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IW News Brief: CAIR's Terror Disaster, Harrods Protest, and More
by David J. Rusin • Dec 6, 2014 at 12:13 pm
CAIR, MAS designated as terrorist organizations by UAE
The government of the United Arab Emirates has listed the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) and Muslim American Society (MAS) as banned terrorist groups based on their known connections to extremism and the Muslim Brotherhood, which UAE authorities have outlawed as well. CAIR was named as an unindicted co-conspirator in the Holy Land Foundation case that involved a scheme to finance Hamas. Specifically, the feds classified CAIR among the "individuals/entities who are and/or were members of the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood's Palestine Committee and/or its organizations." The U.S. government affirmed in a separate legal matter: "From its founding by Muslim Brotherhood leaders, CAIR conspired with other affiliates of the Muslim Brotherhood to support terrorists," adding that "MAS was founded as the overt arm of the Muslim Brotherhood in America."
Beyond pronouncing the news "shocking and bizarre," CAIR's response was typified by a debate between CAIR-Florida's Nezar Hamze and the Clarion Project's Ryan Mauro in which Hamze brazenly denied the existence of documents linking CAIR to the Brotherhood — documents that Mauro was quoting and holding up to the camera. Yet what else was Hamze to do? When even a Muslim government acknowledges CAIR's ugly track record, there is little choice but to deceive, distort, and pray that enough people are willing to have their intelligence insulted one more time. Let us hope that Daniel Pipes is correct when he predicts that this terror label, regardless of whether it is overturned via U.S. pressure or appeal, will be "a stigma CAIR can never escape."
Terror concerns fuel Harrods boycott
"Customers of Harrods are being urged to boycott the department store in a symbolic protest against its Qatari owners," the London Telegraph reports. "Qatar, which bought Harrods in 2010, has been accused of either directly funding terrorist groups or turning a blind eye to financiers operating out of the Gulf state." Protest participant Simon Cobbs of Sussex Friends of Israel promised to "ensure that Harrods customers know that the money they spend ultimately ends up in the hands of a regime that funds terrorism." He and others have much work ahead. A £117.6 million dividend was recently paid to the Qataris following the store's solid revenues.
The controversy mirrors earlier boycotts and demonstrations against the Beverly Hills Hotel, whose ownership is traced to Brunei's government. At issue was the decision of Brunei's ruler to implement strict Islamic law. Many Muslim states do business in the West despite their human rights abuses and terror ties, so the outrage may seem selective. However, the burgeoning awareness and resistance reflected by this activism are positive signs for the future.
An Islamist vision for Irish schools
Islam and Education in Ireland, by academic Ali Selim, has caused a stir by calling for the country's mostly Catholic schools to undergo "a revolution of inclusivity" to accommodate Muslims. Among the "problems" that Selim wants addressed: insufficiently gender-segregated gym classes, relationship education, music made with anything other than drums, plays that feature physical contact between the sexes, the Christmas season, and uniforms with crucifixes or images of saints. His wish list includes days off for Muslim feasts, fundraising for charities during Ramadan (but no un-Islamic raffles), hijabs, prayer rooms, ritual washing facilities, and training so teachers accept that Muslim parents may prefer to avoid eye contact with them.
Selim is not the first to solicit concessions that would Islamize classrooms under the pretense of "inclusivity"; see, for example, the strikingly similar guidance published in 2007 by the Muslim Council of Britain. But what happened next was unanticipated: opposition across the religious spectrum. Muslim groups distanced themselves from Selim and praised Irish schools as welcoming. A Catholic body defended its schools' approach to minorities. Atheist Ireland turned the tables, wondering how Islamic schools would "accommodate the children of atheists and secularists and lead the way in removing religious discrimination." The lesson is clear: Excessive demands? Just say no.
Appeasement-minded general becomes CAIR's latest "Islamophobe"
General Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, was "free and loose with jokes" during an October 31 appearance at Syracuse University, but he stepped in it when he asked a bearded Muslim in attendance, "Are you Taliban?" Although the man did not take offense to the ill-advised quip and Dempsey's office conveyed the chairman's remorse "that his use of humor was misunderstood," CAIR is not one to forgive and forget. "I think this is yet another symptom of the growing anti-Muslim sentiment in our society," said communications director Ibrahim Hooper. "I would put this more in the category of casual Islamophobia. It's joking and jovial, but it's Islamophobia nonetheless." And it is "all the more disturbing" from a top general.
How ironic. Dempsey has led the charge for a culturally hypersensitive military and effectively destroyed the career of an Army officer who had run afoul of the thought police with his politically incorrect course on Islam at the Joint Forces Staff College. Dempsey ordered a purge of "anti-Islamic" materials as a result. Also in 2012, the general encouraged Terry Jones, a fringe pastor, to reject the Muhammad-mocking video then being blamed for the murder of four Americans in Benghazi. Winston Churchill described an appeaser as "one who feeds a crocodile, hoping it will eat him last." The crocodile that Dempsey had fed just took a bite out of him.
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