Burning CAIR’s Islamophobia Report
This past summer, the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) changed its corporate name to Washington Trust Foundation, Inc. (WTF). Last week CAIR/WTF released, under the CAIR moniker, “Legislating Fear — Islamophobia and its Impact in the United States.” Originally scheduled for release on the day of the Navy Yard shooting massacre, CAIR presumably elected to delay release of the report until they were reasonably certain Jihad played no role in this latest example of workplace violence at an American military facility.
Does CAIR seek to suppress the free speech of any group with which it disagrees? Why does CAIR label speech it disagrees with as “Islamophobic”?
One could literally write a book critiquing the intellectual shortcomings of the 148-page report. Certainly not written at the reading level of “The 9/11 Commission Report,” it reads more along the lines of a 7th Grade English paper derived from the Cliff Notes version of a Dr. Seuss book.
To frame their thesis, CAIR lumps a number of individuals and organizations into an “American Islamophobia network.” Sounds ominous, doesn’t it? (Full Disclosure: this writer has met and/or written about at least five members of this “network”.)
Included in this network is (purported) Pastor Terry Jones (p. 27), he who has a pyromaniacal fixation with the Koran that the mainstream media is always eager to highlight. Also in this report is the Westboro Baptist Church (p. 133), the folks who protest at funerals of fallen soldiers to advance their twisted anti-gay agenda. Jones and Westboro are religious fanatics occupying a point so far right on the political spectrum as to render them wholly irrelevant to the path this report attempts to travel. The uninformed reader, one unfamiliar with the core subject matter of this report, would see Jones and Westboro here and conclude that all the other alleged Islamophobes in this report must be equally bad. Thusly one of CAIR’s rhetorical tricks is revealed.
Wait, it gets better. Witness this rhetorical flourish: “Just as providing funds to white supremacist or anti-Semitic groups should be seen as anathema, these foundations (labeled as Islamophobic by CAIR) must be held to socially responsible standards.” (p. 3) Once again, a casual reader not well-versed in the subject matter of this report will surely agree, as they should, that white supremacy and anti-Semitism are bad. Therefore the CAIR-designated Islamophobes must also be bad?
CAIR lists sixty-nine groups in their Islamophobia Network and demonstrates how, horror of horrors, many of these groups actually communicate and work with each other. Like-minded people and groups working together towards a common political goal, that’s bad and well, just plain un-American, right?
CAIR mentions in passing “anti-Muslim propaganda films such as Obsession: Radical Islam’s War Against the West and The Third Jihad: Radical Islam’s Vision for America. (p. 24) CAIR ignores the fact that Obssession clearly states “This is a film about radical Islamic terror… It’s important to remember most Muslims are peaceful and do not support terror.” A review of The Third Jihad asserted that “It is clear that the only folks who would not want this DVD shown are the very people the DVD warns us about, the Islamic Jihadists already on our soil.” Might that last sentence be viewed as somewhat hyperbolic? Certainly. Nevertheless, given CAIR’s portrayal of these films as “anti-Muslim” rather than anti-Jihad, even the most uninformed reader must wonder, what exactly is CAIR up to with this “Islamophobia” nonsense?
Pamela Geller of Atlas Shrugs is of particular concern to CAIR. “In September 2012, [Geller’s Stop the Islamization of Nations] hosted [English Defence League] Tommy Robinson at a rally at the UN detailing a war on free expression. Robinson was later arrested for entering the United States on a false passport.” (p. 35) That “rally” was actually a daylong conference on September 11, 2012 hosted by Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer of Jihad Watch. The conference explored, among other issues, whether some Muslim groups seek to suppress free speech and Western notions of liberty. Issue: why did CAIR chose to be ambiguous about the exact date the conference was held? Note well that this was also the date of the Benghazi embassy attack by Islamic Jihadists. Does CAIR seek to censor Ms. Geller’s and Mr. Robinson’s freedom to speak about a perceived conflict between Islam and Western free speech? Recognize also how CAIR mischaracterizes and dismisses the potentially positive educational value of the SION conference with a single sentence noting Mr. Robinson’s passport issue upon his return to Great Britain. What is CAIR’s true agenda?
Oddly enough, we finally find CAIR’s definition of Islamaphobia towards the back of the report. “Islamophobia is close-minded prejudice against or hatred of Islam and Muslims.” (p. 136) Contrast this with the definition proffered by Robert Spencer on September 11, 2013 as he stood where the shadows of the World Trade Center used to fall; “Islamophobia is a term that is manipulated to… intimidate people into thinking… that there is something wrong with resisting Jihad, that it’s bigoted and hateful to resist terrorism.”
CAIR recommends that groups mentioned in their report “should be ostracized from mainstream public discourse in a manner similar to white supremacist, anti-Semitic or other groups…” (p. 133) Translation: CAIR seeks to suppress the free speech of any group with which CAIR disagrees.
Anyone who is unfamiliar with CAIR/WTF “advocacy” of Islamic issues is well advised to read this report if for no other reason than to recognize the intellectual dishonesty of said advocacy. For extra credit, every time you read “anti-Islam” in the report, think “counter-Jihad.”