"The Truth About CAIR"
by Steven Emerson
March 14, 2007
Multimedia for this item
SEAN HANNITY: Yesterday, a cameraman for the Christian Broadcasting Network was kicked out of a press conference hosted by the group CAIR, the Council on American-Islamic Relations. The event was supposed to be open to all media.
CAIR had this to say about the ejection. Quote, "CAIR excludes CBN crews from our news conferences, which are private events, because of that network's long history of Islamophobic bigotry."
But the group that claims to advocate tolerance is not exactly practicing what it preaches. In fact, our next guest says that CAIR pushes radical rhetoric and not tolerance.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
NIHAD AWAD, CAIR EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR: "We are not shy to support the Palestinian resistance against occupation. It is a legitimate God-given right. This is what happened in Palestine and the Palestinians are using legitimate means of resistance. We should not be shy about it…"
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HANNITY: Joining us now, terrorism analyst Steve Emerson here. Seems just hypocritical, first of all, on the surface, Steve.
STEVE EMERSON, TERRORISM EXPERT: Well, listen, Sean, the history of CAIR is one of the biggest scams in the United States history. It is a group that was created by Hamas in 1993, '94. It was founded with monies coming from Saudi Arabia , including two groups connected to terrorism. Three of its incorporators were connected to groups that were officially designated as terrorist entities or officially connected to terrorist entities.
And it has consistently defended Islamic terrorists, rationalized acts of terrorism, espoused anti-Semitism by endorsing or sponsoring conferences with jihadists, issuing anti-Semitic references. And it has been involved with countering every single prosecution of an Islamic terrorist as somehow an act of anti-Islam. They have a problem here; they are a front for radical Islam.
HANNITY: Why do they get then a pass? And I've looked at the history and all the controversial figures. I haven't connected the money as well as you have. You're saying that, from the very beginning, they were funded by these groups?
EMERSON: Absolutely. In 1993, there was a secret meeting in Philadelphia where wire taps were conducted by the FBI of Hamas officials that were plotting to carry out fundraising for Hamas. They decided to create a front organization. That front organization was CARE. Nihad Awad was one of the participants.
HANNITY: Who funds it now?
EMERSON: Who funds it now? Americans, plus Saudi Arabia, plus United Arab Emirates, plus Kuwait , plus Prince Talal. Mr. Awad goes to the World Assembly of Muslim Youth.
HANNITY: Why have they gotten a pass, then, in the media? Why haven't these controversial figures that have been associated with this group, why hasn't this been exposed beyond people like yourself and talk radio and the new media?
EMERSON: Good question. The "New York Times" today had a front page story, above the fold, which I can tell you was the most dishonest story I have ever read in my 25 years of reporting or writing about Islamic terrorism. They refused to report on the fact of where the money came from. They quoted people, like Michael Rolince, a former FBI agent who is now on the speaking lecture circuit for radical Islamic groups, as somehow saying that all of these allegations are McCarthy-esque.
In fact, none of them are McCarthy-esque. We have the evidence showing that CAIR has been involved directly in defending terrorists and in defending...
ALAN COLMES: You're playing a game of guilt by association here, Steve. And, by the way...
EMERSON: There's no guilt by association, Alan, please.
COLMES: Also quoted in that article was the head of the FBI office in Los Angeles, Steve Tidwell, who says that CAIR said at a dinner last year in November that the group is an important link to the Arab-American community, and you can't underestimate their significance, because they're probably the biggest Arab-American group in the United States.
EMERSON: And what he failed to admit was the fact that Senator Schumer and Senator Durbin both admitted on the record in 2003 that CAIR was linked to terrorists and that the former assistant director of FBI counterterrorism, Steve Pomerantz, said they were linked to terrorism. Where were those quotes?
COLMES: When you say "linked," what do you mean "linked"? What's the evidence? What do you mean?
EMERSON: Wait a second now. Where were those quotes in the article, Alan?
COLMES: What does "link" mean, though? I want to know what you mean by "link."
EMERSON: Linked means that they were involved. These were people -- Mr. Awad himself is on record as saying, "I am in support of Hamas," OK? He has also been on record of championing the rights of Mousa Marzook, a man, who contrary to the "New York Times," was found to be guilty of conspiring to carry out acts of violence against...
COLMES: This is the game of guilt by association, when they refer to as McCarthyism.
EMERSON: Alan, you're pulling over the wool over your eyes claiming McCarthyism.
COLMES: I would like you to say, why are we not critical of the Saudis?
EMERSON: There's no McCarthyism, Alan. That's an outrageous...
COLMES: The Saudis, that are embraced by the Bush administration, and Dubai that also supports this organization...
EMERSON: This is like saying that David Duke is guilty of McCarthyism. This is like saying David Duke is guilty of racism, and that's a McCarthy tactic.
The fact is, these are statements that he himself has made, that CAIR officials have made. Let me tell you, reveal something for the first time: Ismail el-Royer (ph), a full-time CAIR official, within days of 9/11, organized a group of individuals while he was on CAIR's payroll to go fight against Americans in Afghanistan . And he was convicted of that. And that's something that cannot be disproven, because it was revealed in grand jury testimony.
COLMES: All right, can you explain to me, Steve, why the people who embrace the Bush administration, who claims to be so tough on terror, don't criticize their relationship with Saudi Arabia ? But you criticize CAIR's relationship with Saudi Arabia . You criticize CAIR's relationship with Dubai , another big contributor, by the way, that wanted to buy our ports. And now that's where Halliburton is moving, Dick Cheney's old company. I don't hear that kind of criticism. You want to connect those dots? Why don't those dots get connected?
EMERSON: You don't hear that absence of criticism from me. You heard a straightforward, consistent criticism. I've been criticizing Saudi Arabia and their support of terrorism and their foundations, like WAMY, or the Muslim World League, which have given money to CAIR. They've paid for their buildings. They've paid for their foundations.
And the fact of the matter is, Alan, the way that you excuse it is inexcusable.
HANNITY: All right. Appreciate you being with us. Thanks, Steve. And we'll see you again soon. Thank you.