Not long after the Islamic jihadist terror attacks in San Bernardino, California, and Paris, France, the Obama administration’s response has been to turn to radical Islamist groups, such as CAIR, who constantly criticize the FBI and other law-enforcement agencies, to the White House to discuss a religious discrimination, the Investigative Project on Terrorism (IPT) has reported.
President Obama’s weakness was presented in dealing with terrorism came after the San Bernardino attack in which Obama said, “If we’re to succeed in defeating terrorism we must enlist Muslim communities as some of our strongest allies, rather than push them away.”
Yet, Obama and his administration reached out to the radical Muslim organizations in the U.S. such as CAIR, Muslim Advocates, and Arab-American Institute (AAI) and ignored Muslim groups who advocate for liberty and freedom.
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In response to the news that the White House turned to these radical organizations, Zuhdi Jasser, president of the American Islamic Forum for Democracy (AFID) stated, “Partnering with such organizations sends the wrong message to the American people. Neither I nor the AIFD, which advocates for liberty and freedom, through the separation of mosque and state, were invited to the White House meeting. Also shut out were my colleagues in the new Muslim Reform Movement, whose members ‘reject interpretations of Islam that call for any violence, social injustice and politicized Islam’ and stand ‘for secular governance, democracy and liberty. Every individual has the right to publicly express criticism of Islam. Ideas do not have rights. Human beings have rights.”
The White House did not reply to a request by AIFD for comments about Jasser’s characterization of these groups, however, it previously said it engaged CAIR because of ‘their work on civil rights issues’ despite the group’s Hamas ties.
“I think it says a lot when the president uses those organizations that have an ACLU-type mentality. They should have a seat at the table. That’s fine,” Jasser said. “But not to include groups, which have completely different focuses about counter-radicalization, counter-Islamism creates this monolithic megaphone for demonization of our government and demonization of America that ends up radicalizing our community.”
Jasser blames CAIR and others which spread similar rhetoric for the increased fear of Islam and Muslims in America since 9/11 because they refuse to discuss Islamic extremism and the role Muslims have in fixing the problem.
“This creates a climate where people don’t trust us to be part of the solution,” Jasser said. “People say that if you aren’t part of the solution then you are part of the problem, which creates more fear and distrust.”
IPT reported that since 9/11, CAIR has repeatedly taken the side of defendants accused of financing or plotting attacks, calling their prosecutions a “witch hunt” against the Muslim community. For example, CAIR denounced the prosecution of Sami Al-Arian, who turned out to be the secretary of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad’s governing board, as “politically motivated” and a result of the “Israelization of American policy and procedures.”
A year ago, CAIR similarly protested the incarceration of Aafia Siddiqui, aka “Lady Al Qaeda” who was convicted in 2010 of trying to kill two FBI agents. The protest came after the Islamic State (ISIS) offered to spare the lives of executed American photojournalist James Foley and aid worker Kayla Mueller in exchange for Siddiqui’s release. CAIR also denounced the December 2001 shutdown of the Holy Land Foundation for Hamas support, saying, “…there has been a shift from a war on terrorism to an attack on Islam.”
IPT stated that a White House spokesperson acknowledged that the Dec. 14 meeting on countering anti-Muslim animus included Hassan Shibly, executive director of Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) Florida chapter. The same forum was attended by Senior Adviser Valerie Jarrett and Deputy National Security Adviser Ben Rhodes, and also included Farhana Khera, president and executive director of Muslim Advocates; Maya Berry, executive director of the Arab-American Institute (AAI); Mohamed Magid, imam of the All Dulles Area Muslim Society (ADAMS); and Hoda Hawa, director of policy and advocacy with the Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC) among others.
As a result, IPT stated, “In the end, the White House’s decision to empower these groups sends a mixed message to the American people that it isn’t fully interested in rooting out the causes of jihadist terror and preventing future attacks.”
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