Last Friday night I went on Alan Colmes’ radio show to discuss Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney’s suggestion that American mosques be wiretapped. Romney was right, I said, because American Muslims had not taken any concrete steps to separate jihadists and those with jihadist sympathies from their ranks. Colmes invoked in reply the condemnations of terror by the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR). He chided me for not taking CAIR’s condemnation of terrorism at face value.
Yet what comes from CAIR is not always what it seems to be — as was illustrated this week by a misadventure in photo retouching at CAIR’s website. A photograph posted there depicted “leaders of the interfaith community.” One woman was shown with a hijab that had been crudely drawn on her head by a retoucher.
This isn’t the only example of CAIR airbrushing the truth:
1. CAIR’s material misleads non-Muslims about Islam.
The organization explains that jihad “is a central and broad Islamic concept that includes struggle against evil inclinations within oneself, struggle to improve the quality of life in society, struggle in the battlefield for self-defense (e.g., – having a standing army for national defense), or fighting against tyranny or oppression.”
Left unmentioned is the fact that throughout history, the mainstream Islamic understanding of jihad has always included the idea of offensive war against unbelievers to spread the hegemony of Islam. This can be readily established from all four major schools of Sunni Muslim jurisprudence, as well as from Shi’ite sources.
2. CAIR criticizes those who tell the truth about Islam.
CAIR attacked radio host Geoff Metcalf, who had told listeners that the Koran allows Muslims to lie to unbelievers. CAIR’s press release attacking Metcalf, however, carefully avoids saying that what Metcalf said was false. And it wasn’t: “Let not the believers take for friends or helpers unbelievers rather than believers. If any do that, in nothing will there be help from Allah; except by way of precaution, that ye may guard yourselves from them” (Koran 3:28). Koranic commentator Ibn Kathir explains that this verse teaches that if “believers who in some areas or times fear for their safety from the disbelievers,” they may “show friendship to the disbelievers outwardly, but never inwardly.” That’s deception. Nor was this the only time CAIR took someone to task for telling the truth about Islam.
3. CAIR has exaggerated data on anti-Muslim hate crimes.
According to journalist David Skinner, “It’s almost humorous what tiny offenses pass as worthy of complaint in the CAIR report. That a student at the University of Houston ‘saw flyers and posters with false and degrading statements about the Koran and the prophet Muhammad’ is apparently a civil rights matter. That a College Republican at Roger Williams in Rhode Island wrote in a student publication that ‘a true Muslim is taught to slay infidels’ is treated with similar gravity.” Then CAIR claims solemnly that anti-Muslim hate crimes have skyrocketed since 9/11.
4. CAIR has never come clean about itself.
Would CAIR like to see the United States become a Sharia state? CAIR board chairman Omar Ahmad said this to a Muslim audience in 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.” Ahmad has since then claimed that he was misquoted, but the reporter who heard him stands by her story. CAIR co-founder Nihad Awad has repeatedly declared his support for the terrorist group Hamas. Former CAIR communications specialist Ismail Royer is in prison for his role in the “Virginia jihad network.” Other former CAIR officials also languish in prison on terrorism-related offenses.
Why do Colmes and others in the mainstream media and many government organizations still give CAIR a free pass as a neutral civil rights group when its commitment to the truth is so manifestly tenuous? The Photoshopped hijab bears mute but eloquent witness to the real priorities of this organization. The sooner Colmes and his ilk wake up to this, the safer we will all be.