The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) has a long terror-related history. The group was created in 1994 as a part of the Hamas infrastructure inside the United States. The group has had a number of representatives deported and/or convicted for terror-related activity. Even today, the group is named by the U.S. Justice Department in a federal Hamas fundraising trial.
As well, CAIR has had many of its leaders refuse to call certain terrorist organizations “terrorist organizations.” Some CAIR reps have even outright stated that these groups were not terrorist groups. One of these individuals is Omer Subhani. He is on record as denying that Hamas and Hezbollah are terrorist organizations. He has denounced me for suggesting the obvious reality that support for Hamas means support for terror:
“[Joe] Kaufman has his latest article posted on the front page of FrontPageMag... In that article he claims to expose CAIR’s true feelings about Hamas... [T]he obvious idiocy of Kaufman’s allegation is that if you say Hamas is not a terrorist organization then you’re some sort of terrorism sympathizer or supporter.” (Omer Subhani, Islam, Muslims, and America, “Kaufman’s Idiotic Assertions,” March 12, 2008)
Now, Subhani has made a disturbing declaration regarding the PLO and one of its former spokesmen – just another bullet point in the infamous CAIR chronicles.
Prior to this month, Omer Subhani described himself on his blog as the Communications Director of CAIR-Miami, which is the main office of CAIR-Florida. Over the past year, while holding this position, Subhani proclaimed the following:
· “I do not agree with the idea that Hamas is a terrorist organization…”
· “[I]s Hamas a terrorist organization? Of course it’s not.”
· “It’s wrong to kill innocent people. It’s wrong to fire rockets indiscriminately at towns and villages. But that does not mean because they commit such actions that Hamas and Hezbollah are completely and utterly devout terrorist organizations.”
· “As far as saying that Hamas is a terrorist organization - that is a statement of opinion for anyone who makes it - even the State Department.”
Indeed, in 1995, President Bill Clinton identified both Hamas and Hezbollah as Specially Designated Terrorists (SDTs), and the U.S. State Department placed the groups on its list of Foreign Terrorist Organizations (FTOs).
To Subhani, it is not Hamas or Hezbollah that are the terrorist groups, but the United States that is. In November of 2007, he declared, “By our own definitions of terrorism… the US is a terrorist state.”
Truth be told, Subhani was the second of CAIR-Florida’s representatives, in the month of March 2008 – the same month Hamas described an attack on a Jewish children’s school in Jerusalem as “heroic” – to say publicly that Hamas was not a terrorist organization. The other was Jawhar Sadallah Badran, a.k.a. Joe Badran. In fact, Subhani, himself, has even admitted that he’s “seen many CAIR officials stumble on this question [‘Is Hamas a terrorist organization?’].”
Currently the references to Subhani’s job with CAIR have been deleted from his blog. However, while he has hidden his association – or former association – to the group, he has continued to deny reality with regard to who is a terrorist.
On October 29, 2008, about supporters of the movie Obsession: Radical Islam’s War Against the West, Subhani defended Rashid Khalidi of Columbia University, stating that it didn't matter that he was a PLO spokesman. One of the reasons why this is important is that, when Khalidi was working for the PLO as a spokesman – director of the official PLO press agency WAFA – the PLO was, like Hamas and Hezbollah later, on the State Department’s list of FTOs. As well, in 2005, Khalidi had been barred from a teacher training course by New York City Schools Chancellor Joel Klein, following Khalidi’s use of coarse language towards the state of Israel. But Subhani sees no problem with any of this, as he glowingly refers to Khalidi as “the highly respected Rashid Khalidi of Columbia University.”
Subhani thinks that denouncing terrorist groups is beneath him. He calls it “idiotic.” Last April, he stated, “These idiotic demands that every Muslim American renounce Hamas and Hezbollah serves no other purpose than to legitimize Israeli atrocities and crimes in the Occupied Territories.”
What Subhani and the group that he affiliates/affiliated with, CAIR, fail to consider is the myriad of innocents that organizations, such as these, target with the most horrific of means. Instead, they blame the victim. For Omer Subhani and CAIR, terrorist groups are not terrorist groups. They are purveyors of justice.