The Minnesota leader of the Council on American-Islamic Relations was asked during a community meeting Saturday if he would renounce the terrorist organization Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood.
The event at the St. Cloud Public Library was part of CAIR’s ongoing “anti-Islamophobia” campaign that it launched in the wake of the election one year ago of President Donald Trump.
About 30 people attended the event Saturday, and they were told Muslims are on the verge of being rounded up and placed in internment camps, just like the Japanese were in 1942 under an executive order signed by President Franklin Roosevelt.
Titled “Japanese-American Incarceration: Could it Happen Again?” the event began with a presentation by a professor of African-American studies at the University of Minnesota, followed by comments from Jaylani Hussein, executive director of CAIR Minnesota, and other panelists.
Professor Yuichiro Onishi said it was his belief that the U.S. was one “trigger” event away from Muslims being rounded up. He explained that America has a history of using immigration laws as a pretext for “state-sanctioned racism,” citing the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 and the immigration acts of 1927 and 1924, which limited the number of Asians migrating to the U.S.
Jaylani Hussein then presented the Somali refugee community in Minnesota as victims of the latest American racism, taking the form of anti-Muslim bigotry equal to that leveled against the Chinese and Japanese leading up to World War II.
Hussein said Americans only hear in the media about the bad things Somali Muslims do in Minnesota, from stealing and sexually assaulting women at the Mall of America just last week to stabbing people at the Mall of America and at the Crossroads Center Mall in St. Cloud last year. This is all fear-mongering, and it’s a huge industry in the United States, Hussein said.
Then came the question-and-answer period.
Local resident Elizabeth Baklaich reminded the professor that America “already had that trigger moment.”
“That trigger moment was 9/11. There were 3,000 people who died,” she said. “… [T]hat was a direct attack that was followed up by war, and if we were going to make this same maneuver against Muslims, it would have happened. … I just wanted to bring that up because I think that’s a fundamental flaw in your thesis,” Baklaich said.
To Hussein, she directed another question.
“I heard you talk about fear Jaylani, and there’s one thing you could do very easily that would help alleviate a tremendous amount of fear in this community,” Baklaich said.
She reminded him of the FBI evidence presented in the Holy Land Foundation terror-financing trial of 2007 that showed CAIR is a front group for Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood.
“If you want to be our friend, and you want to be part of the community, and want us to accept you more, and work with you and be less fearful of what’s coming in, and what’s going on, are you willing to condemn both Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood?” she asked.
Listen to Minnesota CAIR leader Jaylani Hussein’s angry response to a simple question: Will you denounce Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood?
Carrying a ‘Big Stick’
In a rambling response that quickly morphed into a stern lecture before ending with a hostile rebuke, Hussein refused to condemn either Hamas or the Brotherhood.
Here is an excerpt of his response, captured on audio tape:
CAIR is the largest civil rights and civil liberties organization. We have 35 chapters across the United States. We’re an American organization. We are a grassroots organization, supported and funded by people locally, made up of people who look like you and look like me. I understand that my organization comes under threat and know why we come under attack. It’s not because of our silence. It’s because we carry a big stick, we remind people of the Constitution. We remind people that American Muslims are exactly like everyone else. And we’re not gonna allow anyone to threaten us, or create the fact that Muslims have to hide, and so we are an organization just like any other organization. We get audited. We get reviewed, we are a state-accredited organization and so if you think we are a terrorist organization then call the FBI and let them know, and let them investigate.
Hussein accused the woman of using the “talking points” of well-funded “anti-Muslim organizations” that spread “lies” about Muslims across the U.S.
Another woman interjected with the same question for Hussein.
“Do you renounce Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood?” she can be heard saying on the audio recording.
“I am a civil rights organization in the state of Minnesota,” Hussein continued.
“That means no. … So you do support Hamas?” she asked again.
“The questions you are asking me, you didn’t come up with them. You downloaded them from somewhere,” Hussein said.
“So what? I can see the trial [documents] right here. I’ve got it right here,” she said.
“That’s good for you,” said a now totally irritated Hussein. “Why don’t you turn those [documents] over to the authorities and let them actually do the work?”
“They already have them,” the woman answered.
“And they’re not going to do anything,” said Hussein.
“Obama would not let it proceed. He would not let it go forward,” she said.
“Thank you very much,” Hussein said, ending the interchange without ever answering the question of whether CAIR supports or condemns Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood.
Hamas is listed by the U.S. State Department as a designated foreign terrorist organization, and the Muslim Brotherhood has been banned by at least eight countries as a terrorist organization, including Russia, Saudi Arabia, UAE and Egypt.
President Trump indicated before last year’s election he would see to it that the U.S. joined the list of nations that ban the Brotherhood, but so far it hasn’t happened.
Hussein was ‘very arrogant’
A third woman, who asked to be identified only as “Debbie” for fear of reprisals, told WND she was at the meeting Saturday and also spoke at the very end in defense of the other two women who confronted Hussein with questions he refused to answer.
She said she was offended by Hussein’s statement that CAIR carries a “big stick” and that such comments only add to the fear that non-Muslims feel with regard to Muslims in Minnesota.
“I got upset because they put these women down quickly. They all dodged those ladies’ questions. They were ignored, and by them not answering a valid question, it really infuriated me,” she said.
“Then when this American woman got up and said Jaylani Hussein is such a wonderful man, and I stood up and said, ‘What bothers me, and we’re talking about fear, and you sir, you are talking about carrying a ‘big stick,’ what’s coming out of your mouth is not going into my ears as anything but a fear factor. This whole conversation is based on fear, and this rhetoric is ridiculous the way it goes on. You do exactly the same thing you’re accusing us of doing; you’re dehumanizing these ladies by ignoring their questions.'”
Debbie received applause for her comments.
“If this is a valid Q and A, then we really need to be able to voice our opinions. But you treated them exactly the way all of you said we treated people of the Muslim religion here,” Debbie said in her interview with WND. “You shut them down, marginalized them. You treated these ladies with great disrespect. Their questions didn’t get answered and it just was not right.”
Hussein’s comment about the “big stick” came across as arrogant, Debbie said.
“To me, that’s intimidation. He’s a very arrogant gentleman. The tone of his voice was very stern. I usually don’t get up and talk, but when those three ladies were treated like they were, I couldn’t just sit there. It’s not right to have a meeting where you bring in people who don’t necessarily believe in the things that you’re doing and then not give them the opportunity to speak. You kill fear by giving people information. And they weren’t doing that; they did it the wrong. It was an interesting meeting.”
Also at the meeting was Bob Carrillo, 69, who said he volunteered for 10 years at the State Capitol and used to host a radio program in the area.
“This is getting dangerous now,” Carrillo told WND. “Mr. Hussein wouldn’t make eye contact with me, and I got tired of waving my hand because he would not call on me to ask a question. He was not willing to take responsibility for some of the barbaric activity perpetrated by his community just over the last two years alone, and now he is doing the same thing with his refusal to answer the lady’s questions. As far as I am concerned, these are a bunch of con men, and they have their Minnesota surrogates who have drunk the Kool-Aid.
“It’s so out of control here, I think we’ve gotten to the point where the authorities are actually afraid of these people,” Carrillo added. “They’re afraid of reprisal, because you can’t name me one place on the planet where this social experiment has worked.”
“You could feel the tension in the room,” added Debbie. “And after I spoke you could sort of feel a break in the tension.”