Washington-based Council on American-Islamic Relations, which claims to represent the interests of American Muslims, allegedly defrauded a number of Muslims recently seeking help with citizenship delays, and then threatened to sue them if they complained to the media, according to a security watchdog group which has obtained internal CAIR documents.
The former legal director of CAIR’s Maryland/Virginia chapter shook down Muslim hardship cases for thousands of dollars without providing promised services, officials with the Mapping Sharia Project charge.
CAIR, a nonprofit group, promoted the services of the employee, Morris L. “Jamil” Days, whom it publicly described as a civil-rights attorney, even after discovering Days was unlicensed and was fraudulently representing CAIR’s clients.
CAIR’s board allegedly covered up the scandal by paying defrauded Muslim families partial restitution payments while insisting they sign agreements releasing CAIR from legal liability, officials said.
The release threatens to sue them for “damages in the amount of $25,000 for the purpose of conducting meetings, workshops, press releases, flyers and the like to reverse … the damage to CAIR’s reputation caused by the recipient’s breach” of the agreement to remain silent about the “incident.”
Earlier this year, the board also fired Days and closed the chapter’s offices in Herndon, Va. The chapter director, Khalid Iqbal, is no longer with CAIR.
CAIR refused to respond to the allegations, which came to light only after American Muslims provided evidence to the Mapping Sharia Project.
“I really don’t know anything about this,” CAIR spokesman Ahmed Rehab said. He referred questions to CAIR communications director Ibrahim Hooper, who declined comment.
CAIR last month launched a $250,000 fundraising campaign that included a promotional on its website touting its mission to help Muslims, particularly those confronting citizenship problems.
“Everyday, CAIR works hard to defend the rights of American Muslims who encounter a delay in gaining citizenship,” the group said.
In fact, CAIR has “victimized” poor Muslim immigrants, said David Gaubatz, director of operations for the Mapping Sharia Project.
“CAIR continues to put Muslim Americans at risk through the pretense that they represent them in any way,” Gaubatz said. “CAIR is receiving support from big foreign donors, not because of their effectiveness in discrimination cases, but because of their false image in the media.”
Gaubatz says CAIR, which last year was named an unindicted co-conspirator in a federal terror-financing case involving Hamas, controls some $7 million in real estate assets in Washington through a limited liability holding company that includes silent Middle Eastern investors.
He says his group has filed a formal complaint against CAIR concerning the alleged fraud with the District of Columbia.