The Council on American-Islamist Relations (CAIR) often plays its hand openly, coming out hard on white supremacists but ignoring Islamist ones.
In a recent blog, CAIR-Philadelphia’s executive director Jacob Bender expresses his sadness over the murder of the 11 Jewish victims of the anti-Semitic shooting in Pittsburgh as well as the murder of two African Americans, all at the hands of white supremacists.
He broadly concludes that these are “uniquely American tragedies that elucidate the country’s sadistic embrace of hatred and the violence it often induces.” He blames the media for trying to “humanize” the murderer, the gun lobby for the gun violence epidemic and the president for enabling it all.
Bender also reminds us that his organization is doing its part fighting Islamophobia that he says has risen over the last three years.
Missing from this mix of perpetrators of hate is any mention of Islamist extremists and the violence they have caused in this country. In fact, Bender goes out of his way to deny any linkage between violence in the name of Islam and Islamist attackers who admit attacking in the name of Islam.
Case in point was the point-blank shooting of Philadelphia officer Jesse Hartnett at the hands of Edward Archer, who fired 11 rounds at his victim in January 2016. In custody, Archer admitted that he targeted Hartnett because the Philadelphia police department was enforcing laws that were not compliant with Islam.
“He believes the police defend laws that are contrary to the teachings of the Quran,” Philadelphia Police Commissioner Richard Ross said.
Eager to administer damage control, Bender made many phone calls to local imams and concluded: “It does not appear that he was an observant or mosque-going Muslim.”
Except that he was.
Edward Archer’s Muslim name was Abdul Shaheed and for five years he attended Masjid Mujahideen, a mosque in West Philadelphia. Imam Asim Abdur Rashid said he saw Archer as recently as a week before the shooting and added that Archer regularly attended morning and evening prayers, in addition to midday Friday prayers.
“He was intelligent, and he was a regular dude,” Rashid said.
FBI Special Agent Eric Ruona said Archer had traveled to Saudi Arabia in 2011 and Egypt in 2012, a trip that a family friend said changed him.
And, unlike Bender’s grievances over the lack of gun control following the Tree of Life shooting, there was no complaint from Bender about gun control after Edward Archer aka Abdul Shaheed fired eleven rounds at Officer Hartnett (who miraculously survived the shooting).
In an effort to cover up its own activities, in July 2018, CAIR requested a judge not to allow into court an investigator’s finding about CAIR’s own ties to the terrorist groups Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood.
If Bender and CAIR Philadelphia are truly concerned about hatred, gun control and violence caused by extremist groups in America, they should acknowledge the existence of Islamic extremism and condemn it when the evidence requires them to do so instead of covering it up.
This article appeared originally in the Jewish Exponent and was reprinted with permission.