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A controversial Muslim advocacy group quickly condemned the shooting attack yesterday by an “Israeli terrorist,” using the opportunity to reinforce its contention that Islam has as much to do with terrorism as any other faith.

The Council on American-Islamic Relations said, “This brutal attack on innocent civilians once again demonstrates that terrorism and extremism can rise out of any faith.”

As WorldNetDaily reported, Eden Natan Zada, 19, was lynched by a mob of Palestinians after he opened fire on a bus and killed four Arabs, allegedly in protest of the Gaza withdrawal plan.

Police are calling the incident a “Jewish terror attack” and are on high alert for Palestinian revenge attacks, warning of a likely immediate deterioration in Israel’s security situation.

CAIR said it calls on “American religious and political leaders to condemn the attack and to repudiate the extremist views that apparently motivated the perpetrator.”

“Terror is terror, no matter what faith the terrorist espouses,” the statement said.

Responding to CAIR’s comment, scholar and author Robert Spencer told WorldNetDaily the group’s “rush to condemn this isolated incident only underscores their curious silence after the great majority of Islamic terror attacks.”

“Terror is indeed terror, but there is no organized movement of Jewish – or Christian – terrorists using their scriptures to justify that terror,” said Spencer, director of Jihad Watch.

“There is such a global movement of Islamic terrorists – and what is CAIR doing to convince them of the error of their ways?” he asked.

Spencer said CAIR “needs to stop engaging in spurious finger-pointing such as this statement and work among Muslims to refute the jihad ideology they claim to reject but so far have done little or nothing to counter.”

After the terrorist attacks on London last month, CAIR was part of a coalition of American Islamic leaders and groups that issued a fatwa, or religious ruling, against “terrorism and extremism.”

But CAIR, along with many of the signatories, has known ties to terrorism, and the decree is missing key elements, charged terrorism researcher and analyst Steven Emerson.

Emerson called it a “fake fatwa designed merely to deceive the American public into believing that these groups are moderate.”

“Nowhere does it condemn the Islamic extremism ideology that has spawned Islamic terrorism,” Emerson said in a dispatch posted on Counterterrorism Blog. “It does not renounce nor even acknowledge the existence of an Islamic jihadist culture that has permeated mosques and young Muslims around the world. It does not renounce jihad let alone admit that it has been used to justify Islamic terrorist acts. It does not condemn by name any Islamic group or leader.”

CAIR is a spin-off of the Islamic Association for Palestine, identified by two former FBI counterterrorism chiefs as a “front group” for Hamas. Several CAIR leaders have been convicted on terror-related charges.

Emerson also points out that CAIR repeatedly has attacked the prosecutions of Islamic terrorists arrested or convicted since 9-11 and has attacked the government’s freezing of Islamic terrorist fronts, calling it a “war against Islam” by the United States.

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