The Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) had a rough 24 hours earlier this week. Given the organization’s ties to the seditious Muslim Brotherhood and specifically its role in advancing the stealth jihad used to insinuate into this country the totalitarian program authoritative Islam calls “sharia,” though, any bad CAIR day is a good day for America.
The problems for CAIR started a week ago Sunday night when its co-founder and executive director, Nihad Awad, was served with a court summons during his group’s annual fund-raising dinner in Arlington, Va. In front of some 700 people and the one Muslim member of Congress, Rep. Keith Ellison (D., Minn.), Awad and several other CAIR officials were formally put on notice that they and their organization were being sued for racketeering and fraud by four former clients. The suit seeks, in addition to damages, to shut CAIR down and to enjoin the defendants from engaging in public-interest legal work in the future.
According to the plaintiffs, they were defrauded by Morris Days, a purported “Resident Attorney” and “Manager for Civil Rights” at CAIR’s now-disestablished Maryland/Virginia chapter in Herndon, Virginia. As the complaint
he was not, in fact, an attorney and allegedly failed to provide the plaintiffs with legal services for which they had paid. According to internal CAIR documents referenced in the complaint, there may be hundreds of other members who were injured by this CAIR-Days fraud.
If so, the other victims may be unaware of what has been perpetrated upon them since CAIR allegedly covered up its failure to check on Days’s background and his misconduct while in its employ. The organization is alleged not only to have concealed this massive fraud from their clients. It also failed to notify law-enforcement authorities, the relevant bar associations, or the public about the wrongdoing.
Instead, according to the complaint, when confronted with members angry about Days’s non-performance, the organization compounded its misdeeds by engaging in a cover-up. CAIR claimed that the “attorney” had not actually been in its employ and concealed the fact that Days had been terminated for engaging in criminal fraud.
Worse yet, the plaintiffs allege that CAIR National officials compelled their clients seeking to have their legal fees refunded to sign a release precluding any revelation of this fraud to the appropriate authorities or the press — on pain of being sued by CAIR for up to $25,000. According to a press release issued by the plaintiff’s counsel, my friend and colleague David Yerushalmi: “This enforced code of silence left hundreds of CAIR client-victims in the dark such that to this day they have not learned that Days is not an attorney and that he had not filed the legal actions on their behalf for which Days and CAIR publicly claimed credit.”
Joining Nihad Awad as named defendants in the federal lawsuit against CAIR are: Parvez Ahmed, chairman of the organization’s board during the period of the alleged misconduct; Tahra Goraya, at the time, the national director of CAIR; manager of the “civil rights” division of CAIR, Khadijah Athman; Nadhira al-Khalili, CAIR’s in-house legal counsel; and Ibrahim Hooper and Amina Rubin, respectively the group’s director and coordinator of communications.
If allegations that CAIR exploits and abuses Muslims in America — rather than, as it endlessly claims, serving and protecting their rights — were not bad enough, a federal jury in Dallas dealt the organization another, potentially devastating, body blow. Jurors found principals of the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development guilty as charged in a terrorism-financing conspiracy. CAIR had been named as an unindicted co-conspirator in that case.
Indeed, in the course of the original trial last year and the just-concluded retrial, the prosecution introduced into evidence damning information about CAIR’s ties not only to the Holy Land Foundation but to the Muslim Brotherhood. The precursor to CAIR was the Islamic Association for Palestine (IAP), itself a front for Hamas. IAP was listed as one of a large number of associated groups in a 1991 internal Brotherhood memorandum. The memo laid out the MB’s work in America as a “kind of grand Jihad in eliminating and destroying the Western civilization from within and ‘sabotaging’ its miserable house by their hands and the hands of the believers so that it is eliminated and Allah’s religion is made victorious over all other religions.”
As Steven Emerson’s invaluable Investigative Project on Terrorism has observed:
In June 2007, federal prosecutors…designate[d] CAIR as a co-conspirator because of its associations with the US Muslim Brotherhood’s Palestine Committee. Prosecutors say that the Palestine Committee was created specifically to help Hamas through financial and political support in the United States. CAIR co-founder Omar Ahmad (its current chairman emeritus) is listed as an individual committee member and is an unindicted co-conspirator, too. In other cases, CAIR employees have been prosecuted for engaging in their own conspiracies.
The allegations about CAIR’s conduct in the Days’ affair and the guilty verdict rendered against its co-conspirators in the Holy Land case point up a central reality: In the words of a wise lawyer, shady organizations, even stealth ones, invariably engage in culpable conduct no matter how sophisticated they are because there are too many loose ends and you cannot control all of them. It appears that that is what happened with respect to the Muslim Brotherhood’s stealth jihad operatives at CAIR.
Armed with the verdict of the Holy Land Foundation trial, it is high time for federal prosecutors to turn their sights on CAIR beyond simply naming them as an unindicted co-conspirator. By opening up their own investigation based on the evidence already proven in the HLF trial and the troubling allegations in the civil lawsuit, the government may soon turn a bad CAIR day into curtains for this Muslim Brotherhood engine for stealth jihad.
– Frank J. Gaffney Jr. is president of the Center for Security Policy and a contributor to NRO.