Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla.
Prompted by evidence in a new book, a senator and five Congress members are urging the Internal Revenue Service to investigate the Council on American-Islamic Relations to determine whether the controversial Muslim group’s lobbying activities on Capitol Hill violate its nonprofit status.
The letter to IRS Commissioner Douglas H. Shulman is signed by Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., and members of the House antiterrorism caucus, Reps. Sue Myrick, R-N.C., John Shadegg, R-Ariz., Trent Franks, R-Ariz., Paul Broun, R-Ga., and Patrick McHenry, R-N.C.
The Washington, D.C.-based CAIR – which had its relationship with the FBI cut off this year after being named an unindicted co-conspirator in the largest terror-finance case in U.S. history – has been under increased scrutiny since the release of “Muslim Mafia: Inside the Secret Underworld That’s Conspiring to Islamize America,” a WND Books publication by former Air Force special agent P. David Gaubatz and “Infiltration” author Paul Sperry. The authors present firsthand evidence CAIR is acting as a front for a well-funded conspiracy of the Muslim Brotherhood – the parent of al-Qaida and Hamas – to infiltrate the U.S. and help pave the way for Saudi-style Islamic law to rule the nation.
The letter, also addressed to the House clerk, Senate secretary and Senate superintendent of records, points to evidence uncovered in “Muslim Mafia” that CAIR may be in violation of both the anti-excessive-lobbying provision of its 501(c)(3) nonprofit status and the Lobbying Disclosure Act of 1995 by failing to register with Congress as a federal lobbying organization.
As CAIR’s own website states, the group’s Governmental Affairs Department “conducts and organizes lobbying efforts on issues related to Islam and Muslims.”
CAIR says its department is “active in monitoring legislation and government activities and then, responding on behalf of the American Muslim community. CAIR representatives have testified before Congress and have sponsored a number of activities designed to bring Muslim concerns to Capitol Hill.”
As WND reported last month, Myrick, Shadegg, Franks and Broun formally asked the House sergeant at arms to investigate evidence from “Muslim Mafia” that CAIR is conspiring to plant “spies” inside Congress targeting sensitive security-related committees. In another letter, to Attorney General Eric Holder, the House members ask the Justice Department to reveal to Congress members why CAIR was listed as an unindicted co-conspirator in the largest terror-finance case in U.S. history.
“Muslim Mafia” points out CAIR, as a tax-exempt 501(c)(3) organization, is severely restricted from lobbying and expressly prohibited from political campaigning.
By law, the book points out, CAIR must notify the IRS of any intent to lobby by filing a special form.
A 501(c)(3) organization “will lose its tax-exempt status and its qualification to receive tax-deductible charitable contributions if a substantial part of its activities are carried on to influence legislation,” the IRS states in Form 5768.
Internal documentation and press releases obtained by “Muslim Mafia” authors suggest a substantial portion of CAIR’s operations involve lobbying operations.
In its effort to repeal the Patriot Act antiterrorism law in 2005, for example, CAIR made 72 trips to Congress, according to internal documents. “Muslim Mafia” notes Congress met just 150 days that year.
CAIR also spends $25,000 a year to organize a national “lobby day on the Hill” in which its members nationwide come to Washington – armed with CAIR talking points on a single issue – to meeting with their representatives.
CAIR, which calls its governmental affairs department a “lobbying office,” also has created databases to streamline its lobbying efforts, including one to automatically alert staffers on Capitol Hill about its policy issues.
IRS statutes also forbid CAIR from supporting or opposing anyone running for office, but CAIR has held political fundraisers benefiting Muslim U.S. Rep. Keith Ellison, D-Minn., and other Democrats. The group also has used its resources to get out the vote for Ellison and Democrats in tight races.
In 2004, CAIR bused Muslim voters from mosques to polls to support Democrats in key Florida counties.
The IRS also prohibits CAIR from inviting Democrats to speak at its forums without extending formal invitations to Republicans. But with the exception of GOP Rep. Ron Paul of Texas, “Muslim Mafia” says, CAIR mostly has vilified Republicans rather than reach out to them.
IMPORTANT NOTE: The Council on American-Islamic Relations, or CAIR, is suing “Muslim Mafia” co-author P. David Gaubatz and his son Chris over the evidentiary documents they obtained during Chris’ six-month undercover penetration of the organization, which both the FBI and Justice Department have branded as a terror co-conspirator. As a result of revelations in “Muslim Mafia,” the bipartisan Congressional Anti-Terrorism Caucus is calling for new, wide-ranging federal probes of CAIR. In the meantime, however, someone has to defend these two courageous investigators who have, at great personal risk, revealed so much about this dangerous group. WND has stepped up to the plate, procured the best First Amendment attorneys in the country and is paying for the Gaubatzes’ defense – but we can’t do it without your help. Please donate to WND’s Legal Defense Fund now. Thank you.