CAIR Officials Invited as Guests to State of Union Address

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Officials from the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) were invited as guests to hear U.S. President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address January 12, according to a blog by the Investigative Project on Terrorism.

The CAIR officials were part of a group of Muslim guests invited by 25 Democrats from the House of Representatives after Democratic National Committee Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz and Minnesota Rep. Keith Ellison called for the action in response to "alarming rise in hateful rhetoric against Muslim Americans and people of the Islamic faith worldwide."  

While CAIR describes itself as “America’s largest Islamic civil liberties group,” in 2007, the U.S. government labeled CAIR an unindicted co-conspirator in the trial of the Holy Land Foundation for financing the Hamas terrorist group.

In a 2007 court filing in the case of convicted terrorist Sabri Bekhala, federal prosecutors state: “From its founding by Muslim Brotherhood leaders, CAIR conspired with other affiliates of the Muslim Brotherhood to support terrorists … the conspirators agreed to use deception to conceal from the American public their connections to terrorists.”

In November 2014, CAIR was designated as a terrorist organization by the United Arab Emirates along with a host of other Muslim Brotherhood entities. 

CAIR was listed by a U.S. District Court among “individuals/entities who are/were members of the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood’s Palestine Committee and/or its organizations.” The Palestine Committee is a secret body set up to advance the Brotherhood/Hamas agenda.

The FBI subsequently severed official contacts with the group, saying it “does not view CAIR as an appropriate liaison partner.”

The two CAIR officials invited to the State of the Union address were Nezar Hamze, regional operations director for CAIR in Florida (invited by Rep. Alcee Hastings) and Sameena Usman, a 10-year veteran of CAIR's San Francisco chapter (invited by Rep. Zoe Lofgren).

Ironically, it was CAIR’s San Francisco-Bay Area’s website that started a campaign in 2011 to “Build a Wall of Resistance; Don’t Talk to the FBI.”

The Investigative Project on Terrorism reports, “Calls to press contacts in Lofgren and Hastings' offices were not returned,” as of the day before the State of the Union address.

They rightly point out “this is part of a pattern of outreach House Democrats seek out with the wrong people,” from CAIR-Florida's Hassan Shibly invitation to the White House  to discuss religious discrimination to CAIR’s founder and executive director Nihad Awad’s presence with House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi at a fundraiser for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.

Officials from CAIR have no place as honored guests of elected members of the U.S. Congress. Rather, invitations should be granted to anti-Islamist Muslims, like those the newly formed Muslim Reform Movement.

But as has been consistent with the current administration, they have, unfortunately, been shunned.


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Meira Svirsky

Meira Svirsky is the editor of ClarionProject.org

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