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CAIR Should Put America First By: Nonie Darwish
FrontPageMagazine.com | Friday, February 07, 2003


The Council of American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) is attacking Daniel Pipes for his latest article in which he called for pragmatism in dealing with Muslims and mosques. They accused him of inciting anti-Moslem sentiment. I disagree with CAIR.

This is one US citizen of Arab/Moslem background who has no problem being profiled until the US conquers the war on terrorism. I trust the US and its constitution will be fair and just to Arab Americans, who should not feel threatened if they have nothing to hide. It is my duty as an American to do everything I can to combat terror and never ever see a repeat of 9/11.

When I saw Pipes on T.V. for the first time I initially thought he was a Middle Eastern Moslem from Iran. I said to myself: "Now that is a Moslem who makes sense and he is not ashamed to speak his mind after 9/11." I had been very frustrated from all the Arab and Moslem media pundits who day in and day out forget they are US citizens and say they are against terrorism but defend and explain away terrorism. My pride of this brave Moslem did not last long when I read his name "Daniel Pipes". I admired his views and wished that one Arab or Moslem would say the same thing.

I share something very important with Pipes; we are both US Citizens, both love America, understand the magnitude of the danger America is facing after 9/11 and the truth about the Middle East crisis. He happens to be non-Moslem and I happen to be of an Arab/Moslem background.

According to some US Moslem conventional wisdom I am supposed to belong to the opposite camp and disagree with him. Even if I agree with him, I should be quiet to keep out of trouble from Islamists right here in the US. However, I will not keep quiet because I put America’s interests first.

CAIR is not doing Arab Americans a favor by being confrontational and not looking for the larger American interests first. On their website they are having a voter registration drive among Moslem Americans in which they say: "In tight elections, every vote counts. If Muslims vote in a block, their numbers may be enough to tip the balance in favor of the candidates they support."

They say "Muslims in America share a set of common values and interests that they should support and make known to others. By backing candidates that share our interests and concerns, you can help improve the moral, social and economic environment of this great land."

How about changing the moral, social and economic environment of the great Moslem lands of the Middle East? Did Islam already succeed in doing that and now is America’s turn to achieve the same success? I find them encouraging Moslem Americans to cluster into yet another voter block that claims victim hood and cries "Bigotry". One more disgruntled group that looks only after its own best interests versus that of the US as a whole.

CAIR is using the same oppressive modus operandi of the media in the Moslem world. They try to intimidate the American media that criticize them with tactics used only on the oppressed people they are used to deal with. Pipes and other critics have the right to speak their mind without worrying about the sacred cows of CAIR. After all this is America, the land of the free and we want to keep it this way. Their style will not win the sympathy of the American people.

CAIR is doing a disservice to Moslem Americans who want to assimilate with the greater American society. Moslems in the US are in a very peculiar situation after 9/11 and it is NOT America’s fault. CAIR is not in touch with the pulse of America, especially after the worst attack on US soil on 9/11. None other than Moslems did it while Moslem crowds all over the Middle East cheered.

CAIR in its website ask about "The Status of Muslims Civil Rights in the US."

They also ask Americans to accommodate the diversity of Moslems. The answer from an Arab American is that the US has given me all the civil rights I need and could only dream of in my Moslem homeland. How about CAIR looking into the civil rights of Muslims in Iraq, Afghanistan and the rest of the Arab/Moslem world where you came from? How do they expect to be taken seriously when they close their eyes to the human rights violations in Moslem countries where the hands and feet of thieves are amputated, innocent people are persecuted and murdered, and freedom of speech is suppressed by dictators! Your website does not show any action on your part against oppression of Moslems on Moslems.

How about the civil rights of the over 3000 victims of 9/11 and their families? Do CAIR and other Moslem groups have any idea how to calm the feelings and comfort American victims? After all, terrorists were doing their deeds in the name of Allah and Mohammed and please don’t tell me these are just a bunch of lunatics who have nothing to do with Islam.

CAIR asks Moslems to report anti-Moslem incidents? How about the Anti-American and anti-Semitic incidents by Moslems all over the globe? Are they doing any action to stop it instead of just saying, "We condemn terrorism..."? Are they campaigning against extremist mosques and Imams who are not condemning and actually promoting terrorism? How about the anti-Moslem terrorism of Saddam Hussein against his own people and neighbors? Did CAIR send an open letter to Saddam?

I would like to ask the members of CAIR: "What do they think about the two Christian women imprisoned in Afghanistan for having Bibles and possibly preaching Christianity?" I would like to know how active they were in securing the release of these two women.

The last thing Arab/Moslem Americans need is a Jesse Jackson/Louis Farrakhan style of leadership. No other group or religion in America was responsible for flying airplanes into buildings and causing such international horror. Moslem organizations in the US after 9/11 should not be confrontational and should do a lot more than just condemning terrorism. All they need to do to be accepted in America is very simple: Love America first.


Nonie Darwish is an American of Arab/Muslim origin. A freelance writer and public speaker, she runs the website www.ArabsForIsrael.com. Her new book is Cruel and Usual Punishment: The Terrifying Global Implications of Islamic Law.



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