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Who CAIRs About Terror Victims? By: Joe Kaufman
FrontPageMagazine.com | Thursday, July 06, 2006


Incredible as it seems, two “moderate” American Muslim groups, International ANSWER, and other radicals are protesting in the nation's capital today against the Middle Eastern “hostage-taking”...of Israel.

Two Sundays ago, Israeli Defense Force Corporal Gilad Shalit was kidnapped by Palestinian terrorists from Hamas, the Popular Resistance Committees (reportedly a Hamas front), and a little known group called the Army of Islam. Since that time, the Israeli government has made it its mission to do what it takes to get Shalit back, whether by diplomacy or force. The United States government has said that Israel has every right to defend herself. However, two prominent American Muslim groups – the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) and the Muslim American Society (MAS) – have been outspoken for the other side. They have chosen to condemn the victims and overlook Palestinian terrorism.

On June 28, 2006, CAIR issued the press release “CAIR: Targeting of Gaza Infrastructure a ‘War Crime,’” in which it used the term “war crime” three times to describe Israel’s activities in Gaza. That day, Israel dispatched thousands of troops, backed by warplanes and tanks, into the Gaza Strip. The reason for this, as stated by Israeli officials, was to put pressure on the Palestinian Authority (PA) to secure the freedom of Shalit. The PA is led by the main group responsible for Shalit’s kidnapping, Hamas. This pertinent information was left out of CAIR’s release.

 

The next day, June 29th, CAIR issued another press release repeating the term “war crime,” with regard to Israel. This release used the term “state terror,” as well, to describe Israel’s actions. The subtitle read, “CAIR urges international community to repudiate Israeli ‘state terror.’” And in the body of the text, it said, “CAIR called Israel’s hostage-taking a form of ‘state terror.’” When CAIR used the term “hostage-taking,” the group was referring to the 64 Hamas officials Israel had arrested that day. But while CAIR bemoaned what they called “hostages,” once again, CAIR left out any mention of Shalit, who was truly taken hostage and (at least) injured in the process.

 

CAIR conveniently leaving out Shalit’s name, or the circumstances behind his disappearance, is very telling. CAIR, in the past, has stated that there is no problem with Palestinian terrorists targeting Israeli soldiers. At an interfaith event that took place shortly after 9/11, Ghazi Khankan, then-Executive Director of CAIR-New York, stated, “Anyone over eighteen is automatically inducted into the service, and they are all reserves. Therefore, Hamas in my opinion looks at them as part of the military. Those who are below 18 should not be attacked.” Gilad Shalit is 19.

 

CAIR, it should be noted, is not an unbiased source. The group, itself, was the byproduct of a Hamas front, the Islamic Association for Palestine (IAP).

 

CAIR’s press releases played right into the hands of Islamist radicals overseas, who used the releases to further their hate propaganda. Qatar-based Islam Online, a website that features live dialogues with Hamas leaders, pulled a quote from the June 29 CAIR release for its piece, entitled “Muslims Protest Israel Onslaughts.” The quote was made by CAIR’s National Chairman, Parvez Ahmed. It read, “Again we see Israel carrying out acts of state terror and the international community offering only a mild and indirect response that will be taken as a ‘green light’ by Israeli officials.”

 

In addition to the CAIR content, the Islam Online piece also reported that “Egypt’s opposition Muslim Brotherhood had called for an anti-Israeli demonstration outside Al-Azhar,” a fanatical university located in Cairo. This is of interest as the Brotherhood’s American counterpart, the Muslim American Society (MAS), on Thursday (June 29), led a protest against Israel in Washington, D.C. The rally, called “Justice for Palestine,” was outside the Israeli Embassy, and another one is planned for today: Thursday, July 6, 2006.

 

The event was co-sponsored by International ANSWER (Act Now to Stop War and End Racism), a pro-North Korean, pro-Milosevic totalitarian group that is currently using its website to call on the United States to “Cut off U.S. aid to Israel!” Echoing CAIR, people at the rally held such signs as “Israel Guilty of War Crimes.”

 

Speaking at the rally was Mahdi Bray, the Executive Director of the MAS Freedom Foundation. Bray is no stranger to rallies. In October of 1998, he led a D.C. rally in which participants held posters calling for “Death to Israel” and chanted threatening statements aimed at Jews. Other speakers at the June 29th event included:

 

  • Brian Becker, the Director of the ANSWER Coalition. In November of 2000, during a pro-Palestinian speech, Becker told an audience that the violent September 2000 Intifada (Uprising) against Israel was “part of the movement against U.S. and Western imperialism.” In September and October of 2001, Becker told audiences that America’s retaliatory war in Afghanistan was “one of the great crimes and acts of terrorism” in our era. He then stated, “Let us not forget that September 11 was not the beginning of violence, but just one point in a long continuum of violence that is fundamentally a consequence of U.S. policies in the world.” He has further called the U.S. government “racist” and “criminal.”
  • Hadia Mubarak, the former President of the national Muslim Students Association (MSA) and current board member of CAIR. In March 2004, Mubarak was the contact for the “Rachel Corrie Day of Remembrance,” an event being held in Washington, D.C., sponsored by the anti-Israel group, End the Occupation. In September 2004, Mubarak posted an MSA national newsletter to a Muslim Youth of North America (MYNA) Yahoo! Group calling on all North American MSA chapters to demand the reinstatement of Tariq Ramadan's visa to the United
    States, which had been revoked by the U.S. government. According to the French daily newspaper, Le Monde, Ramadan is
    suspected of having ties to al-Qaeda.
  • Joan Drake, a representative of the Washington, D.C. branch of the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom and board member of Partners For Peace. In August 2003, Drake participated in a press conference to denounce President Bush’s recess appointment of Daniel Pipes to the United States Institute of Peace (USIP). In April 2004, during a panel question-and-answer portion of a forum sponsored by the Middle East Policy Council (MEPC), titled “The Geneva Proposals for Peace: Still Viable?” Drake asked: “how much arrogance can the rest of the world absorb from positions taken by the United States and Israel? We seem…to be in a situation where we've gone much further than I could ever imagine could be realistic or reasonable in today's world.”
  • Sarah Powell, a reporter for the Washington Report on Middle East Affairs (WRMEA) and representative for ANSWER. A former member of the anti-Israel left, Michael Lopez-Calderon, has related Powell was perturbed that Lopez-Calderon castigated the 9/11 hijackers in an article he wrote. He says Powell believes the terrorists “were driven to rage by American and Israeli policies.” In May 2005, Powell participated in a protest against the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC). At the protest, Powell delivered a speech amidst signs reading, “SOLUTION: Peaceful Dismantling of the Zionist State,” “STOP NEOCON ZIONIST WARS,” “Expel Israeli Spies,” and “AIPAC, SHARON SHAME ON YOU.” The event was endorsed by the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC), among others.

According to MAS, the protests “serve as opportunities to educate the American public about how the United States’ one-sided foreign policy in favor of Israel is an impediment to peace in the Middle East….” MAS’s release states additional rallies are being coordinated by MAS Freedom Foundation chapters in New York, Texas, Minnesota, California, Massachusetts, Colorado, Illinois, and Michigan.

 

Unlike CAIR, the MAS protest acknowledged Gilad Shalit’s kidnapping. At the event, MAS callously claimed that his kidnapping “merely served as a disingenuous pretext to invade Gaza and weaken the existing Palestinian governing authority.” Of course, that governing authority is led by Hamas.

 

With respect to all of the above, there are many significant facts we can come away with:

  1. Israel has declared war on Hamas, the main group that was involved in the kidnapping of Gilad Shalit;
  2. Both CAIR and MAS are U.S. groups connected or spiritually akin to Hamas, CAIR being the offspring of a Hamas front and MAS being the offshoot of the organization that created Hamas (the Muslim Brotherhood); and
  3. Both CAIR and MAS, this past week, have defended Hamas.

There is one other fact that has been left out, and its importance cannot be diminished. Hamas is on the U.S. State Department’s list of terrorist organizations, and as President Bush has said so many times since the war on terrorism began, “The United States makes no distinction between those who commit acts of terror and those who support and harbor them, because they're equally as guilty of murder.” That statement has been put to the test overseas. Now, it may be time for it to be implemented here at home.

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


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