The American Islamic Forum for Democracy, a Muslim group that opposes Islamism, is taking the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) to task for a tweet by two of its chapter leaders demonizing the U.S. military as an “occupation” force.
Zahra Billoo, the executive director of CAIR’s San Francisco Bay Area chapter and Imraan Siddiqi, the chairman of the board for CAIR’s Arizona chapter, re-tweeted the inflammatory message about the U.S. military. The Justice Department says that CAIR is a U.S. Muslim Brotherhood entity and it was labeled an unindicted co-conspirator in the largest terrorism-financing trial in U.S. history.
The message is below:
The American-Islamic Forum on Democracy condemned the remarks.
“It 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 ‘occupiers,’ not patriots protecting the freest nation on earth,” the group said.
CAIR keeps Billoo as a chapter leader and one of its more high-profile spokespersons despite her record of extremism. She supports the elimination of the state of Israel, justifies the terrorism of Hamas and characterizes the U.S. military and FBI as oppressors and murderers.
On the anniversary of the U.S. invasion of Iraq, she claimed that the military “kicked off the murder of thousands.” When a white Muslim convert was arrested for planning to join an Al-Qaeda-type terrorist group in Syria, she called it a “FBI terror plot.” A main Islamist theme is that incidents of homegrown terrorism are manufactured by the U.S. government.
The tweets are seen below:
CAIR’s teaching that the U.S. military is an “occupying army” that soldiers should be “rescued” from serving in is especially dangerous because mainstream Islamic scholars preach that occupiers are legitimate targets for jihad.
Imam Zaid Shakir, one of the most popular speakers at American Islamist conferences and founder of Zaytuna College, writes on his website, “I did not nor have not said that Islam forbids fighting occupiers. I have said that it forbids fighting innocent civilians and non-combatants.”
Abdullah Azzam, a major player in the jihad against the Soviets in Afghanistan and associate of Osama Bin Laden, preached that Muslims are required by Allah to fight any foreign military forces in Muslim lands. In his book, Defense of the Muslim Lands, he cites the fatwas of top scholars in the Muslim world.
“Any Islamic country occupied by the unbelievers, as decided by the people of understanding, fighting becomes [obligatory] upon its people,” said Sheikh Abdullah Nassah al-Waan of King Abdulaziz University in Saudi Arabia in the text.
The scholars emphasized that their ruling was not limited to the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, but applied to all conflicts in Muslim lands.
“Therefore it is incumbent upon every Muslim today, capable of carrying a weapon, to march forward to jihad to aid their Muslim brothers in Afghanistan and in every place in need,” Sheikh al-Waan said.
CAIR apologists may defend the tweets by arguing that the U.S. military presence in Afghanistan fits the definition of “occupation.” That misses the point. This is a dangerous message. If one cannot avoid using the term, then they have a patriotic responsibility to explain that U.S. forces are not oppressive murderers of Muslims. Otherwise, they just justifying jihad against them.
American soldiers in Afghanistan are protecting U.S. national security and Muslims alike. They are making progress on the ground in helping the Afghans become strong enough to battle the Taliban and other Islamists on their own.
The U.S. military carries a heavy burden for its country and the world. The last thing it deserves is to have American Islamists back home stabbing them in the back.