The Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) was named as one of the unindicted co-conspirators in the Holy Land Foundation Hamas funding trial, a trial that resulted in convictions for all the defendants on all counts. CAIR’s name was not removed from the list of conspirators (despite repeated attempts to pressure the court), which means that their status as a Hamas front group was upheld.
But you won’t find one word about any of that in this glowing Voice of America puff piece about CAIR’s annual meeting, in which leading hater Nihad Awad demands that Barack Obama end the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, and appoint Muslims to his cabinet: American Muslims Hope Obama Will Encourage Tolerance, Respect for Rule of Law.
What do American Muslims expect from President-elect Barack Obama? What can they do to help redefine their role in U.S. society? Those questions topped the agenda at the recent annual meeting of the private Council on American Islamic Relations, or CAIR, in Washington D.C., attended by more than 700 Muslim-American activists from across the country.
In his opening remarks at the annual fund-raising banquet, CAIR Executive Director Nihad Awad called on Obama to pursue a less-militaristic policy in the Muslim world and to open his administration to the ideas and talents of Muslim-Americans.
“We are asking President-elect Barack Obama to deliver [on] his promise and end the illegal war in Iraq, and also we ask him not to escalate the war in Afghanistan and to seek consultation and counsel from American Muslims, who care both about America and the world,” Awad said. “Finally, we are asking Barack Obama to be inclusive in his administration, because so far he has been accommodating to many minorities.
“American Muslims have been left out so far. We hope that he will hire qualified American Muslims to serve in his administration, and there are plenty of talents.”
The CAIR director also urged Obama to “restore the rule of law” that Awad said has been eroded over the past eight years by the Bush administration. Awad expressed the hope Obama’s administration will be, as he put it, more respectful of the rights of people of all faiths.
Also attending this meeting of unindicted co-conspirators: Muslim Congressman Keith Ellison.
Keith Ellison, a Minnesota representative who in 2006 became the first American Muslim ever elected to the U.S. Congress, took the podium to urge the largely Muslim audience to get more involved in politics. He said the election of Barack Obama should be seen as an opportunity for Muslim-Americans, in particular, to redefine themselves as active American citizens and to make their voices heard.
“The only way to define yourself is to work in a purposeful way for your own best interest,“ Ellison said. ”We have to stop allowing other people to demonize the Muslim community, and these people are using their freedom of speech in a negative way, and we have, therefore, to use our freedom of speech in a positive way.”
Maybe it’s time to rename “Voice of America” to “Voice of Hamas Front Groups.”
(Hat tip: Killgore.)