Every year, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) chapter of Washington state bestows a defender of freedom with a Civil Libertarian Award. Of the seven million people in the state, the ACLU has chosen the state’s branch of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), a U.S. Muslim Brotherhood entity linked to Hamas, to be this year’s award recipient.
CAIR is an unindicted co-conspirator in the terror-funding trial of the Holy Land Foundation, another U.S. Muslim Brotherhood entity that was shut down for financing Hamas. The FBI officially ended its connection to CAIR as an outreach partner in order to “ensure that the FBI is not supporting individuals who support extremist or terrorist ideologies.”
The ads were funded by the State Department to promote rewards for finding wanted terrorists. CAIR-WA was offended that the majority of the most wanted terrorists are Muslims.
The executive director of CAIR’s Washington chapter is Arsalan Bukhari. He and other CAIR officials have inhibited FBI investigations into terrorist recruitment, enraging other Muslim leaders.
“There’s nothing to gain from talking to law enforcement,” Bukhari said to a Muslim audience in December 2009.
He continued, “I can’t emphasize enough, you have the right to remain silent, so use it.”
Bukhari’s message is part of the overall "Islamophobia" narrative used by CAIR and its allies to influence public perception and politics. Islamists consistently label their critics as anti-Muslim bigots and tell Muslim audiences that they face a severe threat from the U.S. government, society and an immensely-powerful “Islamophobia Network.”
“This loathsome term [Islamophobia] is nothing more than a thought-terminating cliche conceived in the bowels of Muslim think tanks for the purpose of beating down critics,” says Abdur-Rahman Muhammad, a former member of the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood network.
The Simon Wiesenthal Center in Los Angeles has been targeted in this way by Bukhari and CAIR. In 2009, CAIR tried to stop the group from training law enforcement in Seattle by pointing to its “anti-Muslim agenda.”
The Clarion Project has previously reported on the ACLU's relationship with American Islamists. For example, the director of the ACLU’s Center for Democracy, Jameel Jaffer, was the keynote speaker at a fundraiser for the Michigan chapter of CAIR. Another speaker at the event, Kifah Mustapha, has strong links to the Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas. The event brought in $130,000 for CAIR.
The ACLU also parrots CAIR’s themes on terrorism issues. Its National Security Project claims that the U.S. government has gone to “extraordinary lengths to squelch dissent” and uses counter-terrorism programs to violate the rights of innocent Muslims.
When the U.S. government labeled CAIR and two allied Islamist groups as unindicted co-conspirators in the Holy Land terror-funding trial, they turned to the ACLU to sue in their defense in 2008. The ACLU complained the designation caused their “good name to be dragged through the mud.”
The next year, the ACLU blasted the U.S. government for supposedly engaging in “widespread intimidation of Muslim donors and the arbitrary blacklisting of charitable organizations.” It specifically opposed the shutting down of the Holy Land Foundation which was funneling money to Hamas. That is the case that led to the labeling of CAIR as an unindicted co-conspirator.
The ACLU once again came to the defense of U.S. Muslim Brotherhood entities like CAIR in 2012 when five members of Congress warned about their involvement with government agencies. The ACLU endorsed a letter that accused the congressmen of “question[ing] the loyalty of faithful Americans based on nothing more than their religious affiliations and what is at best tenuous evidence of their associations.”
Most recently, the ACLU, CAIR and their allies endorsed an October 24 letter demanding an investigation of the NYPD’s supposed “unconstitutional program of religious profiling and suspicionless surveillance of Muslims.” Yet again, the ACLU was there for CAIR.
Based on their track record, it seems that CAIR can consistently count on the ACLU to help them blast their critics as anti-Muslim bigots.
Ryan Mauro is the ClarionProject.org’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.