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FEMA Partners With CAIR To Protect Houses of Worship, Ignoring Incitement Against Jews

FEMA Partners With CAIR To Protect Houses of Worship, Ignoring Incitement Against Jews

As CAIR releases report accusing Jewish groups of “Islamophobia” as way of silencing criticism.

The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) is both a leading purveyor of ‘soft’ Islamism and a promoter of anti-Semitism. It vilifies synagogues, and the federal government responds by partnering with it to protect houses of worship from “extremists”. It charges purveyors of accurate information about Israel and about CAIR with “Islamophobia,” and the media treat it as a “civil rights” group issuing truthful reports.

Background Primer: CAIR Is At Best a Political Cheerleader for the Hamas Terror Group

CAIR was founded with $5,000 in seed money from a Hamas front-group, the HolyLand Foundation, which was later criminally convicted for financing terror. In the guise of being a “civil rights” organization, it does its best to promote the Muslim Brotherhood’s agenda of securing a specially-favored position for Islamism (with the goal of eventually establishing a state ruled by Islamic law), undercutting support for the very existence of the state of Israel, and discouraging any attempt by government or private investigators to grasp the radical nature of its agenda or of the radicals it supports.

CAIR was started with $5,000 from Holy Land Foundation, a Hamas front group.

CAIR has worked to frustrate FBI terrorism investigations by persuading Muslims that they are being targeted – even persecuted – for their religion and dissuading them from cooperating with the government.

Poster from CAIR-CA’s Feb. 9, 2011 “FBI Raids and Grand Jury Subpoenas: Know Your Rights and Defend Our Communities” program.

(See here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, and here (p.21 of the linked report)). CAIR’s recently-released “Islamophobia in the Mainstream” report, discussed below, is a continuation of this tactic (a well-worn one, for CAIR) of veiling its motives, actions, and objectives by accusing investigators of prejudice.

Posted on CAIR-Chicago’s website Nov. 12, 2015, the day before the Paris attacks.

CAIR’s obsessive anti-Zionism is not-infrequently anti-Semitic. For example, CAIR helped establish and fund InFocus News, an Anaheim, California-based monthly that published anti-Semitic articles and cartoons, as well as content expressing support for terrorist groups. CAIR’s Florida chapter operated a website, “Calling Islam,” that made anti-Semitic material available for visitors interested in learning about Islam.

More recently, the Executive Director of CAIR’s San Francisco Bay Area (CAIR-SFBA) affiliate, Zahra Billoo, demonized American Jews at a speech she delivered last November.

During a speech at the American Muslims for Palestine’s 14th annual convention on Nov. 27, Zahra Billoo, the Pakistani-American director of CAIR California-San Francisco Bay Area, told the audience that “polite Zionist” organizations that support a two-state solution, condemn Islamophobia and promote interfaith cooperation, such as the Anti-Defamation League, Hillel International, Jewish Federations of North America and Zionist synagogues, should be watched and are part of a vast conspiracy against Muslims (emphasis added).

CAIR utterly refused to condemn Billoo’s remarks, or even to distance itself from them. Instead, it issued a full-throated endorsement of them. (Billoo subsequently posted on Facebook that she was going on sabbatical, and complained that she was “still in the middle of a prolonged Zionist onslaught.”) Partly as a result of this, the Simon Wiesenthal Center included CAIR in its Global Anti-Semitism 2021 Top Ten list (it tied for eighth place).

Let that sink in. The head of a CAIR chapter vilified “Zionist synagogues” and promoted a conspiracy theory claiming Jews were targeting Muslims, and the organization refused to condemn her or what she said.

Seven weeks later, the Jewish community and the country as a whole are struggling to come to grips with the hostage drama that followed Malik Faisal Akram’s armed invasion of a Texas synagogue during Sabbath services on Saturday, January 15. Akram demanded that the U.S. government free convicted Islamist terrorist and anti-Semite Aafia Siddiqui (for whose release CAIR has advocated). Siddiqui was sentenced to prison for shooting at and trying to kill U.S. Army soldiers and FBI agents in Afghanistan. She tried to have Jews excluded from the jury pool, using genetic testing. “If they have a Zionist or Israeli background… they are all mad at me,” Siddiqui claimed.

No doubt prompted by the Billoo incident, CAIR hastily issued a press release on January 15 while the hostage drama was still ongoing. In it, CAIR claimed to disapprove of the attack on the synagogue. More likely, CAIR’s chickens were coming home to roost.

US Gov’t Persists In Working With CAIR

Because of CAIR’s background, the FBI cut ties with the organization in 2008.

US Dept. of Justice Inspector General report, “Review of FBI Interactions with the Council on AmericanIslamic Relations,” September 2013.

In response to an inquiry from then-Senator Jon Kyl (R-AZ), on April 28, 2009, Richard C. Powers, Assistant Director of the FBI’s Office of Congressional Affairs, wrote: “until we can resolve whether there continues to be a connection between CAIR or its executives and Hamas, the FBI does not view CAIR as an appropriate liaison partner.”

FBI letter to former Senator Jon Kyl, April 28, 2009.

Despite the policy, the FBI continued to interact with CAIR.

Likewise, the Department of Homeland Security continued to partner with CAIR during the Obama and Trump administrations. Incredibly, despite CAIR’s ties, and barely two months after CAIR chapter head Billoo spewed hatred toward so-called “Zionist synagogues,” CAIR claims that the Federal Emergency Management Agency is planning to partner with CAIR in a February 9, 2022 training webinar. Here’s how CAIR advertised the webinar: “Houses of Worship Across All Traditions are a Target for Extremists.”

LIF reached out to confirm CAIR’s information with the Department of Homeland Security, which to date has not responded.

CAIR’s internet registration form, which reiterates FEMA’s involvement, focuses exclusively on Muslim community centers and mosques (despite the implication in CAIR’s tweet that the program is targeted toward worship places of all different religious traditions).

Registration form for CAIR February 9, 2022 webinar with FEMA about protecting Muslim community centers and mosques.

Report: You Don’t Like Us Because We’re Muslim

On January 11, 2022, CAIR issued a report purporting to expose 26 organizations as “Islamophobic”. (In the interest of full disclosure, the reader should be advised that the author has worked for some of the organizations listed, although not for the ones discussed in this article.)

The term “Islamophobia” was coined and is used to silence criticism of the political ideology of Islamism, a/k/a radical Islam. It is used to paint critics as prejudiced and thereby cast them out of polite society. As former French Prime Minister Manuel Valls explained:

I refuse to use this term ‘Islamophobia,’ because those who use this word are trying to invalidate any criticism at all of Islamist ideology. The charge of ‘Islamophobia’ is used to silence people.”

Valls also observed, “ Islamophobia is the Trojan horse of the Islamists.”

In effect, anyone who opposes the ideology that motivated the 9/11 hijackers, or the terrorist Aafia Siddiqui, or apparently the terrorist who recently held four people hostage in a Texas synagogue to secure Siddiqui’s release is, QED, “prejudiced” against Islam, according to CAIR.

The organizations CAIR has named work to expose radical Islam’s ideology and its purveyors. The type of aspersions CAIR has made discourage what passes for mainstream media today from using the information these organizations procure and distribute. CAIR doubtless also hopes its claims will discourage monetary contributions to the groups it finds so offensive.

CAIR’S TARGET LIST

Groups CAIR has branded “Islamophobic” include the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting (CAMERA), Endowment for Middle East Truth (EMET), Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD), and Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI).

CAMERA systematically monitors Middle East reporting to promote accurate, balanced coverage of Israel and the Middle East. Staffers directly contact reporters, editors, producers, and publishers concerning distorted or inaccurate coverage, offering factual information to refute errors. Its work has been invaluable in identifying anti-Israel bias in media, churches, and so-called rights organizations like Human Rights Watch. As readers can see from the above citations, its work has graced Legal Insurrection’s website.

CAIR’s report asserted that CAMERA was inaccurate. It cited a single document, a CAMERA exposé of the Islamic Society of North America, but failed to identify any inaccuracies it contained.

Islamists like those at CAIR have shown particular animosity toward a Christian reporter and CAMERA research fellow. The reporter, Dexter Van Zile, was assaulted while covering an event last summer run by UMass Boston’s Students for Justice in Palestine group. Sadly, UMass Boston’s instinct was to do nothing to sanction its students’ misconduct.

CAMERA’s Dexter Van Zile being harassed at event sponsored by UMass-Boston’s SJP chapter.

EMET works to educate Washington-based policy makers, in Congress and elsewhere. It provides research and analysis challenging misrepresentations about Israel, radical Islam, and terrorism. In particular, EMET has spearheaded efforts to achieve justice for American victims of Palestinian terrorism. It has ridden herd on the U.S. Department of Justice and fought to prevent justice from being “contaminated by political [and] diplomatic factors,” in the words of EMET founder and president Sarah Stern. EMET has also worked to keep BDS out of the classroom.

In support of EMET’s inclusion in the report, CAIR wrote: “In 2014, Stern alleged that Muslim student groups want to destroy America from within. EMET’s board of advisors features prominent U.S. Islamophobes such as Frank Gaffney and Daniel Pipes.” Again, CAIR didn’t claim that any information EMET provided was inaccurate.

FDD: “Founded shortly after the attacks of September 11, 2001, FDD conducts actionable research, prepared by experts and scholars from a variety of backgrounds – including government, intelligence, military, private sector, academia, and journalism. It brings proficiency in foreign languages, law, finance, technology, and other skills to its work.” FDD staffers are frequently called upon to testify before Congress and think-tanks about issues such as terror financing and terror networks. For example, FDD’s chief executive, Mark Dubowitz, senior vice-president for research, Jonathan Schanzer, and senior advisor on asymmetric warfare, Daveed Gartenstein-Ross, have testified before Congress several times (see, e.g., Dubowitz; Schanzer here, here, here; and Gartenstein-Ross).

CAIR cited no factual inaccuracies in FDD’s work. It tried to insult the organization by labeling it “neo-conservative”; and complains that it advances the“war on terror” narrative and associated policies and practices, which it labels “Islamophobic”. It also complained about negative characterizations of the Hamas terror organization Andrew McCarthy made 24 years ago in a National Review article he wrote while a senior fellow at FDD. McCarthy, a former federal prosecutor and lead prosecutor against Sheik Omar Abdel Rahman and others responsible for the first World Trade Center bombing in 1993, is currently a senior fellow at National Review Institute and National Review contributing editor. He characterized Hamas as

savages who worship “martyrdom,” who have bombed their way to the table, and whose non-negotiable demand – a “right of return” to Israel for millions of migrant Palestinians – would sound the death-knell for a civilized democracy that is our only true friend in the region.

CAIR, the group founded with money from a Hamas front-group, took offense to McCarthy’s characterization.

MEMRI: Founded in February 1998 to inform the debate over U.S. policy in the Middle East, MEMRI bridges the language gap by providing timely translations of Arabic, Farsi, and other non-English language media, as well as original analysis of political, ideological, intellectual, social, cultural, and religious trends. What makes MEMRI’s work so important is that Palestinian and other leaders frequently send very different messages to their own people compared to what they say to Western governments and media. For example, even as Abbas offered the West the illusion that he supported a two-state solution, in Arabic he and his supporters explained the strategy as a two-step solution – first get Israel to leave the West Bank, then go after Israel within its pre-1967 borders. MEMRI reveals such duplicity.

CAIR charged that MEMRI’s translations are inaccurate and inflammatory, and “provide justification for anti-Muslim propaganda.” Given such claims, one would think CAIR would have no trouble offering many specific examples of the supposed inaccuracies Yet, CAIR contented itself with asserting that “CNN’s Arabic department found ‘massive problems’ with MEMRI’s translation of the program,” although CAIR’s report cited no specific program or citation/hyperlink to CNN.

CAIR IS NOT A ‘CIVIL RIGHTS’ ORGANIZATION

According to CAIR – as the above sampling shows – the mere fact that an organization publishes information putting a Muslim organization in a negative light, or that its staff has a negative view of Islamist ideology and/or supports Israel’s right to exist, is enough to classify it as “Islamophobic”. CAIR operates on this theory, and sadly, media like Time and the Washington Post treat it unquestioningly as a “civil rights” group.

The theory is absurd. It’s like saying, a trial judge who dislikes ax murderers must not show anti-ax-murderer “bias” against a defendant who has been proven – by trial evidence – to be an ax murderer.

As former-premier Valls said, CAIR is a Trojan Horse. It pretends to fight for “civil rights,” but its agenda is to promote a radical political interpretation of Islam, undermine support for Israel, demean Jews whenever possible, secure special legal privileges for Islam and Muslims, and hamstring legitimate investigations of Islamist terrorists by convincing the Muslim community and the public at large that the government is unfairly and unreasonably discriminating against them because of their religion.

CAIR’s “Islamophobia” reports employ the same tactic to hamstring investigations of CAIR’s agenda and of the organization itself by bringing many credible, hard-working, and well-informed investigators and their organizations into disrepute through shrill ad hominem attacks on the investigators. Evidently, CAIR finds it much easier to insult the investigators than address the substance of their findings. Likewise, it advertises a webinar that appears designed to help all religious traditions, two months after demonizing synagogues as conspiring against Muslims, while elsewhere advertising a program to help only Muslim organizations. Like the Trojans, the federal government and prominent media take CAIR’s offerings at face value, while ignoring the Cassandras telling them to look inside.

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Comments

Once again, the term “Islamophobia” is being mis-used. A phobia is an unreasoning fear of something, a fear without logical or justifiable cause. Fear or wariness of Islam is not a phobia. One only needs to remember 9-11… not to mention hundreds of years of terrorism and barbarity.

    “Islamophobia is a neologism coined by the Muslim Brotherhood, which is as practiced at the art of deception as any organization on Earth. It should come as no surprise, then, that Islamophobia is a smear, intended to discredit a phenomenon that, in truth, is neither a phobia — i.e., an irrational fear — nor concerned about Islam in general. The phenomenon, instead, is a quite rational disquiet about Islamists – fundamentalist Muslims, some of whom are violent jihadists and some stealth jihadists. They seek incrementally to implant sharia principles in the West.”

    https://www.fdd.org/analysis/op-eds/2011/10/24/fears-and-smears/

      henrybowman in reply to pfg. | February 3, 2022 at 9:19 am

      Yes, but the whole “-phobia” ploy started decades before that, with “homophobia.” It worked so well for the Democrats, they started adding it to every other term of approbation on the planet, like they did with “-gate.”

      Peabody in reply to pfg. | February 3, 2022 at 11:28 am

      It’s no longer proper to say that Muslims attacked the US on 911. Now one must say, “Some people did something.”

    Peabody in reply to Rusty Bill. | February 3, 2022 at 11:23 am

    It’s purpose is to frame the victims of terrorist attacks, especailly after 911, as the ones who are racists. Whereas they seek to portray Muslims, particularly the ones who celebrate after every attack, as victims.

    This is shown in the news when, after every terrorist event, they predict a Muslim backlash.

      artichoke in reply to Peabody. | February 3, 2022 at 8:07 pm

      By participating in that, FEMA supports terrorism. We need to remove or sideline its leadership and start over.

    Fatkins in reply to Rusty Bill. | February 4, 2022 at 7:02 am

    Just no, Islamphobia is when people apply the ill intent of a few to an entire population, like for example assuming that those involved in 9/11 were representative of the a religion which has circa 2 billion people in it. Would you consider it fair to be called a Nazi because you are Christian for example (obviously I’m assuming you are Christian), of course you wouldn’t and rightly so.

couldn’t fema’s actions/partnering/support with cair/islam be considered a government “endorsement” of a particular “religion?”–isn’t such an action prohibited in the constitution?

Steven Brizel | February 3, 2022 at 9:24 am

CAIR is an Islamic terrorist front. FEMA has no business partnering with CAIR

The Gentle Grizzly | February 3, 2022 at 11:31 am

FEMA. I’m shocked.

I loathe CAIR and everything they stand for. That being said, one of my personal mantras is “Don’t Talk To The FBI”.

Morning Sunshine | February 3, 2022 at 12:15 pm

honestly, I think I would also avoid talking to the FBI these days. That is NOT bad advice.

When the govt continues to choose to support certain ideological organizations offering elevated access and increased cooperation it may be time ask if viewpoint discrimination should be an allowable policy of the federal government. Especially when the ideology in question is one promoting one religious ideal over all others. Either the govt isn’t allowed to directly/indirectly support a single religion or it is totes ok based on the weather vane of contemporary political fortunes and another future political realignment, in say Jan 2025, can choose to reward, promote, elevate a different religion while choosing to ignore, disregard or punish others.

The folks who make, execute, oversee these policies and impacts; Congressional oversight, Fed CT and various IG, need to stop this now. Refusing to do so today while this religious group is seemingly pre imminent and preferred either out of ideological agreement or fear precludes any rational or ethical basis to suddenly rediscover objections to religious preferences formulated into the policies of a future administration which may favor one or more different religious groups. Fair warning.

the Jews who support Brandon aren’t the ones who go to shul

Appalling and indefensible dhimmitude from the vile Dhimmi-crats, as per usual.

FEMA is the Federal Emergency Management Agency. The do floods, hurricanes, earthquakes and the like.

So WTF are they doing interacting with CAIR regarding “extremism’?

If they have so much money and time on their hands they should have their budget and manning levels cut.

OK Zahra Bilhoo, you convinced me. I am now your enemy. I will act against you, rather than live and let live. Now I want you gone.

No need to be polite or even friendly with people like that. Call me Islamophobic I don’t care, but it’s not fear. It’s determination.

Islam was created by Muhammad as a fanatical religion dedicated to world conquest and the establishment of Sharia based fascist state rule over the whole world. 500 years of Muslim aggression prove this.