The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), a U.S. Muslim Brotherhood entity, is showing its true colors by promoting an article defending a terror-linked, anti-Semitic group named Muslims of the Americas (MOA). For CAIR, protecting fellow Islamists—even ones as extreme as MOA—is more important than truth and national security.
The subject line of CAIR’s latest newsletter reads, “The Texas ‘Islamist Terror Enclave’ That Wasn’t.” The newsletter links to an article attacking the Clarion Project and our expose of an MOA enclave in Texas that was largely based on declassified FBI documents.
The only fact from our original article that the CAIR-promoted piece mentions is that ammunition shells were found very near to the site. The finding was significant because MOA is known to use its communes for paramilitary training, as seen in this MOA tape that shows female members at its New York headquarters getting such instruction.
The author of the CAIR-promoted article chose to leave out all the information provided in the FBI documents. For example, the readers are not told that it was the FBI that referred to the site as an “enclave.”
Readers weren’t told that that the FBI file says MOA members have been involved in murders, bombings, terrorist plots and disappearances. Readers weren’t shown this quote:
“The documented propensity for violence by this organization supports the belief the leadership of the MOA extols membership to pursue a policy of jihad or holy war against individuals or groups it considers enemies of Islam, which includes the U.S. Government. Members of the MOA are encouraged to travel to Pakistan to receive religious and military/terrorist training from Sheikh Gilani.”
They also weren’t told that the FBI report says, “The MOA is now an autonomous organization which possesses an infrastructure capable of planning and mounting terrorist campaigns overseas and within the U.S.”
The writer presumably read our article, but he didn’t want his readers to know about them. CAIR similarly saw the value in this deliberately deceptive piece.
The article promoted by CAIR links to a thinly researched KHOU 11 news article that is blatantly sympathetic to MOA and its Texas enclave. It doesn’t mention a single fact about MOA or a single quote from the FBI reports.
MOA refused to allow the reporter onto its property and stopped him at the gate. Nonetheless, the reporter shows the audience a view from the gate, remarking that the view is “underwhelming.” The FBI report says the enclave is 7 to 10 acres large, but the audience was given the impression that they saw the entirety of the site.
Amazingly, the Freeport Police Chief Pennington admits to the reporter that he had not read the FBI documents but dismisses concern about MOA anyway, saying that the Joint Terrorism Taskforce told him there is no credible information of a threat from the enclave.
I called both Chief Pennington and the reporter after the Houston news piece came out. Neither of them had read the FBI documents. Chief Pennington hadn’t even read the original Clarion Project piece before commenting on it.
Unfortunately for KHOU 11’s viewers, the report did not even say where the original “rumors” about the site came from, inhibiting them from finding out the truth on their own.
Over a dozen North American Muslim groups endorsed labeling Jamaat ul-Fuqra, MOA’s parent group, as a Foreign Terrorist Organization following our report, but CAIR is portraying MOA as innocent.
The State Department said in 1998 that MOA is linked to Jamaat ul-Fuqra, an “Islamic sect that seeks to purify Islam through violence.” That means targeting other Muslims.
A genuinely moderate Muslim group would never lift a finger to defend MOA’s reputation, especially since MOA was involved in the murder of a Muslim cleric in Arizona in 1990 named Rashad Khalifa.
If CAIR’s foremost concern was the treatment of Muslims, it would care about possible abuse of the Muslims inside the communes, especially the women and children.
A former MOA leader that worked as an NYPD informant says many of the children are home-taught and live in terrible conditions. He says many of the women live in fear and MOA members who violate the strict moral code are beaten. He recalls seeing one 50-year old woman tied to a tree and beaten. Two women who used to live in MOA communes told a filmmaker in 2011 about rampant abuse, including molestation, brainwashing, forced marriage and polygamy.
If CAIR’s true agenda was protecting the image of Muslims, it’d react to our story by denouncing MOA, not whitewashing it. It would never want Muslims to be seen as accepting of MOA.
Instead, CAIR’s top objective is tackling opponents of Islamists. The MOA was exposed and criticized by the Clarion Project, so MOA is treated by CAIR as a victimized ally.
Clearly, CAIR’s agenda is not about Muslims or the security of America—it’s about Islamism.
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.