Oklahoma’s Muslim community is breaking new ground.
For the first time, they will have a float in the Veterans Day Parade in downtown Tulsa, and a local newspaper reports that not all parade participants are happy about it. Namely, U.S. military veterans.
“It’s something we have been wanting to do for years,” Adam Soltani, executive director of the Oklahoma Chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, told the Tulsa World.
Soltani said the float is sponsored by CAIR-Oklahoma but will “represent the Oklahoma Muslim community, which is a very diverse community of people from all walks of life, immigrants, indigenous people.”
Like in most states, the vast majority of Muslims in Oklahoma are immigrants, not “indigenous people,” say those who follow the U.S. immigration and refugee trends.
Because of the U.S. refugee resettlement program, the Muslim communities are no longer concentrated just in large cities like New York, Los Angeles, Boston and Chicago. These communities are increasingly being “seeded” by the U.S. State Department in smaller communities in middle America such as Twin Falls, Idaho; Dodge City, Kansas; Spartanburg, South Carolina; Bowling Green, Kentucky; and Tulsa, Oklahoma.
According to U.S. government databases, 2,483 refugees from Muslim countries have been sent from United Nations camps directly to Oklahoma since January 2002, the earliest date for which data is available online. This also does not include any Muslim immigrants who have entered the U.S. on work or student visas, which likely would encompass several thousand more at major Oklahoma universities.
CAIR does its best to project an image of American Muslims being well integrated and loyal Americans.
“We support all veterans, and we support our country, so I don’t see why anyone should have any concerns about CAIR being involved (in the Veterans Day parade),” Soltani told the World.
“We are an American Muslim organization, and American Muslims support their government, support their country and definitely support our troops who are working to defend our constitutional rights and our freedoms,” he added.
Soltani said many U.S. Muslims have served in the armed forces and that two veterans are on the CAIR-Oklahoma board.
Veterans push back
But Larry Williamson, a member of the Tulsa 912 Project, a conservative organization, told the World it is “atrocious” to ask veterans to “march alongside people who represent our enemies in a current war.”
“I believe all American entrants who the parade is intended to honor should be made aware as soon as possible that they are being asked to share their honor with the Muslim Brotherhood, sworn enemy of the United States and our ally Israel and an enemy in our current war on the Islamic jihad in which American soldiers are fighting and dying,” he said in a letter to the Tulsa World.
Making matters worse for Williamson, he told the World his Tulsa 912 Project float is scheduled to be in line right next to the CAIR float in the parade.
“I’m not a spokesman for Tulsa 912, but I won’t march alongside the Muslim Brotherhood,” he told the newspaper.
Williams refers to CAIR as the “Muslim Brotherhood” because of documents filed in court records from the Holy Land Foundation trial naming CAIR as a Brotherhood front group.
The ‘Muslim Mafia’
Williamson told the World the FBI has identified CAIR as an arm of the Muslim Brotherhood in America. CAIR has consistently stated it has no connections with any terrorist groups yet the United Arab Emirates and other Arab countries have included it on their terrorist watchlist and banned its members from entering their nations.
As WND has reported, 14 former CAIR officials have been investigated or charged in cases involving terrorist activity.
As former FBI agent Mike Rolf acknowledges in his book, “Muslim Mafia,” “CAIR has had a number of people in positions of power within the organization that have been directly connected to terrorism and have either been prosecuted or thrown out of the country.”
According to another FBI veteran familiar with recent and ongoing cases involving CAIR officials, “Their offices have been a turnstile for terrorists and their supporters.”
Patsy Varnell, vice president of the Tulsa Veterans Day Parade Association, confirmed to the World that CAIR-Oklahoma’s application to be in the parade has been approved.
“The parade is nonreligious,” she said.
“We feel that we are exercising the rights established by the Constitution of freedom of speech, and this group has the right to participate. We do not want any problems, but we have to be fair to everybody,” Varnell said.
Ronda Vuillemont-Smith, president and founder of the Tulsa 912 Project, said the group is not asking that CAIR be removed from the parade but that parade organizers “be honest and open and let people know that they are in.”
“My concern is that the parade committee was trying to keep this information out of the public eye,” she said.