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Critics of the Washington, D.C.-based Council on American-Islamic Relations say they are not surprised that one of its former leaders is now running for president in Egypt with a pledge to implement Islamic law in the wake of the country’s revolution.

Bassem Khafagi, CAIR’s former community affairs director, declared his intentions in a speech aired on Egypt’s Al-Nas TV and translated by the Middle East Media Research Institute.

“Let me tell you, in all honesty, that as a Muslim Egyptian, I am convinced of [the need to] complete the implementation of Islamic law in Egypt,” Khafagi said.

“I do not hide this truth in any way, because it is in keeping with the inclination of the Egyptian people.”

CAIR was named by the U.S. Justice Department as an indicted co-conspirator in a major terrorist-financing scheme. Khafagi, himself, was arrested in 2003 on terror-related charges while working for CAIR.

Make a donation of $25 to protect the free flow of information about threats to America’s security and get both the e-book and the hardcover edition of the book that exposes the Muslim Brotherhood and CAIR, “Muslim Mafia: Inside the Secret Underworld That’s Conspiring to Islamize America.”

He pleaded guilty to charges of bank and visa fraud stemming from a federal counter-terror probe of his leadership role in the Islamic Assembly of North America, which supported al-Qaida and advocated suicide attacks on America. He was sentenced to 10 months in prison and deported to his native Egypt.

“It’s clear to us that CAIR’s real agenda is not protecting ‘civil rights’ – but insinuating Shariah law into America in any way possible,” the non-profit group Act for America said in a response to Khafagi’s speech in Egypt.

Khafagi explained that no candidate “should say that he is coming to implement the Shariah, because part of it has already been implemented.”

“What the Egyptian people want is to complete this implementation,” he said. “As president, I will personally assist in the completion of the correct implementation of the Shariah, by consulting the experts [in Islamic law].”

Robert Spencer, director of JihadWatch.org, which featured the MEMRI TV story, noted that Hamas-linked CAIR has long insisted that Muslims in the U.S. do not want to implement Shariah law in their new country.

“So did Khafagi change his mind about Shariah when he went back to Egypt?” Spencer asked. “Or does he think Shariah should be implemented in Egypt but not here? Or maybe he and others in Hamas-linked CAIR really do want to bring Shariah here?”

U.S. counter-terrorism officials regard CAIR as a front group for the Egypt-based Muslim Brotherhood, the parent of most of the major Islamic terrorist groups, including Hamas and al-Qaida. CAIR and some of its leaders were named unindicted co-conspirators in the prosecution of the Texas-based Holy Land Foundation, the largest terror finance case in U.S. history. CAIR is suing a father-and-son team that conducted an undercover probe that came up with 12,000 pages of internal documents confirming the group’s role as a front for the Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas in the U.S. The findings were published in the WND Books best-selling expose “Muslim Mafia: Inside the Secret Underworld That’s Conspiring to Islamize America”

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