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CAIRing for Guantanamo By: Joe Kaufman
FrontPageMagazine.com | Tuesday, August 05, 2008

The Guantanamo Bay detention camp holds many of the world’s most dangerous terrorists – individuals whose goal is to destroy America. Yet, there are some that claim the facility represents a symbol of repression against the innocent. One group in particular, CAIR or the Council on American-Islamic Relations, has been vocal in its opposition to Guantanamo. The head of the group’s California office, Hussam Ayloush, has been especially outspoken on the matter.

As of this writing, Hussam Ayloush has made 200 posts to his personal weblog. When viewing a part of it, one could easily get the impression that Ayloush is a decent person, an upstanding member of society. As an example, his most recent post deals with an interfaith gathering that took place in Madrid, Spain. However, looking beyond the blog’s shell, one discovers an individual (Ayloush) whose motives are pure evil.

On the right side of Ayloush’s blog there is contained a series of links. One of the links is to a website called IslamiCity. Along with its fancy multimedia sections and its colorful pages, the site repeatedly calls for the murder of Jews and repeatedly “curses” Jews and Christians.

The interfaith piece, dated July 23, 2008, titled ‘Need for Common Code of Ethics,’ consists of excerpts from the co-founder and National Executive Director of CAIR, Nihad Awad. Awad helped create CAIR, in June of 1994, as an adjunct to Hamas and, prior to it, worked for the American arm of Hamas, the Islamic Association for Palestine (IAP). For Ayloush, posting statements made by a Hamas operative – indeed, an operative from a group Ayloush is associated with, CAIR – is understandable, given the fact that he (Ayloush) regularly exhibits an antithetical obsession with the state of Israel.

Besides his ill will towards Israel, Ayloush, as well, displays a hostility for the country he currently resides in, that being the United States. To Ayloush, the U.S. represents a driving force against all those who practice the religion of Islam. His paranoia, in conjunction with his fanatical Islamist views, has led him to believe that even the most hardened of terrorists are innocent. This includes those that are held in the Guantanamo Bay detention camp, a.k.a. Camp Gitmo.

After the United States was attacked on September 11, 2001, the focus on the military was in bringing to justice those who were responsible, primarily Al-Qaeda for carrying out the attack and the Taliban for providing a safe harbor in Afghanistan for Al-Qaeda. Those militants who were not killed in battle and were taken into custody needed a facility to be placed in. Today, a number of those who were apprehended are found in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, each given the label of “enemy combatant” by the U.S. government, due to their participation in terrorist activity.

In June of 2006, Ayloush wrote an article bemoaning how some of Guantanamo’s detainees were suffering from depression leading to suicide. The piece, entitled ‘Shut Down the Gitmo Gulag,’ was published on his blog, on the CAIR national website, and in Southern California InFocus, a publication subsidized by Ayloush’s Los Angeles CAIR office. Of the depressed detainees, he wrote, “These suicides were desperate acts committed by prisoners who saw neither an end to nor a reason for their incarceration.”

Ayloush states that the prisoners saw no “reason for their incarceration,” because he believes that these individuals are somehow innocent. He ends his piece with the following: “Those guilty of real crimes should be tried and punished. But those who are innocent must be released. It is time to shut down the Guantanamo Bay prison camp and end this dark chapter in our modern history.”

One of the “innocent” detainees Ayloush thought should be released is former Al-Jazeera journalist Sami Al-Hajj. About him, Ayloush writes on his blog, under the title ‘Prisoner 345,’ “Who gives us the right to take the freedom of people and separate them from their families without charging them with crimes? How would we feel if an American is subjected to such immoral and illegal practice? Mr. Al-Haj must be freed and compensated for all the harm we have caused to him and his family. Mr. Al-Haj deserves an apology.”

Later, Ayloush went on to accuse the U.S. of “kidnapping” and “torturing” Al-Hajj (and others).

Hussam Ayloush would have everyone believe that Sami Al-Hajj was a harmless man. However, according to unclassified evidence from the Department of Defense Office for the Administrative Review of the Detention of Enemy Combatants at U.S. Naval Base Guantanamo Bay, Cuba [pdf]:

  • Al-Hajj served as a money courier for the al-Haramain Foundation, a primary financial front for al-Qaeda and violently anti-Semitic group. Al-Hajj delivered thousands of dollars to the organization, including $100,000 to the Director of the Baku, Azerbaijan branch of al-Haramain, Jamal Muhammad Alawi Mar’i.
  • Al-Hajj worked for the Union Beverage Company (UBC), an organization associated with Bosnian and Chechen Islamic radicals. While at the UBC, Al-Hajj delivered hundreds of thousands of dollars destined for al-Qaeda-related Chechen militants and came in contact with senior al-Qaeda Lieutenant and Osama bin Laden’s Deputy in the Sudan, Mamduh Mahmud Salim Abu Hajir.
  • Al-Hajj admitted that documents showed him as being the co-owner of Rumat International, a group associated with militant Mamduh Muhammad Salim Ahmad. Ahmad was suspected of participating in the bombings of the U.S. embassies in Nairobi, Kenya and Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania.

On May 2, 2008, Ayloush got his wish, when, after six years of imprisonment, Sami Al-Hajj was released into the custody of the Sudanese government – but not before he had the chance to threaten President Bush. In a poem he authored, entitled ‘Humiliated In The Shackles,’ Al-Hajj stated, “America, you ride on the backs of orphans, and terrorize them daily. Bush, beware.” The poem was reprinted on Ayloush’s blog and is still found there.

Another Guantanamo detainee that Ayloush seems to have taken an interest in is Omar Khadr. In July of 2002, in the midst of a raid on the al-Qaeda compound at which he was stationed, Khadr hurled a grenade at U.S. troops, murdering Special Forces Sgt. Christopher Speer. At the time, Khadr was only 15 years old.

Khadr, who was born in Toronto, Canada, is part of a prominent al-Qaeda family. His father, Ahmed Said Khadr, was a close associate of Osama bin Laden, and Omar and his family spent much time with bin Laden.

Recently, a video was released containing a Guantanamo interrogation of Khadr by Canadian federal agents. Ayloush placed the video on his blog, presumably to curry sympathy for then-16-year-old Khadr, who, after finding out that the Canadian officials were not there as friends, acted distressed.

Ayloush separately posted an article written about Khadr from Toronto’s Globe and Mail, along with a pic of Khadr with his hands on his head crying. Nowhere in the article – not anywhere in Ayloush’s posts – is Sgt. Speer’s name mentioned. It is as if he did not exist. In Hussam Ayloush’s world, he probably doesn’t.

The cover of the 1999 issue of UCLA’s Al-Talib newspaper dons pictures of Iran’s Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini and Osama bin Laden. The publication describes bin Laden as a “freedom fighter and philanthropist.” As well, the issue, titled ‘The Spirit of Jihad’ [pdf], includes an editorial signed by “The Al-Talib Staff,” which states, “When we hear someone refer to the great Mujahid (someone who struggles in Allah’s cause) Osama bin Laden as a ‘terrorist,’ we should defend our brother and refer to him as a freedom fighter, someone who has forsaken wealth and power to fight in Allah’s cause and speak out against oppressors. We take these stances only to please Allah.”

In the issue, Ayloush received a “special thanks” credit.

Ayloush’s disdain for America is only eclipsed by the group he represents, CAIR, an organization that, in the past, has called for the replacement of the U.S. Constitution with the Quran. His defense of those who wish to do us harm, as well as his call for the shutting down of the facility that they are kept from us in, can only be seen as anti-American and traitorous.

The Guantanamo Bay detention camp exists to protect us from our worst enemy. Hussam Ayloush exists to liberate us from our necessary security – to allow our worst enemy to go free.

Joe Kaufman is the Chairman of Americans Against Hate and the founder of CAIR Watch.

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