Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn commended the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) -Chicago chapter Thursday in a message praising the chapter's upcoming annual banquet. "I congratulate CAIR-Chicago on another successful year of serving the needs of the Muslim population in Illinois, and for working toward ensuring justice and civil rights for all the communities you serve," Quinn said in an email message distributed to CAIR members.
Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan and Circuit Court Clerk Dorothy Brown also sent their best wishes to the CAIR chapter.
Meanwhile, in federal court, the Illinois State Police is defending itself from a lawsuit brought by CAIR on behalf of a Kifah Mustapha, who has helped raise money for the group. The state police rescinded an invitation for Mustapha to become its first Muslim chaplain after the Investigative Project on Terrorism reported on evidence showing he also raised money for a charity convicted of illegally supporting Hamas.
CAIR was named as an unindicted co-conspirator in that case, targeting the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development (HLF). While a federal judge ruled that the co-conspirator list never should have been filed publicly, he also ruled that CAIR's inclusion on the list is "appropriate in light of the evidence proffered by the Government" during the HLF trial.
That evidence linked two of CAIR's founding members, Nihad Awad and Omar Ahmad, to the "Palestine Committee," a group created by the Muslim Brotherhood in America to support Hamas politically and financially. Both Awad and Ahmad's names appeared on a Palestine Committee telephone list, and the organization itself appears on a committee meeting agenda, listed among the group's working organizations.
A week ago, FBI Director Robert Mueller repeated that his agency has "no formal relationship with CAIR because of concerns -- concerns with regard to the national leadership."
In rescinding its invitation to Mustapha, the Illinois State Police acknowledged that it was "aware that Mr. Mustapha was potentially identified as a member of the Muslim Brotherhood's Palestine Committee."
Politicians issuing statements in praise of CAIR and its chapters are fairly commonplace throughout the country. But a Florida mayor who examined the evidence decided to stop issuing annual proclamations of "CAIR Day."
In this case, Gov. Quinn may want to ask his state police to see what they learned from the HLF evidence that he has yet to see.