Ayloush is consistent. This Hamas-linked CAIR thug, who is one of the most arrogant and hate-filled Islamic supremacists I’ve ever encountered (quite a distinction in a field so filled with obnoxious, hateful people), and I had a contentious one-hour “debate” on a California radio show in April 2007. During it, I repeatedly asked Ayloush to denounce Hamas and Hizballah as terrorist organizations, and he repeatedly refused to do so, responding instead with the usual ad hominem smears.
Cornered by a straightforward question he did not want to answer, the head of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) Los Angeles office chose instead to misrepresent his organization’s actions and feign outrage that the question itself was bigoted.
“Will CAIR-Los Angeles or CAIR-National – will you condemn Hamas?” Hussam Ayloush was asked outside his chapter’s annual fundraising banquet Saturday evening.
Initially, Ayloush tried CAIR’s standard response, saying he condemns “any group … who engages in the harming of civilians, innocent people.” That sounds like an answer to the question, but avoids specifically addressing whether Hamas is included.
Then the deception and intimidation kicks in.
“But as a civil rights organization we’re not here in the business of being dragged into the Middle East affairs and the conflicts of the Middle East,” Ayloush said. “We are an American organization.” The question itself is “not acceptable,” and “proves that you have nothing but bigotry in you.”…
Ayloush’s claim that CAIR is “not here in the business of being dragged into the Middle East affairs and the conflicts of the Middle East” is beyond disingenuous, given how often CAIR chooses to weigh in on Middle East issues. Its statements on the Palestinian-Israeli conflict always condemn Israeli actions. If Hamas is referenced at all, it is to minimize the threat of attacks by Hamas, a group which rejects any peaceful settlement to the conflict and which vows to destroy Israel.
For example, CAIR held a news conference in Washington to condemn Israel’s 2008 “Cast Lead” incursion into Gaza aimed at stopping rampant Hamas rocket attacks targeting Israeli civilians. CAIR co-founder and Executive Director Nihad Awad didn’t need to be “dragged into the Middle East” debate. He demanded “that our government, the U.S. government, take immediate steps to end the immoral and illegal Israeli bombardment of Gaza and its population.”
Hamas is never mentioned.
Ayloush made a nearly identical statement during a Southern California press conference, demanding that “our government take immediate steps to end the immoral and illegal Israeli bombardment of Gaza.”
When the rocket fire continued unabated, Israel again took military action last year to protect millions of civilians who continually were sent scurrying into bomb shelters. Ayloush seemed more than happy to get into the business of Middle East conflicts, appearing on a Los Angeles television station to place the blame solely on Israel and minimize Hamas’s culpability.
In 2004, CAIR issued a press release condemning Israel’s targeted killing of Hamas founder Ahmed Yassin. The statement never mentions Hamas or Yassin’s role as a Hamas founder and leader at a time when Hamas conducted waves of suicide bombings. Rather, CAIR “condemned the assassination of a wheelchair-bound Palestinian Muslim religious leader, calling it an act of ‘state terrorism.'”
CAIR’s Hamas Support Roots
The question about CAIR’s attitude toward Hamas is more than fair game given the organization’s roots in a Muslim Brotherhood-created Hamas support network in the United States. Internal documents seized by the FBI show that Awad participated in a key meeting of support-network members, known as the Palestine Committee, which was called to discuss ways to “derail” U.S.-led peace efforts between Israelis and Palestinians. The meeting, secretly recorded by the FBI, included talk of how a new accord would marginalize Hamas and lead to Palestinian recognition of Israel’s right to exist.
CAIR was created after that meeting, and quickly appeared on an agenda among the Palestine Committee’s other branches. Awad also was listed in a Palestine Committee telephone list.
“[U] ntil we can resolve whether there continues to be a connection between CAIR or its executives and HAMAS,” an FBI official wrote in 2009, “the FBI does not view CAIR as an appropriate liaison partner.”
Ayloush is not a stupid man. He knows this history, and he knows that a federal judge in Texas who saw the evidence found “ample evidence to establish the associations of CAIR, ISNA, NAIT, with NAIT, the Islamic Association for Palestine, and with Hamas.”
His options, therefore, are to acknowledge that record and perhaps try to claim that CAIR has changed, or to bluster his way into changing the subject. On Saturday, he chose the latter….