Rep. Ilhan Omar, the Minnesota Democrat besieged by allegations of anti-Semitism, told Muslims in a speech March 23rd to “raise hell” and “make people uncomfortable” in defense of their rights. As hundreds of pro-Israel protesters rallied outside, Ms. Omar said Muslims should confront discrimination in her keynote speech at a fundraiser hosted by the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) of Greater Los Angeles in Woodland Hills, California. As the crowd cheered, she continued, “Because here’s the truth, here’s the truth: Far too long we have lived with the discomfort of being a second-class citizen and frankly I’m tired of it, and every single Muslim in this country should be tired of it.”
The Democrat freshman reportedly has been holding a series of private fundraisers with groups that have been tied to the support of terrorism, appearances that have been closed to the press and hidden from public view. The content of these speeches, delivered to Muslim audiences, remains largely unknown, leading some of Omar's critics to express concern about the rhetoric she is using before these audiences, particularly in light of the lawmaker's repeated use of anti-Semitic tropes on social media.
Recently Omar spoke at a gathering sponsored by Islamic Relief, a charity organization believed to have deep ties to groups that advocate terrorism against Israel. Islamic Relief has come under congressional investigation for what lawmakers have described as its efforts to provide aid to terrorist organizations such as Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood. The charity has been banned by some countries as a result of these ties. In 2017, Congress sought to ban taxpayer funds from reaching the charity due to these terror links. But Omar's popularity is growing on the anti-Israel Left; and she is translating her popularity and rhetoric into dollars.
CAIR, a Muslim advocacy group known for its anti-Israel positions, was named by the U.S. government as part of a network of groups known to be supporting Hamas. CAIR has been cited by the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) for using its network of supporters to promote an "anti-Israel agenda."
CAIR was implicated in the trial involving the Holy Land Foundation. Between 1995 and 2001, the foundation delivered millions of dollars to support Hamas – a recognized terrorist organization – in the West Bank and Gaza. The government charges that the foundation was a vital member of an international network of organizations that finances Hamas activities. Furthermore, the government charges that the Foundation and the individual defendants provided financial support to the families of Hamas terrorists, detainees, and activists, as reported by The National Review. CAIR was, in fact, among the more than 300 unindicted co-conspirators of the Holy Land Foundation named by federal prosecutors in the Holy Land Foundation case.
"CAIR’s anti-Israel agenda dates back to its founding by leaders of the Islamic Association for Palestine (IAP), a Hamas affiliated anti-Semitic propaganda organization," according to the ADL. "While CAIR has denounced specific acts of terrorism in the U.S. and abroad, for many years it refused to unequivocally condemn Palestinian terror organizations and Hezbollah by name, which the U.S. and international community have condemned and isolated." The United Arab Emirates has listed CAIR as one of scores of terrorist organizations, along with the Taliban, al-Qaeda, and ISIS.
One of the more prominent leaders in CAIR is Hassan Shibly. You might remember him as the attorney who is representing the ISIS bride from Alabama, Hoda Muthana, who now wants to return to the United States—as her Islamic Caliphate dream has died. In an interview with the Haas Institute, Shibly elaborated on many topics related to Islam in America. He is also the Chief Executive Director of CAIR Florida.
In Florida, Shibly, on behalf of CAIR, has repeatedly fought bills in the legislature which would disallow Sharia Law being used in the judiciary system there and calls such attempts anti-Muslim. He was asked in an interview with the Haas Institute, “Is it possible to use Sharia Law in U.S. Courts when making judicial decisions?” His answer: “First, I have trouble with the term Sharia Law. Sharia is a set of principles, and its how human beings interpret how God wants us to live our lives.” Sounds innocent enough, does it not? Never mind that in many Muslim countries violation of Sharia can result in physical maiming or death.
He went on to say this: “[Y]ou can have a situation where parties freely and willingly choose to enter into contract that sets the terms on how those contracts or transactions shall be conducted, and they make sure to have that basis in Islamic principles.” He then goes on to use the example of a marriage and/or divorce under such a scenario could be decided by Sharia Law. This, of course, conveniently ignores the fact that one cannot use Sharia to make U.S. law subservient to it. Even willing parties cannot excuse themselves from U.S. law and be bound only by Sharia. This is an insidious attempt to subvert laws at the state and national level.
Radical Islamists, and their sympathizers in the United States, often cleverly use the U.S. Constitution and U.S. statutes to defend their stances and activities that are always anti-Israel and often anti-United States—even as they enjoy the freedom and protections afforded them in the United States. For example, Shibly has said, “My main talking point is that Islamophobia is one of the biggest threats this country faces because it’s the toll that’s been used to undermine freedom of religion, civil rights, and justice in America to promote conflict overseas.” Thus, if one criticizes Representatives Omar and Rashida Tlaib, or Hassan Shibly, they are accused of anti-Muslim bias. The use of labels, such as Islamophobia, racism, xenophobia, etc. are often used to shut down criticism, deflect honest questions and end serious debate. People like Rep. Omar and Shibly use this tactic often.
CAIR’s mission statement belies its true purpose, according to the Investigative Project on Terrorism: “To enhance understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.” But The Investigative Project on Terrorism begs to differ, stating, “[I]t seems that its primary goals are to silence and de-legitimize its critics and redefine what it means to be a moderate Muslim. And when it comes to U.S. efforts to crack down on terrorists and their financiers, CAIR takes an almost visceral stand in opposition.”
It is in this climate that Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives three weeks ago could not bring themselves to single out Representative Omar and condemn her anti-Semitic tweets. Instead, they opted to pass a resolution condemning hatred in general, including invoking the tool used by CAIR, Islamophobia—even though the issue at hand was the Congresswoman’s anti-Jewish/anti-Israel bias. Political correctness when confronting our enemies, foreign and domestic, is a dangerous thing. Most Americans realize this. It is time we call on our nation’s leaders to realize it as well.
Freedom of Religion is foundational to our constitutional republic and the core values of America. This absolutely includes the Muslim faith. However, when any religion and its adherents use religion to undermine laws, promote violence (even tacitly), suppress free speech, or support terrorism—it is wrong, dangerous and a subterfuge that twists religion to cover its own warped worldview. And decent people of all religions must call it out for what it is.
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