Townhall.com, May 5, 2004
by Michelle Malkin
The Council on American-Islamic Relations won’t condemn Muslim fanatics, but it has declared war on outspoken Americans who will.
CAIR, which calls itself “America’s largest Islamic civil liberties group,” has lately focused its wrath on conservative radio talk show hosts. A new report by the group released this week attempts to tie talk radio to a dubious “sharp jump” in (self-reported) “Islamophobic hate crimes” in the United States. CAIR fights dirty — fabricating quotes, taking comments out of context, indulging in the cult of victimology and exploiting a gullibly sympathetic press. By manufacturing an anti-Muslim hate epidemic that doesn’t exist, CAIR obfuscates its own suspicious role in fomenting anti-American extremism.
The most recent target of CAIR’s campaign to stifle critics of radical Islam is Boston-based radio talk show veteran Jay Severin. On April 23, CAIR issued a press release headlined: “Boston Radio Host Says Kill All Muslims; Islamic Civil Rights Group Calls for Host’s Termination.” On April 25, the Boston Globe parroted the charges in a story that quoted CAIR spokeswoman Rabiah Ahmed accusing Severin of saying on his show, “I’ve got an idea, let’s kill all Muslims.”
Just one teensy problem with the story. It wasn’t true. On April 27, the Globe was forced to publish a correction admitting that Severin never said “kill all Muslims.” CAIR, however, has refused to admit the fabrication and continues to call for Severin’s termination.
In Washington, D.C., CAIR took aim at local talk show host and JewishWorldReview.com columnist Michael Graham for making an “implicit” call for violence against all Muslims and for advocating common-sense security profiling. Singling Graham out for criticism, CAIR announced a new initiative “designed to counter anti-Muslim hate on radio talk shows” called “Hate Hurts America.” Like Severin, Graham refused to be intimidated.
“What CAIR does is try to portray all criticism of all Muslims everywhere as bigotry,” Graham responded. “They singled me out because I said on the air (and have said in print as well) that Islam is a uniquely dangerous religion, that the religion itself needs a reformation much like those experienced by Catholicism and Mormonism, and that the one distinguishing attribute of ‘moderate’ Muslims is their reluctance to publicly criticize the actions of the Islamo-fascist extremists who continue to spread terror. Now, you might agree with me or you might disagree with me, but this is hardly bigotry. ‘Stating the obvious’ is a more apt description. But any criticism from an infidel like yours truly is unbearable to the folks at CAIR, and so they’ve launched their attack.”
National radio personalities Paul Harvey and Dr. Laura have also come under fire for expressing opinions about Islam and calling on Muslims to dissociate themselves from terrorists. Harvey caved in to CAIR’s pressure after members of the group besieged advertisers with threats and complaints because the veteran broadcaster alluded to Islam as “a religion which encourages killing.” The ever-feisty Dr. Laura stood her ground, refusing to apologize for advising a mother not to let her daughter attend a field trip to a local mosque unless it was “one that has done its best to rout out terrorists in its midst.”
CAIR attacks the “hate-filled rhetoric” of conservative talk show hosts, but as Middle East scholars Daniel Pipes, Robert Spencer and others have amply demonstrated, several of the group’s past and present leaders have refused to criticize the hate-filled rhetoric — and bloody acts of violence — of terrorist organizations such as Hamas and Hezbollah. Three former CAIR officials have been indicted on charges of terrorism, money laundering or fraud. Most recently, Ismail Royer — a former CAIR “communications specialist” who “wrote investigative pieces on anti-Muslim organizations” — was sentenced to 20 years in prison for weapons convictions related to his participation in a network of militant jihadists centered in Northern Virginia.
CAIR publicity hounds remain uncharacteristically silent about Royer’s conviction. Instead, they fulminate about the civil rights of Muslims being violated whenever someone offers even the mildest public dissent from Religion of Peace propaganda. These people won’t rest until they have achieved the Al Jazeera-fication of America’s airwaves.