Monday, August 20, 2007


CAIR Thugs on Islamophobia Patrol: Coming Soon to Your Neighborhood?

By Patrick Poole

FSM Contributing Editor Patrick Poole characterizes CAIR's harassment of a private citizen in his home, which CAIR describes as an "invitation to dialogue," as nothing more than a masquerade for their alarming scare tactics. Jackboot thuggery or inter-faith engagement? You decide.

Three officials of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) in Ohio admit to going unannounced to a man's home to confront him over a bumper sticker on his car—a testament, they claim, of their tolerance and moderation. The incident occurred last year, but the CAIR trio involved—Ahmad Al-Akhras, CAIR national vice chairman, Asma Mobin-Uddin, CAIR-Ohio president, and Abukar Arman, CAIR-OH board member—have recently recounted this incident to the local establishment media as an example of how they "invite dialogue."

Others, however, believe the incident is additional proof that CAIR regularly resorts to threats, intimidation and demonization to silence its critics. Earlier this month, attorneys for CAIR sent a letter threatening legal action against the Young Americans Foundation if they allowed NY Times bestselling author and JihadWatch director, Robert Spencer, to speak at their conference on "The Truth of the Council on American-Islamic Relations." This thuggery is reminiscent of CAIR's 2004 lawsuit against independent journalist Andrew Whitehead of Anti-CAIR, a suit which was dropped by CAIR in order to avoid responding to required interrogatories about its historic ties to HAMAS and role in terror financing.

The CAIR-OH incident is without known precedent, harassing a private citizen at his home because CAIR officials did not like one of his bumper stickers. One of the trio, Abukar Arman, has described how they set upon their unwitting victim:

Several months ago, a non-Muslim fellow in the inter-faith community brought to the attention of CAIR-Ohio a picture of his neighbor's truck with a bumper sticker that read "Jesus loves you, and Allah wants you dead."

Some of us thought that the appropriate thing to do was to get media involved and use this truck owner as a poster-child of the prevalent assertive ignorance that is widening the post 9/11 political divide between Muslims and non-Muslims. Others, on the other hand, saw this as an opportunity for human contact, discourse, and to build bridges of understanding.

The latter opinion prevailed.

Therefore, I had the privilege of being one of three Muslims (2 male and a female with Islamic veil) who paid a neighborly visit to the truck owner. What ensued was an interesting discourse that I found to be very educational (its final outcome notwithstanding). The truck owner was a former Marine officer who served in Somalia and Iraq. Initially, as he opened the door, he was visibly apprehensive (and rightfully so).

We greeted him and introduced ourselves. We reassured him that we were only interested to get to know him, address any questions or perhaps grievance that he may have, and to give him a chance to meet and dialogue with ordinary Muslims.

Long story short: in a conversation that took place right outside his door and lasted for over an hour, the former Marine talked about how he was very suspicious of Muslims and how, both in Somalia and in Iraq, he and other Americans who "came to help these two countries had their hands bitten..." He talked about how he did not believe there were any moderate Muslims and how organizations such as CAIR were deliberately silent about condemning terrorism. He also talked about being alarmed by the growing Muslim population in Central Ohio and how they may be hiding a terrorist who has in his possession a "briefcase nuke." He said, "I don't want to see a giant mushroom in Columbus" [I will come back to this point].

Lastly, he talked about his career in the private he worked as a "corporate anti-terrorism expert" and a "consultant to a numerous multinational corporations..."

Arman admits that the original intention was to make this two-war veteran a "poster-child" of Islamophobia and publicly to vilify the man by enlisting the help of the local media—all because they didn't agree with the sentiments the man expressed via a bumper sticker. He also admits that the man was visibly leery of his late-night visitors showing up on his doorstep, what they probably would argue is proof of his Islamophobia.

What makes this situation and Abukar Arman's comments even more appalling is that the former Marine had served in the UN-backed peacekeeping mission in Somalia, Arman's native country, to protect the people there from the warlords that had taken over the country and who were starving the people by the tens of thousands. Additionally, the former Marine had been reported to CAIR by one of his neighbors who was a friend to the CAIR officials in the "inter-faith community."

But imagine if the roles in this case were reversed: imagine if Robert Spencer, Andrew Whitehead and myself showed up on the doorstep of any of these CAIR officials—unwelcome and unannounced—to confront them about their repeated statements of support for extremism, bigotry and terrorism: Ahmad Al-Akhras for his public defense of convicted terrorists, including his "long-time friend," convicted and deported Palestinian Islamic Jihad operative Fawaz Damra; Asma Mobin-Uddin for promoting several hate sites with rabidly anti-Jewish content on her own personal website; or Abukar Arman, for his vocal public support of HAMAS, Hezbollah and the al-Qaeda-backed Islamic Courts Union. Would they see such action as "inviting dialogue," or would they instead denounce such an "invitation to dialogue" in a flurry of CAIR press releases as a "hate crime" that would merit restraining orders and warrant federal criminal charges?

With their opponents on the working end of this tactic of cultural terrorism, however, they enthusiastically recount this act of intimidation, attempting to paint their "neighborly visit" as a peaceful effort to "engage" non-Muslims. The establishment media has been quick to pick up this twisted narrative. Earlier this month, in a front page Columbus Dispatch article on Mr. Arman, Mobin-Uddin cites this incident of confronting a man at his home as evidence of Mr. Arman's "kindness":

"Mr. Arman is a man of the greatest integrity, kindness and responsibility," Mobin-Uddin said. She recalled a visit with Arman a few years ago to the home of an ex-Marine who displayed an anti-Muslim bumper sticker.

"We stood and talked with the man on his doorstep for an hour and a half. Mr. Arman never raised his voice. He told the man, 'You know, sir, I have four children. I've lived in this country for decades. If I knew someone who was going to put a bomb somewhere, I would be the first one to jump on them.' "

This isn't the first time, however, that the Columbus Dispatch has pulled out this story as an example of the tolerance and moderation of the CAIR trio and their cohorts.

In an Orwellian-titled article this past April, "Changing Hearts, Minds," Ahmad Al-Akhras gave his analysis of his and his comrades' late-night "invitation to dialogue" to an attentive Dispatch reporter: Changing minds isn't always as pleasant as sharing some snacks and laughs.

Last year, Ahmad Al-Akhras and two other community leaders knocked on the door of a man whose car bore a bumper sticker that read: "Jesus loves you. Allah wants you dead."

Al-Akhras is president of the Islamic Foundation of Central Ohio and is the vice chairman of the national Council on American-Islamic Relations. They spoke to the ex-Marine for more than an hour at his doorstep, telling him they had 11 children between them and cared strongly about America's safety, Al-Akhras said.

"More than 95 percent of the time, we agree on things," Al-Akhras said of Muslims and non-Muslims. But he added that he isn't sure that the visit did any good.

It should be evident that going to a man's home, particularly someone entirely unknown to you, to confront them about the content of their bumper stickers is not an invitation to dialogue, but jackboot thuggery reminiscent of the Nazi SA Storm troopers. One of them admits that rather than painting a symbol on the man's house or business to show their disapproval for his religious statements (much as the SA would mark Jewish homes or businesses with a Star of David and the word "Juden"), they considered calling in the media to condemn this two-war Marine veteran and expose him to public scorn all because they didn't like his bumper sticker.

CAIR has repeatedly demonstrated that their methodology and discourse must rely on increasingly shrill rhetoric to get public attention and publicly attacking anyone who questions their troubling ideology. Nor has CAIR ever hesitated to inflame a situation to further its own agenda to the detriment of the rest of the community, Muslim and non-Muslim alike. As their own supposed constituency continues to abandon CAIR, such now that their membership is less than two thousand nationwide, CAIR will need to resort to more confrontational and escalating tactics to keep the establishment media's attention in order to disseminate their message of hate, alienation and conflict.

CAIR's Islamophobia patrols: coming soon to a neighborhood near you.

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