainly with Hanooti, who used to work as the public relations director for the Islamic Relief Association, a militant Islamic group that has been investigated by Judicial Watch for its use as a money-laundering front operation for Hamas and Al-Qaeda.

During his tenure at IRA, Hanooti was responsible for getting former House Democratic Minority Whip David Bonior of Michigan to arrange a meeting with Sen. Hillary Clinton and an Arab delegation that eventually donated $5,000 to her Senate campaign.

But Clinton was forced to return the money once it became known that the featured speaker at the IRA’s Clinton fundraiser was a militant Jordanian cleric, Sheik Abdulmunem Abu Zant.

Zant, according to the Wall Street Journal’s Steven Emerson, is "an ardent supporter of Hamas" who "has repeatedly called for holy war against Israel and the U.S.," saying in one sermon, "May G-d attack the Jews and those who stand with them. May G-d attack the Americans and those who stand with them." While during the last Gulf War, Zant said the battle "is not between Iraq and the U.S., but rather one between Islam and the infidels," Emerson reported.

Before starting FAAIR and becoming a spokesman for Iraqi nationals in the U.S., Alomari has written an essay and a book -- "The Secrecy of Evil -- The Qabala and Its Followers: the Knights Templars, Illumniati, Freemasonry and Other Secret Societies from Early to Modern Times" -- that talks of the Jews and their links to creating a New World Order. As a result of this and other writings that Alomari has posted on his Detroit mosque radio site of the Daru Salam Center, an Italian website has awarded him an entry in their "Worst of Anti-Semitism on the Web" because of its "dangerous Islamic" extremism in which they blame "all the guilt" for Sept. 11 lies on the U.S. and Israel since they "organized" the attacks.

Although Alomari said in an interview that FAAIR is merely an "education and advocacy" organization created to help "members of Congress make more balanced decisions" in regards to US foreign policy matters in the Middle East, one has to wonder whether that is really true in light of their ties to anti-Israel and pro-Iraq groups.

And despite vociferously denying that FAAIR was involved in lobbying members of Congress to have more of a pro-Muslim outlook, Alomari told the Washington Times that is in fact what FAAIR’s mission is and said that "FAAIR is an advocacy group" that does "some lobbying." (The article details how FAAIR and another Alomari and Hanooti charity, Life for Relief and Development, sponsored a trip to Baghdad for three pro-Muslim House Democrats -- Reps. Jim McDermott of Washington, Mike Thompson of California and Bonior -- who oppose the war in Iraq.

Thus, one begins to wonder if FAAIR’s involvement with the peace movement is not another calculated move by American Muslims to sow seeds of unrest on American soil while also helping their radical cause.

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