WASHINGTON – Ignoring members of a Muslim-reform movement, the White House invited an executive of the Council on American-Islamic Relations to a little-noticed meeting, even though CAIR has been very public in representing family members of the alleged shooters in the San Bernardino terror attack and was founded as a front group for the Muslim Brotherhood, an expert says.
CAIR has blamed the San Bernardino attack on American foreign policy, and the meeting, which did not include representation from the moderate Muslim Reform Movement, was about battling religious discrimination, according to terrorism expert Steve Emerson.
In an email to WND, Emerson said the White House had invited Hassan Shibly to represent the American Muslim community at a meeting on combating religious discrimination.
Shibly is the chief executive director of CAIR in Florida.
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CAIR, headquartered in Washington, D.C., describes itself as a Muslim civil rights group, but since 2008, the Federal Bureau of Investigation has barred any outreach with CAIR officials because of its Muslim Brotherhood ties.
“Why would the White House include CAIR when FBI policy is to avoid the group?” Emerson asked.
Emerson, who heads the Washington-based Investigative Project on Terrorism, said his group received an email from the White House saying that “CAIR state chapter representatives have been included in broad meetings.”
“The meeting’s focus is understandable,” Emerson said, “but the inclusion of a prominent CAIR official serves only to enhance the status of a group with documented ties to a terrorist financing network.”
Emerson is referring to CAIR being named as an unindicted co-conspirator in the terror-finance case against the Texas-based Holy Land Foundation and its former officials.
WND was unable to obtain a comment from CAIR about the meeting.
As WND reported Wednesday, presidential candidate Dr. Ben Carson has called for an investigation of CAIR and referred to the Holy Land case during the Republican presidential debate Tuesday evening. Trial transcripts and exhibits show the organization that evolved into CAIR was founded as a front group for Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood.
Emerson said the choice of Shibly to attend the White House gathering and meet with Valerie Jarrett, a senior Obama adviser, also is troubling, since he is helping a a family sue the FBI, alleging an agent shot and killed a friend of Boston Marathon bomber Tamerlan Tsarnaev after hours of questioning in his Orlando home in 2013.
Tsarnaev’s friend, Ibragim Todashev, attacked the FBI agent shortly after acknowledging involvement in a separate triple murder in Massachusetts. He then tried to charge the agent, but was shot dead.
Emerson said Shibly also represented a Detroit imam after he refused to surrender to FBI agents and shot an FBI canine with a Glock 9mm handgun, which a video shows he tried to conceal.
Emerson said that while the White House could invite Shibly, it didn’t include any representatives from a new coalition of non-Islamist Muslims, the Muslim Reform Movement, which recently issued a declaration and statement of principles.
The declaration, written by the American Islamic Forum for Democracy, calls for “peace, human rights and secular governance” and defeat of “Islamism” which it referred to as “politicized Islam.”
“We reject interpretations of Islam that call for any violence, social injustice and politicized Islam,” the declaration said.
“For the past seven years,” Emerson said, “the Obama White House has opened its doors to the entire spectrum of radical Islamist groups, just like CAIR.
“These groups have rationalized the actions of Islamic terrorist groups that have killed Americans, warned American Muslims against cooperating with law enforcement, smeared genuine Muslim moderates like Zuhdi Jasser and Asra Nomani as traitors and accused anyone who dared to utter the term ‘radical Islam’ as ‘Islamophobic,'” he said. “These are the groups that the White House should have marginalized.
“The fact that Obama legitimized radical Islamist groups will be his real legacy.”
WND reported this week that CAIR’s executive director, Nihad Awad, wrote in a Time magazine Web commentary Wednesday that Carson was trying to smear CAIR, insisting his organization is a “leading advocate for justice and mutual understanding.”
But the evidence to support Carson’s concerns is abundant.
Along with CAIR being named an unindicted co-conspirator in the Holy Land case, the United Arab Emirates named CAIR as one of 82 designated terrorist organizations around the world, placing it in the company of al-Qaida and ISIS.
More than a dozen CAIR leaders have been charged or convicted of terrorism-related crimes.
As WND reported in 2010, a federal judge later determined that the Justice Department provided “ample evidence” to designate CAIR as an unindicted terrorist co-conspirator, affirming the Muslim group has been involved in “a conspiracy to support Hamas.”
WND reported last year that a former FBI official contends the Justice Department has enough incriminating evidence to file terrorism charges against CAIR and its founders but has chosen not to indict the group and its leaders.
A number of Muslim leaders have commended the FBI for it rejection of CAIR.
CAIR filed suit in 2009 against former federal investigator Dave Gaubatz and his son, Chris Gaubatz, after the two carried out an undercover investigation of the Islamic group. Evidence from the Gaubatzes’ investigation was published in the WND Books expose’ “Muslim Mafia: Inside the Secret Underworld That’s Conspiring to Islamize America.” The book documents CAIR’s support of radical jihad, recounting its origin as a front group for Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood. The case likely will go to trial in 2016.
In candid moments, CAIR leaders have acknowledged the Muslim Brotherhood aim of turning the U.S. into an Islamic state. CAIR co-founder Ahmad, according to a local newspaper, told a group of Muslims in Northern California in 1998 that they were in America not to assimilate but to help assert Islam’s rule over the country. Ahmad insists he was misquoted, but WND found the reporter stood by her story.
CAIR’s communications director, Ibrahim Hooper, also has expressed a desire to overturn the U.S. system of government in favor of an Islamic state.
“I wouldn’t want to create the impression that I wouldn’t like the government of the United States to be Islamic sometime in the future,” Hooper said in a 1993 interview with the Minneapolis Star Tribune. “But I’m not going to do anything violent to promote that. I’m going to do it through education.”