CAIR Official Elected Delegate to Democrat Convention
by RYAN MAURO
May 29, 2012
The Executive-Director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) Greater Area of Los Angeles Area chapter, Hussam Ayloush, has been elected as a delegate to the Democratic National Convention. CAIR was labeled as an "unindicted co-conspirator" by the federal government in the trial of the Holy Land Foundation, a charity shut down for financing Hamas. On July 1, 2009, District Judge Jorge Solis upheld the label, ruling that the government provided "ample" evidence tying CAIR to Hamas.
On April 29, Ayloush announced on his Twitter page that he was elected as a DNC delegate for California's Congressional District 42. The California Democratic Party's website has the results of the delegate caucuses, confirming Ayloush's victory.
CAIR's roots are in the Muslim Brotherhood, specifically its Palestine Committee that was secretly set up in the U.S. to support Hamas. In 1993, the FBI wiretapped a Palestine Committee meeting in Philadelphia that included two future founders of CAIR, Nihad Awad and Omar Ahmad. Also present was Shukri Abu Baker, the leader of the aforementioned Hamas front called the Holy Land Foundation. At that time, Awad and Ahmed led the Islamic Association for Palestine, another Muslim Brotherhood front (according to the Brotherhood's own documents) with extensive ties to Hamas.
The participants in the 1993 meeting discussed how to "support jihad in Palestine" when "this will be classified as terrorism according to America." They discussed the use of deception and word games and the need to create a new organization with less baggage. Ahmed and Awad founded CAIR the next year. That same year, Awad stated that he supports Hamas. In 2004, he refused to condemn Hamas and Hezbollah as terrorist groups in an interview with an Arab publication. The Justice Department reportedly blocked a planned prosecution of Ahmad in recent years.
It shouldn't be surprising then that one of the Brotherhood's documents from 2004 lists CAIR and the Islamic Association for Palestine, from which CAIR's leadership came, among its "working organizations." A 2007 court filing is even clearer: "From its founding by Muslim Brotherhood leaders, CAIR conspired with other affiliates of the Muslim Brotherhood to support terrorists...the conspirators agreed to use deception to conceal from the American public their connections to terrorists."
Ayloush has been the Executive Director of CAIR's Greater Area of Los Angeles chapter since 1997. In December 2001, CAIR-CA's website published a photo of him with Sheikh Yousef al-Qaradawi, a senior Muslim Brotherhood cleric that styles himself as the "Mufti of martyrdom operations" and preaches in favor of Hamas, suicide bombings and the destruction of Israel. Ayloush views him as an authoritative source. During a discussion about zakat in October 2002, he referenced the view of "many scholars," but only mentioned one: Qaradawi. To date, there is no repudiation of Qaradawi on the CAIR-CA website or on Ayloush's personal blog.
In 2010, Ayloush said, "I cannot think of one Muslim scholar that I know of, that I have ever heard of, who has actually condoned terrorism." Qaradawi's consistent support for violent jihad is well-known to even his most passive observers. Ayloush either is stunningly ignorant of the "scholar" he references or agrees with Qaradawi's opinion of what qualifies as terrorism.
In January 2004, he spoke of the "legitimate right of the Palestinians to defend themselves against the Israeli occupation" and in 2006, he described the kidnapping of three Israeli soldiers by Hamas and Hzbollah as a "military operation." The Israeli response, on the other hand, he said was "very reminiscent to the Nazi style of collective punishment...in response to a resistance."
Ayloush consistently depicts the actions taken by the U.S. government against Hamas/Muslim Brotherhood entities as acts of oppression. He ridiculed the government for freezing the assets of the Holy Land Foundation in 2001, saying, "As we see one charitable organization after the other having its assets frozen and its offices closed, you know, the shift from fighting terrorism is slowly happening towards a fight against symbols of Islam or Islamic activism in the U.S."
He even said the closing of these so-called "charities" is an act of genocide. On June 21, 2006, he spoke at a conference sponsored by various Brotherhood-tied groups like CAIR, the Muslim American Society, the Muslim Students Association and the Muslim Public Affairs Council. He said, "And any attempt to close down a legitimate relief organization is an attempt to starve the Palestinian people...Any attempt to close down relief for the Palestinians is an attempt at genocide."
Ayloush also defends some known extremists. He stands by the innocence of Sami al-Arian, a Brotherhood member convicted for being a leader of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad terrorist group. He has spoken at events to raise money for his legal fees. In 2006, he spoke at a banquet for Sami al-Arian, a convicted terrorist found to be a Brotherhood member and leader of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad in the U.S. He also stood up for Sheikh Wagdy Ghoneim, an Egyptian Brotherhood cleric and vocal extremist, who was deported.
In a September 23, 2011, sermon titled, "The Best Jihad: Challenging Injustice," he said that the "Irvine 11," a group of students who so disrupted a speech by the Israeli ambassador that it could barely progress, were only charged because of three reasons: They are Muslim, Israel is a "sacred cow' and because they defended Palestinians in Gaza. The goal is to "intimidate" and "silence" criticism of Israel, Ayloush told the mosque attendees.
This is a sharp sharp contrast to how CAIR treats anti-Islamist Muslims like Dr. Zuhdi Jasser that dare to criticize them and other Brotherhood derivatives. Ayloush has "re-tweeted" several condemnations of Jasser and his appointment to a government post.
He is a leading critic of the government's counter-terrorism efforts and tells Muslims that they are part of a systematic persecution. In April 2009, he spoke at a mosque and said that the FBI mustn't be allowed to have informants in mosques. "Our youth, who they [the FBI] try to radicalize are off limits." He claims that the FBI hires informants to "instigate acts of violence to ruin the reputation of the Muslim community."
In May 2004, he said that the U.S. had become the "new Saddam" and implored the country to "end this hypocrisy, this hypocrisy that we are better than the other dictator." In March 2008, he said that in Palestine, Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, Lebanon, Somalia and other Muslim countries, the U.S. is "supporting occupation, instability, the interests of defense and war companies and the corrupt allies and puppet regimes..." He envisioned "an America that can defeat terrorists without having to act like one."
To be fair, in 2006, he told a columnist that he and CAIR rejected comments made by Imam Abdel Malik-Ali in support of terrorism in Israel, saying "The targeting of civilians is a crime that can never be justified, no matter what just cause it claims to serve." And in a recent sermon, he warned Muslims against embracing false conspiracy theories.
His personal blog (which links to Nihad Awad's blog) has some concerning features.
On November 28, he reposted an article entitled, "Those Who Support Democracy Must Welcome the Rise of Political Islam." Political Islam is another term for the Islamist ideology of the Brotherhood
On June 23, 2007, he republished an article arguing that Hamas is better than Fatah. Titled "West Chooses Fatah but Palestinians Don't," it says, "Here in the U.S., Hamas is routinely demonized, known primary for its attacks on civilians." It concedes that both Hamas and Fatah have done "unspeakable" things but that the U.S. should embrace Hamas. "Hamas did not run into Western opposition because of its Islamic ideology but because of its opposition to (and resistance to) the Israeli occupation. Ironically, it is Hamas that is taking the stands that would be prerequisites for a true two-state peace plan," the author writes.
Ayloush gave a speech on May 11, posted on his blog, titled "Don't Forget Palestine." He tells the audience that Arab dictators like Bashar Assad and Israel are "two sides of the same coin" and need each other. Assad justifies his oppression in the name of fighting Israel and Israel justifies its "oppression" in the name of defense against enemies like Assad.
Ayloush accuses Israel of indiscriminately detaining innocent Palestinians for months at a time, including children. Israel confiscates Palestinian homes in order to build settlements and maintains the only Apartheid state in the world, he says. He preaches that there is an "Islamophobia" network in the U.S. that spreads "anti-Muslim" sentiment and promotes conflict with the Muslim world and "nine out of ten" are right-wing supporters of Israel. The goal, Ayloush assets, is to "demonize the Palestinians" and "anyone who dares to speak up for the rights of the Palestinians in order to cover up the crimes committed by Israel."
In another blog post, he links to a statement by has-been Hollywood star Roseanne Barr denouncing Israel as a "Nazi state." In the comments underneath the post, he said his purpose was to highlight Jews "willing to take a principled stand in criticizing Israel's racism and savagery." An e-mail from Ayloush in 2002 shows why he favors her comments. He wrote, "Indeed, the zionazis are a bunch of nice people; just like their nazi brethren! It is just that the world keeps making up lies about them! It is so unfair."
According to Americans Against Hate, he also posted a picture of an Israeli fighter jet with the words, "guilty Israeli terrorists" and has put up photos of a dead Palestinian baby wrapped in the flag of Hamas. Despite all of this, Ayloush is able to style himself as an interfaith leader. On March 20, he tweeted that he's going to speak about Islam during a Sunday morning church service.
If the Democratic Party wants to rebut allegations that the administration is a poor friend of Israel, having a delegate that complains about "ZioNazis" and is a CAIR official, a group tied to the Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas, is going to be a tad bit of a problem.
This article is sponsored by the Institute on Religion and Democracy.
Ryan Mauro is Family Security Matters' national security analyst. He is a fellow with RadicalIslam.org, the founder of WorldThreats.com and a frequent national security analyst for Fox News Channel. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.