Since its founding in 1994, the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) has been nothing more than a front group for the Muslim Brotherhood. Recently, CAIR once again tried to hide this truth by casting a new lie about its radical Islamist history, saying that its relationship with the Hamas terror network was "put to rest by the Department of Justice in 2011 and now exists as an Internet story."
The FBI policy of dissociation with CAIR over open questions related to its terrorist connections remains in effect, and it publicly reaffirmed so in 2013. No possibility exists to "put to rest" records admitted into evidence.
The episode is only the latest reinforcement of what the Investigative Project on Terrorism (IPT) and law enforcement have known for 20 years. CAIR and its ilk are nothing more than front groups for the Muslim Brotherhood.
It is simply amazing that some view it as a responsible and moderate Muslim civil rights organization when it has repeatedly been exposed as a thin veneer for radical Islamist organizations.
A new analysis by the IPT on its origins reinforces its much darker history.
In documents obtained through the Freedom of Information Act, testimony from a special agent assigned to the FBI Dallas Division's North Texas Joint Terrorism Task Force and International Terrorism Squad clearly demonstrates the historical relationship between CAIR and Hamas. They also include an eyewitness account that a CAIR founder first sought the Muslim Brotherhood's blessing before approving his organization's bylaws. Other court records place CAIR and its founders in the heart of a Muslim Brotherhood-created Hamas-support network.
America, and especially the news media, needs to better understand CAIR's true mission and benefactors.
CAIR dangerously disseminates propaganda to the public that directly undercuts the ability to fight radical Islam effectively. They follow a clear and consistent messaging strategy following every jihadist attack. They express their condolences to the families of the victims and condemn all violence. They reach a sympathetic audience because nearly all Americans share such expressions.
Of course it's not about Islam, they say. Islam is a religion of peace and nonviolence, and they do everything that they can to exclude it from the debate.
The next step is to cast those who disagree with them as Islamophobic, a term fabricated by Islamists and their sympathizers to minimize and deflect opponents' arguments. They claim that Muslims are the real victims.
CAIR then publicly encourages its members and the Muslim community to work with law enforcement to stop future attacks while privately telling them that law enforcement is the enemy and to not cooperate until they contact a lawyer.
Finally, they blame radical Islamist attacks on U.S. foreign policy. Everything would be just fine if only Americans would better understand how they inflame Islamist sentiment the world over. It is now American's fault and not radical jihadists or Islam.
The Los Angeles director of CAIR told CNN's "New Day" shortly after the San Bernardino mass murder that the U.S. was partly to blame.
"Let's not forget that some of our own foreign policy as Americans, as the West, have fueled that extremism ..." Hussam Ayloush said unchallenged.
Recently, Democratic congresswoman and California U.S. Senate candidate Loretta Sanchez summarized the situation perfectly. "We know that there is a small group, and we don't know how big that is – it can be anywhere between 5 and 20 percent, from the people that I speak to – that Islam is their religion and who have a desire for a caliphate and to institute that in any way possible," she said.
Sanchez recalibrated her comments following a backlash from activists, but we encourage her to continue speaking the bipartisan truth. It creates the necessary dialogue in the U.S. on radical Islam, which also helps to expose dishonest organizations such as CAIR that are fueling its spread.
We hope that Sanchez doesn't back away too far from her original statement. She largely nailed it the first time.
Steve Emerson is the executive director of the Investigative Project on Terrorism. Pete Hoekstra is the Shillman Senior Fellow at the Investigative Project on Terrorism.