Militant Islam Monitor > Articles > CAIR's March with Terror
CAIR's March with Terror
April 1, 2008
CAIR's March with Terror
By Joe Kaufman
March of 2008 has been an important month for those concerned about the connections to terrorism of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR). In this month, CAIR exposed its true self more so than at any time in the past, as it came out publicly in support of Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad, its two forefathers. In doing as such, the organization has issued a direct challenge to the United States government, which has, within the past year, named CAIR as playing a role in an international terrorist syndicate.
CAIR's March with Palestinian Islamic Jihad
As this author writes, Sami Al-Arian's picture adorns the homepage of CAIR. The graphic is part of an "Action Alert" that CAIR released March 19th, both on its website and via a pay distribution service. It calls on people to write letters of support to Al-Arian, who is currently protesting his situation -- what CAIR calls "alleged unjust treatment by U.S. authorities" -- by way of a hunger strike. CAIR describes Al-Arian's predicament as a "struggle for justice."
Al-Arian's "justice" is not the same as how most Americans would define the term. When Al-Arian came to the United States he did so as a student; when he leaves it, if he ever leaves it, he will do so as a hardened terrorist.
Sami Al-Arian was a co-founder and the North American leader of Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ). He played a major role in a number of terrorist attacks, including suicide bombings, against innocent Israelis as well as two American citizens. He even used a children's school that he created, in Tampa, Florida, to help finance the terror group. Today, Al-Arian sits in an American prison, convicted for his participation in PIJ.
On February 28, 2006, Al-Arian pled guilty to one count of the indictment that had been previously issued against him. The charge, as stated in the plea agreement [pdf], was: "Conspiracy to make or receive contributions of funds, goods or services to or for the benefit of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad, a Specially Designated Terrorist..."
While Al-Arian was in the United States, he was active in helping to found organizations beyond the fronts he created for PIJ. One of them, the Islamic Association for Palestine (IAP), would later splinter off into CAIR. CAIR eventually repaid Al-Arian by having its Communications Director for its Florida chapter, Ahmed Bedier, act as his spokesman in the media, when Al-Arian was facing criminal charges. And the group has been repaying him, ever since, including sponsoring screenings of a "puff film" about him, titled ‘USA vs Al-Arian.'
Question number one: Since PIJ is found on the U.S. State Department's list of Foreign Terrorist Organizations (FTOs); since CAIR is overtly supporting and telling others to support one of PIJ's admitted operatives; since CAIR has definitive ties to that operative; and since the PIJ operative in question has had involvement in the murder of Americans abroad, does that not make CAIR guilty of providing aid and comfort to the enemy or worse?
CAIR's March with Hamas
This past year, CAIR was linked to Hamas, during a federal trial which ran from July through October of 2007. Court documents [pdf] from the trial prove that CAIR was created as being part of the Palestine Committee, a group led by then-head of Hamas, Mousa Abu Marzook, whose mission was to raise money for Hamas from American shores. The trial named leaders of another member organization of the Palestine Committee, the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development (HLF), as defendants. [IAP was also a member group.]
On March 1, 2008, Americans Against Hate (AAH), a group that this author is Chairman of, sponsored a rally against CAIR's usage of a government-owned facility in Broward County, Florida. During the event, a CAIR-Florida representative named Jawhar "Joe" Badran stated his feelings about Hamas.
Into a microphone bearing CAIR's logo and name, whilst standing next to the Executive Director of CAIR-Florida Altaf Ali, caught on camera for the world to view, Badran declared the following incredible statement, "Hamas is not a terrorist organization." As well, at the rally, he proclaimed, "Hamas is a defender of the Palestinian people. That's what Hamas is." And "Hamas is better than Fatah, because there's no corruption. Hamas takes care of the people."
Less than a week after CAIR's statements about Hamas were uttered, on March 6th, a terrorist attack took place at the Mercaz Harav yeshiva, in Jerusalem, carried out by a resident of the city, Alaa Hisham Abu Dhaim. The attack left eight students dead, each from gunshot wounds. All but one of those murdered were teenagers, including a 16-year-old American citizen named Avraham David Moses.
Following the attack, the military wing of Hamas, Ezzedeen Al-Qassam Brigades, issued a press release calling the incident a "heroic martyrdom operation" and stating that more attacks like it are to follow. Hamas originally took credit for the attack (which may have been coordinated with one or more terror groups), and a number of arrests regarding it followed, including that of the shooter's father, Maan, a former Hamas member.
Question number two: Since Hamas is found on the U.S. State Department's list of Foreign Terrorist Organizations (FTOs); since CAIR has been named by the U.S. government as being a part of Hamas; since CAIR has publicly stated its support for Hamas and has claimed that Hamas is not a terrorist organization; and since Hamas was implicated in an attack that extinguished the life of an American boy, only days after CAIR's pro-Hamas statements were voiced; does that not, as well, make CAIR guilty of providing aid and comfort to the enemy or worse?
In answering the two questions, one must take into account the fact that, for 14 years, CAIR has existed as a thorn on American society, continuing even as its officials and affiliated groups either rot in prison or fade into obscurity. However, CAIR's recent and very public support for terrorist groups reveals a certain desperation and defiant challenge to those in our government who are no longer oblivious to the organization's disquieting agenda, and this can only mean that its demise is closer. Perhaps by next March the group with the terror-filled history will finally be history.