Art Moore entered the media world as a public relations assistant for the Seattle Mariners and a correspondent covering pro and college sports for Associated Press Radio. He reported for a Chicago-area daily newspaper and was senior news writer for Christianity Today magazine and an editor for Worldwide Newsroom before joining WND shortly after 9/11. He earned a master's degree in communications from Wheaton College.More ↓Less ↑
Imam Siraj Wahhaj – who is on record urging a violent overthrow of the “filthy” U.S. government assisted by jihad warriors armed with Uzis – gave a short fundraising appeal for CAIR at its banquet in Arlington, Va., Saturday night. Dalia Mogahed, an Obama adviser who has advocated Islamic law as implemented in Saudi Arabia and other Muslim-majority nations, was not at the event, according to sources.
As late as nine days prior to the banquet, CAIR featured the two on a special promotional page that opened its website. But on the eve of the event, a press release did not even mention their names. The speakers were listed as Rev. Jesse Jackson, former U.S. Rep. Paul Findley, Imam Mahdi Bray of the Muslim American Society and Agha Saeed, chairman of the American Muslim Taskforce on Civil Rights and Elections. Muslim comedian Ahmed Ahmed also performed at the banquet, CAIR said.
Blogger Radio Free Dar al Harb, which had a contact at the banquet, said a more apt theme for the event – rather than “Leading the Change” – would have been “the incredible shrinking CAIR.”
Another attendee of the banquet confirmed the blogger’s report.
Embassies that attended previous CAIR banquets did not have tables this time, the blogger’s source said, and though the Saudi Embassy had a table, “only two people who may, or may not, have been from the Embassy arrived,” leaving most of the places empty.
Also notably absent were representatives of the Jordanian Embassy and the Iranian Interests Section.
But this year, the source said, CAIR welcomed the Libyan ambassador, who received special recognition from Bray, the master of ceremonies, and “a very warm personal greeting” from a local imam, Esam Omeish.
“Muslim Mafia” points out, citing records revealed by the Investigative Project on Terrorism, that Bray is a three-time felon who has done prison time. As political director of the Muslim Public Affairs Council in Los Angeles, he led a Muslim Brotherhood campaign to raise $30,000 to help pay for lawyers to free al-Qaida agent and would-be presidential assassin Ahmed Abu Ali, who is serving a life sentence.
Omeish, “Muslim Mafia” reports, is an advocate of violent jihad who helps run a Saudi-backed, Muslim Brotherhood–controlled mosque in Falls Church, Va., that ministered to some of the Sept. 11 Saudi hijackers prior to the attacks.
Findley, a former Republican congressman, was a supporter of the late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat. In the wake of Sept. 11, Findley blamed the attacks on America’s support for Israel. He released a book shortly before Sept. 11, “Silent No More,” that sought to improve the image of Islam in the U.S. He charged President Bush “overreacted” to the Sept. 11 attacks, and he claimed Americans had been “misled by the American media, which is controlled by the Jewish lobby.”
Opening screen on CAIR’s website that advertised headliners Siraj Wahhaj and Dalia Mogahed
The source at the banquet said CAIR gave most of its awards to its immediate inner circle.
Bray asked for contributions to Jackson’s Rainbow PUSH Coalition, arguing “you’ve got to be a friend, to get a friend.”
North Carolina state Sen. Larry Shaw, the nation’s longest-serving elected Muslim official, offered “an incoherent diatribe implying the U.S. government was ignoring drug cartels to focus on low-level drug dealers,” according to the source.
Shaw made a joke about the FBI sponsoring tables “that was not well received due to the tangible paranoia in the room,” the source said.
The lawmaker also asked the crowd if there were any U.S. military personnel among them and then if there were any first responders in attendance.
“No one raised a hand or uttered a word. Dead silence,” the source reported.
Bray challenged the claims of Islam expert Robert Spencer, editor of Jihad Watch, and “Muslim Mafia” was “the target of the bully pulpit for the speakers,” the source said.
The Tri-Caucus said, “These charges smack of an America of 60 years ago where lists of ‘un-American’ agitators were identified. We should be affirming the importance of diversity and tolerance for all interns and staff who serve in Congress without suspicion of being identified as ‘spies.’”
The coalition said the “idea that we should investigate Muslim interns as spies is a blow to the very principle of religious freedom that our founding fathers cherished so dearly.”