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CAIR-San Diego's Hanif Mohebi VS the Clarion Project's Ryan Mauro
by David M. Swindle • Aug 22, 2016 at 2:56 pm
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CAIR-San Diego Executive Director Hanif Mohebi protested the inclusion of Clarion Project national security analyst Ryan Mauro at the upcoming California Association of Tactical Officers' "What Law Enforcement Needs to Know About Radical Islam" symposium next week. Mohebi wrote a letter to San Diego police chief Shelley Zimmerman urging her to "investigate" if any of her officers would be attending the session and then to "ensure that SDPD personnel are warned of the conspiracy theories promoted by the featured speaker, that no taxpayer dollars go to pay for attendance and that any officer who attends in his or her private capacity does not receive continuing education credit."
Mohebi doubled down on his arguments against Mauro in an interview with Breitbart News' Adelle Nazarian on Friday: "I'm kind of surprised that people who are putting this together are actually OK with this. For me, it is like bringing the head of the KKK to speak about blacks and then claiming that it's OK. You cannot have a head of KKK come and train the police on blacks. It just doesn't work."
But does Mauro look at all Muslims the same way a Grand Wizard sees all blacks? Does his employer, the Clarion Project, advocate Klan-style violence and terrorism against Muslims?
Unfortunately for Mohebi, Mauro and Clarion both have a long track record of supporting Muslims who oppose the radicals within their faith.
Islamist Watch has contacted the San Diego police department to set the record straight about CAIR and Clarion's real records. Our letter is below, we encourage other organizations and individuals to contact the San Diego police department and other civic leaders.
San Diego Police Chief
San Diego, CA 92101
RE: Thank You For Not Capitulating to CAIR's Intimidation Tactics
Dear Chief Zimmerman,
My name is David Swindle and I coordinate the Islamist Watch project for the Middle East Forum in Philadelphia. Our goal is to educate about the threat posed by non-violent Islamists and to urge support instead for moderate Muslims.
We note that the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) published a press release on August 18 quoting from a letter written to you by CAIR's San Diego office Executive Director Hanif Mohebi. He protested the inclusion of Clarion Project national security analyst Ryan Mauro at the forthcoming California Association of Tactical Officers' "What Law Enforcement Needs to Know About Radical Islam" symposium. Mohebi implored you to "investigate" if any of your officers would be attending the session and then to "ensure that SDPD personnel are warned of the conspiracy theories promoted by the featured speaker, that no taxpayer dollars go to pay for attendance and that any officer who attends in his or her private capacity does not receive continuing education credit."
I write to urge you to maintain your stance of not capitulating to CAIR's demands. It is not the benign civil rights organization it claims to be but the American face of a global jihadi group. This understanding of CAIR is held by many across the world, including other Muslims. On November 15, 2014, for example, the government of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) declared CAIR a terrorist organization. In addition, the FBI terminated relations with CAIR in 2009.
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CAIR's Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, the organization's spokesperson, stated in 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." In 2003 he reaffirmed his position when questioned on the Michael Medved radio show, asserting that should Muslims become the majority in America, Islamic law should then replace the Constitution.
CAIR as an organization primarily seeks to work within legal means, in a long-term, gradualist strategy to further this goal of a majority-Muslim America governed eventually by a legal system like Saudi Arabia's. However, six of the organization's leaders have been arrested, convicted, or deported for terrorism-related crimes.
First, Randall ("Ismail") Royer was a CAIR communications specialist and civil rights coordinator from 1997 through October 2001. In 2003 he and ten others were indicted on 41 counts of conspiracy to engage in terrorism. He was sentenced to 20 years in prison.
Second, Ghassan Elashi was a founding board member for CAIR's Texas chapter in 1998. He was also a co-founder and chairman for the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development (HLF), once the largest Muslim charity in the United States, but shut down in December 2001. In 2008 he was convicted and sentenced to 65 years in prison for providing millions of dollars to Hamas.
Third, Bassem Khafagi was CAIR's community relations director. In 2003 he pled guilty to lying on his visa and bank fraud and was deported to Egypt. In 2012 he ran for president on a platform where he pledged to "Complete the Implementation of Islamic Law in Egypt." See his campaign video here.
Fourth, Rabih Haddad was a fundraiser for CAIR and co-founder of the Global Relief Foundation, another charity that would also be shut down for terrorist financing. He was arrested on terrorism suspicions in December 2001 and deported in 2003.
Sixth, Muthanna Al-Hanooti was the executive director of CAIR's Michigan branch. In 2008 a federal indictment accused him of being a spy for Saddam Hussein's government and he was arrested while returning from the Middle East. He would plead guilty in March 2011 to violating US sanctions against Iraq and receive a one year prison sentence.
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Any Muslims who do not fit into CAIR's narrow box are liable to be cast out and smeared. For example, CAIR shows intolerance for transgender Muslims. Last year Sumayyah Dawud claimed that CAIR-Arizona dropped her as a client after learning of her transgender status. Muslim women seeking to raise the issues of honor killings, female genital mutilation and women's second class status in the Middle East were condemned for their efforts to raise these topic in Honor Diaries, a documentary CAIR labeled "Islamophobic." Muslims like Dr. M. Zuhdi Jasser who speak out about CAIR's radical positions and history are labeled as "Uncle Toms" and compared to the Ku Klux Klan.
We encourage you to develop strong ties with patriotic, pluralistic Muslims who support the separation of mosque and state. The Muslim Reform Movement, the American Islamic Forum for Democracy, the American Islamic Congress, and the Center for Islamic Pluralism are good places to start to find Muslims who oppose the radicals within their faith.
The Clarion Project and Mauro have an exemplary record of supporting the work of Muslim reformers. One prominent example is the Clarion film The Third Jihad, which, contrary to CAIR's description of it as depicting "Muslims as inherently violent and seeking world domination" instead features an American Muslim, Jasser, who advocates the very opposite, that only a small percentage of Muslims embrace the political ideology of Islamism, which seeks to spread Islamic law through violent or non-violent means. Here is an archive of interviews at the Clarion Project promoting the diverse ideas of moderate Muslims who condemn the Islamist cause. Mauro interviewed many of them himself. Thus it should come as no surprise that when CAIR has attacked Mauro in the past, Muslim reformers have spoken out in his defense.
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This is not the first time CAIR has challenged Mauro for attempting to educate law enforcement about the threat posed by radical Islam. In May, when CAIR sought to smear him for educating police in New York, Jasser defended him: "Claims recently made by the Council on American-Islamic Relations against Ryan Mauro are patently false, defamatory and quite telling. CAIR is scared of American thought leaders who can effectively teach our law enforcement officers about the differences between the threat of Islamists and the solutions coming from Muslim reformists within the House of Islam." Shireen Qudosi, another Muslim reformer, has defended Mauro, saying he, "would sit down and have a conversation with me before anyone at CAIR ever would. What's that tell you?"
Who will the San Diego police department choose to stand with and support? Those who align with terrorists and replacing the constitution? Or the brave Muslim Americans and their interfaith allies who stand for religious tolerance and universal human rights?
If you have questions, I would be happy to answer them. I await your reply.
Coordinator of Islamist Watch, Middle East Forum