On Wednesday, November 21, 2007, the Florida chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) held a press conference at Florida Atlantic University (FAU) calling on FAU’s President and Board of Trustees to issue an apology concerning an incident where a girl was allegedly spit on by an FAU employee. CAIR, a group tied to extremist activity, used the unfortunate incident as an opportunity to demean and curse Middle East and Counter-Terror expert, Dr. Daniel Pipes.
Last month, on October 30th, Daniel Pipes came to FAU to give a lecture entitled ‘Vanquishing the Islamist Enemy.’ While Pipes spoke, a decent-sized group of protestors, which included members of CAIR, FAU’s Muslim Student Organization (MSO), and ANSWER, a left wing anti-war group, gathered outside the venue to hold signs and give out flyers denouncing him as a “racist” and “Islamophobe.” Pipes is an outspoken critic of radical Islamist organizations, exposing their various terrorist ties, so groups like CAIR and the MSO, a member organization of the national Muslim Students Association (MSA), work hard to discredit him, even if it means using rhetoric that is beyond the pale.
Evidently, during the protest, one of the demonstrators, Sana Akhtar, was allegedly spat upon by an attendee, who happened to be an FAU employee. [According to FAU, the woman had “feigned” spitting.] The attendee thought better of her actions and apologized for the incident, and Akhtar did not press charges. Normally, that would be the end of it, but when it comes to CAIR, it’s just the beginning. CAIR saw the spitting episode as an opportunity to go after Pipes. The organization issued a press release that it was holding a press conference at the entrance to the university.
The press conference consisted of about 17 supporters, the majority of which were from CAIR, the MSO and ANSWER, which stands for Act Now to Stop War and End Racism. The event was supposed to be about getting the university to issue an apology to a girl who had got spat upon. However, when one views the amount of statements made against Dr. Pipes at the press conference, he/she will begin to understand that the reason for it taking place had nothing to do with the girl and everything to do with the bashing of Pipes.
At the conference, the following exchange took place between a reporter and the Executive Director of CAIR-Florida, Altaf Ali:
Reporter: “Could you kind of very briefly describe the incident and what the issue is?”
Ali: “Apparently, there’s an FAU employee that actually spat on a student that attends this university.”
Reporter: “Do you know what initiated that or how that happened?”
Ali: “Well, apparently the Muslim student was protesting one of the leading Islamophobia speakers in America, by the name of Daniel Pipes, and by peacefully protesting this hateful individual, one of Daniel Pipes’ supporters spat on this Muslim student.”
Ali began an interview with another reporter stating the following: “This student here, she was attending the radical – peaceful – organization against someone that hates – you know – hates against Islam.”
Lana Shehadah, a Florida International University (FIU) law student that works with the MSO at FAU, started her interview by saying: “My name is Lana Shehadah, and I’m involved in this because we had found out that Daniel Pipes was coming to school. He has a reputation for being very racist, spreading derogatory comments about people.”
Emmanuel Lopez, an organizer for ANSWER and an FAU student, told the following to the same reporter: “We feel that this is the general atmosphere of this college campus – of college campuses around the country – and just a general attitude in the United States, where it has become acceptable for this anti-Arab, anti-Muslim sentiments, which has brung fear. We feel that this is something that comes from the top and from right wing ideologues like Daniel Pipes...”
It seems that the protest that was held against Pipes, at his lecture – which was described by the media as an “uncontroversial speech” – for CAIR, was not enough to defame him. The group needed to call a press conference in the guise of a serious subject, in order to further the anti-Pipes hate. CAIR, in truth, has created a circus on the back of the FAU administration, using a sideshow of a girl that claimed she was spit on. This type of exploitation and deception is nothing new for CAIR.
CAIR’s stated motive for its founding, in June of 1994, to “concentrate on combating anti-Muslim discrimination,” was dubious at best. CAIR, at the time, had been a member organization of the Palestine Committee, a group dedicated to supporting Hamas from America that was led by then-head of Hamas, Mousa Abu Marzook. This duality – CAIR the good-hearted civil rights group vs. CAIR the terror front – has left many in a state of confusion.
Whenever CAIR does anything, no matter how genuine it looks on its face, the intent must be questioned. Make no mistake, strip CAIR of the civil rights b.s. and all you are left with is an anti-American, anti-Israel, terrorist supporting apparatus that is attempting to worm its way into America under the veil of perceived anti-Muslim bias. Hopefully America’s leaders, including FAU President Frank Brogan, will not allow themselves to be taken in by the lie that is CAIR.