CAIR Tries to Blame Anti-Islamist Website for NYC Attacks
by THE EDITOR
January 3, 2012
The Imam Al-Khoei Foundation masjid after the attack.
Arson attacks are always worrying events. When firebombs are thrown at homes, even when they are only intended to scare people, it is easy for the flames to get out of control and for family members to be trapped and killed. When accelerants are used on many carpets, not only do these ignite quickly, they also give off toxic smoke that kills long before a victim is aware of the fire. Therefore, Sunday night’s firebombings in New York City should not only be forcefully condemned. The perpetrators must be brought to justice, and be shown to be prosecuted with the full force of the law, as soon as possible.
Fortunately, no-one was killed in the arson attacks. The first of these took place at a convenience store which is run by Muslims, and caused some damage behind the counter. The second incendiary device was thrown at a private house. The occupants manage to flee but the house itself was severely damaged.
Around 8.44 pm on Sunday night, the mosque of the Imam Al-Khoei Foundation in Jamaica, Queens, was hit by a firebomb. At the time, 80 Shia worshippers were in the building. Imam Maan Al-Sahlani, assistant imam at the mosque, stated:
“We were very surprised. This has never happened here before.”
Another firebomb also hit the school attached to the mosque, but no-one was hurt. After the three attacks, a fourth firebomb hit a house where Hindu services are held.
The Al-Khoei Foundation is named in honor of an Iranian-born Shia scholar called Imam Abdul Qasim al-Khoei (1899 – 1992), who lived for some time in Najaf, in Iraq.
“We thank Allah (SWT) that no major damage or injury was caused by the blast. The Foundation reiterates its resolve to continue to serve the community and to strive to bring love where there is hatred, light where there is darkness and enlightenment where there is ignorance.”
The Associated Press mentioned that CAIR, the Council of American Islamic Relations, had condemned the firebombings, and urged police and Muslim establishments to do more to protect mosques.
Yet were these attacks as a result of religious bigotry or racial bigotry? The house where Hindu ceremonies are sometimes held is not a mosque, but an ignorant person may perceive the visitors to be Muslims. According to the New York Times, this home has a shrine in its window. Only a very naïve person could suggest that a Hindu shrine is “Muslim.” Conceivably, a bigot who disliked non-White individuals and “foreign” ideologies may deliberately target both a mosque and a Hindu site
The house that received the worst damage belonged to a black couple, who are Christian, Monty and Sonia Burnett. Monty Burnett told the New York Daily News:
“When I came to the front of the house it was ablaze already. It started on the front window and came into the house.
His wife said: “We’re okay. But why me? Why my house? I didn’t do anything.”
Because a mosque is involved, CAIR is right to express concerns that Muslim places of worship may come under similar attacks. But is there any justification for him to bring up a website that was shut down by Wordpress on Friday morning, to give an impression that this site in particular may have influenced the attacks?
Ibrahim Hooper, a spokesman for the advocacy group, said CAIR recently called on the FBI to investigate threats targeting mosques posted on an anti-Islam blog called "Bare Naked Islam."
One comment on the site read: "Throw 10 Molotov cocktails into these mosques and burn them down," according to Hooper. By Monday, the comment appeared to have been taken down by blog operator WordPress.com.
For Hooper to bring up the Bare Naked Islam website in this manner is blatantly dishonest. The entire Bare Naked Islam website was suspended on Friday after Wordpress received pressure from CAIR. The site went back up over the weekend.
The comment that led Wordpress to initially remove the website from its servers was left by a visitor, and was not part of any editorial policy by Bonni, who runs the site.
The firebombing attacks are terrible, and could easily have cost innocent lives, be those lives Muslim, Christian, and/or Hindu. It is entirely right to draw attention to damage and vandalism against mosques after the deliberate firebombing of a mosque.
But though the NYPD police are convinced that the firebombings resulted from “hate” or “bias,” it is a step too far to attempt to suggest some causality between one comment on a blog and four attacks that could have placed people’s lives at risk.
Hooper is someone who converted to Islam, after a career in the media, therefore he should be aware of media bias, and not to promote it. He is quick to condemn Islamophobia, but his organization’s attacks against critics of Islam are often just propaganda of a very low level.
If Hooper thinks Bare Naked Islam should be closed down, because of a comment left on the website, he is implicitly suggesting that freedom of speech should be closed down altogether. The comment is not available now to examine, but I know that when blogs allow comments, it is sometimes hard to control the content that goes online. The particular comment that Hooper refers to additionally seems to be from an individual who is venting frustration, rather than seriously suggesting arson.
If a blog or website should be punished for the comments made by its readers, this would have serious ramifications on what Americans could say online. And if a blog should be judged by its comments, surely Ibrahim Hooper and CAIR should be judged for their close involvement with Iranian media, considering Iran’s media is openly anti-Semitic and the Iranian regime sponsors terrorism?
Already, Hooper is someone who assumes that the current U.S. Constitution is not ideal, and would like to see it changed to an Islamic Constitution. As reported on Discover the Networks, in 1993 in an interview with the Minneapolis Star Tribune, Hooper stated:
“I wouldn't want to create the impression that I wouldn't like the government of the United States to be Islamic sometime in the future. But I'm not going to do anything violent to promote that. I'm going to do it through education.”
A decade later Hooper said that if Muslims become a majority in the United States, they will likely seek to replace the man-made Constitution with Sharia, which was considered superior by Muslims.
When an individual such as CAIR’s spokesman suggests that a blog site should be condemned, people should not get too alarmed. Intolerance of American institutions, including a desire to destroy a statue of Mohammed in the Supreme Court building, has been grist to CAIR’s mill since it was founded.
When MSNBC and other media outlets that use Associated Press for their news input can publish unfounded suggestions that one blogsite may have influenced a campaign of firebombing, without making any criticism at all, this is truly irresponsible.
We hope the perpetrators of these arson attacks are caught quickly and jailed before they cause a loss of life. But it is a shame that when the media allows itself to promote an obvious absurdity that there is little that can be done to prevent such activities being repeated.