Is this photo sahih, Bukhari?
The headline on the United American Committee press release is startling: “CAIR Seattle Chapter defies National Headquarters, joins rally denounce to Hamas and Sharia law”!
On March 31, 2007, concerned citizens across the nation stood in defiance of tyranny, murder, and intimidation. The United American Committee led the second annual Rally Against Islamofascism Day. Supporters rallied to denounce acts of violence and oppression committed by Islamic Jihadis, and rallied against what they believed were dangerous subversive actions of the organization CAIR, the Council on American Islamic Relations. In a surprise turn of events Arsalan Bukhari, president of the Seattle, Washington chapter of the CAIR, defied CAIR’s national headquarters and joined the UAC rallies in denunciation of Jihadism, Hamas, Sharia law, and Islamic militancy.
(SEATTLE, WA – 04/02/2007) – In a stark departure from the example set by CAIR’s national headquarters, the Seattle chapter participated in the rally against Islamofascism, denouncing Jihadism, Hamas, Sharia law, and efforts to transform America into an Islamic theocracy. CAIR”s current national spokesman, Ibrahim Hooper, is on record in support of such an anti-American agenda stating, “I wouldn’t want to create the impression that I wouldn’t like the government of the United States to be Islamic sometime in the future.” Other CAIR chapters were provided the opportunity to participate, but did not.
The UAC is now asking the remaining elements of CAIR to join with their Seattle counterpart in condemnation of Sharia law, Islamic militancy, and specific terrorist entities such as Hamas and Hezbollah. The UAC has always maintained a policy of openly encouraging Muslims dedicated to democracy and the rule of non-religious law to join in events. Unfortunately, CAIR does not appear to be committed to participation as a whole, only in Seattle. Seattle Director Arsalan Bukhari has taken a unique stance in an organization which has had several prominent members convicted on terrorism charges. Though CAIR has issued previous statements against terrorism, they have refused numerous UAC requests to openly denounce several terrorists groups listed by the U.S. State Department. Further, CAIR is so heavily using lawsuits to intimidate detractors, that Congress has introduced legislation that prohibits suing Americans who report suspicious activity. In light of this, the UAC applauds Mr. Bukhari for his support in denouncing the aggression and intimidation his organization supports.
However, CAIR-Seattle is painting a very different picture of events. Their press release, which is oddly datelined “Washington, D.C.” (Ibrahim, did you dash this one off for the Seattle crew?), says:
CAIR-SEATTLE CHALLENGES PARTICIPANTS IN ANTI-MUSLIM ‘RALLY’
(WASHINGTON, D.C., 4/2/07) – On Saturday, March 31, CAIR-Seattle President Arsalan Bukhari challenged the anti-Muslim views of a small group of people who took part in a protest against “Islamofascism.”
Bukhari tried to help the handful of protest participants understand the reality of the American Muslim experience and Islam, but was met with hostility based on false information about Islam and Muslims promoted by Internet hate sites.
After refuting the anti-Muslim smears, Bukhari gave two Qurans to the protesters. Unfortunately, the organizers of the event later falsely claimed that Bukhari “joined” the rally.
“I hope to follow up with the protesters to teach them more about Islam and have them meet local Muslims,” said Bukhari. “I believe they are good at heart, but are misled by the propaganda fed to them by anti-Muslim bigots.”
Bukhari said CAIR’s research has shown that anti-Muslim prejudice decreases when people of other faiths know more about Islam and have an opportunity to interact with ordinary Muslims. He added that it is unfortunate that the protest organizers lied in a public statement by falsely claiming he shared their bigoted views.
Bigoted views? So Bukhari wants to go on record saying that opposition to “Islamofascism…Jihadism, Hamas, Sharia law, and efforts to transform America into an Islamic theocracy” amounts to bigotry? Perhaps the intrepid Seattle CAIR rep has gotten himself well positioned between a rock and a hard place.
Anyway, was he supportive of the rally or wasn’t he? Jesse Petrilla of the UAC writes:
Certainly, although CAIR just released a press release calling us liars and denying the thing, those present who talked to him said he insisted he denounced Jihad and the worse aspects of Islam, and that he was on the same side as us. (Note the CAIR press release says it’s from DC, not the Washington State chapter). Here is part of a report from someone who was there:
“As we left, we thanked the young Man from CAIR for coming and for being so willing to talk to so many. Although spirited, all attendees behaved as ladies and gentlemen at all times, as did the Man from CAIR. He ran after us as we left, to thank us for talking so much with him. He told us that he and we are on the same side, and he listed being opposed to jihad and the worst aspects of Islam, and he supported patriotism, etc. We told him that, if what he says is true, then we are on the same side. However, Muslims have taught us to mistrust each and every one of them and everything they say or write, so the Man from CAIR and his fellow Muslims would have to prove themselves through their actions.”
Full report by George Mason here.
I’m trying to collect other testimonies right now, but here is another testimony from Steve, the guy in the picture with him above:
“S. Arsalan Bukhari, President of CAIR Seattle Chapter, 9545 1st Avenue NE, Suite 272, Seattle, WA 98115, www.cairseattle.org, appeared in a light blue shirt. He agreed to letting us take his photo. He agreed to oppose terrorism, violence, and jihadism. When asked how many terrorists CAIR had turned in, he could not provide an example. He argued for the suing of ‘John Does’ in the ‘Flying Imams’ case, but said that CAIR only helped in the lawsuit, was not a party to the lawsuit. I told him politely that we were angry with CAIR that typical American citizens were being sued for reporting events that appeared suspicious to them to the authorities. This was not right. More of our discussions in a follow-up report.”
From Steve’s report, it sounds as if Arsalan Bukhari was trying to dance on both stools, and now risks falling between them.