Prosecutors have produced scores of documents, audio and videotapes, and intercepted phone calls in their attempt to prove that a Muslim charity based in a suburban Dallas office park was actually a fundraising arm of Middle Eastern terrorists….. …..The 1991 bylaws of a group called the Palestine Committee say it was created to be the highest authority on “work for the Palestinian cause on the American front.” The committee was led by Mousa Abu Marzook, later deported to Jordan and labeled a terrorist by the U.S. government. The committee oversaw a number of former and current Muslim organizations in the United States. One was Holy Land, which was shut down in December 2001 and is accused of being a fundraising front for Hamas. Five of its former leaders are on trial in Dallas, charged with sending more than $12 million in illegal aid to Hamas. Another was the Islamic Association for Palestine, which closed in 2004 after a federal judge found it and then-defunct Holy Land liable in the killing of an American teenager in Israel by Hamas gunmen. And a third was the Council on American-Islamic Relations, or CAIR, which has emerged as a leading advocacy group for American Muslims. For the first time, evidence in the case put CAIR’s founder, Nihad Awad, at a Philadelphia meeting of alleged Hamas supporters that was secretly watched and recorded by the FBI. The groups had overlapping rosters of leaders. Documents introduced by prosecutors in the Holy Land trial list several of the charity’s leaders as officials in the Islamic Association for Palestine. Bank records show financial transactions between both organizations and Marzook, which prosecutors contend shows that Hamas invested seed money in the U.S. groups so they could then raise more funds for Hamas from American Muslims. Douglas Farah, author of Blood from Stones, a book on terrorists’ financial networks, said the document trail reveals something he and others had surmised but didn’t know for sure — that the groups were part of a coordinated strategy for raising money and support in the United States for radical Islamic groups, including Hamas. “It’s clear these groups grew out of an effort to carry out a specific strategy in the United States,” Farah said. “It’s in their own words, it’s a political infiltration that worked for 40 years.” Parvez Ahmed, chairman of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, denied that his group or its current or former leaders had any ties to Hamas. “That’s one of those urban legends about CAIR,” he said. “It’s fed by the right-wing, pro-Israeli blogosphere [its all my fault?]” Ahmed said the Philadelphia gathering attended by CAIR’s founder “was an open meeting of Palestinian activists who came together to discuss the Olso [actually the meeting was to discuss how to sabotage Oslo] peace accords and their struggle to gain a homeland.” One of the documents is a memo about the goals for the U.S. organization of the U.S. faction of the Muslim Brotherhood, whose members included some of the Holy Land leaders now on trial. The memo’s writer, Mohamed Akram, wrote that members of the Brotherhood “must understand that their work in America is a kind of grand Jihad in eliminating and destroying the Western civilization from within.”
As the pile of evidence against the Holy Land Foundation and its unindicted co-conspirators, you have to wonder why they remain unindiceted. It seems that each piece of evidence presented against Holy Land also implicates CAIR. At the very least the “news” networks should stop putting a CAIR talking head on the air every time there is a Muslim -related issue to discuss. Of course that will NEVER happen, there is really no one else to put on when the news networkswant to give the Muslim propaganda side of a story…well, except maybe Christiane Amanpour
It has been a bad week for the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR). The group that has so successfully presented itself to law enforcement and media organizations as a Muslim civil rights group is seeing a radically different portrayal of its motives and goals coming to light in the Holy Land Foundation terror charity trial in Dallas. The Associated Press reported Monday that prosecutors in that trial have produced documents establishing that CAIR was part of the Muslim Brotherhood’s Palestine Committee. This was a group led by Mousa Abu Marzook, who once served as chairman of the Hamas Political Bureau. CAIR co-founder Nihad Awad has been placed at a meeting of Hamas supporters – which really shouldn’t surprise anyone, since in 1994, the year CAIR was founded, Awad stated publicly, “I am in support of the Hamas movement.” CAIR Chairman Parvez Ahmed was dismissive, however, of the idea that CAIR had anything to do with Hamas. “That’s one of those urban legends about CAIR. It’s fed by the right-wing, pro-Israeli blogosphere.” Unfortunately for Ahmed, however, the Holy Land trial itself was making this position ever more difficult to sustain. One document that has come to light at the trial sets out goals for the Muslim Brotherhood in the United States, “whose members,” according to AP, “included some of the Holy Land leaders now on trial.” The memo urges Brotherhood members in the U.S. to “understand that their work in America is a kind of grand Jihad in eliminating and destroying the Western civilization from within.” Of course, CAIR would deny having any such agenda. CAIR officials have met with Presidents Clinton and Bush, and have long had the ear of the mainstream media. It has even conducted sensitivity training seminars for FBI agents. But the troubling aspects of its record are becoming increasingly well known. Shortly after 9/11, CAIR’s website called for donations for the Holy Land Foundation (under a photo of the burning World Trade Center towers), the same charity that is now on trial for funneling money to Hamas. Consistent also with the Brotherhood memo is the now-notorious and controversial statement of CAIR’s cofounder and former Board Chairman Omar Ahmad. In 1998, he told a Muslim audience that “Islam isn’t in America to be equal to any other faith, but to become dominant…The Koran, the Muslim book of scripture, should be the highest authority in America, and Islam the only accepted religion on Earth.” Although Ahmad now denies saying this, the reporter who witnessed his speech stands by the accuracy of her story. CAIR spokesman Ibrahim Hooper has himself said something similar: “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.” Several CAIR officials, including its Community Affairs Director, Bassem Khafagi; a Board member of CAIR’s Texas chapter, Ghassan Elashi; a communications specialist and civil rights coordinator for CAIR, Randall Todd Ismail Royer; and fundraiser Rabih Haddad have been convicted of various terrorism-related offenses. No current CAIR official has ever explained how these people were able to find work with the organization in the first place if it is really the moderate civil rights organization it claims to be. CAIR is also involved in the notorious Flying Imams lawsuit. The “Flying Imams” are six imams who are suing US Airways because they were removed from a flight for suspicious behavior. They also originally brought suit against the passengers who reported them, although after immense public pressure they dropped this part of their suit. Still, the damage was done: after the wide publicity their suit against the passengers received, fewer people will dare without hesitation to report suspicious behavior in an airport or airplane. And jihad terrorists will be the principal beneficiaries. The lawyer for the Flying Imams is Omar T. Mohammedi, who as of 2006 was president of CAIR’s New York chapter. Is the Flying Imams lawsuit, with its chilling effect on the reporting of suspicious behavior, part of a “grand Jihad in eliminating and destroying the Western civilization from within”? Maybe it isn’t. But longtime observers of the tactics and activities of the Council on American Islamic Relations, up to and including its officials’ repeated and adamant refusals to condemn Hamas and Hizballah as terrorist groups, can reasonably see in CAIR a pattern of behavior entirely consistent with this goal. CAIR, if it truly does not wish to see the destruction of Western civilization, has a chance now to demonstrate this by abandoning its strategies of legal intimidation and the bullying of its critics, and beginning to work honestly for the defense of that civilization. Will it take that opportunity?