Clarion Project
Article Source: Clarion Project

Article Source: Clarion Project

A Somali Muslim leader says that CAIR-MN has impeded his efforts to inform the U.S. government about Islamist radicalization.

The Minnesota chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, a U.S. Muslim Brotherhood entity, says the “core” of its mission is “protecting the rights of Minnesota Muslims.”[1]

In 2009, CAIR-MN reacted to the recruitment of Somali Muslims in the Minneapolis area by Al-Shabaab, an Al-Qaeda affiliate, by urging Muslims to only talk to law enforcement with a lawyer present because the government may violate their rights. [2]

Local Somali Muslims were angered by CAIR-MN’s campaign, arguing that it obstructed federal investigations by making Muslims fear the authorities.

A Somali Muslim named Abdirizak Bihi, director of the Somali Education and Social Advocacy Center, organized a protest of about 50 demonstrators outside a CAIR-MN event and chanted, “CAIR out! Doublespeak out!”[3] Bihi’s nephew was recruited by Al-Shabaab and died in Somalia, where the group is based.

In 2011, CAIR-MN attacked Bihi and his Muslim colleague, Omar Jamal, as “anti-Muslim” when they participated in a seminar that included teaching about Al-Shabaab. CAIR-MN was upset that their session described Al-Shabaab as an “Islamic extremist terrorist organization,” saying they did not “distinguish between Islam and terrorism.”[4]

Bihi says that CAIR-MN has impeded his efforts to inform the U.S. government about Islamist radicalization for years by saying that he’s bigoted and doesn’t represent the Somali community.

“They say that I am a bad person, that I am anti-Muslim, and that I don’t represent a hundred percent the Somali community. They lie about my life most of the time and try to destroy my character, my capability and my trust in the community,” Bihi said.[5]

[1] “Mission, Vision,” CAIR-Minnesota website, https://www.cairmn.com/about-us/mission-vision.html

[2] “CAIR-MN: Protect Legal Rights of Somali Muslim Students,” CAIRtv YouTube channel, April 10, 2009. https://youtu.be/_L280GPqfDA

[3] Shah, Allie and James Walsh. “Somalis Take to the Street to Protest Group’s Actions,” Star Tribune, June 12, 2009. https://www.startribune.com/local/minneapolis/47883727.html

[4] “CAIR Slams Muslim Foes of Al-Shabaab,” IPT News, November 15, 2011. https://www.investigativeproject.org/3284/cair-slams-muslim-foes-of-al-shabaab

[5] Johnson, Charles C. “Somali-American Leader: ‘I Tried to Warn America’ about Homegrown Radicalization,” Daily Caller, September 23, 2013. https://dailycaller.com/2013/09/23/somali-american-leader-i-tried-to-warn-america-about-homegrown-radicalization/