After the London Bombings that occurred in July, 2005, a coalition of Muslim groups, including CAIR (Council on American-Islamic Relations), got together and issued a "fatwa" which purported to condemn “extremism and terrorism” generally. This statement, the first Muslim press release of its kind, came a mere three and a half years after 9/11. After its issuance, CAIR went on to chant the mantra: “Islam is a Religion of Peace; Islam is a Religion of Peace.”
Yet, the PSA did not condemn any particular terrorist groups or countries that tyrannize, oppress, or behead people in the name of Islam, nor did it condemn any specific individuals. Indeed, it failed to even acknowledge that the global war on terror in which we now find ourselves has the remotest connection to Islam. After all, any crazy person can commit a violent act and say he did for any reason he made up, right? In this case, I suppose, any crazy countries, or crazy organizations with cells worldwide, and crazy individuals, can all commit similar acts claiming the same reason (fundamentalist Islam,) and that doesn’t mean it’s actually related to Islam because, well, Islam is a religion of peace. So evidently, entire governments worldwide just so happen to have the identical delusion.
Question: Is Islam a religion of peace?
My answer is: I don’t know and I don’t care. I don’t pretend to be an expert on Islam; I just want the terrorism to stop.
Those not of the Muslim faith see two groups of Muslims: one—made up of peaceful law-abiding citizens who say theirs is the true Islam—The other the Wahabbists, the fundamentalists, the “extremists” as some put it, who are beheading people, crashing planes into buildings, stoning and oppressing women, and chanting to Allah all the while. Obviously, not all Muslims are terrorists. But to pretend that none of them are, or that the pattern of heinous and murderous acts that the murderers themselves claim are acts of faith–whether it be jihad as martyrs to Allah or compliance with Sharia law, is just plain insanity.
So, if Islam is truly a religion of peace, it seems to me that those who practice the religion of peace would be in complete accord with me and millions of others around the planet when we shout: Stop the beheading! Stop the tyranny! Stop blowing up planes and buildings and railroads! Seems like a pretty uncontroversial statement, huh? Yet, the silence was deafening after 9/11 by the Muslim community as a whole, and by groups like CAIR in specific. There was virtually nothing to counter the dancing and celebration that took place in the Muslim communities in NJ after the attacks.
So what does CAIR care about? CAIR is by far the largest Muslim interest group in this country. Their focus is on real, imagined, feared, or made-up incidents of anti-Muslim discrimination. They, along with other groups, hold conferences informing the Muslim community of their “rights”, counseling them and providing action campaigns to make sure that no one utters a word implying that some Muslims might not be peace-loving. I’ve watched some of these conferences on TV. While death and destruction is occurring around the globe by those who purport to share the same faith, the focus at these conventions is “me, me, me”. “Please don’t call me names.” “Please don’t think bad things about me.” And, the pleas are backed up with threats, intimidation, and questionable funding sources.
For example, recently, WMAL conservative radio talk show host, Michael Graham, aired four consecutive days of programming expressing his belief that “Islam is a terrorist organization.” I don’t agree with his statement and I believe it is inaccurate because it wrongly implies that every person who signs onto that faith has terrorist motives. However, Michael Graham is not an anchor and his show does not constitute “news”. Rather, it’s talk radio. He stated, “This is my opinion. Call me and tell me why I’m wrong.” Everyone offended by his comments had a full and fair opportunity to rebut them. Isn’t this what we want? Open debate on controversial subjects? His statement implying that all Muslims are terrorists were no more accurate than CAIR’s statements insisting that all Muslims are peace-loving. Nevertheless, CAIR went on a mission – – first to get Graham suspended – and ultimately to get him fired, and they succeeded. They mounted a letter writing campaign to both the station manager and to the show’s advertisers with the goal of shutting down the debate. Indeed, shutting down the debate and whitewashing the issues is, I believe, the real mission of CAIR and its allies.
If we can’t talk about a problem, then we can’t identify it; if we can’t identify it, we can’t go after it. The whole thing is a mission designed – intentionally or unintentionally – to tacitly support the bad guys by mounting a propaganda campaign insisting that the Emperor is indeed wearing clothes.
Is it possible that CAIR is not bad, but just misguided? Well, first let’s look at the “information” they provide. It issues an annual report on the status of Muslim civil rights in the US, listing all the incidences of discrimination against Muslims and purported miscarriages of justice. However, according to Daniel Pipes, renowned expert on Middle East issues and on radical Islam, upon closer investigation, you will find that much of the information CAIR puts out is inaccurate. For example, there was an incident where a Muslim’s store was burned down, only for it to be later revealed that the owner of the store committed arson in order to collect insurance. CAIR did not retract that report. There were numerous other inaccuracies in the report as well, according to Pipes and co-author Chada, as explained in their article titled, “CAIR’s Hate Crimes Nonsense” published May 18, 2005. The more research you do, the more you find out who CAIR really is at its core.
From its inception, CAIR was funded with seed money donated by the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development (HLF), according to Joe Kaufman, author of “A Night of Hamas Heroes”, published on March 8, 2004. But recently, pursuant to the Patriot Act, the Bush administration froze HLF’s assets because it was funding terrorism. Now, although CAIR claims to get its money from private donations (and it does get those as well), a significant part of its funding comes from Saudi Arabia, according to Daniel Pipes’ July 5, 2003, column titled, “CAIR’s Saudi Masters”. Not coincidently, it is a Saudi teaching to propagate the idea that Islam is one and that it is a religion of peace. Saudi Arabia–religion of peace–Saudi Arabia–religion of peace. Hmmm. You do the math.
And, what about the leaders of CAIR? As of Aug. 15, 2005, up to six of CAIR’s leaders have either been indicted, convicted, deported or otherwise implicated on terrorism charges. So, is it possible, as some might proclaim, that all of this is a coincidence–the funding–the terrorist leaders – the silence after 9/11 – the failure to condemn specific terrorist countries or terrorist groups? Is it possible that CAIR is merely being labeled guilty by association when in truth it is white as snow? I’ll let you decide for yourself.
In my humble opinion, the right thing for CAIR to do would be to stop focusing on “poor us, poor us”, to admit there’s a problem within their religion, and then to distinguish themselves. They could easily accomplish this by stating how horrible it is that some sects of Islam are promoting and committing terrorist acts, and by loudly condemning those committing or preaching acts of hatred. They could distinguish themselves by ensuring that Mosques and Madrassas, which teach hatred and violence will be preaching to empty seats. They could ban together with Christians and Jews to fight the War on Terrorism. Were they to do these things, the need for anti-discrimination conferences would automatically diminish. People would see that not all Muslims are terrorists. By their fruits they would demonstrate that most Muslims are peace-loving, law-abiding, and hate terrorism just as much as the rest of us. But to date, CAIR has not made such an endeavor. So, CAIR might really care. But as far as I’m concerned, they care about the wrong thing.