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CAIR spokesman Ibrahim Hooper
A leading U.S. Islamic lobby group blames a purported rise in anti-Muslim harassment, violence and discriminatory treatment on the Internet and talk radio.
National spokesman Ibrahim Hooper told reporters the difference is due to “a rise in anti-Muslim rhetoric fed by the Internet and also on talk radio.”
“You can’t turn on the radio without hearing negative, bigoted comments about Islam,” Hooper said.
CAIR said it received 1,972 complaints in 2005, the most since it began compiling annual reports after the Oklahoma City bombing in 1995. About 2,300 reports were received, the group said, but some were found to be illegitimate.
Most of the complaints, according to CAIR Legal Director Arsalan Iftikhar, were of a “due process” nature, such as racial profiling. Second were denial of religious accommodation and third were employment discrimination.
CAIR said federal authorities do a “very good job” investigating crimes with a religious bias, but there is more “resistance” at the local level.
Hooper, nevertheless, charged the federal “Patriot Act” – laws designed to give authorities more resources to fight terrorism – has targeted Muslims unfairly.
In its 2004 report, CAIR also claimed a “sharp jump” in “Islamophobic hate crimes” and blamed talk radio.
That year the group launched a campaign “designed to counter anti-Muslim hate on radio talk shows” called “Hate Hurts America.”
In April 2004, CAIR accused Boston host Jay Severin of saying on his show, “I’ve got an idea, let’s kill all Muslims.” However, just days later, the Boston Globe, which published CAIR’s claim, was forced to issue a retraction, admitting Severin never made the statement. Nevertheless, CAIR continued a campaign calling for Severin to be fired.
The group also targeted Washington, D.C., host Michael Graham for making an “implicit” call for violence against all Muslims by advocating the use of profiling in security policy.
CAIR also launched campaigns to elicit apologies from national radio figures Paul Harvey and Dr. Laura. Harvey backed off on his statement that Islam is “a religion which encourages killing.” But Dr. Laura refused to apologize for advising a mother her daughter should go on a field trip to a mosque “only if it is one that has done its best to rout out terrorists in its midst.”
CAIR is a spin-off of the Islamic Association for Palestine, identified by two former FBI counterterrorism chiefs as a “front group” for the Palestinian terrorist group Hamas. Several CAIR leaders have been convicted on terror-related charges.
CAIR’s leaders also have provided evidence the group has aims beyond civil-rights advocacy.
As WorldNetDaily reported, CAIR’s chairman of the board, Omar Ahmad, was cited by a California newspaper in 1998 declaring the Quran should be America’s highest authority.
He also was reported to have said Islam is not in America to be equal to any other religion but to be dominant.
CAIR’s chief spokesman, Ibrahim Hooper, indicated in a 1993 interview with the Minneapolis Star Tribune that he wants to see the United States become a Muslim country.
“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,” Hooper told the paper. “But I’m not going to do anything violent to promote that. I’m going to do it through education.”
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