Docstoc

Council_on_American-Islamic_Relations

Document Sample
Council_on_American-Islamic_Relations Powered By Docstoc
					From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Council on American-Islamic Relations

Council on American-Islamic Relations
Muslims who claim discrimination, profiling or harassment.[1] Controversy has arisen over the size of CAIR’s membership. Based on their 2006 annual budget report, the Washington Times estimated that CAIR has less than 1,700 members, and that based on their tax report figures, their membership declined by more than 90% between 2001 and 2007.[8] CAIR denies this report and attributes the discrepancy in budget and membership to recent free and low-cost membership drives. According to CAIR, some 10,000 people attended CAIR fundraising events in 2007 alone. Also, the number of chapters has increased from 8 to 33 since 2001. Tax reports show about two dozen donors are donating $1-2 million total per year.[9] As of March 2008 the CAIR web site had a 2006 annual report available.[10] According to CAIR, the group works in close cooperation with other civic and civil liberties groups such as the American Civil Liberties Union, Amnesty International, NAACP, Hispanic Unity, Organization of Chinese Americans, Japanese American Citizens League, Sikh Mediawatch, Jewish Council on Urban Affairs, and Resource Task Force, among many others.[1] In 2003, the Ohio chapter of the ACLU gave its annual Liberty Flame Award to the Ohio chapter of CAIR "for contributions to the advancement and protection of civil liberties."[11] CAIR also says that it has successfully formed a partnership with the National Council of Churches and held discussions with representatives of the National Association of Evangelicals.[7] CAIR has been critical of a number of U.S. criminal prosecutions, arguing, for example in one of many cases, that Sheikh Omar Abdel-Rahman, deemed the ringleader of the World Trade Center bombing in 1993, and convicted of conspiring to blow up the Lincoln Tunnel and other New York City landmarks, did not receive a fair trial.[12] In July 2008, CAIR chairman Parvez Ahmed announced his resignation.[13]

Logo The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) is an organization that was created in June 1994; its professed goals are to enhance understanding of Islam, promote justice and empower American Muslims."[1][2] In its work, the group has been a party to lawsuits,[3] testified before the United States Congress,[4] and met with President George W. Bush.[5] Supporters of CAIR’s mission and functioning consider it to be an important entity in defending the rights of Muslims in the United States. Maya Harris, executive director of the A.C.L.U in California, has described CAIR as "a leading organization that has advocated for civil rights and civil liberties in the face of fear and intolerance, in the face of religious and ethnic profiling,”.

Overview
Headquartered in Washington, D.C., with 35 regional offices and chapters in the U.S. and Canada, CAIR was founded in 1994 by Nihad Awad, Omar Ahmad, and Rafeeq Jaber. Jaber was national president (1994-2005) and chairman of the Islamic Association of Palestine.[6] CAIR’s literature describes the group as a "leading advocate for justice and understanding", a mission which includes promoting the understanding of Islam,and protecting Muslim civil liberties. Their stated core principles include supporting freedom of religion, protecting the civil rights of everyone, and encouraging inter-faith dialogue. CAIR believes that "the active practice of Islam strengthens the social and religious fabric of our nation."[7] The group says that it has intervened on behalf of many American

1

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Council on American-Islamic Relations
well as annual Civil Rights reports concerning issues like hate crimes, discrimination and profiling.[23] It also sponsors voter registration drives in communities and outreach and interfaith relations with other religious groups in America. After 9/11 CAIR created a "library project" which sold packages of educational books and tapes about Islam (over $300 worth per library) for donation to public libraries in the United States. In 2002 Saudi Prince AlWaleed bin Talal donated $500,000 to CAIR to support the program.[24] The Washington Times noted in 2003 that although CAIR claimed to have sent 37 packets to the Washington D.C. area, the city had received only one.[25] The libraryproject.org page was last updated in 2005 and the domain became defunct. In 2004 CAIR launched a "Not In the Name of Islam" petition in order to "disassociate the faith of Islam from the violent acts of a few Muslims." It encouraged Islamic organizations, mosques, and individuals to sign it. The petition repudiated terrorism and any group that committed such acts, citing a portion of the Quran that told believers to stand for justice even if it was against friends or family. [26] The petition was posted on CAIR’s homepage and garned over 691,591 signatures before being taken down in a sitewide renovation in 2007. [27] In 2005 CAIR coordinated the release of a fatwa (religious pronouncement) that stated in part, “Islam strictly condemns religious extremism and the use of violence against innocent lives. There is no justification in Islam for extremism or terrorism. Targeting civilians’ life and property through suicide bombings or any other method of attack is haram or forbidden - and those who commit these barbaric acts are criminals, not martyrs.”[28] In 2005, following retracted media reports of the desecration of the Quran at Camp Delta in the Guantanamo Bay detainment camp, as well as negative stereotypes against Islam in the media, CAIR started an "Explore the Quran" campaign, intended to promote understanding of the Quran by distributing complimentary copies to any interested member of the American public. In 2006, during the worldwide Muslim outrage over the publication of cartoons visually depicting Muhammad, CAIR responded by launching an educational program "Explore the Life of Muhammad" aimed at

Funding
In 1999, the Islamic Development Bank gave a $250,000 grant to CAIR to purchase land for a national headquarters.[14] In 2002, the World Association for Muslim Youth (WAMY), a Saudi government-funded organization, financed distributing books on Islam free of charge 2002 and an advertising campaign in American publications. This included a quarter page in USA Today each Friday, for a year, estimated to cost $1.04 million.[15] In 2003, Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal donated $500,000 to distribute the Qur’an and other books about Islam in the United States.[16] In 2006, Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai and UAE Minister of Finance and Industry, financed the building of a property in the US to serve as an endowment for the organization.[17] This gift is thought to generate income of approximately $3 million a year.

Projects
CAIR states that it promotes a positive image of Islam and Muslims in America through media relations, lobbying, education, and public advocacy. CAIR tries to get its voice represented in the media, and to present its views of issues in current events. Its members often appear on news programs involving Muslims in America and it is an often-cited source for journalists who are seeking input or a quote from Muslim leaders or the Muslim community.[18] CAIR has also been involved in litigation against critics, such as its defamation lawsuit against Andrew Whitehead, which was dismissed.[19] CAIR issues "Action Alerts" to its online subscribers to call attention to "hate crimes" or harsh statements against Islam and Muslims in the media.[20] Often, it will encourage a letter-writing campaign to ask politicians or editors to condemn hate speech. It also publishes positive reports of interfaith cooperation and examples of businesses that reach out to Muslims, and often asks the subscribers to write letters of gratitude to those leaders and companies.[21] CAIR also conducts research on the American Muslim community, releasing annual reports on public opinion and demographic statistics on the Muslim community[22], as

2

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
providing free copies of a DVD or book about the life of the Muhammad to any person who requests it. Over 16,000 requests were received as of September 2006. In June 2006, CAIR announced a $50 million project to influence the American media ($10 million per year for five years). According to the article, the project will be spearheaded by Paul Findley, a former US Congressman. Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal was going to be contacted to help fund the project.[29]

Council on American-Islamic Relations
terrorism charge, and that it took place after the period of his employment by CAIR.[36] According to The New York Times, several U.S. government officials "described the standards used by critics to link CAIR to terrorism as akin to McCarthyism, essentially guilt by association."[16] The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) has argued that CAIR’s credibility as a community relations agency promoting “justice and mutual understanding” is tainted because it is a spin-off of the Islamic Association for Palestine.[37] Boston Globe columnist Jeff Jacoby criticized CAIR in a 2007 column, calling them an "Islamist group" and claiming that CAIR Chairman Emeritus Omar Ahmad wishes Islam to reign supreme in America.[38] An Investor’s Business Daily editorial called CAIR "the PR machine of militant Islam" claiming that the organization purposefully sent "henchmen" to disrupt the first Secular Islam Summit.[39] Daniel Pipes alleges that CAIR attempts to suppress criticism of Islamic terrorism and intolerance through accusations of racism and anti-Muslim bias, and of deliberate deception in its claims to be a civil rights group.[40] American journalist Steven Emerson’s organization, The Investigative Project on Terrorism, has produced a series of articles on CAIR that contain similar accusations.[41] Critics have also taken aim at CAIR’s fundraising and sources of funds.[42] Steven Emerson testified before the US Senate that CAIR was founded with funding from the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development, an alleged "Hamas group".[43] In 2007 U.S. federal prosecutors named CAIR as one of several hundred Muslim "unindicted coconspirator" organizations in a plot to fund the designated terrorist organization Hamas, through the Holy Land charity.[44][45] The Holy Land Foundation was later closed as a money-laundering scheme for terrorist support, but in 2007 the case ended in a mistrial.[46] CAIR disputes allegations that it was started with "seed money" from the Holy Land Foundation.[36] Fox News reported that the FBI is severing its once-close ties with CAIR due to evidence of participation in planning meetings with the Holy Land Foundation. [47] CAIR denied that it conspired in the case and has sued unsuccessfully to have its name removed from the list of co-conspirators. CAIR

Complaints about media depictions of Muslims
CAIR has criticized several recent films and television shows featuring Muslim terrorists. For instance, it lobbied against the film The Sum of All Fears in a campaign lasting two years, during which time CAIR was in contact with Paramount Pictures and Mace [30] The campaign was ultimately Neufeld. successful and the Islamist terrorists which had featured in the original book were replaced with neo-Nazis in the film version.[2] CAIR also issued a complaint on September 29, 2005, following an ad for the Bell/Boeing CV-22 aircraft which portrayed soldiers storming a mosque.[31] The following day, Boeing sent a formal apology to CAIR, and Bell and the National Journal contacted CAIR to express their regret.[32] On January 26, 2006, CAIR issued a complaint following a segment on Los Angeles radio program The Bill Handel Show which allegedly mocked the deaths of Muslims in a recent Hajj stampede.[33] CAIR had been monitoring the program for "anti-Muslim material" and had previously filed complaints over another inflammatory incident in 2004, which resulted in a formal apology issued onair by the station (KFI).[34]

Criticism
Critics have accused CAIR of having ties to terrorist organizations, and of pursuing a radical Islamist agenda, citing as evidence five individuals with alleged ties to CAIR who have been convicted or deported for links to terrorist groups.[35] CAIR disputes this assertion, noting that only one of these individuals mentioned was ever employed by them, that his arrest was on a weapons charge and not a

3

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
also protested the FBI’s decision to sever relations. In a subsequent trial in the state of Texas, Ghassan Elashi, former Chairman of the Holy Land Foundation as well as the founder of the Texas chapter of CAIR,[48] was found guilty in November 2008 of charges including supporting a specially-designated "terrorist" organisation, money-laundering and tax fraud.[49] Criticism of CAIR is confronted by the organization itself. It claims that "even a cursory examination of the statements and agendas of our detractors will show that they represent the extremes in our society."[36] It also claims a meeting with the FBI where, according to CAIR, an agent allegedly said "false claims originate from one or two biased sources." These sources, according to CAIR, are primarily organizations such as Jihad Watch. According to CAIR, one senior FBI official said that CAIR will just have to live with what CAIR calls "urban legends".[36] Critics say that the organization and its leadership have ties to Islamic terrorist and Islamic supremacist organizations and ideologies.[16][42][50] In 2009, the FBI cut off contacts with CAIR, citing concerns about their relationship with Hamas. [51]

Council on American-Islamic Relations
http://leahy.senate.gov/press/200303/ 031203FOIASIGNON.htm. Retrieved on 2008-04-09. [5] "WhiteHouse.gov Press Briefing by Ari Fleischer". White House. http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/ releases/2001/10/20011001-4.html. Retrieved on 2008-04-09. [6] Richard H. Curtiss (October/November 1999). "Rafeeq Jaber: An Energetic Muslim Visionary and Fearless Palestinian-American Political Activist". Washington Report on Middle Eastern Affairs (American Educational Trust). http://www.washington-report.org/ backissues/1099/9910067.html. [7] ^ "Our Vision, Mission and Core Principles". Council on American-Islamic Relations. http://www.cair.com/AboutUs/ VisionMissionCorePrinciples.aspx. Retrieved on 2008-04-11. [8] Audrey Hudson (2007-06-11). "CAIR membership plummets". The Washington Times (The Washington Times, LLC.). http://www3.washingtontimes.com/ national/20070611-034232-5919r.htm. [9] "CAIR ACTION ALERT #514". Council on American-Islamic Relations. 2007-06-12. http://www.cair.com/DesktopModules/ Articles/ Print.aspx?ArticleID=9097&&mid=763. Retrieved on 2008-04-11. [10] "2006 Annual Report" (PDF). Council on American-Islamic Relations. http://www.cair.com/Portals/0/pdf/ 2006_Annual_Report.pdf. Retrieved on 2008-03-14. [11] "Ahmad Al-Akhras". CAIR National Board and Staff. Council on American-Islamic Relations. http://www.cair.com/AboutUs/ CAIRNationalBoardandStaff.aspx. Retrieved on 2008-04-11. [12] Jake Tapper (2001-09-26). "Islam’s flawed spokesmen". Salon.com (Salon Media Group, Inc). http://archive.salon.com/news/feature/ 2001/09/26/muslims. [13] Jacksonville.com [14] "IDB approves new projects worldwide". Royal Embassy of Saudi Arabia. 1998-08-15. http://www.saudiembassy.net/1998News/ News/ForDetail.asp?cIndex=1945. Retrieved on 2007-08-25. [15] Epstein, Matthew (2003-09-10). "Saudi Support for Islamic Extremism in the

See also
• Muslim Public Affairs Council • American Muslim Council • American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee • Arab American Institute • Islamic Information Center (IIC)

References
[1] ^ "25 Facts about CAIR: Did you know?". Council on American-Islamic Relations. http://www.cair.com/factsaboutcair.asp. Retrieved on 2007-08-25. [2] CAIR:About CAIR [3] "ACLU: Clients in the NSA Lawsuit". American Civil Liberties Union. http://www.aclu.org/safefree/nsaspying/ 23484res20060116.html. Retrieved on 2008-04-09. [4] "Senate.gov: Fix the critical information subtitle in the Homeland Security Act of 2002". US Senate.

4

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Council on American-Islamic Relations

United States". TERRORISM: TWO [37] "Council on American-Islamic Relations YEARS AFTER 9/11, CONNECTING THE (CAIR)". Anti-Defamation League. DOTS (United States Senate Committee 2008-01-28. http://www.adl.org/Israel/ on the Judiciary). cair.asp. Retrieved on 2008-02-16. http://judiciary.senate.gov/ [38] Jeff Jacoby (2007-03-21). "Defeating testimony.cfm?id=910&wit_id=2574. radical Islam". The Boston Globe. Globe Retrieved on 2007-11-04. Newspaper Company. [16] ^ Neil MacFarquhar (2007-03-14). "" http://www.boston.com/news/globe/ Scrutiny Increases for a Group editorial_opinion/oped/articles/2007/03/ Advocating for Muslims in U.S."". The 25/defeating_radical_islam. New York Times. [39] Today in Investor’s Business Daily stock http://www.nytimes.com/2007/03/14/ analysis and business news washington/ [40] Daniel Pipes; Sharon Chadha (Spring 14cair.html?ei=5088&en=f218b5bb420d4661&ex=1331524800&pagewanted=print. 2006). "CAIR: Islamists Fooling the [17] http://www.uaeinteract.com/news/ Establishment". Middle East Quarterly. default.asp?ID=178 UAE Official Web http://www.danielpipes.org/article/3437. site [41] Steven Emerson (2008-03-24). "Part 1: [18] The page cannot be found CAIR Exposed - As IAP Offshoot, CAIR [19] CAIR v. Whitehead | Citizen Media Law Followed Pro-Hamas Agenda From the Project Start". IPT News. [The Investigative [20] http://www.cair-net.org/ Project on Terrorism. default.asp?Page=archive&theType=AA http://www.investigativeproject.org/ [21] The page cannot be found article/621. [22] CAIR Reports and Surveys [42] ^ Steven Emerson (2007-03-28). "One [23] CAIR Civil Rights Reports Muslim advocacy group’s not-so-secret [24] Al-Walid Bin Talal donates half a million terrorist ties". The New Republic Online. for CAIR campaign in the USA The New Republic. [25] Washington Times - Libraries revisit http://www.steveemerson.com/ Islam article15.htm. Retrieved on 2007-04-08. [26] CAIR’s ’Not in the name of Islam’ [43] United States Senate Committee of Petition Banking, Housing, and Urban [27] August 2007 Archived version of CAIR’s Affairs"Money Laundering and Terror site prior to renovation Financing Issues in the Middle East." [28] release July 13, 2005 Accessed October 16, [29] Media Campaign in US to Dispel 2006. Islamophobia [44] Gerstein, Josh (2007-06-04). "Islamic [30] http://www.cair-net.org/ Groups Named in Hamas Funding Case". default.asp?Page=articleView&id=71&theType=AA New York Sun. The [31] http://releases.usnewswire.com/ http://www.nysun.com/article/55778. GetRelease.asp?id=54352 [45] Bill Gertz (2007-11-21). "CAIR seeks [32] [1] removal of label in terrorism case". [33] http://www.cair-net.org/ Washington Times (Washington Times). default.asp?Page=articleView&id=360&theType=AA http://www.washingtontimes.com/article/ [34] The page cannot be found 20071121/NATION/111210046/1002/ [35] [1] Pipes, Daniel (2006-04-21). "CAIR NATION. Backs Down from Anti-CAIR". [46] Judge declares mistrial in Muslim charity danielpipes.org. case - International Herald Tribune http://www.danielpipes.org/article/ [47] "FBI Cuts Ties With CAIR Following 3511. Retrieved on 2007-10-04. Terror Financing Trial". foxnews.com. [2] Singing CAIR’s Tune, On Your Dime 2009-01-30. http://www.foxnews.com/ [36] ^ "Urban Legends". Council on politics/2009/01/30/fbi-cut-ties-cairAmerican-Islamic Relations. 2007-01-19. following-terror-financing-trial. Retrieved http://www.cair.com/AboutUs/ on 2009-01-30. urbanlegends.aspx. Retrieved on [48] Gerstein, Josh (2007-06-04). "Islamic 2008-04-11. Groups Named in Hamas Funding Case". New York Sun (New York Sun).

5

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
http://www.nysun.com/national/islamicgroups-named-in-hamas-funding-case/ 55778/. [49] "US charity guilty in Hamas case". Al Jazeera (Al Jazeera). 2008-11-25. http://english.aljazeera.net/news/ americas/2008/11/ 20081124212126642596.html. [50] [1] Michael Isikoff; Mark Hosenball (2006-12-29). "CAIR Play?". Newsweek (Newsweek). http://www.newsweek.com/id/44338/ output/print. [2] Daniel Mandel (2006-03-13). "Crying wolf: is America a dangerous place for its Muslim citizens?". National Review (National Review). http://findarticles.com/p/articles/ mi_m1282/is_4_58/ai_n16359632. [3] Daniel Pipes; Sharon Chadha (Spring 2006). "CAIR: Islamists Fooling the Establishment". The Middle East Quarterly (Middle East Forum). http://www.meforum.org/article/916.

Council on American-Islamic Relations
[4] "CAIR and terrorism". The Washington Times (The Washington Times). 2004-07-04. http://goliath.ecnext.com/coms2/ gi_0199-529723/CAIR-and-terrorismEDITORIALS.html. [51] http://www.investigativeproject.org/ article/985

External links
• Council of American-Islamic Relations official site • CAIR Press Releases • Canadian Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-CAN) official site • Criticism of the Council on AmericanIslamic Relations Wikipedia entry

News articles
• Hassan, Javid. "Media Campaign in US to Dispel Islamophobia", Arab News, June 21, 2006

Retrieved from "http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Council_on_American-Islamic_Relations" Categories: Organizations established in 1994, Political advocacy groups in the United States, Charities accused of ties to terrorism, Non-profit organizations based in Canada, Civic and political organizations, Political organizations, American Islamic organizations, Advocacy groups, Islamic activist organizations This page was last modified on 7 May 2009, at 01:38 (UTC). All text is available under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License. (See Copyrights for details.) Wikipedia® is a registered trademark of the Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., a U.S. registered 501(c)(3) taxdeductible nonprofit charity. Privacy policy About Wikipedia Disclaimers

6


				
DOCUMENT INFO
Shared By:
Categories:
Tags:
Stats:
views:21
posted:5/20/2009
language:
pages:6