Much has been written about the Council on American Islamic Relation’s (CAIR’s) connection to the terror group Hamas and Hamas leader Mousa Abu Marzook. Much has also been said about CAIR’s statements in favor of Hamas and calls for the Quran to replace America’s Constitution. Most of these things centered around CAIR’s national leadership – a cadre of radicals that had previously been involved in CAIR’s parent organization, the Islamic Association for Palestine (IAP) – namely CAIR’s Executive Director Nihad Awad, CAIR’s former Chairman Omar Ahmad, and CAIR’s Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper.
While two of the three individuals mentioned still remain in the spotlight [Omar Ahmad has been replaced as Chairman by Parvez Ahmed], a new crop of young CAIR radicals has made its way up the ranks. They arise out of the local chapters that CAIR created.
One of CAIR’s main satellite chapters is the one based in Anaheim, California. It goes by the name CAIR-Los Angeles or simply as CAIR-California. It was started in 1996, just two years after the national office was founded with seed money from the Hamas charity, the Holy Land Foundation (HLF). It is apparent from the actions of the group’s leaders that they are attempting to rival the extremism of their CAIR elders in Washington, D.C.
Hussam Ayloush is the Executive Director of CAIR-California. In the past, he has praised Wagdy Ghoneim – a Hamas operative who has called for attacks on Jews – as a “highly regarded scholar.” Soon after Ayloush’s quote, Ghoneim was deported from the United States to Qatar. Last month, Ayloush posted to his website a threat against President Bush, which was authored by an enemy combatant, Sami Al-Hajj, who is currently being held in Guantanamo Bay prison. It reads, “America, you ride on the backs of orphans, and terrorize them daily. Bush, beware.”
Affad Shaikh is the Civil Rights Coordinator of CAIR-California. In August, he labeled Senator Joe Lieberman, former U.N. Ambassador John Bolton, Vice President Dick Cheney, and Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly and Neil Cavuto, amongst others, “Extremist Right Wing Nut cases.” Earlier this month, Shaikh, borrowing terminology from Al-Qaeda, referred to Americans in Iraq as “Crusaders.”
Asma Ahmad is the managing editor of CAIR-California’s monthly tabloid, In Focus. Under her leadership, in October of 2006, In Focus published an article lauding Hezbollah and its leader Hassan Nasrallah. The piece read, “[I]t was undoubtedly the epic heroism of the resistance fighters that dealt the humiliating defeat to the Anglo-American-backed Zionist forces, but such heroism would not have been possible without the larger-than-life leader to inspire, direct and focus it. Nasrallah’s leadership in war and later has made him into an emblematic figure of long-cherished hope not only to a majority of the Lebanese people but also to the Arab nation as a whole and indeed to the Muslim world.”
Another CAIR chapter that is of much value and has received much support from the national D.C. headquarters resides in Pembroke Pines, Florida. One of the leaders of the group is Ahmed Bedier. Bedier is the Communications Director of CAIR-Florida and the Executive Director of CAIR’s smaller Tampa Bay office.
In December of 2005, on a local Tampa television show, when asked if he believed it was “immoral” for Sami Al-Arian to have been involved in Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ), Bedier stated that “before 1995, there was nothing immoral about it.” Last month, Bedier defended Ahmed Abda Sherf Mohamed and Yousef Samir Megahed, two individuals arrested near a South Carolina Naval base and charged with possession of explosive devices (pipe bombs), calling the charges an “overreaction” and stating, “Obviously their heritage and background is playing a major role in blowing this out of proportion.”
The Chicago chapter of CAIR is also one of the group’s prized possessions. Leading the organization as its Executive Director is Ahmed Rehab. In the past, Rehab has vilified Jews, repeating the anti-Semitic conspiracy that there is a “Jewish control over the media” and saying that “Jewish film producers... predate on weak minorities by default.” Recently, both he and CAIR-Chicago’s Civil Rights Coordinator, Christina Abraham, went out of their way to support Hamas operative Mohammad Salah. In July of 2007, after Salah was sentenced to 21 months in prison, Abraham stated, “It’s a sad day for the Muslim community.”
Of course, these three CAIR chapters are not the only ones to house extremists. In fact, there are over 30 (chapters). They are just a taste of the future radical Muslim leadership in America, if our government does not take the necessary steps to shut CAIR down.
This past July, a trial began in Dallas, Texas which named CAIR as an “Unindicted Co-conspirator” in the raising of millions of dollars for Hamas via HLF. How long will the United States wait, before the “unindicted” part of the label is removed from CAIR’s legal status? And how long before CAIR’s new threats and rhetoric become a rallying cry for jihad and the initiation to a violent reality?