At this point, the question about CAIR should be: Why does anyone care? Care about anything CAIR officials say, that is.
The notorious Council on American-Islamic Relations is back up to its old tricks. CAIR officials figure our ten-minute attention span has lapsed, and that we’ve probably forgotten by now that, in the 2007–08 prosecution of the Holy Land Foundation (HLF) — a case in which several Islamists were convicted in a scheme that poured millions of dollars into the coffers of the terrorist organization Hamas — CAIR was named as, and shown to be, an unindicted co-conspirator. CAIR reckons that the heat is off, so it’s back on the “Islamophobia” soapbox, demanding an apology from FBI director Robert Mueller.
An apology for what? The FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Forces had the temerity to invite Robert Spencer — one of the nation’s leading experts on Islamist ideology — to lecture federal agents on Islamist ideology.
Spencer’s lecture departed from the government’s “religion of peace” dogma, which holds that there is no Islamist aggression, that there is no civilizational jihad to destroy the West from within (never mind that CAIR’s progenitor, the Muslim Brotherhood, has bragged about its “sabotage” campaign), and that terrorism is not merely unconnected to Islam but, in fact, is anti-Islamic. According to this thinking, Islamist groups like CAIR have a monopoly on what Americans — including American law-enforcement and intelligence agents — are permitted to hear about Islam from academic, media, and government sources. No dissenting views are permitted, no matter how steeped the dissenters may be in Islamic doctrine and no matter how much these dissents accord with what your lyin’ eyes are seeing.
“When I speak with the American,” said Nihad Awad, “I speak with someone who doesn’t know anything.” Awad is now CAIR’s executive director. He made this statement at a Marriott Hotel in Philadelphia on Oct. 27, 1993, when he was the public-relations director for the Islamic Association of Palestine (IAP). He and about two dozen other Islamist activists were meeting to brainstorm about how they might be able to continue supporting Hamas and to derail the Oslo Accords — the Clinton administration’s effort to bring a peaceful, two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
For Hamas supporters, there can be no peaceful two-state solution, because they deny Israel’s right to exist. That is why, to this day, the charter of Hamas (which was established at the start of the intifada in the late Eighties) calls for the elimination of Israel by violent jihad. But in 1993, the United States was cracking down on Hamas. It would soon be designated a terrorist organization, and providing material support to it would be made a crime.
The Philadelphia conferees realized they were “marked” men, as one of them put it. Omar Ahmad, then the IAP president and Nihad Awad’s boss, openly worried about U.S. government surveillance, counseling his confederates to use the inversion “Samah” in their conversations to avoid uttering the word “Hamas.” As it happened, the FBI was secretly bugging the meeting. It was thus able to record Ahmad calling himself “Omar Yahya,” the better to conceal his identity from Bureau snoops.
When later compelled to testify about the meeting, Ahmed said he couldn’t recall being in Philadelphia, though the tape captured his calling the meeting to order. Awad, too, had a bout of amnesia when asked about the meeting during a 2003 deposition. But the tape showed him to have been a very active participant. When he gave his cohorts the aforementioned advice about American ignorance, his point was that we are easy for Islamists to deceive. Speaking with Americans was different, he posited, from communicating with “the Palestinian who has a martyr brother or something.” A “martyr,” of course, is one who gives his life (often by suicide bombing) in the terror campaign against Israel.