CAIR, ANSWER, Hamas and Terrorism

The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) poses as the voice of moderate Islam to protect the Muslim community in the United States from any unjustified backlash that could be sparked by terrorist attacks committed by radical jihadist groups that do not represent the mainstream of Islamic life. That is a laudable mission, if it is pursued consistently.

On its website, CAIR proclaims an "anti-terrorism campaign." Among its core principles, "CAIR supports foreign policies that help create free and equitable trade, encourage human rights and promote representative government based on socio-economic justice" and "CAIR condemns all acts of violence against civilians by any individual, group or state." It further says, "We unequivocally condemn all acts of terrorism, whether carried out by al-Qa'ida, the Real IRA, FARC, Hamas, ETA, or any other group designated by the U.S. Department of State as a 'Foreign Terrorist Organization'." It welcomed the elimination of Osama bin Laden and has declared "CAIR is a natural enemy of violent extremists."

Yet, when push comes to shove, it does come to the defense of Islamic terrorist organizations in the Middle East and has had to defend itself against the charge that it is a "front group for Hamas." Its defense might be more credible if it had not joined the extremist ANSWER (Act Now to Stop War and End Racism) Coalition in leading a march on the White House last weekend to protest Israel's current anti-terrorism campaign in Gaza.

According to ANSWER, "In response to this ongoing massacre, a broad coalition of anti-war, Muslim and Arab-American groups have joined together to organize a national march on the White House on August 2." The message that the group seems to want to send is that Muslims in America are in league with Hamas, a violent gang that has been on the U.S. State Department’s list of terrorist organizations since 1997. Hamas was placed on the list the same day as the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), another major threat operating in Gaza alongside Hamas. Hamas claims to be the government of Gaza. Both Hamas and PFLP are funded and armed by Iran.

Consider ANSWER's version of the Gaza conflict that has been a hot bed of violence and aggression since Hamas won a majority of seats in the Palestinian parliamentary elections of 2006 and took control of Gaza the next year  

In the U.S. corporate media, Israel is invariably depicted as the "victim." Its brutal and cowardly military assaults are justified as "retaliation," inferring [sic] that Israel's actions are "self-defense." Over and over, since the early 1950s, successive Israeli governments have staged provocations to prompt responses that could then be used to justify massive attacks while presenting Israel as the "victim of an unprovoked attack." The aim has generally been to gain new territory and/or crush any state or movement perceived as a threat to Israeli military domination.

ANSWER also claims no evidence has been presented linking the kidnapping and killing of three Israeli teenagers to Hamas. The killings were only a ploy, it claims, while "Fascist Israeli politicians are ratcheting up their genocidal rhetoric." There is no mention of the over 2,700 rockets that Hamas and PFLP have proudly admitted to having launched against civilian targets in Israel in the last few weeks or of the tunnels used by terrorists to attack and kidnap people in Israel. After all, destroying the tunnels and the rocket stockpiles are the objectives of the Israeli operations.

It is Hamas that wants the war it started to continue. It has rejected every cease-fire, even those proposed by Egypt and the Arab League. CAIR is not interested in Muslim peace efforts. By joining ANSWER, CAIR in effect has chosen to align with Hamas and its terrorist allies since these are the fighters who are in the field opposing Israel.   

"It is critical that progressive people in the United States continue to speak out against the latest campaign of Israeli aggression, and demand an end to all U.S. aid to Israel," says ANSWER, which has never been an "anti-war" group. It has always been a partisan, siding with anyone who takes up arms against "U.S. imperialism" and its allies. At rallies against the U.S. anti-terrorism campaign in Afghanistan, ANSWER stages "die ins" where protesters pretend to be victims of American bombers, then chant "Rise up. Fight back" against the U.S. "occupation of empire." A clear identification of ANSWER (and now CAIR) with the enemy.

ANSWER has acknowledged that the PFLP "calls for a democratic secular state in all of Palestine and the right of return for Palestinian refugees." This would fulfill what both PFLP and Hamas have called for: the destruction of Israel.

Does CAIR really agree with this outlook? Does CAIR deny that Israel has a right to defend itself from terrorist attacks, or is CAIR only posing as "the natural enemy of extremists" while actually seeking to save Hamas and PFLP from the consequences of their violence? Actions speak louder than words, and give us the "answer" to questions about where CAIR actually stands amid the conflicts of the day.

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