The Orange County Register let Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR)-Los Angeles Director Hussam Ayloush off the hook Tuesday when it readily accepted his condemnation of controversial comments made by a Muslim leader in 2006, film producer David Stein writes.
During the week-long event, entitled "Holocaust in the Holy Land," Imam Abdel Malik-Ali suggested that if Jews are willing to be martyrs, then Muslims should be ready to do the same. "They (Jews) know this is a new day…What do we do? Might be another 9/11," said Ali.
Ayloush did not condemn the comments when asked about them shortly after they were made, Rather, he dismissed the Muslim Student Union (MSU) UC-Irvine's pick of controversial speakers for one of its 2006 events. "If you haven't been through a bit of radicalism in college, you've missed out," he said. "They're very harmless, nonviolent kids, but they're very vocal."
He struck a dramatically different tone after a Register columnist challenged Ayloush to condemn the remarks as a sign of fairness after the CAIR director had condemned remarks by a local politician.
"CAIR and the Muslim community unequivocally reject what appears in the 2006 video to be the speaker's support for targeting Israeli buses and cafes. The targeting of civilians is a crime that can never be justified, no matter what just cause it claims to serve," Ayloush wrote to a Register columnist.
Columnist Frank Mickadeit lauded Ayloush's quick response time and the condemnation of Malik-Ali's speech. Stein was agog at that, pointing out that Ayloush's 2006 statement ignored the fact that Ali's message made civilians legitimate targets and"went so far as to claim that Malik-Ali's words were not anti-Semitic."
Stein likens Mickadeit to Shakespeare's Richard the Third, in which King Edward's brother essentially cons the king into believing he has no ill intent.
"We must not be as naïve as King Edward," Stein writes. "Trying to turn enemies into friends and hatred into love is a noble goal. But if one side is unwilling to be honest and truthful, it can also be a foolish and futile one."