Monday, December 1, 2008
CAIR Statement on Mumbai
Nihad Awad, Executive Director of CAIR
Cross-posted by Gary Fouse
For the past several days, I have been checking the website of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR). Today is the first time I have seen any mention of the events in Mumbai. The below post is dated November 27, so I could be in error as to exactly when this item appeared on the website.
"CAIR Condemns Mumbai Attacks
Posted 11/27/2008 12:44:00 PM
(WASHINGTON, D.C., 11/27/08) - A prominent national Islamic civil rights and advocacy group today condemned attacks on a number of sites in the Indian financial capital of Mumbai that left at least 100 people dead and many more injured.
The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) also called for the immediate and unconditional release of all hostages taken during the attacks. Witnesses say the attackers sought out American and British citizens.
SEE: Dozens Die in Mumbai Attacks (Washington Post)
In a statement, CAIR Executive Director Nihad Awad said:
“We condemn these cowardly attacks and demand that all hostages taken by the attackers be released immediately and unconditionally. We offer sincere condolences to the loved ones of those killed or injured in these senseless and inexcusable acts of violence against innocent civilians. American Muslims stand with our fellow citizens of all faiths in repudiating acts of terror wherever they take place and whomever they target.”
SEE: CAIR’s Anti-Terrorism Campaigns
The Washington-based group also asked the Indian government to protect all its citizens from the type of retaliatory attacks that have taken place following similar incidents in the recent past.
CAIR, America's largest Islamic civil liberties group, has 35 offices and chapters nationwide and in Canada. Its mission is to enhance the understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.
- END -
CONTACT: CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-488-8787
In addition, I have been checking other regional CAIR sites in Los Angeles, Chicago and Cincinnati. I have seen no other references to Mumbai. I have also checked a couple of Muslim Student Union sites (UC-Irvine and UCLA) and have seen nothing mentioned. Of course, there could be many other MSU sites at other universities that have spoken on the issue.
I do want to say something about the CAIR comment. First of all, it is right that they make some comment condemning what happened in Mumbai. CAIR's official position is that they condemn terrorism. What I find lacking is that CAIR feels the need to skirt around the fact that most terrorism in the world today is being carried out by Muslims and usually in the name of Islam. Note that the above statement makes no reference to the identity of the culprits. Were they Swedish extremists trying to gain the independence of Lapland? CAIR also makes no mention of the Jewish victims at Mumbai's Chabad House, who were obviously singled out by the Muslim attackers because they were Jewish.
CAIR does make a point, however, to urge Indian authorities to protect people from "retaliatory attacks". Of course, that means protecting Muslims in India from retaliatory attacks. (I also hope Indian authorities will protect Indian Muslims from being attacked.)
It seems to me that CAIR walks a very careful line when it comes to this issue of Islamic terrorism. They will, of course, condemn acts of terror publicly. Yet, they will not come clean and acknowledge that Islam is afflicted with a cancer called hatred, intolerance and terrorism, a cancer that must be excised. They cannot publicly state that they are ashamed at the acts of Muslim killers who act in the name of Islam. Indeed, in browsing through a couple of Islamic blogs, what I see as a trend is condemnation of Mumbai but a refusal to be apologetic for Islam itself.
That is clearly understandable. When I read about the Inquisition, I condemn that in the strongest terms. It doesn't make me ashamed to be Christian because it happened centuries ago, and Christianity went through a Reformation. (I am Protestant.)
In contrast, Islamic terrorism is now, and it threatens everyone in the world today. It must be dealt with. Why is it that organizations like CAIR and so many Imams cannot openly confront the cancer? Is it because the cancer exists in the Qu'ran itself? Is it because to emulate the life of the Prophet Mohammed is to follow the path of Jihad?
CAIR, which likes to think of itself as the Muslim equivalent of the NAACP (maybe today's NAACP-certainly not the NAACP of the Civil Rights era), stands ready at a pin-drop to sue anybody who they think may have discriminated against a Muslim. Their websites are quick to publish any perceived slight or hate crime-real or made up (witness the recent Elmhurst College hoax). When Muslims are arrested in the US, CAIR can be counted upon to take the position that an injustice is being done. Their philosophy seems to be that they can litigate their way to acceptance by the American people in spite of the continuing scourge of Islamic terror. They are mistaken.
CAIR's statement on Mumbai is woefully insufficient. Instead of making generic statements about condemning terrorism in all its forms, CAIR and millions of Imams should be calling for a worldwide movement to call a halt to hatred toward Jews and other "non-believers". If that means re-evaluating certain passages in the Qu'ran or making some critical judgements about the Prophet Mohammed, or simply issuing Fatwahs to the effect that Islam needs to accommodate itself to a modern and diverse world, then so be it.
Of course, that will not happen. Instead, what we see is CAIR looking for the next "Islamophobe" to expose or drag into court while their allies at the United Nations try to pressure free democracies into taking away the right of free speech and outlawing any criticism or "defamation" of Islam.
Of course, CAIR itself is under suspicion in many quarters. The organization was named as an unindicted co-conspirator in the recent Holy Land Foundation trial. If, as many charge, CAIR is linked to Hamas, then how far can you expect them to go in trying to "fight" Islamic terror?