This article was reprinted from CounterJihad.com with persmission from the author
Yesterday, national security analyst Ryan Mauro delivered a lecture to hundreds of law enforcement personnel in New York. It represented an embarrassing failure for the Muslim Brotherhood– and Hamas-linked lobby group CAIR, which called on law enforcement agencies to investigate whether any officers planned on attending the training conference.
Islamism is the political branch of radical Islam that thrives domestically, often going undetected because of a hyper focus on foreign threats. Islamism is extremism in a suit and tie, where war is waged in a sociopolitical sphere using democracy and culture – making this form of extremism more difficult to identify and engage. Both radical Islam and Islamism are extensions of the same beast. While ISIS is a threat half a world away garnering the attention of a world audience, Islamism has seen steady growth and record wins within the U.S. over the last half a century – at least, until now.
Mauro is affiliated with Clarion Project, a non-profit organization educating the public on the threat of Islamic extremism. Clarion is also the first global platform to bring together a large number of Muslim voices for human rights. Clarion works incredibly hard to host meaningful conferences with Muslim reformers and recently launched an initiative featuring a series ofinclusive dialogues on Islamism. In this capacity, Mauro and Clarion go above and beyond CAIR by actively seeking to amplify secular Muslim voices and fold them into a larger conversation that pushes the demographic beyond a victimization narrative – something CAIR totally fails to do.
There is no question about Mauro’s capacity as a speaker on Islamic extremism. He has led speaking engagements at the International Intelligence Summit – the world’s most prestigious summit in the intelligence sector. In addition to a Master’s in Political Science, and a Graduate Certificate in Middle East Studies, Mauro is currently completing his Ph.D. He’s more qualified than the handful of Islamic leaders CAIR routinely praises, some of whom I personally know to have been taxi cab drivers before they were propelled to leadership positions within Islamic organizations, while others work as salesmen during the day and as ‘experts’ in the evening.
Meanwhile, Mauro has published numerous articles that identify and assess legitimate security threats. In 2012, Mauro captured the attention of the Muslim Brotherhood, which chose to label him as “delusional” rather than engage him on the issues. Now he has the attention of CAIR, a group the federal government listed as an unindicted co-conspirator in the 2007 Holy Land Foundation Trial. CAIR’s own co-founder and executive director, Nihad Awad, is known to be “intimately” connected to senior Hamas leadership.
Both the United States and the European Union have branded Hamas as a terrorist organization that works aggressively to undermine regional peace and stability and openly calls for the destruction of Israel. However, by loosely catering to the needs of the community, these politically charged groups are able to masquerade as community-driven organizations.
That CAIR’s number one official and co-founder is openly soft on Hamas, shows us the hypocrisy of CAIR as a “civil rights group.” Internationally, these Islamists quietly advocate for the total annihilation of the Jewish state, while domestically they work to oppress freedom of speech, assembly and association. Today their target is New York’s finest.
Even among secular Muslims, there’s growing frustration with CAIR’s double standards. CAIR is known to adopt an Islamist agenda that blurs genuine civil rights work with large scale attempts to silence dissenters and condemn any real discussion on radical Islam as “Islamophobic.”
“Islamophobic” is the go-to accusation thrown at non-Muslims who challenge decrepit theological and cultural aspects of Islam. For insiders, namely Muslim reformers who do the same, the label of choice is “bigoted.” This is a standard strategy of Islamist personalities and organizations: throw slanderous accusations at critical thinkers in the hopes that the label will deter engagement with these groups.
It’s an attempt at striking social leprosy and it’s not really working anymore, which is in part causing these Islamist to throw more petulant demands – this time against a peaceful assembly designed to better inform our law enforcement community. Considering the conference benefits New York law enforcement, in a city that has already faced the most devastating attack on American soil at the hands of Islamic extremism, I would think it imperative for NYPD to attend the conference and hear Mauro speak.
Not only is CAIR working hard to undermine the obvious association between Islam and 21st century theological extremism, CAIR is also doing absolutely nothing to challenge hate within its own community. Nationwide, Muslim hate preachers are ignored. Gender inequality at mosques is tolerated. Homegrown radicalization is ignored. Honor killingsand FMG, which are cultural and not theological burdens, are also swept under the carpet. These are the tough issues that require CAIR’s attention and this should be CAIRs highest priority.
Choosing to ignore fractures within the Muslim community is a failure to advocate for Muslims. It means we will see a higher rate of hatred toward Muslims, including a rise in outright violent attacks. As a Muslim advocacy group, the best way to address backlash against Muslims isn’t by silencing the very people who are championing human rights; nor is it appropriate to impede law enforcement’s access to intelligence and information. Rather, the proper course of action is to tackle these issues from within.
Rather than deflecting and hurling accusations to cloud the truth, and taking advantage of a liberal culture to create confusion, CAIR should be making it a top priority to take on extremism with the same heightened interest as Mauro, Clarion and Muslim reformers. Instead, this week CAIR called on local law enforcement agencies to snoop on their own to see who would attend the 2016 Tactical Conference, hosted by The New York Tactical Officers Association. The civil rights group that was against Trump’s “Muslim database” is for a database on NYPD officers. The irony speaks for itself.
Shireen Qudosi is a Muslim writer based in California. Tweet her at @ShireenQudosi