Sestak Grilled About CAIR Speech
Rep. Joe Sestak, who agreed to be a speaker at CAIR’s annual banquet in Philadelphia, faced a severely critical audience at a forum last week, according to The Politico: Sestak Speech to Muslim Group Creates Uproar.
The tide is turning against CAIR; an increasing number of serious people are very troubled by CAIR’s history of associations with terrorist groups, and their tactics of legal intimidation and silencing of critics. It’s a good sign that politicians like Sestak are being grilled about associating with CAIR, but it’s also important to recognize that CAIR still has enormous access to many US political institutions.
Freshman Rep. Joe Sestak (D-Pa.) has ignited a controversy after agreeing to be the keynote speaker at an April 7 banquet and fundraiser hosted by the Council on American-Islamic Relations Philadelphia chapter.
CAIR is the largest Muslim civil rights group in the country, with 30 chapters nationwide. Jewish organizations and conservative groups have criticized CAIR for not labeling Hamas and Hezbollah as terrorist organizations, and for not speaking out specifically against suicide bombings against Israelis.
Sestak’s acceptance of the invitation has particularly enraged members of the Philadelphia Jewish community, who bombarded him with critical questions at a forum last week. Most of the questions during the two-hour meeting dealt with the CAIR fundraiser.
According to Rabbi Lisa Malik, whose synagogue co-sponsored the forum, the event nearly was canceled after word of Sestak’s appearance at CAIR’s function leaked out. When the congressman did speak, he had to field a barrage of tough questions from the audience at the Jewish Community Center in Havertown, PA. Protesters gathered outside.
“I don’t think he came across looking that good. A lot of his answers came across as very wishy-washy,” said Malik. “He had the opportunity to become a hero. I was hoping after hearing everyone’s complaints, he would cancel his appearance at the CAIR function or at least reconsider it.”