An advertisement in the new issue of the Weekly Standard is most welcome to those who argue the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) inflates its support among American Muslims. The ad notes that U.S. government officials have been "mostly baffled by extremism among American Muslims," a state best illustrated by past, warm relations with CAIR:
"We, the undersigned American Muslims, have long known the true character of CAIR and its allies."
The FBI broke off most contacts with CAIR last summer and has indicated "certain issues" must be resolved by CAIR leaders before its access is restored. Those issues appear connected to evidence in the terror-finance trial of the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development (HLF) which ended with the conviction of five men on 108 counts related to Hamas-support last November. Sentencing is scheduled for late May.
Evidence in the trial places CAIR founders in pivotal conversations among members of a secret Hamas-support network in the U.S. Other transcripts indicate CAIR was a direct outgrowth of that network.
The advertisement It was placed by the Center for Islamic Pluralism and signed by four center officials – President Kemal Silay, Executive Director Stephen Suleyman Schwartz, fellow Imaad Malik, Nawab Agha Mousvi and Southern Director Jalal Zuberi. Joining them were Supna Zaidi, an assistant director at Islamist Watch, M. Zuhdi Jasser, founder of the American Islamic Forum for Democracy, Khalim Massoud of Muslims Against Sharia, Kiran Sayyed of the Council for Democracy and Tolerance, and Shia.Protest@yahoo.com.
Under the heading "American Muslims Commend FBI for Rejection of CAIR," the group explains the reasons it supports the FBI move. Among them:
· " We observe their commitment to radical aims, their attempts to chill free speech by calling critics of radical Islam "Islamophobes," and their false, ugly accusations against moderate American Muslims who disagree with their agenda.
· We reject any claim that CAIR and its supporters are legitimate civil liberties advocates or appropriate partners between the U.S. government and American Muslims."
Click here to see the entire ad.