The great Choi
This story, predictably enough, makes scant mention of CAIR's questionable history: the terror convictions of various former CAIR officials; the Islamic supremacist statements made by some of its leaders; its designation as an "unindicted co-conspirator" in the Holy Land Foundation Hamas jihad terror funding case; and its derivation from the Islamic Association for Palestine (IAP), which is listed as an allied organization in the 1991 Muslim Brotherhood memo detailing a "grand Jihad in eliminating and destroying the Western civilization from within and ‘sabotaging’ its miserable house by their hands and the hands of the believers so that it is eliminated and Allah’s religion is made victorious over all other religions.”
Bravo for Steven Choi! He is not backing down, and even says, "If anyone has to apologize, it is them for publicly defaming my name." How about it, Ibrahim Hooper? Be a mensch for once. It would make quite a few people have more confidence in your "moderate" bona fides. You could apologize for impugning Mr. Choi's good will and good name, assure the public that you understand why Mr. Choi is concerned about CAIR, given its past history. You could announce, Ibrahim, that you are adopting the ten measures listed here as a manifestation of your good faith and new desire to show Americans that Muslims in this country are anxious to demonstrate that they are loyal citizens, and to jettison any elements of their faith as it has historically been understood and lived out that may interfere with their ability to adopt, sincerely and wholeheartedly, the American principles of non-establishment of religion and democratic pluralism.
Or you could rely on your ability to continue to bamboozle the uninformed and willfully ignorant. And I have a good idea of which one of these options you will choose.
Note also that the ever-charming and effervescent Hussam Ayloush assures us below that CAIR condemns "terrorism." He does not, of course, say anything about what exactly he believes constitutes terrorism, or about the Islamic supremacist imperative to impose Islamic law over non-Muslims.
"Irvine council candidate ties opponent to 'dangerous' Islamic group: Muslim leaders decry Steven Choi's comments as 'insulting and false,'" by Sean Emery for the Orange County Register, October 7 (misdated September 30; thanks to Charles):
IRVINE - An Irvine councilman has questioned his political opponent's work with what he called a "dangerous" Islamic advocacy group with alleged terrorist ties, drawing the ire of many in the local Muslim community who described the comments as divisive and false.
The comments by Councilman Steven Choi came at the close of a recent Chamber of Commerce election forum attended by the dozen candidates for Irvine office. Choi cautioned the audience of business and community leaders not to vote for a candidate who works for the Council on American-Islamic Relations – commonly known as CAIR – which he described as a "dangerous and Islamic organization."
Supporters say the high-profile Muslim advocacy group helps spread understanding of Islam and protection of civil liberties. But critics of the group question its funding and political agenda, claiming that it is linked to terrorist groups.
While Choi did not identify the candidate by name, the barb was clearly directed at Todd Gallinger, a lawyer and born-again Muslim who has represented CAIR in several class-action lawsuits. Gallinger is a member of the Keep Irvine Safe political slate with Councilman Sukhee Kang, Mayor Beth Krom and Councilman Larry Agran.
"Obviously it's just slimy political tactics," Gallinger said. "It's an attempt to play on xenophobia and fear."
Choi said his comments were directed specifically at CAIR, not at the Muslim community.
"I just don't want to make a big deal out of it. It went out of proportion," Choi said. "I did not even mention the candidate's name, but I wanted to bring up the fact there is a candidate who works at CAIR. Looking back I should have stopped there."
CAIR leaders have demanded an apology from Choi, describing his comments as "not only insulting and false, but also tantamount to public defamation." In a letter to the councilman, Hussam Ayloush, executive director CAIR's greater Los Angeles area chapter, described the group as the "largest American Muslim advocacy organization," claiming it has "unequivocally condemned all acts of terrorism."
"CAIR is a huge organization with literally thousands of members and volunteers. An organization is not judged by the wrong behavior of a person (that) goes against the policies of the organization," Ayloush said. "We don't practice guilt by association here."
CAIR detractors have risen to Choi's defense, accusing the organization of backing an extreme Islamic political agenda, pointing out that several individuals with ties to the group have been convicted or deported for their connections to terrorist groups.
Assemblyman Chuck DeVore of Irvine in a blog entry last week wrote that while he had "no doubt that the local chapter of CAIR is filled with many caring people and diligent citizens," he also had "no doubt that CAIR has had its share of members who have supported terrorism and have raised money for terror."
Islamic Center of Irvine President Issa Edah-Tally said he is willing to mediate a meeting between Choi and CAIR. The Islamic Center works with CAIR often, Edah-Tally said, which he described as "in no way a dangerous organization."
"I was shocked to hear that a council candidate made those comments," Edah-Tally said. "I can see how this can create waves of division in the community,"
Choi said he does not plan to meet with CAIR, and does not believe an apology is warranted.
"If anyone has to apologize, it is them for publicly defaming my name," Choi said.
Pat Rodgers, Choi's political ally who is also running for council, defended his criticism of CAIR, who he claimed had taken a non-issue and "thrown gasoline on the fire."
"This thing is not about being a Muslim," Rodgers said. "If you align yourself with an organization like that, you need to prepare yourself for a backlash."...
Indeed, you need to prepare yourself for serious questions -- if anyone in the media dares to ask them.