After a Texas man crashed his small plane into an Austin IRS office Thursday, the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) immediately labeled it an "act of terror." CAIR Executive Director Nihad Awad commented that "if a Muslim had carried out the IRS attack, it would have surely been labeled an act of terrorism." He added, "Whenever an individual or group attacks civilians in order to make a political statement that is an act of terror."
It may surprise you to read this here, but CAIR is right on all points. What is baffling is why CAIR so easily labeled this terrorism when it hesitates to use the label in cases where it is even more obvious.
Take CAIR's reaction to the Fort Hood shooting, for example. Immediately after the massacre, details began to emerge indicating that shooter Nidal Malik Hasan felt "Muslims should stand up and fight against the aggressor." A day after the shooting, in an interview on WNYC New York Public Radio, CAIR's Ibrahim Hooper said "We don't know what this guy's motivation was. He could have just snapped from some kind of stress."
It seems like the case of Nidal Hasan matches Awad's definition above perfectly, yet CAIR's press release did not mention that this was an act of terrorism. In fact, CAIR instead chose to call it "wanton and indiscriminate" violence. That ignores Hasan's political grievances as a motivation for his attack, just as Joseph Stack, who ended his suicide note/manifesto with this:
"I am finally ready to stop this insanity. Well, Mr. Big Brother IRS man, let's try something different; take my pound of flesh and sleep well."
CAIR also conspicuously avoided the "t"-word in its condemnation of the attempted Christmas Day bombing of a Northwest Airlines flight. CAIR preferred to refer to Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab as only the "bomber" and "perpetrator" in its press release.
CAIR is trying to cast Stack's IRS attack as a double standard in defining terrorism, yet it still is loathe to use the word in attacks involving Muslims. And we haven't even mentioned CAIR's stubborn refusal to call Hamas and Hezbollah terrorist groups.