June 25, 2010: “Summer of Censorship” Press Release


CSP Condemns CAIR’s Campaign Season Attacks on Candidates

WASHINGTON DC, June 25, 2010 – The Center for Security Policy today released the results of an investigation of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) that reveals a clear pattern of intimidation – the beginning of CAIR’s Summer of Censorship Campaign – to silence 2010 candidates and public figures who discuss Jihad, Shariah and Islamic terrorism.

“CAIR’s most recent attempt to intimidate Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY) shows their commitment to censoring any criticism of the terrorist organization Hamas,” said the Center’s President Frank Gaffney.

On June 14, CAIR accused Schumer of making statements that were “unconscionable, reprehensible and in blatant disregard for the sanctity of human life,” and demanded he retract them.  On June 9 Schumer had said:

The boycott of Gaza to me has another purpose — obviously the first purpose is to prevent Hamas from getting weapons by which they will use to hurt Israel — but the second is actually to show the Palestinians that when there’s some moderation and cooperation, they can have an economic advancement. When there’s total war against Israel, which Hamas wages, they’re going to get nowhere. And to me, since the Palestinians in Gaza elected Hamas, while certainly there should be humanitarian aid and people not starving to death, to strangle them economically until they see that’s not the way to go, makes sense.

According to Gaffney, “CAIR’s recent defense of Hamas is part of a consistent pattern.”  In 1994, the year of CAIR’s founding, Executive Director Nihad Awad stated, “I am in support of the Hamas movement.”  In 2007 CAIR was named an unindicted co-conspirator in U.S. vs. Holy Land Foundation, the largest terrorism funding case in American history in which defendants were convicted of funneling millions of dollars to Hamas.  In January 2009, FOX News reported that the FBI was “severing its once-close ties” with CAIR amid “mounting evidence that it has links to a support network for Hamas.”

CSP’s investigation into CAIR’s intimidation and Summer of Censorship Campaign has revealed at least six cases of attempted political coercion since May:

  • Calling for the exclusion of the Reverend Franklin Graham from prayer services at the Pentagon and Capitol Hill
  • Pressuring GOP leaders to condemn the TV ads of Florida congressional candidate Dan Fanelli as “racist and Islamophobic”
  • Demanding a probe of the Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) for signs of “Islamophobic training”
  • Urging GOP leaders to condemn statements made by Connecticut congressional candidate as “racist” and “Islamophobic”
  • Intimidating organizers of the Tennessee Tea Party Convention and Representative Steve King (R-IA) to exclude prominent author, blogger and non-profit executive director Pamela Geller
  • Accusing Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY) of “blatant disregard for the sanctity of human life” for supporting the Israeli blockade of weapons to the Hamas regime in Gaza.

Gaffney concluded, “CAIR is paid by foreign groups, acts as their foreign agent in the US, and attempts to censor US citizens who criticize Hamas, terrorism or apartheid Shariah doctrines.  We urge CAIR to register under the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA).  A failure to register could subject them to criminal or civil penalties under the law.”  The Center has reported all of these cases to the Foreign Agents Registration Unit of the Department of Justice.

For full report on CAIR’s 2010 Summer of Censorship Campaign see http://cairunmasked.org/?page_id=3959

For full documentation on CAIR’s actions relevant to the Foreign Agents Registration Act, visit http://www.cairobservatory.org

The Center, and a growing number of national security experts,  have concluded based on overwhelming evidence that CAIR should register under FARA and report their activities as a foreign agent to the American public.

Investigative Report: CAIR’s 2010 “Summer of Censorship Campaign”

CSP’s investigation into CAIR’s intimidation and censorship campaign revealed at least six cases of political coercion, including the censorship attempt against Senator Schumer, in the past forty-five days:

  • CAIR issued a press release urging the Pentagon to disinvite the Rev. Franklin Graham from speaking at a National Day of Prayer Event scheduled for May 6, and called on the public to prevent “a person with such Islamophobic views speaking to military personnel.”  Rev. Graham was indeed disinvited by the Army and CAIR applauded the decision.  Shunned by the Pentagon, Graham was invited to speak on Capitol Hill instead.  CAIR once again issued a press release urging congressional sponsors to disinvite Rev. Graham.  CAIR National Legislative Director Corey Saylor referred to Graham as an “Islamophobe” bringing a “message of religious intolerance.”  Graham persevered despite CAIR’s attacks, praying instead in the Pentagon parking lot and at the official Capitol Hill event later that day.  Outside the Pentagon Graham stated, “I’m happy for the Muslims that celebrate Ramadan here. I’m happy for them to celebrate prayer services here, but as a Christian, why can’t I have same right?”
  • On May 8 CAIR called on national Republican leaders to repudiate campaign advertisements released by Florida GOP congressional candidate Dan Fanelli.  CAIR said the ads “advocate racial profiling and promote Islamophobia.”  CAIR’s Corey Saylor called the ads “outrageously racist and Islamophobic” and called on local, state and national GOP leaders to condemn “such racist and un-American campaign tactics.”  One of Fanelli’s ads showed two men discussing a terror plot in Arabic, and in another ad he said he would keep terrorists away from airplanes.  Fanelli refused to back down on his concerns about terrorism and homeland security and continued his campaign.
  • In March 2010 CAIR had called for a probe of the Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) to investigate a report of “anti-Islam bias” in the NCIS’s training of security personnel.  CAIR expressed concern that “military, security and law enforcement personnel nationwide may be receiving agenda-driven Islamophobic training.”  In response to CAIR’s demands, NCIS Director Mark Clookie sent a letter to CAIR Executive Director Nihad Awad which CAIR claimed stated that the film “Obsession” should not have been used in training.  On May 11 CAIR publicized excerpts they alleged came from the letter.
  • On May 14 the Connecticut chapter of CAIR called on state Republican leaders to repudiate statements made by congressional candidate Rick Torres during a primary debate. CAIR’s press release described Torres’ remarks as “racist,” “anti-Muslim,” “intolerant,” and “Islamophobic.”  CAIR also attributed a May 10 bomb attack on a Florida mosque to a “growing atmosphere of anti-Muslim sentiment nationwide that results from Islamophobic statements like those made by Torres.”  Among the statements which CAIR found objectionable; Torres “wants America’s mosques and Imams to openly condemn terrorists’ actions.”  Torres acknowledged that his comments sound blunt: “We can be grown up about this, or we can be politically correct about it.  I don’t mean to say all Muslims are radicals but they are here and we have to know which ones they are.”  Former Muslims United Board Member Jerry Gordon described Torres, the son of a Cuban immigrant, as a “hero to former Muslims.”
  • In a May 20 press release CAIR called on the organizers of the inaugural Tennessee Tea Party Convention to disinvite AtlasShrugs.com blogger Pamela Geller, also Executive Director of Stop Islamization of America (SIOA), from speaking at the event.  CAIR described Geller as an “extremist anti-Islam speaker, far-right blogger” and called SIOA a “hate group.”  “We ask that convention organizers not legitimize Geller’s extremist anti-Muslim rhetoric by offering her an official platform,” said CAIR National Executive Director Nihad Awad.  Awad also called on Rep. Steve King (R-IA) to cancel his scheduled keynote address to the convention if Geller was kept on the schedule.  Neither the Tea Party nor Rep. King bowed to CAIR’s demands and Geller spoke at the event as planned.  Simon & Schuster will publish Geller’s new book The Post-American Presidency on July 27, 2010.
  • On June 14 CAIR accused Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY), who faces reelection in November, of making statements that were “unconscionable, reprehensible and in blatant disregard for the sanctity of human life,” and demanded he retract them. CAIR lifted a quote from Schumer’s remarks at a public event on June 9 that it “makes sense” to “strangle [Gaza] economically,” while omitting the context of the statement in which Schumer made clear that his criticism was reserved for the Hamas regime and that “certainly there should be humanitarian aid and people not starving to death.”

The Center for Security Policy believes that these specific acts by CAIR to pressure elected officials, congressional candidates, government agencies, party leaders, religious leaders, investigative reporters, and authors meet the definition of political influence operations under the terms of the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA).  FARA is a disclosure statute that requires entities acting in the United States as agents of foreign principals in a political capacity to register and to make periodic public disclosure of their relationships.  CSP has reported these incidents to the Foreign Agents Registration Unit at the Department of Justice as violations, because CAIR is not currently registered as a foreign agent.  A growing number of national security experts have concluded based on overwhelming evidence that CAIR should register and report their activities as a foreign agent to the American public.

CAIR Observatory Project

The Center for Security Policy’s CAIR Observatory website (http://www.cairobservatory.org) presents comprehensive open-source evidence and analysis alleging that CAIR has acted as a foreign agent of Hamas’ parent organization the Muslim Brotherhood, as well as the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) and other foreign principals based in Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Iran and Kuwait.

CAIR has received $6.4 million in cash and loans and $54.5 million in pledges from foreign principals based in those countries, has met and coordinated with those foreign principals on more than 30 occasions and engaged in more than 70 political influence operations on their behalf.

CAIR and the Saudi Arabia-based Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) have an established history of collaboration regarding so-called “Islamophobia.”  The OIC’s “Ten Year Program of Action” published in 2005 calls upon all states to enact laws “including deterrent punishments” to counter “Islamophobia.”  According to Frank Gaffney, “CAIR’s efforts are the clearest manifestation of the attempt to enforce those deterrent punishments in the United States.”

The CAIRObservatory.org website also documents ongoing meetings and coordination between high-ranking CAIR and OIC officials in the United States, Saudi Arabia, and most recently this month at an OIC conference dedicated to Dawa (Islamic missionizing) in Sao Paulo, Brazil.  In January 2007 the OIC donated $325,000 to CAIR for the organization of a joint conference on “Islamophobia” in Washington, D.C.