by Steven Emerson
January 19, 2017
On Nov. 16, 2014, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) took the unusual step of designating the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), and the Muslim American Society (MAS) – as terrorist organizations.
They were among 83 groups named for their connections to the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood.
This outraged CAIR officials, who immediately began efforts to get their organization removed from the list. They found a powerful ally in Secretary of State John Kerry, who authorized State Department officials to meet regularly with UAE officials to lobbying on behalf of CAIR and MAS .
CAIR already had a sympathetic ear in the Obama administration, including the State Department, that had openly embraced and legitimized the entire spectrum of radical Islamist groups falsely posing as religious or civil rights groups, which both CAIR and MAS had done.
At a daily State Department press briefing two days after UAE released its list, a spokesman said that State does not “consider CAIR or MAS to be terrorist groups” but that it was seeking more information from UAE about their decision. He added that “as part of our routine engagement with a broad spectrum of faith based organizations, a range of U.S. government officials have met with officials of CAIR and MAS. We at the State Department regularly meet with a wide range of faith based groups to hear their views even if some of their views expressed at times are controversial.”
In making that admission, the State Department official had effectively affirmed the Obama Administration policy of embracing radical Islamist group under the euphemism of calling them “faith based groups.”
The UAE had good reason to designate CAIR, as records obtained by the FBI indicate it was created as front group for a Hamas support network. While CAIR bills itself as “the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization,” the reality is quite different.
Before helping launch CAIR, Executive Director Nihad Awad worked as public relations director for the Islamic Association for Palestine (IAP), a Hamas propaganda arm in the United States. A 2001 Immigration and Naturalization Service memo documented IAP’s support for Hamas and found that the “facts strongly suggest” that IAP was “part of Hamas’ propaganda apparatus.”
IAP was part of the “Palestine Committee,” created by the Muslim Brotherhood to support Hamas politically and financially. CAIR was added to the Palestine Committee’s roster just after its 1994 creation.
In 2008, the FBI cut off official contact with CAIR, citing evidence from the Holy Land Foundation terror funding trial which documented the connections between CAIR and its founders to Hamas.
In a letter to U.S. Sen. Jon Kyl, the FBI explained, “until we [the FBI] can resolve whether there continues to be a connection between CAIR or its executives and HAMAS, the FBI does not view CAIR as an appropriate liaison partner.”
During a 2003 Senate hearing, U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer, D-NY, said that CAIR is known “to have ties to terrorism.” In 2009 correspondence with the FBI, he wrote that cutting off contact with the Islamist group “should be government-wide policy.”
CAIR and its representatives, meanwhile, often espouse radical ideology and propagate the jihadist narrative that the United States is waging a “war on Islam.” Awad repeated that message as recently as September when he denounced legislation allowing the families of 9/11 victims to sue Saudi Arabia.
CAIR officials often side with Hamas and other Palestinian terrorists.