by Daniel Pipes
New York Sun
November 22, 2005
My talks at university campuses sometimes occasion protests featuring Leftists and Islamists who call me names. A favorite of theirs is "racist." This year, for example, a "Stand up to Racism Rally" anticipated my talk at the Rochester Institute of Technology, I was accused of racism against Muslim immigrantsanti-Muslim racism." at Dartmouth College, and pamphlets at the University of Toronto charged me with "
Anti-Muslim racism? That oxymoron puzzled me. Islam being a religion with followers of every race and pigmentation, where might race enter the picture? Dictionaries agree that racism concerns race, not religion:
American Heritage: "The belief that race accounts for differences in human character or ability and that a particular race is superior to others. Discrimination or prejudice based on race."
Merriam-Webster: "A belief that race is the primary determinant of human traits and capacities and that racial differences produce an inherent superiority of a particular race. Racial prejudice or discrimination."
Oxford: "The belief that there are characteristics, abilities, or qualities specific to each race. Discrimination against or antagonism towards other races."
Even the notorious United Nations anti-racism conference at Durban in 2001 implicitly used the same definition when it rejected "any doctrine of racial superiority, along with theories which attempt to determine the existence of so-called distinct human races."
Thus understood, the term racist cannot be ascribed to me, as I neither believe that race defines capabilities nor that certain races have greater capabilities than others. Also, my writings and talks never touch on issues of race.
Does that mean the word racist merely serves Leftists and Islamists as an all-purpose pejorative, a magical insult that discredits without regard to accuracy? No, the evolution of this word is more complex than that.
Racism is now increasingly used to mean something far beyond its dictionary definition. The director of the influential London-based Institute of Race Relations (IRR), A. Sivanandan, has been pushing the concept of a "new racism," which concerns immigration, not race:
It is a racism that is not just directed at those with darker skins, from the former colonial territories, but at the newer categories of the displaced, the dispossessed, and the uprooted, who are beating at Western Europe's doors, the Europe that helped displace them in the first place. It is a racism, that is, that cannot be color-coded, directed as it is at poor whites as well, and is therefore passed off as xenophobia, a "natural" fear of strangers.
An official paper from Australia goes in a different direction, that of "cultural racism":
In the modern era the underlying assumption of "racism" is a belief that differences in the culture, values, and/or practices of some ethnic/religious groups are "too different" and are likely to threaten "community values" and social cohesion.
Once racism is un-moored from racial characteristics, it is a small step to apply it to Muslims. Indeed, Liz Fekete of IRR discovers "anti-Muslim racism" in the legislation, policing, and counter-terrorist measures deriving from the "war on terror" (her quote marks). She also sees the French banning of the hijab Others at IRR allege that "Muslims and those who look like Muslims are the principal targets of a new racism." in public schools, for example, as a case of "anti-Muslim racism."
Likewise, the Reverend Calvin Butts, III, of the Abyssinian Baptist Church of New York, opined recently at a United Nations conference on Islamophobia: "Whether Muslims like it or not, Muslims are labeled people of color in the racist U.S … they won't label you by calling you a n----- but they'll call you a terrorist." For Rev. Butts, counterterrorism amounts to racism.
When Rep. Tom Tancredo, a Republican of Colorado, raised the idea of bombing Islamic holy sites as a form of deterrence, a Nation of Islam leader in Denver, Gerald Muhammad, deemed his comments racist.
Note the evolution: As belief in racial differences and racial superiority wanes in polite society, some parties expand the meaning of racism to condemn political decisions such as worrying about too much immigration (even of poor whites), preferring one's own culture, fearing radical Islam, and implementing effective counterterrorist measures.
This attempt to delegitimize political differences must be rejected. Racism refers only to racial issues, not to views on immigration, culture, religion, ideology, law enforcement, or military strategy.
CAIR Attacks Me
by Robert Spencer
Human Events Online
Nov 22, 2005
On Yom Kippur this year I had the honor of speaking at the Temple of the Arts in Los Angeles, and the Council on American Islamic Relations is not pleased. They distributed a press release stating that my Jihad Watch website is a “hate site” that is “notorious for its depiction of Islam as an inherently violent faith that is a threat to world peace.” The organization called on the Temple to feature a speaker of its own choosing. “We would be glad to suggest the names of credible Muslim scholars who can offer Temple Shalom’s congregation a perspective on Islam that is not tainted by hatred and bigotry,” CAIR-LA’s Hussam Ayloush said.
One would think that a statement charging someone with “hatred and bigotry” and protesting a talk he gave would be filled with bigoted statements from the talk. However, CAIR’s press release they don’t quote a single thing that I actually said at the Temple of the Arts. They couldn’t quote anything that I said there because I didn’t say anything hateful. Then they must have quoted what I said at my website, or in one of my books, or articles, right?
Wrong. There is not a word I wrote in all of CAIR’s press release. Hussam Ayloush has had plenty of chances to collect “hate speech” from me. I have debated him at FrontPage magazine. But he quotes not a word I wrote there. I have debated him on the Dennis Prager Show. But he refers to nothing I said there. I have written an article about a talk he gave. But he doesn’t quote a syllable of that.
I have written five books, seven monographs, and scores of articles about Islam and terrorism. Nary a quote from any of them.
All CAIR could do was quote other people — mostly some unmoderated comments posted at my website. I had seen none of them before I saw CAIR’s release. I don’t have the resources to monitor the comments, and the discussion there is freewheeling. All kinds of people post, and all perspectives are represented. I wonder why CAIR didn't quote these posts, all of which can be found at Jihad Watch:
is for just treatment of all; never for the tyranny of the majority."
• "The Prophet Muhammad - the Final Messenger of God, may God bless him and give him peace…"
• "Islam does not demand the destruction of Israel, Beth. Islam demands that justice be done."
• "Muhammed(pbuh)who was: the man amongst men, he became the man in Mecca, then Medina, then the Arab Pensula, now the world./the prophet amongst prophets/the genius amongst geniuses/He created a religion allied to way of living and integrated that into our very souls...nothing can touch it."
Why does CAIR want the world to believe that I am not responsible for the comments I have just quoted, but I am responsible for the anti-Muslim comments they quote in their press release? Obviously because they want people to believe that I agree with those that they quoted. Yet they cannot establish this in any way: after all, if they could have found hateful statements in my own writings, they most certainly would have publicized them.
Am I really an Islamophobe? The word itself is trumped-up and politically manipulative. Am I anti-Muslim? Let Ayloush prove it. I challenge CAIR: if I have said anything actually false about Islam, produce it. From my own words, not those of others. And prove that it is false.
This CAIR press release is yet another example of that organization's attempt to stifle free speech about Islam and terrorism in the United States, and to intimidate into silence those who dare to step out of line. Well, they got National Review, which withdrew a book about Muhammad from sale after CAIR protested. And they got Fox's 24, compelling the drama to tone down its depiction of Islamic terrorists. And they got ABC, which fired talk show host Michael Graham after he said some things about Islam that CAIR didn’t like. But they're not going to get me.
by Daniel Pipes and Sharon Chadha
Middle East Quarterly
The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), headquartered in Washington, is perhaps the best-known and most controversial Muslim organization in North America. CAIR presents itself as an advocate for Muslims' civil rights and the spokesman for American Muslims. "We are similar to a Muslim NAACP," says its communications director, Ibrahim Hooper.  Its official mission—"to enhance understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding"—suggests nothing problematic.
Starting with a single office in 1994, CAIR now claims thirty-one affiliates, including a branch in Canada, with more steadily being added. In addition to its grand national headquarters in Washington, it has impressive offices in other cities; the New York office, for example, is housed in the 19-story Interchurch Center located on Manhattan's Riverside Drive.
But there is another side to CAIR that has alarmed many people in positions to know. The Department of Homeland Security refuses to deal with it. Senator Charles Schumer (Democrat, New York) describes it as an organization "which we know has ties to terrorism."  Senator Dick Durbin (Democrat, Illinois) observes that CAIR is "unusual in its extreme rhetoric and its associations with groups that are suspect." Steven Pomerantz, the FBI's former chief of counterterrorism, notes that "CAIR, its leaders, and its activities effectively give aid to international terrorist groups." The family of John P. O'Neill, Sr., the former FBI counterterrorism chief who perished at the World Trade Center, named CAIR in a lawsuit as having "been part of the criminal conspiracy of radical Islamic terrorism" responsible for the September 11 atrocities. Counterterrorism expert Steven Emerson calls it "a radical fundamentalist front group for Hamas." 
Of particular note are the American Muslims who reject CAIR's claim to speak on their behalf. The late Seifeldin Ashmawy, publisher of the New Jersey-based Voice of Peace, called CAIR the champion of "extremists whose views do not represent Islam."  Jamal Hasan of the Council for Democracy and Tolerance explains that CAIR's goal is to spread "Islamic hegemony the world over by hook or by crook."  Kamal Nawash, head of Free Muslims Against Terrorism, finds that CAIR and similar groups condemn terrorism on the surface while endorsing an ideology that helps foster extremism, adding that "almost all of their members are theocratic Muslims who reject secularism and want to establish Islamic states." Tashbih Sayyed of the Council for Democracy and Tolerance calls CAIR "the most accomplished fifth column" in the United States. And Stephen Schwartz of the Center on Islamic Pluralism writes that "CAIR should be considered a foreign-based subversive organization, comparable in the Islamist field to the Soviet-controlled Communist Party, USA."
CAIR, for its part, dismisses all criticism, blaming negative comments on "Muslim bashers" who "can never point to something CAIR has done in its 10-year history that is objectionable." Actually, there is much about the organization's history that is objectionable—and it is readily apparent to anyone who bothers to look.
When President George W. Bush visited the Islamic Center of Washington several days after September 11, 2001, to signal that he would not tolerate a backlash against Muslims, he invited CAIR's executive director, Nihad Awad, to join him at the podium. Two months later, when Secretary of State Colin Powell hosted a Ramadan dinner, he, too, called upon CAIR as representative of Islam in America. More broadly, when the State Department seeks out Muslims to welcome foreign dignitaries, journalists, and academics, it calls upon CAIR. The organization has represented American Muslims before Congress. The National Aeronautics and Space Agency hosted CAIR's "Sensitivity and Diversity Workshop" in an effort to harmonize space research with Muslim sensibilities.
Law-enforcement agencies in Florida, Maryland, Ohio, Michigan, New York, Arizona, California, Missouri, Texas, and Kentucky have attended CAIR's sensitivity-training sessions. The organization boasts such tight relations with law enforcement that it claims to have even been invited to monitor police raids. In July 2004, as agents from the FBI, Internal Revenue Service, and Homeland Security descended on the Institute of Islamic and Arabic Sciences in America, a Saudi-created school in Merrifield, Virginia, a local paper reported that the FBI had informed CAIR's legal director, Arsalan Iftikhar, that morning that the raid was going to take place.
CAIR is also a media darling. It claims to log five thousand annual mentions on newspapers, television, and radio, including some of the most prestigious media in the United States. The press dutifully quotes CAIR's statistics, publishes its theological views, reports its opinions, rehashes its press releases, invites its staff on television, and generally dignifies its existence as a routine part of the American and Canadian political scenes.
CAIR regularly participates in seminars on Islamic cultural issues for corporations and has been invited to speak at many of America's leading universities, including Harvard, Stanford, Johns Hopkins, and Columbia. American high schools have invited CAIR to promote its agenda, as have educationally-minded senior citizens.
Perhaps the most obvious problem with CAIR is the fact that at least five of its employees and board members have been arrested, convicted, deported, or otherwise linked to terrorism-related charges and activities.
Randall ("Ismail") Royer, an American convert to Islam, served as CAIR's communications specialist and civil rights coordinator; today he sits in jail on terrorism-related charges. In June 2003, Royer and ten other young men, ages 23 to 35, known as the "Virginia jihad group," were indicted on forty-one counts of "conspiracy to train for and participate in a violent jihad overseas." The defendants, nine of them U.S. citizens, were accused of association with Lashkar-e-Taiba, a radical Islamic group designated as a foreign terrorist organization by the U.S. Department of State in 2001. They were also accused of meeting covertly in private homes and at the Islamic Center in Falls Church to prepare themselves for battle by listening to lectures and watching videotapes. As the prosecutor noted, "Ten miles from Capitol Hill in the streets of northern Virginia, American citizens allegedly met, plotted, and recruited for violent jihad." According to Matthew Epstein of the Investigative Project, Royer helped recruit the others to the jihad effort while he was working for CAIR. The group trained at firing ranges in Virginia and Pennsylvania; in addition, it practiced "small-unit military tactics" at a paintball war-games facility in Virginia, earning it the moniker, the "paintball jihadis." Eventually members of the group traveled to Pakistan.
Five of the men indicted, including CAIR's Royer, were found to have had in their possession, according to the indictment, "AK-47-style rifles, telescopic lenses, hundreds of rounds of ammunition and tracer rounds, documents on undertaking jihad and martyrdom, [and] a copy of the terrorist handbook containing instructions on how to manufacture and use explosives and chemicals as weapons." 
After four of the eleven defendants pleaded guilty, the remaining seven, including Royer, were accused in a new, 32-count indictment of yet more serious charges: conspiring to help Al-Qaeda and the Taliban battle American troops in Afghanistan. Royer admitted in his grand jury testimony that he had already waged jihad in Bosnia under a commander acting on orders from Osama bin Laden. Prosecutors also presented evidence that his father, Ramon Royer, had rented a room in his St. Louis-area home in 2000 to Ziyad Khaleel, the student who purchased the satellite phone used by Al-Qaeda in planning the two U.S. embassy bombings in East Africa in August 1998. Royer eventually pleaded guilty to lesser firearms-related charges, and the former CAIR staffer was sentenced to twenty years in prison.
A coda to the "Virginia jihad network" came in 2005 when a Federal court convicted another Virginia man, Ahmed Omar Abu Ali, of plotting to kill President Bush. Prosecutors alleged that Abu Ali participated in the Virginia jihad network's paintball games and perhaps supplied one of his fellow jihadists with an assault rifle. Royer's possible role in Abu Ali's plans are unclear.
Ghassan Elashi, the founder of CAIR's Texas chapter, has a long history of funding terrorism. First, he was convicted in July 2004, with his four brothers, of having illegally shipped computers from their Dallas-area business, InfoCom Corporation, to two designated state-sponsors of terrorism, Libya and Syria. Second, he and two brothers were convicted in April 2005 of knowingly doing business with Mousa Abu Marzook, a senior Hamas leader, whom the U.S. State Department had in 1995 declared a "specially designated terrorist." Elashi was convicted of all twenty-one counts with which he was charged, including conspiracy, money laundering, and dealing in the property of a designated terrorist. Third, he was charged in July 2004 with providing more than $12.4 million to Hamas while he was running the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development, America's largest Islamic charity. When the U.S. government shuttered Holy Land Foundation in late 2001, CAIR characterized this move as "unjust" and "disturbing."
Bassem Khafagi, an Egyptian native and CAIR's onetime community relations director, pleaded guilty in September 2003 to lying on his visa application and passing bad checks for substantial amounts in early 2001, for which he was deported. CAIR claimed Khafagi was hired only after he had committed his crimes and that the organization was unaware of his wrongdoing. But that is unconvincing, for a cursory background check reveals that Khafagi was a founding member and president of the Islamic Assembly of North America (IANA), an organization under investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice for terrorism-related activities. CAIR surely knew that IANA under Khafagi was in the business of, as prosecutors stated in Idaho court papers, disseminating "radical Islamic ideology, the purpose of which was indoctrination, recruitment of members, and the instigation of acts of violence and terrorism."
For example, IANA websites promoted the views of two Saudi preachers, Salman al-Awdah and Safar al-Hawali, well-known in Islamist circles for having been spiritual advisors to Osama bin Laden. Under Khafagi's leadership, Matthew Epstein has testified, IANA hosted a conference at which a senior Al-Qaeda recruiter, Abdelrahman al-Dosari, was a speaker. IANA disseminated publications advocating suicide attacks against the United States, according to federal investigators.
Also, Khafagi was co-owner of a Sir Speedy printing franchise until 1998 with Rafil Dhafir, who was a former vice president of IANA and a Syracuse-area oncologist convicted in February 2005 of illegally sending money to Iraq during the Saddam Hussein regime as well as defrauding donors by using contributions to his "Help the Needy" charitable fund to avoid taxes and to purchase personal assets for himself. Dhafir was sentenced to twenty-two years in prison.
Rabih Haddad, a CAIR fundraiser, was arrested in December 2001 on terrorism-related charges and deported from the United States due to his subsequent work as executive director of the Global Relief Foundation, a charity he cofounded which was designated by the U.S. Treasury Department in October 2002 for financing Al-Qaeda and other terrorist organizations.
Siraj Wahhaj, a CAIR advisory board member, was named in 1995 by U.S. attorney Mary Jo White as a possible unindicted coconspirator in the plot to blow up New York City landmarks led by the blind sheikh, Omar Abdul Rahman. In defense of having Wahhaj on its advisory board, CAIR described him as "one of the most respected Muslim leaders in America." In October 2004, he spoke at a CAIR dinner.
This roster of employees and board members connected to terrorism makes one wonder how CAIR remains an acceptable guest at U.S. government events—and even more so, how U.S. law enforcement agencies continue to associate with it.
CAIR has a number of links to the terror organization Hamas, starting with the founder of its Texas chapter, Ghassan Elashi, as noted above.
Secondly, Elashi and another CAIR founder, Omar Ahmad, attended a key meeting in Philadelphia in 1993. An FBI memo characterizes this meeting as a planning session for Hamas, Holy Land Foundation, and Islamic Association of Palestine to find ways to disrupt Israeli-Palestinian diplomacy and raise money for Hamas in the United States. The Philadelphia meeting was deemed such strong proof of Islamic Association of Palestine's relation to Hamas that a federal judge in Chicago in December 2004 ruled the Islamic Association of Palestine partially liable for US$156 million in damages (along with the Holy Land Foundation and Mohammad Salah, a Hamas operative)  for having aided and abetted the Hamas murder of David Boim, an American citizen.
Third, CAIR's founding personnel were closely linked to the Islamic Association of Palestine, which was founded by Ibrahim Abu Marzook, a senior Hamas operative and husband of Elashi's cousin; according to Epstein, the Islamic Association of Palestine functions as Hamas's public relations and recruitment arm in the United States. The two individuals who established CAIR, Ahmad and Nihad Awad, had been, respectively, the president and public relations director of the Islamic Association of Palestine. Hooper, CAIR's director of communications, had been an employee of the Islamic Association of Palestine. Rafeeq Jabar, president of the Islamic Association of Palestine, was a founding director of CAIR.
Fourth, the Holy Land Foundation, which the U.S. government has charged with funneling funds to Hamas, provided CAIR with some of its start-up funding in 1994. ( See $5,000 money transfer, figure 1.) In the other direction, according to Joe Kaufman, CAIR sent potential donors to the Holy Land Foundation's website when they clicked on their post-September 11 weblink, "Donate to the NY/DC Disaster Relief Fund."
Fifth, Awad publicly declared his enthusiasm for Hamas at Barry University in Florida in 1994: "I'm in support of Hamas movement more than the PLO." As an attorney pointed out in the course of deposing Awad for the Boim case, Awad both supported Hamas and acknowledged an awareness of its involvement in violence. 
A class-action lawsuit brought by the estate of John P. O'Neill, Sr. charges CAIR and its Canadian branch of being, since their inception, "part of the criminal conspiracy of radical Islamic terrorism" with a unique role in the terrorist network:
both organizations have actively sought to hamper governmental anti-terrorism efforts by direct propaganda activities aimed at police, first-responders, and intelligence agencies through so-called sensitivity training. Their goal is to create as much self-doubt, hesitation, fear of name-calling, and litigation within police departments and intelligence agencies as possible so as to render such authorities ineffective in pursuing international and domestic terrorist entities.
It would be hard to improve on this characterization; under the guise of participating in counterterrorism, CAIR does its best to impede these efforts. This approach can be seen from its statements.
CAIR encourages law enforcement in its work—so long as it does not involve counterterrorism. Wissam Nasr, the head of CAIR's New York office, explains: "The Muslim community in New York wants to play a positive role in protecting our nation's security, but that role is made more difficult if the FBI is perceived as pursuing suspects much more actively than it is searching for community partners." Nasr would have the FBI get out of the unpleasant business of "pursuing suspects" and instead devote itself to building social good will—through CAIR, naturally.
Likewise, on the eve of the U.S. war with Iraq in March 2003, CAIR distributed a " Muslim community safety kit" that advised Muslims to "Know your rights if contacted by the FBI." It tells them specifically, "You have no obligation to talk to the FBI, even if you are not a citizen. … You do not have to permit them to enter your home. … ALWAYS have an attorney present when answering questions." On the other hand, when it comes to protecting Muslims, CAIR wants an active FBI. The same "Muslim community safety kit" advised: "If you believe you have been the victim of an anti-Muslim hate crime or discrimination, you should: 1. Report the incident to your local police station and FBI office IMMEDIATELY." In January 2006, CAIR joined a lawsuit against the National Security Agency demanding that the U.S. intelligence agency cease monitoring communications with suspected Islamist terrorists. Part of its complaints concerned a belief that the U.S. government monitored its communications with Rabih Haddad, the suspected Al-Qaeda financier who has since moved to Lebanon. Upon learning that CAIR was a fellow plaintiff in the suit, political writer Christopher Hitchens said, "I was revolted to see who I was in company with. CAIR is a lot to swallow."
Finally, CAIR discourages Americans from improving their counterterrorism skills. Deedra Abboud, CAIR's Arizona director, approves of police learning the Arabic language if that lowers the chances of cultural and linguistic misunderstandings. "However, if they're learning it in order to better fight terrorism, that concerns me. Only because that assumes that the only fighting we have to do is among Arabic speakers. That's not a long-term strategy." 
CAIR has consistently shown itself to be on the wrong side of the war on terrorism, protecting, defending, and supporting both accused and even convicted radical Islamic terrorists.
In October 1998—months after Osama bin Laden had issued his first declaration of war against the United States and had been named as the chief suspect in the bombings of two U.S. embassies in Africa—CAIR demanded the removal of a Los Angeles billboard describing Osama bin Laden as "the sworn enemy," finding this depiction offensive to Muslims. CAIR also leapt to bin Laden's defense, denying his responsibility for the twin East African embassy bombings. CAIR's Hooper saw these explosions resulting from "misunderstandings of both sides." Even after the September 11 atrocity, CAIR continued to protect bin Laden, stating only that "if [note the "if"] Osama bin Laden was behind it, we condemn him by name." Not until December 2001, when bin Laden on videotape boasted of his involvement in the attack, did CAIR finally acknowledge his role.
CAIR has also consistently defended other radical Islamic terrorists. Rather than praise the conviction of the perpetrators of the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, it deemed this "a travesty of justice."  It labeled the extradition order for suspected Hamas terrorist Mousa Abu Marzook "anti-Islamic" and "anti-American."  CAIR has co-sponsored Yvonne Ridley, the British convert to Islam who became a Taliban enthusiast and a denier that Al-Qaeda was involved in 9-11. When four U.S. civilian contractors in Falluja were (in CAIR's words) "ambushed in their SUV's, burned, mutilated, dragged through the streets, and then hung from a bridge spanning the Euphrates River," CAIR issued a press release that condemned the mutilation of the corpses but stayed conspicuously silent on the actual killings.
During the 2005 trial of Sami Al-Arian, accused of heading Palestinian Islamic Jihad in the United States, Ahmed Bedier of CAIR's Florida branch emerged as Al-Arian's effective spokesman, providing sound bytes to the media, trying to get his trial moved out of Tampa, commenting on the jury selection, and so on.
More broadly, TheReligionofPeace.com website pointed out that "of the more than 3100 fatal Islamic terror attacks committed in the last four years, we have only seen CAIR specifically condemn 18."
The Council on American-Islamic Relations has affinities to extremists of both the left and right, sharing features with both. Its extensive ties to far-left groups include funding from the Tides Foundation for its "Interfaith Coalition against Hate Crimes"; endorsing a statement issued by Refuse & Resist and a " National Day of Protest … to Stop Police Brutality, Repression and the Criminalization of a Generation." CAIR supported the " Civil Liberties Restoration Act," legislation drafted by Open Society Policy Center, an organization founded by George Soros that would obstruct U.S. law enforcement from prosecuting the "War on Extremism." Far-left members of Congress such as Dennis Kucinich (Democrat, Ohio) and Jim McDermott (Democrat, Washington) have turned up as featured speakers at CAIR fundraising events.
Its neo-Nazi side came out most clearly in CAIR's early years. In 1996, according to testimony by Steven Emerson, Yusuf Islam—the Muslim convert formerly known as the singer Cat Stevens—gave a keynote speech at a CAIR event. The contents of the speech itself are not known but Islam wrote a pamphlet published by the Islamic Association of Palestine, CAIR's stepparent, which included these sentences:
The Jews seem neither to respect God nor his Creation. Their own holy books contain the curse of God brought upon them by their prophets on account of their disobedience to Him and mischief in the earth. We have seen the disrespect for religion displayed by those who consider themselves to be "God's Chosen People."
In 1998, CAIR co-hosted an event at which an Egyptian Islamist leader, Wagdi Ghunaym, declared Jews to be the "descendants of the apes."
CAIR continues to expose its fascistic side by its repeated activities with William W. Baker, exposed as a neo-Nazi in March 2002. Even after that date, CAIR invited Baker to speak at several events, for example in Florida on August 12, 2003 and New Jersey on October 18, 2003. CAIR liked Baker's work so much, it used the title of his book, More in Common Than You Think, in one of its ad campaigns in March 2004 and as the title of an Elderhostel lecture.
According to filed copies of its annual Internal Revenue Service Form 990, CAIR's U.S. chapters have more than doubled their combined revenues from the $2.5 million they recorded in 2000 to $5.6 million in 2002, though the number dipped slightly to $5.3 million in 2003, the most recent year for which figures are available. That CAIR has recorded at least $3.1 million on its year-end combined balance sheets since 2001, combined with its minimal grant-making ($27,525 was the total that all CAIR chapters granted in 2003), suggests that CAIR is building an endowment and planning for the long term.
The Internal Revenue Service filings claim that the bulk of its funds come from "direct public support"  and its website explicitly denies that CAIR receives support from foreign sources: "We do not support directly or indirectly, or receive support from, any overseas group or government." However, this denial is flatly untrue, for CAIR has accepted foreign funding, and from many sources.
A press release from the Saudi Arabian embassy in Washington indicates that in August 1999, the Islamic Development Bank—a bank headquartered in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia—gave CAIR $250,000 to purchase land for its Washington, D.C. headquarters. CAIR's decision to accept Islamic Development Bank funding is unfortunate, given the bank's role as fund manager of the Al-Quds and the Al-Aqsa Funds, established by twelve Arab countries in order to fund the Palestinian intifada and provide financial support to the families of Palestinian "martyrs."
According to records made public by Paul Sperry, CAIR purchased its national headquarters in 1999 through an unusual lease-purchase transaction with the United Bank of Kuwait. The bank was the deed holder and leased the building to CAIR; yet despite not owning the building, CAIR recorded the property on its balance sheet as a property asset valued at $2.6 million. This arrangement changed in September 2002 when CAIR bought out the Kuwaiti bank with funds provided, at least in part, by Al-Maktoum Foundation, based in Dubai and headed by Dubai's crown prince and defense minister, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum. The markings on the deed indicate that the foundation provided "purchase money to the extent of $978,031.34" to CAIR, or roughly one-third the value of the property. One only wonders what a more complete investigation of its real estate transactions would turn up.
In December 1999, the World Assembly of Muslim Youth (WAMY), an organization benefiting from Saudi patronage,  announced at a press conference in Saudi Arabia that it "was extending both moral and financial support to CAIR"  to help it construct its $3.5 million headquarters in Washington, D.C. WAMY also agreed to "introduce CAIR to Saudi philanthropists and recommend their financial support for the headquarters project."  In 2002, CAIR and WAMY announced, again from Saudi Arabia, their cooperation on a $1 million public relations campaign. The Saudi Gazette, which reported the story, said that CAIR's leader, Nihad Awad, "had already met leading Saudi businessmen" in order to "brief them about the projects and raise funds."
Later that week on the same fundraising trip through the Middle East, CAIR reportedly received $500,000 from Saudi prince Al-Waleed bin Talal, reputed to be one of the world's richest men. Waleed also, in May 2005, stated that he is "more than prepared" to work with organizations such as CAIR, "and to provide needed support" to them.
CAIR has received at least $12,000 from the International Relief Organization (also called the International Islamic Relief Organization, or IIRO), which itself was the recipient of some $10 million from its parent organization in Saudi Arabia. ( See a 1994 check from the IIRO for $5,000, figure 2.) The International Institute of Islamic Thought (IIIT) gave CAIR's Washington office $14,000 in 2003. According to a court-filed affidavit, David Kane of the U.S. Customs Service determined that the IIIT receives donations from overseas via its related entities. Law enforcement is looking at the IIIT connection with Operation Green Quest, the major investigation into the activities of individuals and organizations believed to be "ardent supporters" of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad, Hamas, and Al-Qaeda. CAIR, not surprisingly, criticized the probe of its donor, telling the Financial Times of London that the investigation is an attack on "respected Islamic institutions." 
Despite these many foreign sources, CAIR still claims to receive no funds from outside the United States.
CAIR has a key role in the " Wahhabi lobby"—the network of organizations, usually supported by donations from Saudi Arabia, whose aim is to propagate the especially extreme version of Islam practiced in Saudi Arabia. For one, it sends money to other parts of the lobby. According to CAIR's Form 990 filings for 2003, its California offices invested $325,000 with the North American Islamic Trust (NAIT). The NAIT was established in 1971 by the Muslim Student Association of the U.S. and Canada, which bills itself as the precursor to the Islamic Society of North America, now the largest member of the Wahhabi lobby. According to Newsweek, authorities say that over the years "NAIT money has helped the Saudi Arabian sect of Wahhabism—or Salafism, as the broader, pan-Islamic movement is called—to seize control of hundreds of mosques in U.S. Muslim communities." J. Michael Waller, a terrorism expert, testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee that NAIT is believed to own 50 to 79 percent of the mosques in North America. According to Waller, NAIT was raided as part of Operation Green Quest in 2002, on suspicions of involvement in terrorist financing.
CAIR affiliates regularly speak at events sponsored by the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), an umbrella organization of the Wahhabi lobby. Nabil Sadoun, a director of CAIR-DC, spoke at the ISNA's regional conference in 2003. Hussam Ayloush, executive director of CAIR's Southern California chapter, and Fouad Khatib, the CAIR-California chairman, spoke at an ISNA-sponsored event. Safaa Zarzour, president of CAIR-Chicago, was also an ISNA speaker, as was Azhar Azeez, a board member of CAIR-Dallas, who has spoken at several ISNA conferences.
In January 2003, the Saudi newspaper Ar-Riyadh reported that Nihad Awad appeared on a panel along with ‘Aqil ibn ‘Abd al-‘Aziz al-‘Aqil, secretary-general of the Saudi charity Al-Haramain Foundation—despite that organization's well-known ties to terrorism and the fact that already in March 2002, long before Awad's visit with Al-Haramain, the U.S. and Saudi governments had jointly designated eleven of its branches "financial supporter[s] of terrorism." The U.S.-based branch of the organization was also subsequently designated in September 2004.
To fully appreciate what it means that more than half of U.S. mosques are promoting Saudi Islam, we refer to the Freedom House report, " Saudi Publications on Hate Ideology Invade American Mosques." It explains that Saudi documents disseminated at U.S. mosques are telling America's Muslims that it is a religious obligation for them to hate Christians and Jews and warning that Muslims should not have Christians and Jews as friends, nor should they help them.
The Freedom House report indicates that Saudi publications disseminated by U.S. mosques: say it is lawful for Muslims to physically harm and steal from adulterers and homosexuals; condemn interpretations of Islam other than the strict "Wahhabi" version preached in Saudi Arabia; advocate the killing of those who convert out of Islam; assert that it is a Muslim's duty to eliminate the State of Israel; and promote the idea that women should be segregated and veiled and, of course, barred from some employment and activities. But not to worry; CAIR's spokesman, Ibrahim Hooper, tells us, "The majority of the stuff they picked is in Arabic, a language that most people in mosques don't read." 
CAIR's personnel are normally tight-lipped about the organization's agenda but sometimes let their ambitions slip out. CAIR's long-serving chairman, Omar Ahmad, reportedly told a crowd of California Muslims in July 1998, "Islam isn't in America to be equal to any other faith, but to become dominant. The Koran ... should be the highest authority in America, and Islam the only accepted religion on earth." Five years later, Ahmad denied having said this and issued a press release saying he was seeking a retraction. But the reporter stood behind her story, and the newspaper that reported Ahmad's remarks told WorldNetDaily it had "not been contacted by CAIR."
In 1993, before CAIR existed, Ibrahim Hooper told a reporter: "I wouldn't want to create the impression that I wouldn't like the government of the United States to be Islamic sometime in the future."  On the Michael Medved radio show in 2003, Hooper made the same point more positively: if Muslims ever become a majority in the United States, it would be safe to assume that they would want to replace the U.S. Constitution with Islamic law, as most Muslims believe that God's law is superior to man-made law. 
Other CAIR personnel also express their contempt for the United States. Ihsan Bagby of CAIR's Washington office has said that Muslims "can never be full citizens of this country," referring to the United States, "because there is no way we can be fully committed to the institutions and ideologies of this country."  Ayloush said that the war on terror has become a "war on Muslims" with the U.S. government the "new Saddam." He concluded: "So let's end this hypocrisy, this hypocrisy that we are better than the other dictator."
In a bizarre coda, Parvez Ahmed, the current CAIR chairman, touted the virtues of Islamic democracy in 2004 by portraying the Afghan constitutional process as superior to the U.S. one:
The new Afghan constitution shows that the constitution of a Muslim nation can be democratic and yet not contradict the essence of Islam. During my meeting with a high-ranking Afghan delegation during their recent visit to the United States, I was told that the Afghan constitutional convention included Hindu delegates despite Hindus accounting for only 1 percent of the population. Contrast this with our own constitutional convention that excluded women and blacks. 
CAIR attempts to close down public debate about itself and Islam in several ways, starting with a string of lawsuits against public and private individuals and several publications. CAIR's Rabiah Ahmed has openly acknowledged that lawsuits are increasingly an "instrument" for it to use.
In addition, CAIR has resorted to financial pressure in an effort to silence critics. One such case concerns ABC radio personality Paul Harvey, who on December 4, 2003, described the vicious nature of cock fighting in Iraq, then commented: "Add to the [Iraqi] thirst for blood, a religion which encourages killing, and it is entirely understandable if Americans came to this bloody party unprepared." CAIR responded a day later with a demand for "an on-air apology." CAIR then issued a call to its supporters to contact Harvey's advertising sponsors to press them to pull their ads "until Harvey responds to Muslim concerns." Although Harvey quickly and publicly retracted his remarks, CAIR continued its campaign against him.
Another case of financial intimidation took place in March 2005, when CAIR campaigned to have National Review remove two books—Serge Trifkovic's The Sword of the Prophet and J.L. Menezes' The Life and Religion of Mohammed—as well as the positive reviews of those books, from its on-line bookstore. CAIR claimed the books defame Islam and the Prophet Muhammad. When it did not get immediate satisfaction from National Review, it instructed its partisans to pressure the Boeing Corporation to withdraw its advertisements from the magazine. National Review briefly took down both books but then quickly reposted the one by Trifkovic. Trifkovic himself argued that CAIR's success here "will only whet Islamist appetites and encourage their hope that the end-result will be a crescent on the Capitol a generation or two from now."
CAIR resorted to another form of intimidation versus Florida radio show host and Baptist pastor Mike Frazier. Frazier had criticized local and state officials in September 2004 for attending a CAIR awards dinner because, as he put it, "If these people would have bothered to check CAIR out beforehand they would have seen that it is a radical group." He termed what followed "absolutely unbelievable." Within a month, he says he received six death threats and forty-seven threatening phone calls, was accosted by strangers, was labeled an "extremist" and a "fundamentalist zealot," and accused of "propagating fear, terror and disunity" by the St. Petersburg Times. Several members of his church fled his congregation because, according to Frazier, "they were afraid."
Other CAIR targets of intimidation have included the Simon Wiesenthal Center for juxtaposing a picture of the Ayatollah Khomeini next to Adolf Hitler, and the Reader's Digest for an article, "The Global War on Christians," which CAIR found "smears Islam" by citing well-documented cases of Christian persecution. CAIR's Nihad Awad faulted the Reader's Digest for leaving the impression that "Islam somehow encourages or permits rape, kidnapping, torture, and forced conversion."
In December 2003, CAIR ruined the career of an army officer and nurse, Captain Edwina McCall, who had treated American soldiers wounded in Iraq and Afghanistan but ended up resigning under a cloud of suspicion. Her crime? Using her military e-mail address on an Internet discussion board concerning the Islamist agenda. CAIR sent the comments to the secretary of defense, calling attention to her allegedly "bigoted anti-Muslim comments" and demanding that her "extremist and Islamophobic views" be investigated and then followed by "appropriate action." The Army immediately cast the officer under suspicion, leading her to resign from a career she had loved.
At times, CAIR inspires its attack dogs to make threats and sits back when they follow through. After Daniel Pipes published an article in July 1999 Dozens of letters followed to the newspapers that carried Pipes' articles, some calling him harsh names ("bigot and racist"), others comparing him to the Ku Klux Klan and the neo-Nazis, or characterizing his writings as an "atrocity" filled with "pure poison" and "outright lies." More alarmingly, the letter-writers accused the author of perpetrating a hate crime against Muslims or of promoting and abetting such crimes. One threatened: "Is Pipes ready to answer the Creator for his hatred or is he a secular humanist ...? He will soon find out." explaining the difference between moderate and radical Islam, CAIR launched fifteen separate attacks on him in the space of two months, attacks widely reprinted in Muslim publications.
CAIR metes out even worse treatment to Muslim opponents, as the case of Khalid Durán shows. Durán taught at leading universities and wrote about Islam for think tanks; he was commissioned by the American Jewish Committee to write Children of Abraham: An Introduction to Islam for Jews. Fourteen scholars of Islam endorsed the manuscript prior to publication; it won glowing reviews from such authoritative figures as Cardinal William Keeler of Baltimore, the eminent church historian Martin Marty, and Prince Hassan of Jordan. Then, before the book was even released, CAIR issued two press releases insulting Durán personally and demanding that the Children of Abraham be withheld until a group of CAIR-approved academics could review the book to correct what it assumed (without having read the manuscript) would be its "stereotypical or inaccurate content." Islamist publications quickly picked up CAIR's message, with Cairo's Al-Wafd newspaper announcing that Durán's book "spreads anti-Muslim propaganda" through its "distortions of Islamic concepts." A weekly in Jordan reported that ‘Abd al-Mun'im Abu Zant—one of that country's most powerful Islamist leaders—had declared that Durán "should be regarded as an apostate," and on this basis called for an Islamic ruling to condone Durán's death. Days later, Durán's car was broken into, and a dead squirrel and excrement were thrown inside. CAIR, far from apologizing for the evil results of its handiwork, accused the American Jewish Committee of fabricating the death edict as a "cheap publicity stunt to boost book sales."
CAIR has a long record of unreliability and deceit even in relatively minor matters. To begin with, it has the audacity to claim to be " America's largest civil rights group," ignoring much larger groups by far, such as the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People and the Anti-Defamation League.
In May 2005, CAIR published its annual report on the violations of Muslim civil rights in America which purported to document a significant rise in the number of hate crimes directed at Muslims. According to the report, "anti-Muslim hate crimes in the United States" have gone up dramatically: from 42 cases in 2002, to 93 cases in 2003, to 141 in 2004. The mainstream media dutifully recycled CAIR's press release, effectively endorsing this study by reporting it as a serious piece of research.  But closer inspection shows that of twenty "anti-Muslim hate crimes" for which CAIR gives information, at least six are invalid.
David Skinner points out a further problem with the 2004 report: its credulity in reporting any incident, no matter how trivial, subjective or unsubstantiated. One anecdote concerns a Muslim college student who encountered "flyers and posters with false and degrading statements about the Qur'an and the prophet Muhammad"; another concerns a student at Roger Williams in Rhode Island who wrote that "a true Muslim is taught to slay infidels." Also, any reluctance to accommodate Muslim women wearing a headscarf or veil was tallied as a bias incident, even in the case of genuine quandaries (such as veiled athletes or drivers applying for their licenses).
Nor is this the first unreliable CAIR study. Referring to the 1996 version, Steven Emerson noted in congressional testimony that "a large proportion of the complaints have been found to be fabricated, manufactured, distorted, or outside standard definitions of hate crimes." Jorge Martinez of the U.S. Department of Justice dismissed CAIR's 2003 report, Guilt by Association, as "unfair criticism based on a lot of misinformation and propaganda."
CAIR's manipulative habits assert themselves even in petty ways. For example, CAIR is not above conducting straw polls in an effort to forward its political agenda and may even be willing to exaggerate its own outreach efforts. This seems to be the case in CAIR's library project, where it claims to have sent thousands of packages of books and tapes to American libraries. An inquiry turned up the curious fact that while CAIR claimed the District of Columbia had received thirty-seven such packages, records showed only one such copy being recorded. Maybe the mailmen lost the remaining thirty-six?
In September 2005, CAIR indulged in some Stalinist revisionism: as Robert Spencer revealed, CAIR doctored a photo on its website to make it more Islamically correct by manually adding a hijab onto a Muslim woman. Despite all this, CAIR's statements continue to gain the respectful attention of uncritical media outlets.
The few hard-hitting media analyses of CAIR generally turn up in the conservative press.  Otherwise, it generally wins a pass from news organizations, as Erick Stakelbeck has documented. The mainstream media treat CAIR respectfully, as a legitimate organization, avoiding the less salutary topics explored here, even the multiple connections to terrorism.
One telling example of the media's negligence in investigating CAIR occurred when Ghassan Elashi—a founding board member of CAIR's Texas chapter—was indicted and convicted of supporting terrorism by sending money to Hamas and Mousa Abu Marzook. Reporting on this, not one single mainstream media source mentioned Elashi's CAIR connection. Worse, the media went to CAIR and quoted it on Elashi's arrest, without noting their close connection. 
The Washington Post seems particularly loath to expose CAIR's unsavory aspects. For example, on January 20, 2005, it ran a story about the opening of CAIR's new Virginia office on Grove Street in Herndon. The article not only passed up the opportunity to consider CAIR's presence in a town notorious for Islamist organizational connections to Al-Qaeda and to the Wahhabi network, but it was also remarkably similar in tone and style to CAIR's own press release on the same subject. (A later Washington Post article did mention that the new CAIR offices are located on the very street where federal agents had conducted a major raid in March 2002.)
There is much else for the press to look into. One example: CAIR-DC lists the Zahara Investment Corporation as a "related organization" on its IRS Form 990. Curiously, Zahara Investment Corporation was listed as a tax-exempt entity in 2002; in 2003, it became a non-tax-exempt entity.  This prompts several questions: how is a tax-exempt like CAIR related to an investment company, much less a corporation? How does an investment corporation become a tax-exempt? And how does it change itself into a non-exempt? And why did CAIR-DC invest $40,000 of the public's money in 1998 in securities that it would have to write off less than three years later? Whose securities were these? The usual databases have nothing on Zahara Investment Corporation; all this took place under the radar screen.
That the U.S. government, the mainstream media, educational institutions, and others have given CAIR a free pass amounts to a dereliction of duty. Yet, there appear to be no signs of change. How long will it be until the establishment finally recognizes CAIR for what it is and denies it mainstream legitimacy?
Daniel Pipes is director of the Middle East Forum. Sharon Chadha is the co-author of two forthcoming books on the Middle East. An earlier version of this article appeared in the Capital Research Center's Organization Trends, August 2005.
 Columbus Dispatch (Ohio),
Jan. 1, 2002.
 FDCH Political Transcripts, Sept. 10, 2003.
 Steven Emerson, "Re: Terrorism and the Middle East Peace Process," prepared testimony before the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Subcommittee on Near East and South Asia, Mar. 19, 1996.
 The Jerusalem Post, Mar. 5, 1999.
 Personal communication from Jamal Hasan to Daniel Pipes, July 25, 2003.
 FDCH Political Transcripts, June 27, 2003.
 Mohammad Salah also appears to be the uncle of Abdullah Salah, vice president of CAIR's Chicago chapter.
 Steven Emerson, American Jihad: The Terrorists Living Among Us (New York: Free Press, 2003); Deposition of Nihad Awad, Oct. 22, 2003, In the Matter of: Stanley Boim, et al. v. Quranic Literacy Institute, et. al, p. 58.
 The Arizona Republic (Phoenix), Mar. 25, 2004.
 Jake Tapper, "Islam's Flawed Spokesmen," Salon, Sept. 26, 2001.
 Newsletter of the Marzuk Legal Fund, June 1996.
 The IRS offers several choices under the item "Revenues," including direct public support, indirect public support, government contributions (grants), membership dues and assessments, and net income or (loss) from special events or rental properties—the categories in which CAIR has classified its revenues.
 WAMY's relationship to Saudi Arabia was described this way by its secretary general: "The Kingdom provides us with a supportive environment that allows us to work openly within the society to collect funds and spread activities. It also provides us with protection abroad through Saudi embassies and consulates, in addition to financial support." "WAMY Team in Afghanistan Risks Life to Deliver Aid," Middle East Newsfile, Nov. 20, 2001.
 "WAMY Spends SR12m on New Mosques," Middle East Newsfile, Dec. 23, 1999.
 Arab News, Dec. 23, 1999.
 Financial Times (London), Mar. 28, 2002.
 Dallas Morning News, Feb. 5, 2005.
 Star Tribune (Minneapolis), Apr. 4, 1993.
 Personal communication from Michael Medved, Oct. 21, 2004.
 Quoted in Steve A. Johnson, "Political Activities of Muslims in America," in Yvonne Yazbeck Haddad, ed., The Muslims of America (New York: Oxford University Press, 1991), p. 115.
 Orlando Sentinel, Feb. 23, 2004.
 See, for example, The New York Times, May 12, 2005; The Washington Post, May 12, 2005; and Los Angeles Times, May 12, 2005.
 Zev Chafets, " Beware the Wolves Among Us," The New York Daily News, Sept. 28, 2001; editorial, " CAIR and Terrorism," The Washington Times, July 24, 2004; David Frum, " The Question of CAIR," The National Post, Nov. 23, 2004; Eli Lake, "Me Rethinks a CAIR Event," The New York Sun, Nov. 12, 2003; Daniel Pipes, " CAIR: ‘Moderate' Friends of Terror," The New York Post, Apr. 22, 2002; Michael Putney, " Pressure May Smother Dialogue," The Miami Herald, Sept. 10, 2003; Stephen Schwartz, " Not So Holy after All; The Bush Administration Takes on a Hamas Front Group," The Weekly Standard, Dec. 17, 2001; and Glenn Sheller, " Muslim Group's Conflict with Discrimination Is Uphill Fight," The Columbus Dispatch, Aug. 31, 2004.
 "4 Indicted in Texas Terror Probe," The Boston Globe, Dec. 19, 2002; "5 Brothers Charged with Aiding Hamas," The New York Times, Dec. 19, 2002; "Hamas Arrests Called Unfair," Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Dec. 20, 2002; "Aid Sought for 5 Suspected of Terror Ties," Associated Press, Feb. 15, 2003; "Muslim Leader Criticizes Prosecution," United Press International, July 9, 2004; "Muslim Leaders Blast Brothers' Convictions," The Dallas Morning News, July 10, 2004.
 CAIR's DC office is required to make its Form 990 available to the public upon request.
The New Chill on Campus
April 11, 2006
When Brigitte Gabriel recently gave a speech at Memphis University, she was confronted with a familiar sight: an audience so hostile to her message that it had come not to debate but to silence her.
A passionate and powerful speaker who had witnessed Palestinian terrorism and experienced anti-Jewish and anti-Christian propaganda in her native Lebanon, Gabriel had been invited to speak at the Tennessee campus by religious studies professor David Patterson. But the day before Gabriel's speech, Patterson began receiving threatening e-mails.
“Do you honestly think the scheduled lecture will serve any useful purpose other than inflaming the Muslims, insulting them and spilling poison in the community?” one message asked. Another charged that inviting Gabriel to speak was “worse than hosting of the Imperial Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan.” Still another described her as among “the true enemies of Islam.”
The menacing emails proved prescient. When Gabriel and Patterson arrived in the campus auditorium 15 minutes before her scheduled presentation, several rows of seats in the front of the room were already occupied by men and women dressed in distinctive Muslim clothing. Before Gabriel was introduced, a Muslim man who has been a long-term graduate student at the university strode to the front of the room and announced: “We have been told that the speaker will only accept questions written on cards. Everyone who believes this is an un-democratic lecture, raise your hands.” The Muslims in the audience shouted their agreement.
Undaunted, Gabriel went to the front of the room and announced that the lecture belonged to her and that those who did not see it this way were welcome to leave. Two campus police officers stood on either side of her. They also called for backup. By the time order was restored and Gabriel began her speech, 10 police officers were posted in the room. Patterson implored the audience to give her a chance to be heard.
After her speech, she answered every question submitted — questions she described as “Palestinian talking points” — before the Muslim audience members swarmed onto the stage and surrounded her, yelling angrily. Finally, police officers grabbed her and hustled her out a side door. Someone else had to retrieve her coat and suitcase while she waited in a police car to be driven to the hotel where, for security reasons, she was registered under another name. Only after she had locked her door and drawn the curtains, did Gabriel allow herself to tremble.
“The intimidation takes a toll on you,” Gabriel said in an e-mail message to friends after the Memphis speech. “I was dreading this all day, ever since my hosts told me they had been receiving hostile e-mail about my lecture. It was weighing so heavily on my heart. My stomach was in knots. I got a migraine headache. I knew I was going into battle and there was no way out of it. I was nervous and stressed. Each time this happens, I hate it and it makes me feel that I don't want to do it anymore. But I will do it. I will never stop. If we stop, the Islamists will have won. We cannot allow that to happen.”
Cases of workplace harassment are nothing new, of course. Years ago, I was asked to testify in a legal action on behalf of a woman who worked the night shift alone in a small store. As a devout Christian, she was offended by the pornographic magazines the store sold. She also felt endangered by the kind of men who came in after midnight to peruse and buy these magazines. She eventually refused to sell the magazines during her shift, and was fired. So she sued.
During her trial, an important question was deliberated: Does the First Amendment right of pornographers override a woman's personal religious beliefs and her rights to on-the-job safety? Does being surrounded by pornographic magazines constitute a “hostile” work environment? The company retaliated for her lawsuit by depicting her to the press as a fanatic on a rampage against both secular society and free speech. My decision to testify on her behalf led some of the usual suspects to question my political sanity and my feminism.
Over the years, I have been consulted by other women, especially those in blue-collar, formerly all-male jobs who have often been harassed and forced to live with sadistic pornography placed in their lockers, locker rooms, and work areas. The film North Country, which stars Charlize Theron, depicts exactly such mistreatment of women miners. The film is based on a real class action lawsuit that 19 women first filed in the 1970s against Ogleby Norton in Eveleth, Minn. The women sued because they were subjected to verbal, physical, psychological, and sexual abuse and to omnipresent sexual graffiti. It took more than 20 years for the women to win a settlement, but only after they found themselves put on trial. Their sexual, gynecological, psychological, and marital histories were scrutinized in the courtroom. Many people said that the women simply ought to “tough it out.” Some said that pornography and insults were protected under the First Amendment.
Today, those who speak out against Islamic extremism face similar circumstances. When someone tries to tell the truth about Islam or departs from the politically correct line — against America, Israel, Jews, and religion — they are subjected to hostile working conditions, just like the women miners of North Country. In the West, authors critical of Islam are routinely threatened, sometimes sued for “defamation,” or slandered as “racists.” Western academics who criticize Islamic culture have been ostracized or silenced on campus. They are shouted down, shamed, interrogated, and cursed. In Muslim countries, meanwhile, such authors are more often jailed, mobbed, murdered or forced into exile.
This state of affairs prompts some urgent questions: Do we want speakers on our campuses to be subjected to such hostility, to run such a gauntlet in order to be heard? (This even as the Western academic world has given a free pass to those who defend the rights of misogynist terrorists who practice both religious and gender apartheid in Islam's name.) Why have so many university presentations descended to the level of the “Jerry Springer” show? Why, when speakers tell the truth about this on American campuses, must they endure harsh and punitive working conditions?
This reality must be exposed, challenged, and transformed. We must condemn militant tactics that aim to suppress speech and not confuse them with a civilized or scholarly exchange of ideas. We must liberate our campuses from such barbarism. Brave voices like Brigitte Gabriel deserve nothing less.
Wachovia Bank Action Riles Muslim Activists
By Caryle Murphy
Washington Post Staff Writer
Saturday, May 6, 2006; D01
Muslim activists said yesterday that they will launch a public campaign
against Wachovia Corp. to protest its refusal to explain why it closed
the bank accounts of a Herndon-based Muslim social service organization.
The activists said they will hold a news conference Monday outside a Wachovia branch on North Capitol Street and ask people to contact the North Carolina-based bank to voice concern about its action. If the bank fails to explain its decision to close the accounts, they said they may take other steps, including street demonstrations and calls for a bank boycott.
"Hopefully, Wachovia will see that the community is very serious about this issue," said Corey P. Saylor, government affairs director at the Council on American-Islamic Relations.
"People in this community have a right to know why Wachovia closed this account," said Mahdi Bray, director of the Muslim American Society's Freedom Foundation.
Wachovia spokesman Scott Silvestri wrote in an e-mail yesterday that "Wachovia is committed to conducting business and operations with the highest ethical standards and in full compliance with applicable laws. . . . It is also the company's long-standing policy not to comment on customer relationships."
The treasurer of the Muslim charity, the Foundation for Appropriate and Immediate Temporary Help, said she suspects that Wachovia closed the accounts because the charity received a donation in April 2005 from a charity run by Muslim businessman M. Yaqub Mirza, whose Northern Virginia home and offices were raided by federal agents in 2002. Mirza has not been charged with a crime.
The $150,000 donation, intended as an endowment, came from an account at the same Wachovia branch where the Foundation for Appropriate and Immediate Temporary Help had its accounts, said the treasurer, Margaret Farchtchi. The money was then invested in a subsidiary of Sterling Management Group Inc., a company run by Mirza, in an account at the same branch. This provided Wachovia with full transparency on the donation's movements, Farchtchi and another source close to the charity said.
Although $150,000 was an unusually large amount for the charity's three accounts, which normally held $60,000 to $70,000, the origin and purpose of the money could have been "easily explained" if bank officials had asked, Farchtchi said.
"It's just really irritating," Farchtchi said. "And all of this allusion to misguided activity . . . doesn't sit well with us. We've made extra efforts across the board as a Muslim organization to maintain transparency."
After the charity's accounts were closed in January, it opened new ones at Cardinal Bank.
Saylor, of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, said that last year Wachovia also closed accounts held by five Northern Virginia Muslim organizations that were targeted in U.S. Customs raids in 2002, including Sterling Management. None has been charged with a crime.
The offices of the Foundation for Appropriate and Immediate Temporary Help were not raided and, as far as it knows, it "has never been the subject" of a federal investigation, Saylor wrote in an e-mail.
Formed in 1999, the charity provides aid to needy Northern Virginia residents of all faiths, including crisis counseling; emergency payments for rent, food and utilities; and support for victims of domestic violence.
In a Jan. 13 letter to a charity official, Jeraldine B. Davis, Wachovia senior vice president and assistant general counsel, denied that the bank "was motivated by discrimination." She wrote that certain account activity "was significantly different from that which Wachovia would expect to see in an account established for a charity."
David Caruso, a bank consultant who specializes in efforts to prevent money-laundering, said Wachovia's silence may stem from restrictions imposed by Congress after the 2001 terrorist attacks. Besides being required to report suspicious financial activities to the U.S. Treasury, banks are barred by law from telling anyone that they have made such reports.
Banks are not required to close accounts that raise suspicions, but monitoring them can become costly, Caruso said. As a result, he said, banks may "make a business decision" that keeping the account is not worth the cost.
Media, and the Alleged Jihad Plot Against Canada
June 10, 2006
Most Canadians are having some difficulty making sense of the recent foiled
terrorist plot, announced by police officials on June 3, 2006. Allegedly, these
Canadian terror suspects, who may have had international connections, had called
their plot “Operation Badr,” named after the legendary Battle of Badr, in which
Islam’s prophet Mohammad and his men carried out a raid and defeated a much
larger force. Allegedly, the targets of the planned truck-bombings included the
Toronto Stock Exchange (TSE) building, RCMP headquarters, CSIS, the CBC, as well
as the Parliament buildings in Ottawa. Reportedly, the attacks were intended to
kill Canadian civilians. In the scheme, members of Parliament had also been
targeted for kidnapping and possible beheading. There were plans to behead the
Why would these 17 alleged terrorists, all of them Muslim males, want to attack Canada? The most common explanation given is that the alleged terrorists wished to punish Canada in retaliation for its military role in Afghanistan, where Muslims are being killed. The seemingly most obvious goal of the attacks was to cause Canadians to pull their troops out of Afghanistan, and, supposedly, to save lives of Muslims. This fits with the alleged demands of the accused, namely, to force Canada to remove its troops from Afghanistan and release Muslim prisoners.
While this simple explanation is obvious, and accepted widely among Muslims living in the west, it is also superficial, and is at least partly based on erroneous assumptions. It does not take into account several important facts. Canadian soldiers, besides fighting al-Qaeda and Taliban forces, in Afghanistan, in response to the attacks of September 11, 2001, are doing their part to defend the government and people of Afghanistan (who are 99% Muslims). If Canada and the U.S.-led coalition fail in this mission, or abandon it prematurely, the Taliban and al-Qaeda will probably regain control of the country. In the process, many more Muslims would be killed and Afghanistan would then be once again subjected to Taliban rule. In that case, there would be many more executions of Muslims due to the Taliban’s rigorous application of classical sharia law. In addition, it should be kept in mind that the Afghan army and police force, which are Muslim, are killing Taliban and al-Qaeda. The Taliban and al-Qaeda are killing ordinary Afghan Muslims. Furthermore, Canada is contributing to reconstruction and humanitarian work there, which is intended to help Muslims. Finally, Canadians in Afghanistan are not targetting and killing ordinary Afghan citizens (though unfortunately some have been killed by accident, just as Canadian soldiers have been killed due to accidents), whereas the alleged jihadists had plotted to target and kill Canadian civilians. Given these considerations, why would the terrorists wish to attack Canadians, whose soldiers are putting their lives on the line to defend not only Canada but also Afghanistan? Why would they wish Canada to pull its troops out of Afghanistan, if doing so would likely cause the death of more Muslims than if the troops remained there?
Taking those facts into account, the simple claim that these alleged terrorists were acting with the intention of avenging the deaths of Muslims does not add up. (It does, however, make for a good propaganda slogan, to be employed both by the terrorists as well as some of those who, generally, oppose Canada’s involvement in Afghanistan on the belief that it is harmful to Muslims). Nevertheless, although the preliminary background information is sketchy, these young men (ages 15-43, with most of them under 30 years of age) seem to be intelligent enough to realize all of the above-mentioned facts and considerations about the Afghanistan situation. Indeed, given their intense interest in it, they probably knew more about it than the average citizen. Another explanation is that these young men had been inspired by the “al-Qaeda ideology,” and were the ones “who hate the West,” as was stated by police officials and subsequently relayed by the media. Based on this information, then, it appears that the these young men have adopted views that are consistent with that of al-Qaeda. According to al-Qaeda, there is no problem in killing non-Muslim civilians. Al-Qaeda also endorses takfir, which means declaring other allegedly less faithful Muslims to be disbelievers, making it Islamically permissible to kill these supposedly inferior Muslims. In addition, al-Qaeda endorses the doctrine of tattarrus, which allows for the deaths of other Muslims who may be used tactically as human shields in the context of jihad (al-Qaeda deliberately immerses itself in civilian populations). Al-Qaeda accepts the Koranic notion of collective guilt, whereby a whole group of people is deemed to be guilty and therefore deserving of punishment for the actions of a small number of people from that group. (This view is prevalent throughout the Muslim world, as was shown, for example, in the recent Danish Mohammad cartoon controversy). Al-Qaeda also accepts the Koranic notion that the lives of non-Muslims are worth much less than Muslim lives. In their view, it is exemplary and worthy of reward to kill non-Muslims, particularly, as a top priority, those of a people who are deemed to be at war with Muslims. The objectives of al-Qaeda are clear: Cause chaos and division among non-Muslims; incite racial and religious hatred; inflict costly injury to the non-Muslim societies by waging jihad of all kinds (violent and non-violent struggle against disbelief and disbelievers); and set up sharia law wherever possible until the whole world is ruled according to Islamic law. Although this final goal seems extremist, this is the goal of Islam generally, not just al-Qaeda (2)
By stating that these men were “inspired by” al-Qaeda, it would seem that officials and the media believe they have given the public some idea of what ideology motivated these men. However, alluding to vague associations to al-Qaeda only raises the obvious question which most reporters have not asked: What is the ideology of al-Qaeda? The most probable reason this question has not been explored in the ridiculously politically-correct Canadian media is that doing so would touch upon the untouchable: Islam itself. Not “distorted” Islam, not “hijacked” Islam, but Islam itself. To even dare explore Islam’s role in terrorism is to invite accusations of racism, political incorrectness, “Islamophobia,” etc. Editors in the western world, not just the Muslim world, have been fired for allowing the publication of material critical of Islam. Labels such as “racist” and “Islamophobia” carry a heavy stigma in our society, which is precisely why unscrupulous people use these labels so often as a tactic, or a weapon, to attack and silence legitimate critics. (Reality Check: Islam is an ideology, not a race). Most of our elected leaders, our media, and certainly Muslim leaders, have already stated, and expect us to believe, that Islam has nothing to do with terrorism. They insist, rightly, that the accused men are innocent until proven guilty (a basic principle in our western law). But what if journalists were to start, and pursue through to completion, an investigation, with the assumption that Islam is innocent until proven guilty? Ah, here is where the pro-Islam prejudice is exposed: Islam is presumed innocent and it is not permissible to find that it is guilty. That is, it is not permissible to find that Islam, the core doctrine, promotes hate and terrorism against those deemed to be kafirun (disbelievers) and mushrikun (polytheists). What if Islam is in fact guilty of promoting hate and terrorism? The media, the police officials, our politicians, and the Muslim leaders have told us, in advance, that this cannot be told; they have ruled out any possibility that Islam could be even partly to blame. That path cannot be pursued, due to the fear, superstition, and the tactical, selective use of political correctness.
Adhering to the amoral, skewed notion of political correctness, which is rampant in our society today, is no way to find out truth. Let us therefore put aside superstition, and political correctness, and examine Islam directly.
Under these circumstances of intense media coverage, can we expect imams, and Muslims generally, to tell the public the truth about their religion? Simply put, the answer is “no.” Muslims may in many cases be sincere about their religion, just as any other religious or non-religious persons are generally sincere in discussing the beliefs to which they firmly adhere. But let’s keep in mind that people can be sincere and mistaken; and sometimes people are only feigning sincerity due to various psychological defences and motives. Further, many Muslims are not aware of all of what is contained in the Islamic doctrine. Thus, common sense dictates that one should not accept at face value the words of the true believer with respect to his or her belief. Of special concern, however, is that the core Islamic texts (Koran, Hadith, Sira) actually permit Muslims to use deception in discussing their Islamic beliefs in order to protect themselves and to defend or promote the cause of Islam (this is according to the Islamic practices of taqiyya and kitman). This creates problems, because those who are not familiar with Islam will be unable to tell whether such a spokesman is being honest or is using deception. Narrated Anas ibn Malik: “The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: Use your property, your persons, and your tongues in striving against the polytheists.” (3) Also, Narrated Jabir bin 'Abdullah: “The Prophet said, "War is deceit.”” (4) This could easily be applied to the circumstance after every well-publicized terrorist attack, when the question of Islamic motivation comes under the glare of the media spotlight. It is at this point where many Muslims are reported uttering demonstrably false statements, such as “Islam means peace” (Islam actually means submission or surrender, see Koran 3:85, also see (5)), or that Islam forbids violence (the Koran exhorts the believers to fight against the disbelievers who oppose Islam, to strike off their heads, 8:12, etc.), or that Islam forbids terror (the Koran and Hadith glorify the use of terrorism (6)), or that Islam forbids the killing of “innocent civilians” (the Koran does not explicitly forbid the killing of non-Muslims, who are not considered to be innocent, and the Koran and Hadith permit the killing of non-Muslims under a wide range of circumstances (7)). The goal of the Muslim spokesmen under these circumstances is to save Islam from attack, to protect Islam’s public image. It is public-relations propaganda. Therefore it is always necessary, as a minimum precaution, to check the true believers’ claims against what the Islamic texts say.
Nearly all Muslims think they should believe all of the Koran, most (specifically, most Sunnis) think they should believe the “sahih” Hadith, and many believe the Sira. The Koran strongly supports the bias of the true believer by stating that nothing in it is to be doubted (2:2, 10:37), and that the Islamic religion has been perfected and made lawful (5:3) by Allah. Most Muslims believe that the Koran’s message is perfect, and that, therefore, the cause of corruption (fasad; mischief) in the world is due to (a) non-Muslims, and (b) Muslims who deviate from true Islam. The Koran states (Hilali-Khan translation, bracketed and parenthetical insertions are theirs):
29:49. “Nay, but they, the clear Ayat [i.e the description and the qualities of Prophet Muhammad SAW written like verses in the Taurat (Torah) and the Injeel (Gospel)] are preserved in the breasts of those who have been given knowledge (from the people of the Scriptures). And none but the Zalimun (polytheists and wrongdoers, etc.) deny Our Ayat (proofs, evidences, verses, lessons, signs, revelations, etc.).”
According to this circular logic, because the Koran is perfect guidance, anyone who does not accept it must be in some way ignorant, immoral, and deficient. This is precisely what the Koran states. The Koran (Pickthall translation) says that disbelievers (non-Muslims) are “worst of created beings” (98:6), are “miscreants” (2:99, 24:55), are the worst beasts in Allah’s sight (8:22, 8:55); (some Christians and/or Jews were) turned into “apes and/or pigs” (2:65-66, 5:58-60, 7:166); are like frightened donkeys chased by a lion (74:50-51); are worse than cattle (7:179); are like dogs (7:176); they (idolators) are unclean (9:28); “evil” is upon them (16:27), evil (2:91, 2:99); “wicked” (80:42, 9:125); the “wrong-doers” (42:45, 2:254, 5:45); evil-doers (42:44); evil-livers (5:59); they have no good in them (8:23); are “guilty” for disbelieving (45:31, 83:29); on the side of Satan and are fighting for him (4:76-77); of the party of Satan (58:19); Allah assigns them devils for protecting friends (7:27); they choose devils for protecting friends (7:30); are partisan against Allah (25:55); are the “enemy” and “perverted” (63:4); have disgraced lives (22:9); are hypocrites (4:61); have a “diseased heart” (2:10, 9:125); are ill (84:20); are deaf, dumb, and blind, and have no sense (2:171); deaf and dumb and in darkness, Allah sends them astray (6:39); they have no sense (5:103, 10:100); a folk who do not understand (9:127); their fathers were unintelligent and had no knowledge or guidance (2:170, 5:104); are “a folk without intelligence”/ “most ignorant” (8:65, 6:111); losers who are deceived by Allah (2:6), and deceived by Satan (4:60); Allah sends devils against them to make them do evil (19:83); Allah cursed them for their unbelief (2:88-89), liars/they lie (2:10, 4:50, 9:42, 16:39, 16:105, 59:11), “losers” (5:53, 7:178-179); foolish and liars (7:66), liars and losers (58:18-19), in false pride and schism (38:2), among the lowest (58:20); the lowest of the low (95:4-6). In reading those insults, keep the following points in mind: These insults apply to disbelievers because they are disbelievers (disbelief is the worst crime); the insults are assumed to be the words of Allah and are therefore true of disbelievers for all time, until the Last Day; the disbelievers cannot do anything to improve Allah’s perception of them (He does not accept the good works of the disbelievers, see 5:5, 18:104-106, also 18:30, 33:19, 47:1-4, 47:32), except to believe in and obey Allah; and the insulting adjectives refer to the inherent character traits of disbelievers.
As a consequence of this world-view, Muslims, especially those who address the media or have their ideas published, treat any criticism of Islam as due to ignorance, immoral intentions, or various kinds of deficiencies in the disbelievers (and those Muslims who’ve allegedly gone astray). This is one of the reasons why we see in press conferences Muslim spokesmen accusing critics of racism, Islamophobia, hate, sickness, and ignorance. To contemplate otherwise would be to admit to problems in Islam itself, which is unthinkable for most Muslims. These unfounded accusations against non-Muslim, ex-Muslim, and progressive-reformist Muslim critics are particularly galling in light of the considerable hatred, immorality, and Infidelophobia in the Koran, as was shown above. Surely, those Muslim spokesmen know exactly what kind of information they are concealing from the public when they throw out accusations of hate, racism, etc. The charge of “Islamophobia” is beyond galling, given that the Koran exhorts the Muslims to strike terror into the hearts of the disbelievers. Even Muslims themselves have reason to fear Islam because the Koran states that the true believers fear Allah (8:1-3), and no doubt many Muslims fear being accused of apostasy, blasphemy, illegal sexual intercourse, or other major crimes, the Islamic penalties for each of which today could include jail, seizing of property, torture, and/or death. Do we then say that Muslims also suffer from Islamophobia? Well, one of the characteristics of a phobia is that it is an irrational fear. Since when is it irrational to fear those who wish to carry out terrorist attacks, assassinations, and executions?
In contrast to the western legal principle of assuming an accused to be innocent until proven guilty, Islam dictates that non-Muslims are, a priori, “guilty” (45:31, 83:29) and should be hated until they believe in Islam (60:4). By using press conferences to unleash an onslaught of verbal attacks and unfounded accusations against non-Muslims and non-Muslim society, Muslim spokesmen are able to exploit the westerners’ tendency to accept criticism, while using political correctness as a shield to defend themselves and their religion from criticism. Ironically, Muslim spokesmen are also protected from criticism due to the threats against critics from the terrorists, from whom the spokesmen try to distance themselves. Any non-Muslim who contemplates criticizing Islam or Muslim leaders publicly must factor into account the distinct possibility of being killed for having expressed those criticisms. Whereas the practice of self-criticism is generally a major strength of western society, it is almost non-existent within Islam (because Islam itself is assumed to be flawless and because there are brutal penalties; see above). Thus, Muslims are only free to direct criticism outward. Muslims direct criticism outward against non-Muslims, and then the non-Muslims accept this criticism and try to accommodate the Muslims. There is, typically, no reciprocation from Muslims. When one side does all the accommodating and the other side makes all the demands, the result of the game is clear: Non-Muslim society is pushed to become increasingly Islamized, while Islam remains as it has always been.
An assertion made by one of the police spokesmen was that the accused terrorists had “cherry-picked” verses and had constructed a distorted “cut-and-paste” version of Islam. Granted, learning about Islam without expert guidance on the internet particularly for these young men who were probably highly motivated to focus on certain parts of the Islamic scriptures could easily lead to a highly self-selected (biased) construal of Islam. However, I wonder how much Islam this police spokesman had studied, or whether he was basing his statements on advice of imams. Does he have the expertise of Yusuf al-Qaradawi, the most influential, most powerful, and most popular Muslim scholar in the world, who supports suicide bombing against non-Muslim civilians? I would also like to see the “cut-and-paste” work of these young men. Surely, all quotation, by definition, involves taking some statement out of its original context and bringing it into another. The issue is not simply whether some verse has been taken out of context. The issue is whether the quote, in its new context, is still representative of the intended idea in the original context. These young men probably defined their context as jihad; and their goals would be the rewards of Paradise and the ultimate victory of Islam in ruling the world. Some of the goals of the Battle of Badr (described in Sura 8 and in other parts of the Koran) were to “strike terror into the hearts of the enemies” (8:60), to make the enemies “taste of the doom because (they) disbelieve” (8:35), to “strike off their heads” (8:12), to make a severe example of them (8:57), to “make a wide slaughter in the land” before taking any captives (8:67), to cut them at their root (8:7), to deliver Allah’s punishment on earth against the disbelievers (8:17), to fight the disbelievers “until all religion is for Allah” (8:39). In that famous battle, Mohammad and his men set out to raid a caravan, and ended up fighting and defeating the Qureysh army which had been sent to defend the caravan from attack. That is, Mohammad and his men were caravan raiders and terrorists, and they were the aggressors, using religion to justify the attack. The Battle of Badr had many of the conceptual elements of terrorism that we see manifested today throughout the world; it is mainly the technological conditions that account for the differences; the underlying ideas are the same.
It is also common, in the recent news coverage, to read about terrorists who have taken an overly literal or extremist interpretation. But how can “strike off their heads” (8:12) be taken metaphorically, when the actual context did involve Muslims striking off the heads of the disbelievers? Likewise, what is the non-literal interpretation of “Fight them and Allah will punish them at your hands and bring them to disgrace” (9:14)? Again, in context, this verse really is intended as a strong incitement to fight, a divine commandment for believers to use force against the disbelievers. The objection regarding excessive literalism is also dubious, because non-literal or less literal interpretations do not necessarily improve the verses, according to our modern standards. Moving too far away from literalism removes constraints that would prevent the reader from coming up with an even more harsh, blood-thirsty interpretation (if that is possible). The ‘too much literalism’ criticism assumes that the interpretation derives from a benevolent reader and a benevolent cultural value system (e.g., one that is compatible with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights), where benevolence or goodness is usually defined according to modern western values. By using a loose interpretation, the reader can try to pull the meaning of the verses closer to modern western values. Unfortunately, this is not the case with modern-day Islam, which allies itself more closely with the Cairo Declaration of Human Rights in Islam, the terms of which are defined according to sharia. The “extremist interpretation” claim is also highly questionable, mainly because the Koran itself appears to be extreme. Take the following verses, for example (Hilali-Khan translation, bracketed and parenthetical insertions in the original):
98:6. “Verily, those who disbelieve (in the religion of Islam, the Qur'an and Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him)) from among the people of the Scripture (Jews and Christians) and Al-Mushrikun will abide in the Fire of Hell. They are the worst of creatures. 98:7. Verily, those who believe [in the Oneness of Allah, and in His Messenger Muhammad (Peace be upon him)) including all obligations ordered by Islam] and do righteous good deeds, they are the best of creatures.”
Is there any way to tone down the interpretation of these verses to make them less extreme, while still being honest to the text? Can we replace “worst” with “slightly below average” and “best” with “slightly above average”? Replacing words in the Koran would be absolutely forbidden in Islam. But even if that rule was changed, moderating the verses would still maintain the basic concept that believers are better than disbelievers (on account of belief, not good works; note that Allah rejects the good works of the disbelievers, see above). Moderating the verses does change their meaning significantly. The Koran states that disbelief is the worst crime (6:21, 6:157, 10:17, 11:18-19, 18:15, 18:57, 29:68, 32:22, 39:32, 61:7), so changing “worst” to something more moderate would not make sense. Presumably, the intention of “worst” is to show that disbelief is a terrible state, more ‘bad’ than any other condition. Hence, Allah casts the disbelievers into hell and gives them the maximum punishment. Likewise, “worst” in 98:6 means that disbelievers really are worse than other people and animals due to their disbelief in and disobedience to Allah. Worst and best are extreme ends of the scale. The intended meaning is extremist. Any other rendering would be dishonest.
A question that deserves to be asked is ‘Why is it that it is mostly Muslim males, compared to males in other ideological groups, who turn to “extremism”?’ What is it about Islam that leads these young men to extremist, violent interpretations? Given the conflicts abroad, why don’t we see, in Canada, Jewish terrorism against Muslims? Why don’t we see Christian terrorism, in Canada, against Muslims (due to Muslim persecution of Christians in countries such as Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Malaysia, Egypt, Sudan, etc.)? Why don’t we see Hindu terrorism against Muslims in Canada? (See Note A). Why don’t we see Russian Canadian terrorism against Muslims? Why don’t we see Spanish Canadian terrorism against Muslims? Why don’t we see Canadian and American Muslim apostates making threats against Muslims, given Islam’s long history of persecution and murder of them, and given the ever-present Islamic threat against apostates?
A police spokesman, as well as different media personalities, had stated that the young men had adopted an ideology that was political, militant, and based on hate, not on faith (i.e., not Islam). This kind of statement belies the central importance of politics, militancy, and hate (see the numerous insults against non-Muslims, above) in the Koran and throughout the Islamic doctrines. Willingness to kill or be killed in the jihad for Allah was a test of faith, fulfillment of a divine contract (9:111, 47:31, 47:4, etc.).
The Islamic principle of forbidding criticism and scrutiny of Islam happens to be consistent (at least in that regard) with western political correctness, which also prevents criticism of Islam. Therefore, if you are an investigative journalist, you can be highly skeptical and inquisitive, except with regard to claims pertaining to Islam. When it comes to Islam, the principles of investigative journalism are suspended. Why don’t we read or hear journalists asking the usual follow-up questions, showing their usual healthy skepticism, their need for pertinent details to make sense out of previous quotes, and so on? Much the same can be said for most of the academic research on the subject. Why don’t we yet have an estimate of what percentage of Canadian Muslims support terrorism against non-Muslims? (Terrorism requires financial and social support. If there is not a receptive audience, the long-term political effectiveness of terrorism is removed). What are their views on the Canadian military and humanitarian operations in Afghanistan? What are Canadian Muslims’ views on the Islamic apostasy and blasphemy laws? What are their views on Israel and Jews? What are their views on cooperating with police? Do they place more of their loyalty with Islam or with Canada? What are their views on implementation of Islamic law? We need to conduct research, similar to the PEW studies (8), to obtain estimates of Canadian Muslims’ opinions on these sorts of questions. Taking into account Canadians’ lack of knowledge on these issues, and the fear of touching a taboo topic, and the ever-present threat of being killed by Muslims for criticizing Islam, it is perhaps not surprising that the mainstream western media has for the most part steered clear of the Islam factor in terrorism. This is particularly true in Canada, which is one of the most politically correct nations in the world. Journalists and police officials were, responsibly, concerned about a potential backlash against Muslims. They made attempts to downplay the fact that all of the suspected terrorists were Muslims, and explicitly disavowed any connection to ‘true’ Islam. However, this approach appears to assume the very worst about the non-Muslim public, while assuming the best about Islam and Muslims. Their approach assumes that non-Muslims cannot distinguish between an ideology and people who happen to be at least nominal followers of that ideology. Perhaps most disturbing is that, by denying any connection to Islam, our society will not discover the true source of Islamic terrorism. Having failed to identify the problem, we will fail to take the necessary steps to protect future generations from a much larger menace than the one which we seem to not want to face at present.
Muslims have had approximately 1400 years with which to reform Islam from the inside, but mainstream Islamic jurisprudence, where it is implemented, still requires the execution of apostates and blasphemers, and still officially approves of communal obligatory jihad against the non-Muslims for the purposes of spreading Islam. If Muslims themselves cannot get rid of the penalties and allow freedom of conscience and freedom of expression, and if they cannot disavow the anti-infidel jihad after 1400 years of waging it, why should we have faith that the so-called moderate Muslims will remove those penalties? Why should we conclude that moderate Muslims can reign in the so-called extremist Muslims? Certainly there should be dialogue and an attempt to gain cooperation, but it would be reckless and perhaps suicidally stupid to place too much trust in moderate Muslims, given their practically non-existent track record of success in taming the militants. We should encourage and support genuine reformers, yes, but most of the reform of Islam will need to come from pressure from non-Muslims. The Canadian Muslim community apparently was not actively involved with the apprehension of these terrorist suspects. Disturbingly, it has been reported that many of them recognized extremist violent statements from the accused, yet they did nothing about it. It is abundantly clear, at least to me, from reading all of these reports and viewing extensive coverage of the issue, that most of the Muslim community is in denial about the problem. Therefore, changes are needed within the Muslim community. Specific mechanisms are needed to identify and root out would-be jihadists. Clearly, massive, sweeping changes are needed within Islam, in order to bring Islam completely out of the 7th century and fully into the 21st. The state of denial cannot continue. Islam must be opened up to fair but ruthlessly objective criticism. This will improve Islam and make life better for Muslims and non-Muslims alike. Islam has throughout most of its history suffered from a lack of healthy criticism. Those ideas within Islam that cannot stand up to modern rational and ethical scrutiny need to be demolished and swept aside. Over the centuries in western society, exactly the same approach has been directed against all of the major religious and non-religious ideologies of the world, resulting in their evolution or reformation. Now Islam must be put through this process.
Koran: http://www.quranbrowser.com/ 10 translations and Arabic transliteration.
Passages in the Koran Classified According to Various Problems: Summary
Tafsirs/Commentary: Ibn Kathir’s tafsir (on-line edition; note that some material has been removed from this edition http://www.tafsir.com/ Also note: The Ibn Kathir site is not always available).
Al-Jalalayn and Ibn Abbas tafsirs http://www.altafsir.com/TafseerQuran.asp
Aqa Mahdi Puya/Ali http://al-islam.org/quran
(Note that these online collections are not complete).
Glossary: Some basic Islamic terminology
A. Probably some Canadian readers are thinking of the fact that the Air India bombing was a terrorist attack against Hindus, probably carried out by Sikh terrorists. Probably, but, regarding Islam, the comparison with non-Islamic religions is not clear because some scholars believe the Sikh religion originated from a syncretic mixture of Hindu and Muslim influences.
(1) (Sahih Bukhari, Volume 4, Book 52, Number 220).
(2) The Goal of Islam http://islamwatch.forumup.in/about252-islamwatch.html
(3) Sunan Abu Dawud, Book 14, Number 2498. (Also, Sahih Muslim, Book 1, Numbers 79, 81).
(4) Sahih Bukhari, Volume 4, Book 52, Number 269.
(5) Islam means submission, not peace.
(6) The Root of Terrorism a la Islamic Style
(7) Does the Qur’an forbid the Killing of Non-Muslims?
Also see Notes on Suicidal Attacks in Islam
Jews financing acts of violence
July 13, 2006
Iraq's parliament speaker Thursday accused "Jews" of financing acts of violence in Iraq in order to discredit Islamists who control the parliament and government so they can install their "agents" in power.
Mahmoud al-Mashhadani hinted that the Americans and Israelis did not want to see officials of Sunni and Shi'ite parties running the country because "this is not their agenda."
"They will say that we brought you in a democratic way to the government but you are a sectarian people. One of you is killing the other and you don't deserve to become leaders because you are war lords," al-Mashhadani told reporters after a parliament meeting.
Al-Mashhadani is a member of the Sunni Muslim Iraqi Accordance Front while Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki is a member of the Shi'ite Dawa party.
"Some people say `we saw your beheading, kidnappings and killing. In the end we even started kidnapping women who are our honor,"' al-Mashhadani said. "These acts are not the work of Iraqis. I am sure that he who does this is a Jew and the son of a Jew."
"I can tell you about these Jewish, Israelis and Zionists who are using Iraqi money and oil to frustrate the Islamic movement in Iraq and come with the agent and cheap project."
"No one deserves to rule Iraq other than Islamists," he said.
By "agents," he appeared to be referring to secular politicians who do not identify themselves with religious or ethnic communities.
Egypt condemns remarks by Dutch, U.S. politicians
Thu 9 Aug 2007
CAIRO, Aug 9 (Reuters) - The Egyptian government said on Thursday that populist Dutch politician Geert Wilders had displayed odious racism and that U.S. presidential candidate Tom Tancredo was ignorant and arrogant.
Wilders called on Wednesday for a ban on the Muslim holy book the Koran, and Tancredo, a Republican member of Congress from Colorado, last month suggested bombing Mecca if Muslims attacked the United States with nuclear weapons.
The Egyptian Foreign Ministry said of Wilders' remarks: "Talk such as this demonstrates only the odious racism of some Western politicians and their fanaticism against Islam ... It also reflects their utter ignorance of the substance of Islam."
A ministry statement said Tancredo made his remarks "in hasty pursuit of fame, the limelight and votes.
"Such threats could not come from a straight person or a responsible politician, even if he was trying to obtain a handful of votes from those who support him in his ignorance and arrogance," it said.
The ministry welcomed condemnations of Wilders and Tancredo by the Dutch government and the U.S. administration.
Telling the Truth is Islam Bashing?
July 21, 2008
I am bombarded by hate and
threats by the Allah-fearing fanatics, simply because I speak the truth about
Islam. If telling the truth about Islam is Islam bashing, then mea culpa.
Question: Does Islam get a pass because it is a religion? Who says Islam is a religion? Millions do? What is the evidence? The words of masses of brainwashed carriers of the Islamic virus, transmitted to them by their parents, are worthless as evidence. What counts is the irrefutable fact that this creed, claimed to be the one and only religion of Allah, has been and continues to be a source of great suffering for non-Muslims as well as the ignorant masses of Muslims themselves.
I will share with you just a few of thousands of horrific things that Muslims do to people of other religions or those without any religion at all. In model Islamic states such as Saudi Arabia and Iran, for instance, women don´t dare complain about their Allah-decreed chattel status. If they protest in the least, they are beaten by their husbands. And if they dare to demonstrate in public for equal family rights with men, they get severe beatings by the police and hauled to jails for additional indignities and violence.
One may wonder then why is it that millions of Muslim women meekly submit to their subservient rank and worship and thank Allah for it. These women are virtually imprinted by their parents and the clergy from birth to adopt the gender inequality as well as the entire pathological Islamic ethos.
"Men have authority over women because Allah has made the one superior to the others and because they spend their wealth to maintain them. Good women are obedient. They guard their unseen parts because Allah has guarded them. As for those from whom you fear disobedience, admonish them and send them to beds apart and beat them. Then if they obey you take no further action against them. Allah is high, supreme." Quran 4.34
Even Egypt, the crown jewel of Arab-Islamic world is practicing a form of slow genocide against its own Baha´i citizens by depriving them of just about all rights of citizenship. Baha´is are still denied the indispensable identity card, simply because the powerful clergy want to eliminate the peaceful minority. Among other things, Egypt denies education to Baha´i children, taking a page from the "Mein Kampf" of the fascist Islamic Republic of Iran.
The record of atrocities performed by the proponents of the "religion of peace" clearly condemns it as an unmitigated cult of the worst kind. The savage Muslims forced their creed of hate and violence at the point of the sword on my people. They did and continue to do everything they could to wipe out any vestige of our magnificent Iranian culture and heritage. Now, they are ruling my native land with an iron fist, demeaning everything that we have treasured in our egalitarian-humanistic exemplary culture. They are forcing our women into prostitution by depriving them of means of livelihood, compelling hundreds of thousands of Iran´s best and brightest to leave for other lands, spearheading a vicious campaign of terrorism far and near, and muffling any voice that does not sing their praises.
The Bible says "By their fruit shall ye know them." I said this before and I´ll say it for as long as this vicious cult keeps up with its abominable deeds: Islam is violence. Islam is intolerant of non-Muslims. Islam is a vestige of a barbaric past. Islam must be confronted, shown for what it is and stopped from overtaking the world. Here are just a few examples of what these people of Allah had done recently.
A guy stops a car in the city of Shiraz in Iran and asks the driver to give him some gasoline, pretending that his car has run out of fuel. The total stranger siphons gas from his own car and gives it to him. Suddenly some other guys show up from their hiding places, tie the man to a tree, douse him with the gasoline he had generously given to a total stranger, set him on fire and speed away in the sham "out-of- gasoline" car. Why? The target of the torching was a non-Muslim, a Baha´i. The "sin" of not being a Muslim made him a deserving party for being burned alive. These thugs of Allah, the savage torchers, call themselves the Unknown Soldiers of the Lord of the Age, (Imam Zaman), the Shiite´s much revered and expected savior.
To make matters worse, all manner of "good Muslims" walked by and didn´t do a lick to help the man. Miraculously the man was able to put the fire out and call the police on his cell phone. It took the police over 30 minutes to respond and take the man to the station for questioning. Now that´s the Islam that is on the march. It has penetrated deeply and spread widely in Europe. It is changing Europe to its ways and holds every promise of doing the same to the United States.
Many Europeans are fleeing their ancestral homeland ahead of the Islamic fire which is engulfing their countries. These are the affluent and the ones with foresight. Others are either oblivious to the threat, aim to accommodate it as the holy grail of multiculturalism, or will end up one day seeing themselves in the fight of their life. For Islam does not believe in multiculturalism. Islam is a mono-culturist: the barbarian culture of Islam. As Islam gains more power, it will inevitably impose itself and its ways on all others. And there will be those who will eventually wake up from their stupor, they will either completely capitulate or fight the Muslims back in bloody bock-by-block, street-by-street battles.
Truth is not always welcome and can often be greatly disturbing. But truth is the best weapon against evil and falsehood. When I point out the horrific teachings of the Quran, I don´t make them up. I cite surahs from their holy book, surahs that exhort the Muslims to carry out all kinds of evil deeds against non-Muslims. This book of Allah is a license to kill. When I point out that Muhammad set terrible examples for his followers by his own deeds, I cite from their own sources to document my assertion.
Is there anyone in this messed-up world who doesn´t read, see, or hear about the daily Islamic atrocities performed by these savages, with every act justified on the basis of Allah´s holy book?
Qur´an 8:12 "I shall terrorize the infidels. So wound their bodies and incapacitate them because they oppose Allah and His Apostle."
Qur´an 33:26 "Allah made the Jews leave their homes by terrorizing them so that you killed some and made many captive. And He made you inherit their lands, their homes, and their wealth. He gave you a country you had not traversed before."
Why is it that these self-righteous Islamist villains don´t bother to prove me wrong? Why don´t they document what I say as being false? Instead, I am showered by all kinds of unspeakable profanity. Some of the more civil of the Muslims don´t stoop as low as their foul co-religionists. These latter types let out a hue and cry that they and their religion are smeared and victimized by people like me. They consider my criticisms of Islam as Islam bashing. They accuse me as a divisive- racist who enjoys Islam bashing. For good measure, they also label me Zionist, in the pay of Israel and Israeli lobbies. Who is bashing whom? Please prove any one of my charges to be false or fabricated and I´ll happily repent. If, on the other hand, you fail to do so, you owe it to humanity to abandon your allegiance to the scourge of Islam.
Amil Imani is an
Iranian-born American citizen and pro-democracy activist residing in the United
States of America. Imani is a columnist, literary translator, novelist and an
essayist, who has been writing and speaking out for the struggling people of his
native land, Iran.