Last month, the National Chairman of CAIR, Parvez Ahmed, took a trip to Qatar, where he was invited to speak at the 7th Doha Forum on Democracy, Development and Free Trade. The message that he brought with him was duplicitous. On the one hand, he stated that the U.S. needs to “engage” with the religious elements of the Muslim world. On the other, he said that the U.S. must “engage” with Hamas. Was Ahmed saying that Hamas, a terrorist organization, was the equivalent of a legitimate Muslim religious body, the religious element he was speaking of? If his talks and writings, during and after the conference, are any indication, we are provided with no other conclusion but yes.
On April 24, 2007, the day he was set to speak at the conference, he appeared on Al-Jazeera television. When asked why, after receiving so much aid from America, that America is viewed by the Muslim world as “the enemy of Islam,” Ahmed stated, “[W]hen U.S. policies lead to killings and bombings as in Iraq, or the continued occupation as in Palestine, or even Afghanistan where the Taliban is reforming and there is a lot of violence, or the U.S. is not engaging with the democratic regimes – We’re talking about democratization in the Middle-East, but the most freely and fairly elected government in the Middle-East, which is the Palestinian government, the U.S. government is not engaging with them.”
Not delving too far in depth with his answer, the latter part regarding the Palestinian government, no doubt, alluded to Hamas, which the United States has refused to deal with, for reasons that cannot be argued. The organization perpetrates brutal attacks against innocent civilians, many times via suicide bombings. It raises children, from infancy, into a culture of death. It quotes Islamic rulings for wiping out Jews and Israel. It has threatened America with violence, and a number of its victims have been American citizens. As you read, this “democratic regime” that Ahmed wants the U.S. to dialogue with continues to fire rockets into Israel and continues to murder members of its rival terrorist party, Fattah.
Ahmed went on to say, “What the U.S. government needs to do is to recognize that there is a big paradigm shift in the Muslim world. The population is young, it’s restless, it is more religiously oriented. This religiosity needs to be engaged.”
According to Ahmed, Hamas needs to be engaged, while the religious need to be engaged. Are they one and the same?
The day prior to his interview, on April 23rd, Ahmed posted on his blog his thoughts about his trip to Qatar. He titled the piece, ‘Democracy, Sure but on Whose Terms?’ In it, he discussed meetings he had had with Saad Eddin Ibrahim, a former opposition candidate to Hosni Mubarak for President of Egypt, who in June of 2005 said, “I advise anyone who is interested in democracy to take up the dialogue with the Islamists, whether they operate inside or outside the Arab world… It's hypocrisy to want to promote democracy while excluding these movements from it… Movements like Hamas, Hezbollah and the Muslim Brotherhood have gained their legitimacy through their social projects and their political positions.”
In his blog post, Ahmed mimicked Ibrahim’s words, by stating, “The appeal of the Islamists is so strong in the Middle East that it is difficult to imagine a viable democratic society without their cooperation.”
Fast forward six days to April 29th, in an op-ed written by Ahmed for the Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel entitled, ‘Change Needed.’ He stated, “The appeal of Islam is so strong in the Middle East that it is difficult to imagine a viable democratic society without an Islamic component.”
Carefully reading the preceding two paragraphs leads one to discover a striking difference. In the first, Ahmed said “the appeal of the Islamists,” and he finished it with “without their cooperation,” meaning without the Islamists’ cooperation. In the second, he said “the appeal of Islam” and finished it with “without an Islamic component,” meaning without a religious component.
This seems to be more than just Ahmed changing the words to hide the truth from the readers, something that Ahmed’s organization, CAIR, does frequently. What he was saying, just as in the previous statements equating Hamas with Muslim religious groups, was that Islamism, a fanatic political movement, is the same as Islam, that they are interchangeable with one another.
What we also learn from this is that Ahmed, himself, is a radical Muslim, because, whether what he said was true or not, only a Muslim that has been radicalized would formulate such equations regarding his/her Islamic faith. There is no surprise with this, though, as Ahmed is the leader of an organization that has intimate ties to Hamas, an organization that was created by a Hamas front, an organization that solicited money for Hamas charities, an organization whose Executive Director said he supports Hamas, an organization that had one of its leaders convicted for Hamas-related crimes, and an organization that repeatedly refuses to condemn Hamas as a terrorist group.
Being as such, Ahmed did not do anything strange by making the statements. He only proved to us what we already knew to be the case.
One final message Parvez Ahmed offered in Qatar was that he believed the United States needs to utilize American Muslim groups (i.e. CAIR) as intermediaries between the U.S. and the Muslim world. One can only imagine the consequences of such a plan, if put into action. How far would we have to go, in order to appease our enemies, and how many freedoms would we be willing to negotiate away to terrorists, in the name of dialogue?
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