Hamas and Hizzoner
By John Perazzo
FrontPageMagazine.com | March 5, 2003
It probably wouldn't fly too well if the mayor of our nation's largest city appointed, to a panel responsible for enforcing anti-discrimination laws, a member of a militant, white supremacist group ideologically sympathetic to the notion that our country should return -- by any means necessary -- to the days of Jim Crow. Surely political leaders and civil rights activists from coast to coast would clamber to find microphones and news cameras before which they could righteously thunder their disapproval of such an appointment; undoubtedly the national media would be all over such a story. It seems, however, that organizations composed of nonwhite, "politically correct" bigots do not ignite a similar passion in the breasts of our society's masters of moral preening. What else could explain the dearth of attention given to New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg's recent appointment of Omar Mohammedi, general counsel to the New York chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), to his city's Human Rights Commission?
As Middle East scholar Daniel Pipes points out, the Washington-based CAIR, founded in 1994, "presents itself as just another civil-rights group" - cultivating an image of moderation that enables it to garner "sizable donations, invitations to the White House, respectful media citations, and a serious hearing by corporations." The organization's goal, CAIR spokesman Ibrahim Hooper says benignly, is to promote "interest and understanding among the general public with regards to Islam and Muslims in North America."
But the reality is something not nearly so benevolent, and Americans ought to become aware of it. CAIR is a direct outgrowth of the Islamic Association of Palestine (IAP). According to Oliver Revell, the FBI's former associate director of Counter-Intelligence Operations, the IAP "is an organization that has directly supported [the Palestinian terror group] Hamas' military goals. It 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." Such roots can hardly be considered "moderate," and as we examine CAIR more closely, what we see only gets uglier.
CAIR's founder and executive director, Nihad Awad, was the IAP's public relations director with a long history of extremism. Awad openly praised Iran's notorious Ayatollah Khomeini. He blasted the trial and conviction of the 1993 World Trade Center bombers - against whom the evidence of guilt was overwhelming - as "a travesty of justice." At a 1994 Barry University forum, he candidly stated, "I am in support of the Hamas movement."
The IAP's current president, Rafeeq Jaber, was a founding director of CAIR. Mohammed Nimer, who directs CAIR's Research Center, was on the board of the United Association for Studies and Research, which is the strategic arm of Hamas in the US and was founded by Hamas operative Mousa Abu Marzook. The aforementioned Ibrahim Hooper, CAIR's Director of Communications, also worked for the IAP. To this day, he refuses to publicly denounce Osama bin Laden. He euphemistically ascribed the 1998 bombings of two American embassies in Africa to a "misunderstanding of both sides." He dismisses the Sudanese Islamic government's enslavement and torture of millions of black Christians and animists during the past two decades -- to say nothing of its slaughter of some two million more -- as mere "inter-tribal hostage-taking." He makes no secret of his desire to see America one day become a Muslim country. "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," he told the Minneapolis Star Tribune. "But I'm not going to do anything violent to promote that. I'm going to do it through education."
Such sentiments echo those of CAIR chairman Omar M. Ahmad, who in July 1998 told a crowd of California Muslims, "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." In a similar vein, CAIR board member Imam Siraj Wahaj calls for replacing the American government with a caliphate, and warns that America will crumble unless it "accepts the Islamic agenda." Wahaj, it should be noted, served as a character witness for Sheik Omar Abdel Rahman, the Muslim cleric convicted for his role in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing; the same cleric who was busy devising plans to blow up American landmarks, buildings, and bridges; the same cleric whose conviction CAIR called a "hate crime" against Muslims. And even though Wahaj was listed as an un-indicted co-conspirator in Rahman's case, CAIR now permits him to sit on its advisory board, deeming him "one of the most respected Muslim leaders in America."
CAIR has been the mouthpiece of some of the vilest anti-Semitism imaginable. For example, the organization co-sponsored a 1998 Brooklyn College rally at which a militant Egyptian Islamist led the attendees in chanting, "No to the Jews, descendents of the apes." Hussam Ayloush, who heads CAIR's Los Angeles office, contemptuously refers to Israelis as "Zionazis."
Over the years, a good portion of CAIR's funding came from a group called the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development (HLF). Yet when President Bush closed the HLF in December 2001 upon learning that it was raising money to support Hamas terror attacks, CAIR reacted with its characteristic petulance and indifference to American interests. Calling Bush's move "unjust" and "disturbing," the group circulated a petition exhorting the government to unfreeze HLF assets -- charging that "there has been a shift from a war on terrorism to an attack on Islam."