Imagine if Italian-American organizations had responded to mob violence, as exemplified by the 1929 St. Valentine’s Day Massacre, by claiming that police efforts to fight mob violence unfairly harassed Italians, and that the violence resulted from discrimination like law enforcement investigation of the Italian community. Imagine further that such organizations urged Italians not to cooperate with law enforcement but to call them for legal representation if the FBI asked for information.
Would anyone who heard that response have believed the organizations offering it were trying to help curb violence? Or would they have believed these groups were in the pocket of the Italian mafia and using any and every excuse possible to do nothing to oppose it?
Incredibly, the Council for American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) does exactly this sort of thing to combat law enforcement efforts aimed at preventing and fighting jihad violence. The organization seems never to have found counter-extremism steps it likes. CAIR has not come out and said it opposes law enforcement. Instead, it offers nothing but criticism of government efforts to detect and counter radicalization. “The government’s CVE [countering violent extremism] initiative raises many issues” is a common CAIR refrain. Instead of trying to help prevent radicalization within the Muslim community, CAIR accuses the non-Muslim community of stirring up hostility against Muslims and reiterates the trope of Muslims-as-victims. For instance, CAIR-MN has consistently opposed a federal pilot counter-terrorism program focusing on Somali-Americans in Minneapolis, labeling it discriminatory.
On May 9, 2017, CAIR issued its most recent salvo, “Civil Rights Report 2017: The Empowerment of Hate.” Among other things, CAIR identifies FBI information/intelligence-gathering efforts as a type of “anti-Muslim bias incident.” As the picture spread below shows, this is no outlier, but typifies CAIR’s obstructionism toward counter-terrorism. What makes CAIR’s attitude so hypocritical is that in the same document, CAIR repeatedly complains about what it says is a toxic atmosphere fostered by President Trump and others who are supposedly inciting violence against Muslims. Yet, when the FBI or others seek to uncover information about toxic environments possibly inciting American Muslims to jihad violence (incitement which, Freedom House has documented, has existed in some US mosques), CAIR consistently opposed such conduct as “fishing expeditions” that harass and discriminate against Muslims.
From page 21 of CAIR’s “Civil Rights Report 2017: The Empowerment of Hate,” released May 9, 2017. CAIR considers FBI questioning of Muslims seeking information about Islamist terrorists to be a form of harassment.
“[Step out of your home or workspace] Call or e-mail CAIR-MN for free legal assistance: 612-206-3360 firstname.lastname@example.org. Then politely say: ‘I want to remain silent. My attorney will contact you.’”
CAIR-Minnesota posted this image on its website. Members of Minneapolis’ Muslim community previously reported that CAIR-MN openly discouraged community members from cooperating with an FBI probe into the disappearance of several Somali-Americans youths. The youths were eventually found to have joined al-Shabaab, an Islamist terrorist group overseas.
“If the FBI Contacts You, Contact Us, 248-559-2247 – We Can Represent You.”
CAIR-Massachusetts posted this on Facebook to advertise a May 27, 2016 workshop it co-sponsored with the Muslim Justice League.
Here is a card CAIR-Philadelphia used to advertise its “educational” presentation about the “dangers of entrapment.” The card was posted on CAIR-Philadelphia’s website at least from March 27, 2016 (click here for image) through November 13, 2016 (click here for image). For more about CAIR claiming entrapment, see an October 18, 2016 Investigative Project analysis.
“KNOCK KNOCK/ It’s the FBI… I just have a few questions!/ Call CAIR: 408-986-9874/ CAIR, I need you!/ Don’t worry, we’ve got your back!/ From now on, the FBI should stop harassing you/
“HAPPY CLIENT/ Just to be able to call CAIR if the FBI comes and knocks on the door and without having to worry about how much I would have to spend on an attorney – to me that is PRICELESS.”
Posted December 1, 2015, on the Facebook account of CAIR-California’s San Francisco Bay Area chapter.
CAIR-Chicago posted this on its website on November 12, 2015, the day before the Paris attacks, and a few months after ISIS warned it had terrorists in place to launch attacks within the U.S. The website text accompanying the flyer complains that the “FBI has increased its visits to families in the Chicagoland Muslim community over the last few days. As a result we want to send out a reminder of your rights when interacting with the FBI in case you are contacted or have already been contacted.”
“What to do if the FBI comes for you”
This Jihad Watch photograph is identified as showing brochures from CAIR-Florida’s “14th Annual Banquet Rooted in Faith,” held November 14, 2014, in Tampa.
“Build a Wall of Resistance/ Don’t Talk to the F.B.I.”
This flyer was used to advertise a February 9, 2011 CAIR-California event informing community members how to respond to FBI searches – or more to the point, how to stonewall them. The artwork predates CAIR. It was designed in the ’70s-’80s and used by various groups complaining of FBI harassment.
CAIR received considerable blowback, and its national office disavowed the flyer’s use. The organization’s national spokesman, Ibrahim Hooper, stated, “I think it’s [the flyer is] subject to misinterpretation. We decided out of extreme caution to take it down.” Take it down, it did – the link above is to the internet archive, not a current CAIR website. The national office’s website identifies the poster’s use as a policy violation “inconsistent with CAIR’s policy of constitutionally-informed cooperation with law enforcement.”
Given the level of “cooperation” implied by the other flyers, one can’t help but wonder whether using the “Don’t Talk to the F.B.I.” poster was CAIR’s version of a Washington scandal, i.e., wherein it erred by telling the truth – or in this case, by saying openly what CAIR’s attitude really is.