From Fox: “President Bush is willing to pose for pictures with American Muslims and publicly praise Islam, but developing a substantive relationship with the Bush administration will take much more work, say some Muslim-American groups.”
Said Ibrahim Hooper of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR): “We need to see regular, productive, policy-based meetings.”
You have to admire Hooper’s, uh, chutzpah. He wants to dictate policy to Bush when there are some things about CAIR that may well explain why he wasn’t invited to the President’s recent iftaar: radical Islam has long been a troubling element of the Council on American Islamic Relations. CAIR’s founder and Executive Director, Nihad Awad, has repeatedly declared his support for the terrorist group Hamas. Former CAIR communications specialist Randall Todd “Ismail” Royer has been charged with “conspiracy to levy war against the United States and conspiracy to provide material support to al-Qaida and the Taliban.” Bassem K. Khafagi, who has been identified in news reports as the community affairs director for CAIR’s national office in Washington, pleaded guilty to charges of bank and visa fraud. An organization he helped found, the Islamic Assembly of North America, is suspected of providing websites for two radical Sheikhs with ties to Osama bin Laden.
To my knowledge, Hooper has never explained any of this. When confronted about CAIR’s support for Hamas and other terrorist groups, he reportedly replied: “CAIR does not support these groups publicly.” But he responded rudely to requests to clarify this curious statement — just as he has ducked uncomfortable questions with rudeness and bluster in the past.
But this man still receives carte blanche in this story from Fox News as a neutral civil rights leader with a legitimate claim to discuss policy with the President.