A source at WTOP reports that they have moved beyond the brief tempest after determining that email generated in response to CAIR's caviling demands for an attack campaign ran 10-to-1 in favor of Cal Thomas. Perhaps CAIR underestimated Americans' commitment to free speech, or they overestimated the willingness of listeners to pay much attention to a group now formally named as an un-indicted co-conspirator in yet another Federal terrorism trial and a U.S. body of the Muslim Brotherhood. Or both.
In any event, NY Times columnist Tom Friedman and 3-time Pulitzer winner, writing on July 4th, made some of the same points and used the same "cancer" metaphor.
1) As CAIR is the initiator of the complaint against Cal Thomas, it deserves first mention.
CAIR is an unindicted co-conspirator in a current ongoing Federal terrorism trial (“United States v. Holy Land Foundation”). CAIR has had several of its founders, directors, officials and staff indicted, arrested, convicted or listed as unindicted co-conspirators in a number of terror trials over the past decade-plus. CAIR's paid staff, nationwide numbers in the dozens, (they claim 70 on their website) consequently, the number of its persons in the federal criminal system, even before the present trial, is remarkable, both as a percentage and as an absolute figure. It has attacked these cases and defended the charged, and subsequently convicted, terrorists as victims of “Islamophobia” “Jewish” judges, and the failed U.S. justice system (beginning with the World Trade Center 1993 bombing leader, Sheikh Omar Abdel Rahman, aka “the Blind Sheikh”).
Moreover, CAIR is designated by the U.S. Department of Justice in its indictment as a U.S. member of the Muslim Brotherhood. (See my previous post here.
The Brotherhood is the founding leader of modern Islamist extremism and the precursor group for today’s violent Islamist groups, notably Al Qaeda, Hamas, and Palestinian Islamic Jihad, etc.The Brotherhood, or Ikhwan, has as its ultimate goal the establishment of a global caliphate, starting with the formerly claimed Muslim lands stretching from Spain to Indonesia, and thence beyond.
The Muslim Brotherhood’s credo is: "God is our objective, the Quran is our Constitution, the Prophet is our leader, struggle is our way, and death for the sake of God is the highest of our aspirations." This credo is incorporated as Article 8 in the Hamas Covenant. CAIR Executive Director and co-founder, Nihad Awad is on record in support of Hamas, whose political director (deported by the U.S.), and leading U.S. foundation (Holy Land Foundation), helped initiate and fund CAIR and its precursor group, Islamic Association of Palestine (IAP). Hamas is a U.S. designated terrorist group, and a “national” group of the Muslim Brotherhood..
So, in sum, CAIR’s highest goal is jihad in service of the Caliphate and its obeisance is to the Koran – as Constitution -- not to the U.S. Constitution, which Americans celebrate, particularly on July 4. This raises directly questions not only about CAIR’s commitment to violence (or claims of rejection of same), but indeed about its very commitment to civil order in the United States.
CAIR is largely foreign-funded-primarily, but not exclusively, by Saudi Arabia and the UAE, along with other Gulf dictatorships. CAIR’s foreign funding, activism and nexus to criminal and terrorist activity has been the subject of Congressional hearings, and indeed CAIR has been denounced as extremist, unusual in its rhetoric and affiliations with extremists and as simply “dangerous” by Senators from both parties (to include Sens. Schumer, Kyl, Durbin and Boxer.
CAIR, to expand the public space available for its purposes and cause, dons a “democratic mask” to make highly effective use of our civil rights mores and constitutional protections -- two concepts both itself and its foreign funders would not, and do not, countenance in their own governance (civil or religio-political, which are in the main, in fact, coterminous).
CAIR has a longstanding practice of employing hate speech and bigotry. Common examples include calling Jews descendants of pigs and monkeys, and castigating Christians, Shia’s, Sufi’s, apostate Muslims, and homosexuals, kaffirs who should be crucified, stoned, and otherwise condemned or killed. Such incitement is de rigueur in the annual and regular events of CAIR and its collaborating Muslim groups in the US. [ISNA, and NAIT, all also unindicted co-conspirators, and U.S. members of the Muslim Brotherhood; these groups collectively dominate Islam in the U.S.]. Such speech is documented to the late 1980’s (earliest Internet records available], and is intended to raise membership and money to be used for activism and terrorism support here and abroad.
Additionally, many leaders of U.S. Muslim groups, supported by CAIR, make similar and more extreme statements abroad, particularly in the UK, as shown recently by Channel Four’s mosques expose in Britain. This activity and speech is faithfully reflected, indeed fundamental to, the literature and teaching materials distributed in U.S. mosques and related schools and centers – the majority of which are funded by the same Saudi and foreign funders as support CAIR. This has been well-documented by Freedom House and also has been the subject of Congressional hearings. Perhaps even the most cynical moral relativist could begin to see why informed persons find CAIR’s allegations of “hate speech” and “Islamophobia” rather self-serving and hypocritical, to say the least.
It nearly impossible to think of any group in the U.S. with such a history and level of involvement with terrorism (or any other, less critical and violent felony or criminal activity) – which yet continues to be accorded such access and legitimacy by the media and in the civic debate. A most curious circumstance, itself worthy of considerably more commentary and analysis.
2) Cal Thomas
Here is the relevant portion of what Cal Thomas said: "How much longer should we allow people from certain lands, with certain beliefs to come to Britain and America and build their mosques, teach hate, and plot to kill us?" Thomas asked. "Okay, let’s have the required disclaimer: Not all Muslims from the Middle East and southeast Asia want to kill us, but those who do blend in with those who don't. Would anyone tolerate a slow-spreading cancer because it wasn't fast-spreading? Probably not. You'd want it removed."
So, those Muslims who want to kill us are limned as “a slow-moving cancer” (n.b. this is pointedly not the same as saying that all Muslims are, which is how CAIR has formulated the remarks to incite its audience). Upon hearing these remarks I recalled the following as directly relevant and as confirming::
A) There has been, and continues to be, a growing rate of Islamist-related terrorist attacks over the last 4 decades and particularly since 9/11. This is not in question; the number of such attacks is in the thousands, and comprises the vast majority of all terrorist incidents.
B) Opinion polls among Muslims since 9/11 have consistently shown that there exists, in the Islamic global community, quite substantial support for the basic goals, statements, and terrorist acts of Al Qaeda and similar Islamists groups. This includes the 9/11 attacks, 7/7 (London) bombings, the Beslan school massacre (Russia), the Bali bombings (Indonesia), the Madrid bombings, or other plots and efforts, such as the plot to behead the Canadian Prime Minister (this list leaves aside the issue of quotidian attacks on Israel, or attacks in situ in the Middle East, Sudan, Afghanistan, Philippines, etc.).
This is true in the U.S. (Pew Survey, “Muslim Americans” 2007), Canada and Western Europe, and in the Middle East, South Asia and elsewhere among the Arab and Muslim-majority countries. It is also true irrespective of the poll sponsor in terms of state/non-state and the perceived ideology of the news or academic organization or the survey company itself. These are all scientific polls (Pew, ICM, Sunday Times, YouGo, Populus, Pew Global, Public Agenda/Yankelovich, et al, 2004-7).
Muslim support for terrorists’ motivations and activities is broad and often quite deep.
In the U.S. case, 26% of young Muslims told Pew that homicide bombings can be “justified” in some manner. For the UK the figure is 26%-37% (the latter if the target is UK Jews). Further, up to 18-25% of under-30 Muslims in the U.K. would not report to the authorities any knowledge they have of terrorists or terror planners in their midst.
Only 58% of U.S. Muslims stated they have a “very unfavorable” view of Al-Qaeda; 27% refused to answer. 16% of UK Muslims say they would be “indifferent” about a family member joining Al Qaeda. Only 40% of Muslims in the West evidence any concern about “Islamic extremism” (61% of U.S. Muslims). Only 40% of Muslims in America believe that Arabs were behind the 9/11 attacks (a modest uptick to 55% among degree-holders).
Very high numbers of Muslims self-identify as “Muslims first” as opposed to as citizens of their host or adoptive country (of which many are native) -- 47% in the U.S. and 60% of those under 30 say they are “Muslim first”; the overall number in the UK is 80+%. Between 32 - 47% of Muslims in Western countries state that being Muslim conflicts with living in a “modern society”. Roughly 30% of UK Muslims want shari’a law as the law of the land (not only for their communities, a much higher figure 40-61%). Shari’a law, whether ‘community-based’ or national, is in contravention of the Constitution of every Western country, certainly the United States, where separation of church and state is a well-established even if ever-present issue.
Consistently, there is a notable and troubling spike in support for Islamists extremist and their ideas and actions among the under-30 age cohorts in the U.S. and western countries, to include among 2nd and even 3rd generation Muslims, and particularly among those who arrived since 1990.
To summarize, a baseline average threshold of 25-30% are in broad sympathy with the views held and espoused by the actual terrorists, as measured across the widest array of pertinent issues. This equates to 350-420 million Muslims, greater than the population of either the U.S. and nearly that of the E.U. Clearly there exists a broadly hospitable and effectively supportive operating environment in the world Islamic community, or ummah, for the activities of the Islamists terrorists and their front groups to plan, fund, recruit, train and implement their jihadi activities. All indications we have are that they are doing so apace and with growing vigor. It may become more or less difficult to identify the explosive tip of this bloody spear, as factors such as its Muslim support worldwide, Saudi state sponsorship (roughly $4-5 Billion per year since 1975), its successes and failures, and our own willful ignorance wax and wane. As the IRA famously told Margaret Thatcher, the terrorist only has to be lucky once, the rest of us have to be lucky every day. It is not clear that we are improving on those very long odds.
So, pace Cal Thomas’s commentary: there are more Islamists terror attacks, they are spreading at an increasing rate, and there is consistent and growing support for them among Muslim publics globally amounting to several hundred million adherents.
Given these facts, I for one, am not willing to adopt a “wait and see” attitude whilst such groups and their adherents, here and abroad, and in their seamless connections, plot our destruction, regularly attempt it -- and in the process seek to alter our lives, demoralize our society, and curtail our rights and freedoms. Much more can and must be done to frame our analysis and expand and accelerate our planning based on deeper and broader examination of the threat posed, on all levels, by Islamist extremists. Particularly on the violent and subversive aspects that are most threatening at present.
How we do so while balancing civil liberties and the concerns of all matter of groups remains to be determined. As Winston Churchill said, when the West confronted another existential and fascist threat, “As between the fire and the fire brigade, I refuse to be impartial.” I would imagine that a rather substantial percentage of our fellow citizens would share this view given the facts, and will increasingly come to support a more rapid calculus in favor of protection, echoing Justice Jackson’s observation that “The Constitution is not a suicide pact.”
I am sure most Americans share the commitment to the constitutionally-guaranteed right of free speech -- of Cal Thomas and the rest of us – embodying as it does the fundamental empowerment of our freedom – and not as a merely an expedient to the advancement of a foreign-funded challenge to that very freedom, in the CAIR manner.
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