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CAIR Doth Protest Too Much By: Frank J Gaffney Jr.
Center For Security Policy | Monday, August 14, 2006

(Washington, D.C.): The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) has lashed out today against President Bush for his statement yesterday that "We are at war with Islamic fascists." As usual, CAIR is casting itself in the role of defender and spokesman for all Muslims. In so doing, it portrays the latter as a community of victims who are defamed anytime someone points out that there is an ideology - call it Islamofascism - that masquerades as a faith, yet is distinct from Islam. What utter rubbish.

Blowing Smoke

In its press release issued today, CAIR announced that its chairman, Parvez Ahmed, had written President Bush complaining that his comment about Islamic fascists "contributes to a rising level of hostility to Islam and the American-Muslim community." Actually, Mr. Bush is doing just the opposite. By recognizing the totalitarian political movement that is seeking to subject the world's population - Muslim and non-Muslims, alike - to its ideology, the President is at long last clarifying that we are not fighting "terrorism." Rather, we are fighting identifiable enemies who adhere to an Islamist ideology and use terror as an asymmetric weapon to advance its political objectives.

By making a distinction, on the one hand, between those Muslims in America, and elsewhere, who are peaceable, law-abiding and tolerant, and, on the other, Islamofascists who are killing and intimidating them as a precursor to dominating the rest of us, Mr. Bush is doing the exact opposite of what CAIR's Ahmed claims: "equat[ing] the religion of peace [Islam] with the ugliness of fascism." He decidedly is not "feed[ing] the perception that the war on terror is actually a war on Islam." To the contrary, he is indicating that those who use Islam to justify and provide political cover for their totalitarian aggression are at odds not only with America but with Islam, itself. We can - and must - wage war against the former, while helping the majority of Muslims protect their faith from the predations of the Islamofascists.

What is Going On Here?

CAIR's bitter assault on the President seems over the top, even for an organization much given to hyperbolic attacks on those who dare challenge its efforts to defend, excuse or otherwise help Islamists and their causes. (The Islamists preferred technique is to suggest that its critics are "racists" and "bigots.") Quite possibly, that is because Mr. Bush's declaration about the nature of our enemy suggests that the carefully cultivated and undue influence long exercised over his Administration by CAIR and its fellow-travelers (see, "A Troubling Influence") is at an end.

In fact, as Dr. Daniel Pipes and Sharon Chandra made clear in a scrupulously documented article in the Spring 2006 edition of The Middle East Quarterly ("CAIR: Islamists Fooling the Establishment"), the Council on American-Islamic Relations is not the kind of company the President and his subordinates should have been keeping in the first place:

    ...There is [a] side to CAIR that has alarmed many people in positions to know. The Department of Homeland Security refuses to deal with it. Senator Charles Schumer (Democrat, New York) describes it as an organization "which we know has ties to terrorism." Senator Dick Durbin (Democrat, Illinois) observes that CAIR is "unusual in its extreme rhetoric and its associations with groups that are suspect." Steven Pomerantz, the FBI's former chief of counterterrorism, notes that "CAIR, its leaders, and its activities effectively give aid to international terrorist groups." The family of John P. O'Neill, Sr., the former FBI counterterrorism chief who perished at the World Trade Center, named CAIR in a lawsuit as having "been part of the criminal conspiracy of radical Islamic terrorism" responsible for the September 11 atrocities. Counterterrorism expert Steven Emerson calls it "a radical fundamentalist front group for Hamas." (Emphasis added.)

The Bottom Line

At the very least, President Bush has every reason from now on to do as he should have at least since 9/11: Conduct his outreach to the Muslim community through organizations and individuals not associated with the Council on American-Islamic Relations and its usually Saudi-funded Islamist friends.

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Frank J. Gaffney, Jr. is the founder, president, and CEO of The Center for Security Policy. During the Reagan administration, Gaffney was the Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security, the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Nuclear Forces and Arms Control Policy, and a Professional Staff Member on the Senate Armed Services Committee, chaired by Senator John Tower (R-Texas). He is a columnist for The Washington Times, Jewish World Review, and Townhall.com and has also contributed to The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, The New Republic, The Washington Post, The New York Times, The Christian Science Monitor, The Los Angeles Times, and Newsday.

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