Two days after the release of a CAIR report claiming to expose the network financing “Islamophobia”, Charles C. Johnson ran his own report documenting CAIR’s convoluted financing schemes.
While the CAIR report attempted to stigmatize terrorism research by reporting on the straightforward funding of organizations and individuals such as Robert Spencer; the Johnson report showed that CAIR, described by the Justice Department as an unindicted co-conspirator in financing terrorism, had engaged in convoluted methods to conceal its financing sources while laundering money from abroad.
Unlike the groups it is targeting, whose language and ideas it criticizes, CAIR went well beyond words, doing everything from helping fund terrorists to obstructing government investigations of terrorism.
Despite its theatrics, CAIR’s Islamophobia report showed nothing except that American organizations researching Islamic terrorism were funded by other Americans. The Johnson report however showed that CAIR had received millions from foreign governments, including Qatar which is notorious for funding terrorist groups like Hamas, and used a shell game to hide the foreign sources of its financing.
CAIR’s attempt to smear terrorism researchers, many of whom have paid a great deal of attention to its terrorist ties, has an obvious motive. It is not reporting on bigotry as a national phenomenon. Instead its report is a clumsy attempt at silencing its critics by denouncing them as bigots.
The targets of the CAIR Islamophobia report include not only terrorism researchers, but also Muslim groups like the American Islamic Forum for Democracy that have been critical of CAIR and its Saudi backers in the past, as well as Voice of the Copts, an organization advocating for the rights of Coptic Christians persecuted by the Muslim Brotherhood.
CAIR, like Hamas, was created by the Muslim Brotherhood. Its attempt to silence liberal Muslim critics and the Coptic Christians whose churches it is burning down as “Islamophobes” is self-serving cynicism.
But the dishonesty doesn’t end there. CAIR’s critics, including Ayaan Hirsi Ali, a feminist and ex-Muslim, are smeared with out of context quotes.
CAIR’s Islamophobia report claims that Ayaan Hirsi Ali “asserted that Breivik ‘had no other choice but to use violence’ because his ‘views were censored.’” The very Think Progress source that CAIR footnotes the quote with however shows her saying, “He says, he had no other choice but to use violence.”
The omission is important. Ayaan Hirsi Ali isn’t giving her own view; she’s quoting Breivik while calling him abhorrent, but warning that silencing people is not the answer.
David Yerushalmi gets the same treatment with CAIR’s report claiming that “Yerushalmi also says he finds truth in the view that Jews destroy their host nations like a fatal parasite.” The full quote has Yerushalmi speaking of the anti-Semite who “simply professes to uncover the many and varied ways Jews destroy their host nations like a fatal parasite.”
The only possible defense for such a brand of malicious quote mangling is sheer incompetence. And the CAIR Islamophobia report is so sloppily put together, its 136 pages packed with so many errors, that it’s clear that the millions of dollars from Qatar, Saudi Arabia and other Gulf oil terror sponsors did not go to fund its research department.
For example, CAIR attacks Dr. Zuhdi Jasser’s Third Jihad film by claiming that “Police Commissioner Ray Kelly called it ‘wacky’”. In fact it was Deputy Commissioner Paul Browne who said that. The report mentions him later, but manages to misspell his name as “Brown”. CAIR has spent a great deal of time attacking the NYPD, but can’t even be bothered to check its own claims against its own footnotes.
CAIR lazily revives the Breivik smear charging that “Breivik repeatedly quotes Robert Spencer, Walid Shoebat, Pamela Geller, the ‘Gates of Vienna’ blog and Daniel Pipes.” In fact, Breivik often pasted massive documents into his 1,500 page manifesto without regard for individual quotes. Most of the Spencer quotes came from a single pasted document that also quoted Tony Blair and Condoleezza Rice.
CAIR acts as if its report should be treated as a fact-based analysis and an urgent call to action by elected officials, when it is little more than a collection of dishonest attacks against its critics that relies on secondhand smears assembled by those incapable of taking the time to get even the most basic facts right.
That’s not surprising because CAIR is clearly not in the fact business. Challenging a report on mosque radicalization from the American Freedom Law Center, it responds by quoting a Southern Poverty Law Center blog post that mocks the organization. This Mean Girls style of journalism recurs throughout the report as CAIR smears its critics with petty attacks from allied organizations instead of countering them with fact-based rebuttals.
It’s obvious why CAIR wants to silence its critics; because it is incapable of debating them.
Despite CAIR’s efforts, its latest report has been largely ignored even by the media. The Sacramento Bee ran two press releases, likely paid, from CAIR. Aside from Middle Tennessee Public Radio, the Detroit News, the Religion News Service and the Oklahoma Gazette, its report went mostly unnoticed.
It may have been a matter of bad timing.
CAIR’s report was not only released a few days before the far more damning Johnson report, but also released two days after a Justice Department report criticizing the FBI for not maintaining proper distance from CAIR “to ensure that the FBI is not supporting individuals who support extremist or terrorist ideologies.”
There’s nothing that deflates an organization’s claim that its critics are Islamophobes like a Justice Department report telling the FBI that it needs to curtail non-investigative interactions with CAIR.
And the bad timing didn’t end there. The CAIR report slammed Congresswoman Michelle Bachmann’s criticism of Mohamed Elibiary. Then Elibiary took to Twitter to blame Coptic Christians for promoting Islamophobia after changing his Twitter picture to include the R4BIA symbol of the Muslim Brotherhoodthugs who were murdering Coptic Christians in Egypt.
CAIR’s report attempts to silence the critics calling attention to such atrocities and to their root causes in the Islamic Supremacism of the Muslim Brotherhood.
After the Muslim Brotherhood’s carnage, some of its former members and leaders have broken with the organization. Unfortunately CAIR insists on sticking to the same ideological commitments that originally landed it a spot as an unindicted co-conspirator in the funding of a Muslim Brotherhood terrorist group.
Instead of breaking with the Muslim Brotherhood, CAIR has redoubled its efforts to smear terrorism researchers, Muslim liberals and Coptic Christians as Islamophobes. Even as its money laundering is exposed, as the FBI is rebuked for including it in its outreach efforts, it retreats behind the walls of a fortress of “Islamophobia” accusations.
CAIR might do well to consider the fate of its Muslim Brotherhood parent organization. All the Muslim Brotherhood’s lies couldn’t keep the Egyptian people from waking to what it truly stood for. Does CAIR really believe that what didn’t even work in Egypt will somehow work in America?
Daniel Greenfield is a columnist writing on terrorism, socialism and all things politically incorrect. He is a Shillman Journalism Fellow and lives in New York City.