Sunday, July 31, 2005

The Power Of CAIR

In re: Michael Graham's suspension from D. C. talk-radio station WMAL

CAIR's official website, however, provides some interesting information in their news release of Friday, July 29, 2005, excerpted below:

"The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) today applauded a Washington, D.C., radio station’s decision to suspend without pay a talk show host who stated repeatedly that 'Islam is a terrorist organization.' CAIR said WMAL-AM morning host Michael Graham should be fired for his Islamophobic remarks, for other statements made before and after the most recent controversy and for his refusal to apologize for those comments.

"When first contacted by CAIR, WMAL stood behind Graham, but changed its position after hundreds of people responded to the group’s action alerts bycontacting the station and its sponsors. In a statement, WMAL President and General Manager Chris Berry said that Graham would be suspended... 'We do not condone his position and believe his statements were irresponsible,' said Berry. (WMAL is owned by the Walt Disney Co.)....

"The Washington-based Islamic civil rights and advocacy group this week initiated a public campaign against WMAL and the station’s advertisers after receiving complaints from Muslim listeners who heard Graham..."

Yesterday, Michael Graham posted the following on his website:

"As a talk show host, author and columnist, I've repeatedly criticized the current state of Islam and called for its reform. As for the "controversial" statement that 'Sadly, as it is constituted today, Islam IS a terrorist organization, but the good news is that the major of Muslims--who don't support terror--can change that and take back their religion,' I first made that statement on the air last Thursday.

"Did I get suspended Thursday? No. Friday? No.Monday? No.

"It wasn't until CAIR launched its campaign against me in the mainstream media..."

On his website, Graham gives information as to how to support him and also states,

"Trust me: CAIR is not playing games. They are making threats and shaking down our advertisers and trying to intimidate everyone concerned. The worst part is that, in the past, it has almost always worked for CAIR. They've managed to scare a lot of people into silence.

"But not everyone."

Graham is correct that not everyone is scared into silence. Just look at the blogosphere! Whether or not CAIR's tactics will work in Graham's case remains to be seen. Could it be that, this time, citizens will check into exactly what kind of organization CAIR is? Or will Americans' short memories allow Graham's case to be forgotten?

At the end of the CAIR news release is a list of contacts, the first of which is Ibrahim Hooper.

According to Daniel Pipes,
"Ibrahim Hooper...told the Minneapolis Star Tribune on April 4, 1993: 'I wouldn't want to create the impression that I wouldn't like the government of the United States to be Islamic sometime in the future.'"

Mr. Pipes also has provided information about other individuals affililiated with CAIR:

"Randall Royer, CAIR's communications specialist and civil rights coordinator, was indicted on charges of conspiring to help Al-Qaeda and the Taliban to battle American troops in Afghanistan. He later pled guilty to lesser firearm-related charges and was sentenced to twenty years in prison.

"Ghassan Elashi, the founder of CAIR's Texas chapter, was convicted in July 2004 along with his four brothers of having illegally shipped computers from their Dallas-area business, InfoCom Corporation, to Libya and Syria, two designated state sponsors of terrorism. In April of 2005, Elashi and two brothers were also convicted of knowingly doing business with Mousa Abu Marzook, a senior Hamas leader and Specially Designated Terrorist. He continues to face charges that he provided more than $12.4 million to Hamas while he was running the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development (HLF), America's largest Islamic charity.

"Bassem Khafagi, CAIR's community relations director, pleaded guilty in September 2003 to lying on his visa application and for passing bad checks for substantial amounts in early 2001, for which he was deported. Khafagi was also a founding member and president of the Islamic Assembly of North America (IANA), an organization under investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice for terrorism related activities.

"Rabih Haddad, a CAIR fundraiser, was arrested on terrorism-related charges and deported from the United States due to his subsequent work as executive director of the Global Relief Foundation, a charity he co-founded; in October 2002, GRF was designated by the U.S. Treasury Department for financing Al-Qaeda and other terrorist organizations. According to a CAIR complaint, Homam Albaroudi, a member of CAIR's Michigan chapter and also a founding member and executive director of the IANA also founded the Free Rabih Haddad Committee.

"Siraj Wahhaj, a CAIR advisory board member, was named in 1995 by U.S. Attorney Mary Jo White as a possible unindicted co-conspirator in connection with the plot to blow up New York City landmarks led by the blind sheikh, Omar Abdul Rahman.

"Ihsan Bagby, a future CAIR board member, stated in the late 1980s that Muslims' can never be full citizens of this country,' referring to the United States, 'because there is no way we can be fully committed to the institutions and ideologies of this country.'

"Omar Ahmad, CAIR's chairman, announced in July 1998 that 'Islam isn't in America to be equal to any other faith, but to become dominant. The Koran . . . should be the highest authority in America, and Islam the only accepted religion on earth.'"

CAIR presents itself as a representative of mainstream Islam. Do those statements represent mainstream Islam? If so, we are in deep, deep trouble.I urge interested readers to visit the above article written by Daniel Pipes. If you visit, have a look at the comments too.

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