This item is available on the Militant Islam Monitor website, at

US Rep Joe Sestak to speak at CAIR Philly banquet with Edward Peck who met with terrorists on CNI "political pilgrimage" in '06

Former Navy admiral Sestak helps legitimise terror linked group by appearence at CAIR event
February 25, 2007

MIM: Readers are urged to call and fax Congressman Joe Sestak and tell him that it is unacceptable to speak for a Saudi funded front group for Hamas and remind him that Senator Barbara Boxer recently rescinded an award to CAIR because of their terrorism ties. It should also be noted that former Ambassador Edward Peck, his fellow featured speaker is affilated with the Council for the National Interest. In 2006 Peck went on the CNI "Political Pilgrimage" to the Middle East and met with terrorist leaders Mahmoud Al Zahar,.the Hamas leader in Gaza, Khaled Ma'aschal leader of Hamas in Syria, Hizbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah in Lebanon and the Bassan Kuntar, the brother of the terrorist child killer Samir Kuntar.

The story about Senator Barbara Boxer's rescinding of the CAIR award made national headlines after investigative journalist Joe Kaufman alerted her to CAIR's terrorism ties:

"...Last November, the head of the local chapter of a Muslim American civil rights group was honored by Sen. Barbara Boxer with a certificate "in recognition of (his) outstanding service..."

"...We made a bad mistake not researching the organization," Boxer told The Bee. "My organization created this problem -- I caused people grief, and I feel terrible, yet I need to set the record straight and I'm setting the record straight."

Boxer said she'd heard nothing negative about Elkarra or the Sacramento chapter: "If individuals are doing great work, I commend them personally, but not in the context of the organization."

After Elkarra received the award, Boxer said she was checking news online when an account linking her to CAIR and its alleged pro-terrorist activities "popped up. ... I said, 'Wait a minute, is any of it accurate?' "

Boxer said her staff came up with "a whole laundry list of things," including what she said was CAIR's unwillingness to condemn Osama bin Laden by name or condemn the Palestinian organization Hamas. She added, "several of them (CAIR officials) have been indicted."

Boxer's communications director, Natalie Ravitz, cited news stories detailing the convictions of two individuals, Ghassan Elashi and Ismail Royer.

Elashi, a founding board member of the Texas Chapter of CAIR, was sentenced in October to 80 months in prison for engaging in financial transactions with Hamas leader Musa abu Marzook.

Royer, a CAIR communications specialist between 1997 and October 2001, was indicted in 2003

on charges that he and 10 others were part of a conspiracy to support jihad overseas and sentenced to 20 years...

MIM: Call or write U.S. Representative Joe Sestak to do the right thing by repudiating CAIR and exposing their terrorism ties.

Joe Sestak

photo, Representative Joe Sestak

Washington D.C. Office

1022 Longworth House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515
Phone: (202) 225-2011
Fax: (202) 226-0280

District Office

600 N. Jackson Street
Suite 203
Media, PA 19063
Phone:(610) 892-8623
Fax:(610) 892-8628

email Congressman Sestak.

CAIR-PA's First Annual Banquet

American Muslims: Connecting and Sharing

Featured Speakers: Dr. Edward Peck,
Congressman Joe Sestak, 7th District

April 7, 2007 at 5:30 pm
Hilton Philadelphia,
4200 City Avenue

Download Banquet Flyer (85KB)

MIM: Several hours after a journalist called Congressman Sestak's Philadelphia office and cited Senator Barbara Boxer's rescinding of an award to CAIR on the grounds they were tied to terrorism the poster was altered. Three of the four names of the speakers were removed leaveing only Joe Sestak's.

MIM: The announcement below was posted on a Muslim events calender website. It lists the three other speakers whose names were removed from the above event poster after media inquiries and phone calls were made to Sestak's office urging him not to speak at the fundraiser. Note that it says the CAIR banquet is in 31 days which means the notice was posted within the last 48 hours. This proves that listing only Sestak's name is an attempt to hide the identities of the other speakers who were on the poster originally and that they will be at the fundraiser too.

What: Fundraiser Event, "First CAIR Philly Banquet"
When: Saturday, April 07, 2007 (in 31 days) at 5:30:00 PM
Metroplex: Philadelphia, PA
Where: CAIR-Pensylvania 1218 Chestnut Street; Suite 510 Philadelphia 19107 Directions
Who: Edward Peck, Br. Rafael Narbaez, Dr. Pervez Ahmed
Sponsored by CAIR-PA

CAIR Named as a Defendant in 9/11 Terror Lawsuit

December 30, 2004

A class action lawsuit in the name of John P. O'Neill, Sr., stemming from the 9/11 atrocity, has named the Council on American-Islamic Relations as a defendant. (For those confused about the multiple 9/11 court cases, there is help on the way at Here are the paragraphs of Estate of John P. O'Neill, Sr. et al. vs. Al Baraka Investment and Development Corporation dealing with CAIR's role in the events of September 11, 2001, from the second amended class action complaint, filed today:

86. Council on American Islamic Relations and CAIR Canada (collectively, CAIR), have aided, abetted, and materially sponsored and al Qaeda and international terrorism. CAIR is an outgrowth of the Hamas front group the Islamic Association of Palestine. The FBI's former associate director in charge of Investigative and Counter-Intelligence Operations described the Islamic Association of Palestine as an organization that has directly supported Hamas military goals and is a front organization for Hamas that engages in propaganda for Islamic militants. It has produced videotapes that are very hate-filled, full of vehement propaganda. It is an organization that has supported direct confrontation.

87. CAIR and CAIR-Canada have, since their inception, been part of the criminal conspiracy of radical Islamic terrorism. These organizations play a unique role in the terrorist network. They emanate from the notorious HAMAS terrorist organization and like so many of the terrorism facilitating charities named and indicted by the United States government they are engaged in fund raising under the guise of assisting humanitarian causes they are, in reality, a key player in international terrorism. The unique role played by CAIR and CAIR-Canada is to manipulate the legal systems of the United States and Canada in a manner that allows them to silence critics, analysts, commentators, media organizations, and government officials by leveling false charges of discrimination, libel, slander and defamation. In addition, 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.

88. The role of CAIR and CAIR-Canada is to wage PSYOPS (psychological warfare) and disinformation activities on behalf of Whabbi-based [Wahhabi-based, DP] Islamic terrorists throughout North America. They are the intellectual "shock troops" of Islamic terrorism. In the years and months leading up to the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001 these organizations were very effective in helping to ensure that North American law enforcement and intelligence officials were sufficiently deaf, dumb, and blind to help pave the way for the attacks on the United States. The role played by these entities is an absolutely essential part of the mix of forces arrayed against the United States as they help soften-up targeted countries so as to facilitate and enhance the likelihood for a successful attack.

Comment: (1) This filing explicitly ties CAIR to "the criminal conspiracy of radical Islamic terrorism" that carried out 9/11, a first to the best of my knowledge.

(2) If the suit is successful, CAIR (1) will have been legally tied to Al-Qaeda and (2) will be partially responsible for damages amounting to US$100 billion.

(3) This filing, when added to Anti-CAIR's counter suit, suggest that despite CAIR's growing litigiousness, it will find itself legally more on the defensive than the offensive in coming months. (December 30, 2004)

Aug. 15, 2005 update: The plaintiffs in Estate of John P. O'Neill, Sr., et al. v. Al Baraka, et al. have provided more specifics today in their "Amended RICO Statement Applicable to Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) and CAIR-Canada," a 22-page document. It contains new information (for example, concerning Mohammad Nimer) and new claims. Some excerpts (the first and last of these are the most dramatic and novel):

[CAIR] knew that the Enterprise in which it was participating, Radical Muslim Terrorism, and/or al Qaida and/or the International Islamic Front for the Jihad Against Jews and Crusaders, planned to and would commit an act of deadly aggression against the United States in the near future, using the resources and support supplied by CAIR. (p. 4)

CAIR agreed to form and associate with the Enterprise and agreed to commit more than two predicate acts, i.e., multiple acts of murder and arson. (p. 5)

Radical Muslim Terrorism, and/or al Qaida and/or the International Islamic Front for the Jihad Against Jews and Crusaders, does not feature a centralized hierarchy, because the lack of a centralized hierarchy is essential to the Enterprise's clandestine nature and its success. Thus, although al Qaida, for example, had its own membership roster and a structure of "committees" to guide and oversee such functions as training terrorists, proposing targets, financing operations, and issuing edicts, the committees were not a hierarchical chain of command but were instead a means for coordinating functions and providing material support to operations. CAIR fit neatly into this framework by raising funds for and providing funding to an otherwise providing material support for the members of the Enterprise who engaged in the Attack [on 9/11]. (pp. 6-7)

The Enterprise conducts terrorism all over the world; the racketeering activity conducted by CAIR funds that activity, which activity culminated in the Attack. (p. 7)

After being turned out of the Sudan in May 1996, al Qaida established itself in Afghanistan, and relied on well-placed financial facilitators, including CAIR, who laundered funds from Islamic so-called charities and corporations and raised money from witting and unwitting donors. (p. 8)

The money raised from these various sources (the "Funds"), including CAIR, were used by the Enterprise to accomplish its goals, with the knowledge and awareness of CAIR, of both those goals and the uses to which the Funds were put. (p. 9)

CAIR has long provided financial support and other forms of material support to terrorist organizations including Radical Muslim Terrorism, or the al Qaida, and/or the International Islamic Front for the Jihad Against Jews and Crusaders. (p. 12)

the true purpose for CAIR is to legitimize the activities of Islamic militants and to neutralize opposition to Islamic extremism. They serve as perception management in support of Radical Muslim Terrorism, and/or al Qaida, and/or the International Islamic Front for the Jihad Against Jews and Crusaders. (p. 12)

As the foregoing demonstrates, CAIR thereby knowingly has, for a period of many years, provided critical financial and logistical support to al Qaida, and/or Radical Muslim Terrorism, and/or the International Islamic Front for the Jihad Against Jews and Crusaders, to support the terrorist organization's global jihad. The September 11th Attack was a direct, intended and foreseeable product of CAIR's participation in the jihadist campaign for al Qaida, and/or Radical Muslim Terrorism, and/or the International Islamic Front for the Jihad Against Jews and Crusaders. (pp. 19-20)

Sep. 30, 2005 update: The "Plaintiffs' More Definite Statement as to Defendant Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) and CAIR-Canada" has just been filed with the U.S. District Court, Southern District Of New York, and it spells out in great detail the connection between CAIR and the 9/11 conspiracy. It is too long to post here, so I have posted it complete in Adobe Acrobat format.


MIM: Speaking together with Representative Sestak is Rafael Narbaez. He is a convert to Islam who is dedicated to 'jihad through da'wa' i.e.getting others to do become Muslims.He is president of the American Ansar Foundation. Narbaez was among those who made a propaganda tape for the Hamas linked Sound Vision multimedia company called "Communicating Allah's Message". On his bio for the tape he explained that "Muslims in America are performing Jihad everyday".

Communicating Allah's Message
Produced by Dr. Ihsan Bagby, Br. Abdul Malik Mujahid, Br. Rafael Narbaez
Three speakers share the why's and how-to's of Dawa in America

Rafael Narbaez, a former Jehovah Witness minister who accepted Islam discusses how Jihad is a word that comes attached to negative connotations, particularly in the West. Muslims' responsibility is to convey the right meaning of this noble word.

Narbaez points out how Muslims in America are performing Jihad everyday and gives an analogy of an army general who chooses the best all-round soldiers in the front lines.

MIM: In a da'wa documentary titled "Choosing Islam" former pastor Narbaez asserts that Jesus was a Muslim:

This documentary is collage of interviews and images recorded by Sound Vision over a period of three years. It features people from different ethnic, religious and cultural backgrounds who have chosen Islam for themselves. It features, Rafael Narbaez a former pastor of Jehovah's Witness. Born and raised in Texas, from a Hispanic family. Grew up as a Catholic and then as a Jehovah's Witness, started reading the Quran for the better understanding of the Bible, but as he started reading the Quran it helped him understand Islam. Mr. Narbaez is a very animated speaker, it is fun to watch his lectures and speeches. "Jesus was a Muslim, the word Islam means, submission to God, what did Jesus do other than that."

"...This video is about one hour long and is excellent for Dawa..."

MIM: Here is a web bio for Narbaez's scheduled appearence at the Islamic Association of Greater Detroit:

Guest Speaker: Br. Rafael Narbaez

Br. Rafael is an American Muslim activist that has traveled extensively throughout the United States and Canada speaking on Islam from an American Muslim perspective. A former Christian minister who embraced Islam in 1991, Br. Rafael has worked tirelessly to further awareness and understanding of Islam in the U.S. He is the Founder and President of the American Ansar Foundation — an organization dedicated to assisting Muslims in their struggle to become productive members of American society. He is director of a national grassroots organization called Americans for Worldwide Justice. He serves as the Executive Manager of the Muslim Speakers' Bureau of North America; an organization that procures Muslim speakers for lectures, seminars, conventions and other speaking engagements. He is also the Chairman for the Muslim Advisory Board for Hospice of Michigan.


MIM: Paul Findley, the director of the Council for the National Interest, is an admirer of Bin Laden. He also worked together with the Bin Laden funded Achmed Deedat (A cleric based in South Africa) and attended a conference organised by the latter's Islamic Propagation Center International which is housed in a building which was known the Bin Laden Centre until they changed it after 9/11. Findley and Deedat are both featured on a videotape titled " Is Israel- Set Up for Destruction?"

"Outsiders do not seem to recognize that bin Laden is one of the pre-eminent heroes of Afghans, occupying a role similar to the Marquis de Lafayette, a Frenchman who fought at the side of the Colonials during America's Revolutionary War." Paul Findley

MIM: Eugene Bird, while on "political pilgrimage" organised by The Council for the National Interest ( aka The Council to Nuke Israel) met with terrorists in the Middle East.

Among them was Bassam Kantar (sic) the brother of Samir Kuntar. The Archille Lauro terrorist attack in which wheelchair bound Leonard Klinghoffer was thrown overboard and drowned in front of his wife was aimed at freeing Kuntar from prison. (It was masterminded by Abu Abbas of Fatah). In 1979 Kuntar murdered 4 year old Israeli Einat Haran by smashing her head on a rock after shooting her father, Danny Haran to death in front of her eyes. Another child was suffocated in hiding when Kuntar and other terrorists broke into the family's appartment. Kuntar is considered a national hero in Lebanon and was given honorary citizenship in the P.A.

The following in the words of Smadar Haran, the wife and mother of Kuntar's victims:

"Abu Abbas, the former head of a Palestinian terrorist group who was captured in Iraq on April 15, is infamous for masterminding the 1985 hijacking of the Italian cruise ship Achille Lauro. But there are probably few who remember why Abbas' terrorists held the ship and its 400-plus passengers hostage for two days. It was to gain the release of a Lebanese terrorist named Samir Kuntar, who is locked up in an Israeli prison for life. Kuntar's name is all but unknown to the world. But I know it well. Because almost a quarter of a century ago, Kuntar murdered my family.

It was a murder of unimaginable cruelty, crueler even than the murder of Leon Klinghoffer, the American tourist who was shot on the Achille Lauro and dumped overboard in his wheelchair. Kuntar's mission against my family, which never made world headlines, was also masterminded by Abu Abbas. And my wish now is that this terrorist leader should be prosecuted in the United States, so that the world may know of all his terrorist acts, not the least of which is what he did to my family on April 22, 1979.

It had been a peaceful Sabbath day. My husband, Danny, and I had picnicked with our little girls, Einat, 4, and Yael, 2, on the beach not far from our home in Nahariya, a city on the northern coast of Israel, about six miles south of the Lebanese border. Around midnight, we were asleep in our apartment when four terrorists, sent by Abu Abbas from Lebanon, landed in a rubber boat on the beach two blocks away. Gunfire and exploding grenades awakened us as the terrorists burst into our building. They had already killed a police officer. As they charged up to the floor above ours, I opened the door to our apartment. In the moment before the hall light went off, they turned and saw me. As they moved on, our neighbor from the upper floor came running down the stairs. I grabbed her and pushed her inside our apartment and slammed the door.

Outside, we could hear the men storming about. Desperately, we sought to hide. Danny helped our neighbor climb into a crawl space above our bedroom; I went in behind her with Yael in my arms. Then Danny grabbed Einat and was dashing out the front door to take refuge in an underground shelter when the terrorists came crashing into our flat.

They held Danny and Einat while they searched for me and Yael, knowing there were more people in the apartment. I will never forget the joy and the hatred in their voices as they swaggered about hunting for us, firing their guns and throwing grenades. I knew that if Yael cried out, the terrorists would toss a grenade into the crawl space and we would be killed. So I kept my hand over her mouth, hoping she could breathe. As I lay there, I remembered my mother telling me how she had hidden from the Nazis during the Holocaust. "This is just like what happened to my mother," I thought.

As police began to arrive, the terrorists took Danny and Einat down to the beach. There, according to eyewitnesses, one of them shot Danny in front of Einat so that his death would be the last sight she would ever see. Then he smashed my little girl's skull in against a rock with his rifle butt. That terrorist was Samir Kuntar.

By the time we were rescued from the crawl space, hours later, Yael, too, was dead. In trying to save all our lives, I had smothered her..."

MIM: In 2006 Nasrallah demanded the release of Kuntar as part of a deal to release the 2 captured Israeli soldiers.

Nasrallah: No Deal Without Kuntar

A special envoy dispatched by UN Secretary General Kofi Annan will arrive in the region next week to begin mediating between Hizbullah and Israel on a possible prisoner swap, the leader of the terrorist group said in an interview televised Tuesday.

In the interview with the Qatar-based Al-Jazeera channel, Sheik Hassan Nasrallah vowed not to approve any prisoner exchange deal unless it included the release of Samir Kuntar. Kuntar, the longest-serving confirmed Lebanese prisoner in jail in Israel, is serving multiple life terms for the killing of three members of the Haran family and that of policeman Eliyahu Shahar in a raid on Nahariya in 1979.


CNI Delegation to Palestinian Elections and Neighboring Countries

Press Release

January 17, 2005

A seven-member CNI-led observer mission to the Palestinian Legislative Council elections on January 25th, including Ambassadors Edward Peck and Robert Keeley, is scheduled to leave Washington on Thursday, January 19th. The mission's eighteen-day trip will include stays in all five neighboring countries: Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Syria, and Lebanon. The delegation will meet with top government officials and leading opposition figures in Palestine and neighboring countries to assess the accelerated development of democratic institutions and their impact on U.S. long-term interests in the region.

Members of the observer team will be available for limited interviews before, during and after the trip, and raw audio and video footage will be available for interested media organizations. The mission will be in the Jerusalem area from January 24th, through the elections on January 25th, and for several days after. Independent filmmaker Chris Belcher, who also accompanied last year's observer delegation for the Palestinian presidential election, will accompany them.

A 39-minute documentary on last January's presidential election and observer tour, titled "5,367: An Election in Jerusalem," is now available, and we are circulating it to PBS and direct satellite stations. The number 5,367 relates to the 5% of eligible Palestinian voters in East Jerusalem permitted by Israel to register and vote there in January 2005. It is a fascinating and current documentary on elections under occupation. The entire documentary can be viewed online at the following website: 5,367: An Election in Jerusalem

The mission's seven participants include

- Ambassador Edward Peck, Former U.S. Chief of Mission in Iraq and Mauritania; Former Deputy Director, Cabinet Task Force on Terrorism, Reagan White House

- Ambassador Robert Keeley, Chairman, CNI Foundation; Former U.S. Ambassador to Mauritius, Zimbabwe, and Greece; Former President, Middle East Institute in Washington, DC

- Eugene Bird, President of CNI; Former U.S. Counselor of Embassy in Saudia Arabia

- Dr. Hassan Fouda, Former Assistant Director, Global Research and Develpoment, Pfizer, Inc.

- Peter Viering, Family Law Attorney, Stonington, Connecticut

- Elizabeth Viering, Activist on Middle East affairs

- Chris Belcher, Alchymedia, Documentary filmmaker

The Council for the National Interest was founded in 1989 to encourage and promote a U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East that is consistent with American values, protects our national interests, and contributes to a just solution of the Arab-Israeli conflict, as well as to restore a political environment in America in which voters and their elected officials are free from the undue influence and pressure of a foreign country, namely Israel.

MIM:Below : Eugene Peck being welcomed by Bashir Assad with other CNI members in Syria

Members of the Council for the National Interest completed an 18-day "political pilgrimage tour" to the Middle East January 21 - February 5, 2006, with the purpose of participating an international observers in Palestine during the legislative council elections on January 25. The delegation observed the elections in Gaza, the only American team to be there. It also visited five other countries -- Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Syria and Lebanon, and met with president, prime ministers, and top government and opposition figures.

This page records documents and important moments from the tour. Links have been provided to listen to streaming videos on For hardcopies of any of the transcripts, please feel free to download ...

Members of the Delegation
Bios of the Participants

List of Interviews
Dr. Mahmoud al-Zahar, Hamas Leader (Gaza)
Edited Transcript
Khalid Mashaal, Hamas Political Head (Damascus)
Edited Transcript
Shaikh Nayef Rajoub, Hamas MP (Hebron)
Edited Transcript
Amr Mousa, Secretary General Arab League
Mohammad Dahlan, Fatah Leader
Yoram Binur, Israeli Journalist, Channel 2 TV
Janet Mikhail, Mayor of Ramallah
List of those interviewed during the Trip

Press Releases
January 17, 2006
January 25, 2006
January 31, 2006
February 10, 2006
March 8, 2006



January 21 - 23: Cairo

January 23 - 25: Gaza

January 26 - 28: Jerusalem, West Bank, Israel

January 29 - 30: Amman

January 31 - February 2: Damascus

February 3 - 5: Beirut

Photo Gallery
A collection of photographs from the trip, including Dr. Mahmoud al-Zahhar, Khaled Mishaal, Emile Lahoud, Hassan Nasrallah, Nayef Rajoub, Janet Mikhail, and others.

Final Report
(available in pdf format for downloading)

Members of the Delegation in Damascus: (l to r) Gene Bird, Ambassador Robert Keeley, Hassan Fouda, President Bashar al-Assad, Elizabeth Viering, Peter Viering, Ambassador Edward Peck

Council for the National Interest Political Pilgrimage to the Middle East

January 22 – February 5, 2006

Members of the Tour:
Ambassador Edward Peck
Ambassador Robert Keeley
Eugene Bird, president, Council for the National Interest
Peter Viering
Elizabeth Viering
Dr. Hassan Fouda
Christopher Belcher


Amr Mousa, Secretary General, Arab League
Essam el-Erian, Islamic National Conference
Gamila Isma'il, al-Ghad movement, wife of former leader Ayman Nour, who is in jail
Nagui Ghafatri, new head of al-Ghad
Heba Raouf, Civil Society Organization
Abdel Monem Ali Sayed, al-Ahram Center for Political and Strategic Studies
Muhammad Mursi, NDP Party official, Mustafa Abdel Ghaffar, al-Jumhuriyya
Fahmy Howeidy, Journalist, al-Ahram
Amira Howeidy, journalist, al-Ahram
Frank Ricciardoni, US ambassador

Mahmoud al-Zahar, Hamas leader in Gaza
Muhammad Dahlan, Fatah leader
Diana Buttu, Mahmoud Abbas's office

Saeb Erikat, Fatah Party, former chief Palestinian Negotiator
Yoram Binur, Israeli Channel Two Television
Janet Mikhail, mayor of Ramallah
Shaikh Nayef Rajoub, Hamas leader, Hebron
Khalid Amayreh, Journalist, Al-Jazeera
Sonia Robbins, and other members of the Christian Peacemaking Team in Hebron

Shaikh Raed Salah, Islamic Movement in Israel
Yehuda Shaul, Executive Director, Breaking the Silence
Angela Godfrey Goldstein, International Committee against House Demolitions

Mordecai Vanunu, nuclear whistleblower
Jill Baker, archaeologist, Albright Institute
Thomas Hopkins, People Peace Initiative
Jeff Halper, International Committee against House Demolition

Ziad Abbas Shamrouch, Director of Ibdaa Cultural Center, Dheisheh Refugee Camp
Dr. Abdellatif Arabiyat, former Parliament member

Bashar al-Assad, President of Syria
Farouk Sha'ara, Foreign Minister of Syria
Khaled Misha'al, Hamas leader
Stephen Seche, American charge d'affires

Emile Lahoud, President of Lebanon
Fouad Siniora, Prime Minister of Lebanon
Fawzi Salloukh, Foreign Minister of Lebanon
Walid Jumblatt, Druze leader and head of the Progressive Socialist Party
Hassan Nasrallah, Secretary General of Hezbollah
Bassam Kantar, brother of the longest held Lebanese detainee in Israeli jails (BR Note Samir Kuntar's brother).
John Waterbury, President, American University in Beirut
Khalil Fleyhan, a,l-Nahar Newspaper
Daily Star Editorial Board Members:
Hanna Anbar, Hanan Nasser, Maysson Zaaoura
Jeffrey Feltman, American ambassador to Lebanon


MIM: The CNI's 'open letter to President Bush' advocates talking to terrorists (euphemistically referred to as 'nationalists') who they claim would like to have a 'rewarding' (read financially beneficial) relationship with the United States (and will tell them what they want to hear) upon the condition that the can still carry out acts 'liberation' i.e. terrorism with impunity.

"...It is our hope that you and your people concerned with Middle East policy will take these criticisms of the lack of a dialog with Islamic nationalists seriously.... We believe that the Islamic nationalists in Palestine and the Arab World are sincere in desiring a mutually rewarding association with the United States, but not at the expense of their freedom and liberation from occupation.


February 13, 2006

Mr. President

The undersigned are members of a delegation from the Council for the National Interest and served as Election Observers in Gaza. Before, during and after that successful completion of free and fair democratic elections under heavy military occupation, we met with citizens, opposition leaders, and government officials there, and in the West Bank, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Syria and Lebanon.

The purpose of this letter is to report our principal conclusions, and urge careful consideration of a significant and potentially highly beneficial modification of our current policies.

Mr. President, the governments and peoples of the Arab Middle East are openly and seriously concerned at the perceived lack of truly meaningful public dialogue with the United States. It is for this reason that our visit has been given extensive coverage in the Arab media, and we have been received by Presidents and Prime Ministers. The highly pervasive desire to be openly engaged in ongoing bilateral discussion and negotiation is almost palpable. Unfulfilled, that desire generates additional obstacles to the successful resolution or reduction of existing issues.

The widespread view from here is that America is far more interested in issuing instructions and demands than it is holding far less provocative meetings which might possibly accomplish the same objectives. No country has ever appreciated, or reacted positively to being told in public what to do or not do, and certainly not when the statements contain implicit threats. Occasional visits by lower-ranking officials do nothing to diminish an impression of arrogance combined with a profound lack of understanding. Neither of these traits is ever productive; combined they do serious damage to relations.

The governments and people here, without exception, view the Israeli occupation of Palestinian lands as the core issue that must be resolved immediately, in accordance with all existing UN resolutions that will incorporate justice for both sides. A band-aid approach to this region does not work.

They are convinced, with good reason, that the U.S. is not an honest broker. The U.S. call for democratic reform does not seem sincere. It is believed throughout the Middle East that U.S. goals are to demonize Islam, exploit the oil resources of this region, and protect Israel from any criticism, especially when its actions are completely counter to declared American principles.

Our unwavering military, economic and political support for Israel makes us appear responsible for its actions.

None of the Islamists we interviewed showed any sympathy for Al Qaeda's agenda, and in fact are committed to civil and political accountability through the electoral process. One of the Hamas leaders went so far as to declare, "We are not the Taliban." Your blanket statements about "radical Islam" paint all Islamic nationalist movements as identical with Al Qaeda, thus strengthening the hand of those who are clearly intent on doing harm to the US, and effectively preventing any dialogue with those who have shown their commitment to democratic practice and institutions.

We are convinced that a more visible and truly meaningful program to engage the nations of this vital area in high-level, ongoing discussions and negotiations would make significant contributions, to the much-needed repair of our severely damaged image as well as to the advancement of our interests and objectives. More attentive listening and less peremptory lecturing has always been a better way, everywhere. At this time, in this region, it is urgently needed.

We believe our key point is reasonable, relevant and cost free. Talks require time, to consider the issues, and nothing further. They present an opportunity to modify positions for mutual benefit. If we openly engage in genuine dialogue with the governments in the Middle East, there is at least the possibility of solving some problems. If we do not, then all of the problems will remain – and grow. The costs of genuine discussion are minimal; the possible benefits are considerable. The alternative situation, which exists now, leads to the exact, highly undesirable opposite result.

It is our hope that you and your people concerned with Middle East policy will take these criticisms of the lack of a dialog with Islamic nationalists seriously. We sincerely hope you will urge congressional leaders to oppose efforts currently underway in Congress to deny all aid to the Palestinian people now that they have exercised their democratic free will. We believe that the Islamic nationalists in Palestine and the Arab World are sincere in desiring a mutually rewarding association with the United States, but not at the expense of their freedom and liberation from occupation.


Ambassador Robert Keeley, Chairman, Council for the National Interest Foundation
Ambassador Edward Peck, Washington, DC
Eugene Bird, President, Council for the National Interest
Peter Viering, Attorney, Stonington, Connecticut
Elizabeth Viering, President, Stonington Real Estate Company
Dr. Hassan Fouda, Scientist, Pfizer Corporation (Ret)
Christopher Belcher, Alchymedia, Washington, DC


CAIR: Islamists Fooling the Establishment:
By Daniel Pipes and Sharon Chadha
Middle East Quarterly | March 8, 2006

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.[1] 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."[2] 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."[3]

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."[4] 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."[5] 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.

Part of the Establishment

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.

Terrorists in Its Midst

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."[6]

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.

Links to Hamas

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)[7] 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.[8]

Impeding Counterterrorism

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."[9]

Apologizing for Islamist Terrorism

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."[10] It labeled the extradition order for suspected Hamas terrorist Mousa Abu Marzook "anti-Islamic" and "anti-American."[11] 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, 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."

Ties to Extremists, Left and Right

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.

Foreign Funding

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"[1] 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,[2] announced at a press conference in Saudi Arabia that it "was extending both moral and financial support to CAIR" [3] 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."[4] 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."[5]

Despite these many foreign sources, CAIR still claims to receive no funds from outside the United States.

An Integral Part of the Wahhabi Lobby

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."[6]

Muslim Supremacism

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."[7] 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.[8]

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."[9] 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.[10]


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 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. 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."

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.[11] 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 Establishment's Failure

The few hard-hitting media analyses of CAIR generally turn up in the conservative press.[12] 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.[13]

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.[14] 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?

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[1] 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.

[2] 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.

[3] "WAMY Spends SR12m on New Mosques," Middle East Newsfile, Dec. 23, 1999.

[4] Arab News, Dec. 23, 1999.

[5] Financial Times (London), Mar. 28, 2002.

[6] Dallas Morning News, Feb. 5, 2005.

[7] Star Tribune (Minneapolis), Apr. 4, 1993.

[8] Personal communication from Michael Medved, Oct. 21, 2004.

[9] 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.

[10] Orlando Sentinel, Feb. 23, 2004.

[11] See, for example, The New York Times, May 12, 2005; The Washington Post, May 12, 2005; and Los Angeles Times, May 12, 2005.

[12] 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.

[13] "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

[14] CAIR's DC office is required to make its Form 990 available to the public upon request.

This item is available on the Militant Islam Monitor website, at