When the facts are on your side, argue the facts, the old legal cliché instructs.
But, in the case of CAIR-LA Executive Director Hussam Ayloush, the facts aren't on his side. So for his Jan. 3 column, "'Deception' film promotes intolerance of Islam," he chose instead to call me names.
Though Ayloush, local chief of the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR), wrote what he framed as a critique my new documentary, "Jihad in America: The Grand Deception," Ayloush failed to make a single reference to its content.
His column was a rebuttal to Register Editorial Board member Rory Cohen's favorable review of the film. But Ayloush opted for character assassination and tried to deceive readers into believing the film tries to smear all Muslims as radicals. Convenient, considering he perpetuates the claim himself – and therefore fulfills his own prophecy – that there is a "war on Muslims." Ayloush called the trial/execution of Saddam Hussein illegitimate and "an attempt to create a major sectarian division among Muslims" (having, years earlier, also accused the United States of becoming the "new Saddam").
He must not have even seen the Grand Deception film. If he had, he'd know our sources include law enforcement officials with first-hand experience investigating and prosecuting terror supporters, in addition to faithful Muslims who oppose those who rationalize terrorist groups and resist the Islamist ideology mixing faith with law. He'd also know that he, himself, makes a brief appearance in the film – disparaging the FBI.
Ayloush devotes most of his column to re-hashing old propaganda put forth by several of my critics, all of whom come from a biased and partisan viewpoint.
That's par for the course, since my organization, the Investigative Project on Terrorism, has exposed the duplicity and radical ideology behind the benign veneer put forth by Ayloush and CAIR, in general. It's not my imagination that positions CAIR in a Hamas-support network created by the Muslim Brotherhood in America. Internal records seized by the FBI do that. I've posted many of them to my website at this URL: https://www.investigativeproject.org/case/65
Rather than address that evidence, Ayloush calls me part of "a well-established and well-funded industry that employs fear to create an aura of suspicion around Muslims and to portray them as a threat." But what does the FBI say about his organization?
"[U]ntil we can resolve whether there continues to be a connection between CAIR or its executives and HAMAS," an FBI liaison wrote in 2009, "the FBI does not view CAIR as an appropriate liaison partner."
We showcase this letter in our film. We then show Ayloush's sermon at an Anaheim mosque – made six weeks after IPT first broke the news that the FBI had officially cut ties to CAIR – during which he tells Muslims to be afraid of the heavy hand of American law enforcement.
Ayloush claimed that since 9/11 the FBI has been "actually paying informants as instigators to enter the mosques to monitor, to provoke, and forcefully to recruit Muslims to become informants and threaten them with retaliation for refusing to comply." He added that "Unfortunately there are certain corrupt anti-Muslim, maybe power-hungry, FBI agents who are actually approaching law-abiding and peaceful American Muslims today in their house of worship, in their masjids and coercing them into becoming FBI informants and instigators against their community."
Here's the bottom line: We were very careful in researching and producing "The Grand Deception." We even requested interviews from Ayloush's associates at CAIR's national headquarters and other Islamists we talk about in the film. None agreed to answer our questions. It's less risky for them to avoid direct questions and sit on the sidelines saying bad things about me.
My first documentary, "Jihad in America," won several prestigious journalism awards including the George Polk Award and Investigative Reporters and Editors' (IRE) Best Investigative Reporting Award in Print, Broadcast, or Book. Ayloush prefers you not know this.
I'm just as proud of this new film and stand by everything in it. The Muslim Brotherhood is now the dominant power in Egypt. We expose its shadowy fronts operating in the United States and take viewers to their radical rallies and speeches throughout the country.
I'm not asking you to take my word for anything. We're showing you the radical speech on tape.
Ayloush doesn't want you to see any of this and judge for yourself, so he waged an ad hominem attack on me. Just call someone an "Islamophobe" and hope it all goes away.
That's not going to happen.
I propose a dialogue about the actual content of "The Grand Deception." We can do it in Orange County with Ayloush, in Washington, D.C with CAIR National officials, or anywhere that works. OC Register editors can moderate.
I hope CAIR accepts. If not, I'm happy to screen the film for Register readers and answer their questions.