Virtually all Americans come together on Memorial Day to honor those who paid the ultimate sacrifice for the countryâ€™s freedom and safety. Two Council on American-Islamic Relationsâ€™ officials spent the holiday weekend differently: Questioning whether U.S. troops deserve to be honored and tweeting that the country was â€œestablished upon white supremacy.â€
The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), a group labeled by the Justice Department as a U.S. Muslim Brotherhood entity and unindicted co-conspirator in a terrorism-financing trial, disingenuously claims that it is a moderate organization.
Yet, on May 23, Zahra Billoo, the radical executive-director of CAIRâ€™s San Francisco Bay Area chapter, tweeted that she â€œstruggles with Memorial Day each yearâ€ about whether to honor American soldiers who died in wars:
She also quoted another CAIR official, Dawud Walid, the executive-director of CAIRâ€™s Michigan chapter, as questioning whether they should honor American soldiers that died in â€œunjustâ€ wars and occupations.
Thatâ€™s a direct insult to American soldiers currently serving in Afghanistan and those that have returned from Iraq, as CAIR officials consistently describe those wars with that terminology. Billoo quoted Walid as saying:
Billoo did, however, find one â€œsoldierâ€ she felt comfortably honoring. On May 26, she promoted an article from the anti-Semitic and anti-American Nation of Islam that asked for help for a â€œblack liberation soldierâ€ named Imam Jamil al-Amin:
Al-Amin was a member of the Black Panthers terrorist group and was convicted of murdering a police officer in 2000. He is also anti-American, stating â€œif America doesnâ€™t come around, weâ€™re gonna burn it down,â€ and â€œI say violence is necessary. It is as American as cherry pie.â€
Al-Amin is considered to be a political prisoner by radical groups like the Nation of Islam, the Sankore Institute of Islamic African Studies International and now, at least one CAIR leader.
The extremist cleric viewed America as intrinsically evil from its very foundation. Al-Aminâ€™s theme is similar to other tweets written by Billoo and Walid over Memorial Day Weekend.
On May 24, as Memorial Day Weekend was beginning, Walid shared his thoughts that America is a fundamentally racist country:
On May 4, Billoo re-tweeted two opinions that America is inherently murderous:
The tweets are offensive and disturbing, but they are not unprecedented. In March, the Clarion Project reported on how Billoo and Imraan Siddiqi, chairman of the board for CAIRâ€™s Arizona chapter, were sending out tweets depicting the U.S. military as â€œoccupiersâ€ and â€œmurderers.â€
The tweets outraged the American-Islamic Forum on Democracy (AIFD), a Muslim group opposed to Islamist extremism. Its leader, Dr. Zuhdi Jasser, served in the U.S. Navy.
â€œIt is plain to see, however, that they [the CAIR officials] have nothing but disdain for our armed forces. We do hope that Muslim members of the U.S. military realize that CAIR sees you as â€˜occupiers,â€™ not patriots protecting the freest nation on earth,â€ the AIFD said.
This is what some CAIR officials are saying publicly. If these are the views they feel comfortable expressing openly, then how extreme are the views expressed privately?
Update: 05/27/2014 – Zahra Billo has since deleted her tweet about struggling with Memorial Day. Screenshots of the original tweets are provided in this article.
Ryan Mauro is the ClarionProject.orgâ€™s National Security Analyst, a fellow with the Clarion Project and is frequently interviewed on top-tier TV stations as an expert on counterterrorism and Islamic extremism.