A senior official of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), Nezar Hamze, repeatedly denied the existence of Department of Justice documents tying CAIR to the Muslim Brotherhood. Hamze made the remarks during a televised debate with Clarion Project National Security Analyst Ryan Mauro on NewsmaxTV’s “MidPoint with Ed Berliner.”
Hamze, Regional Operations Director of CAIR-Florida, argued that there’s no evidence that CAIR is linked to the Muslim Brotherhood or Hamas and is a moderate organization.
Mauro presented as proof Department of Justice documents that establish a firm connection between CAIR and the Muslim Brotherhood, an organization designated by several countries as a terrorist group.
You can watch the debate below:
CAIR Denies Existence of Publicly-Available Evidence
The most remarkable feature of the discussion was that Hamze repeatedly tried to deny the existence of quotes by federal prosecutors about the CAIR-Brotherhood connection, even after those quotes were read aloud and the documents were shown to the audience. All of these documents are publicly available online.
Mauro opened the discussion by reading an exact quote from federal prosecutors in a court filing that states:
“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.”
Hamze’s response was that the quote does not exist. He said, “No U.S. government or U.S. prosecutor has ever said that CAIR has any ties to the Muslim Brotherhood.”
When Mauro referenced U.S. government documents, Hamze again said this evidence does not exist.
He accused CAIR’s critics of making things up out of thin air. He claimed, “Their evidence is very well-documented by themselves. They create it; they regurgitate it; they put it out on the Internet and it’s fantastical… In reality, it’s just a bunch of propaganda.”
Mauro pointed out that the Justice Department’s list of unindicted co-conspirators in the Holy Land Foundation trial explicitly lists CAIR as an entity of the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood. He even showed the document to the audience. CAIR is listed in the third section of the document (page 5, line 11).
Hamze — yet again — said no such documentation exists falsely claiming, “It doesn’t say anything like that.”
CAIR Dismisses Muslim Brotherhood Documents
Mauro also showed a 1994 Muslim Brotherhood document discussing how to “develop [the] work of” CAIR, mentioning it by name.
Hamze’s rebuttal was, “We have nothing to do with the production of that document and Ryan knows that.”
He was responding to an accusation that was never made. The argument was that the Muslim Brotherhood wrote the document and it proves a link to CAIR; not that CAIR produced it.
CAIR Denies Prosecution of Its Officials
Hamze said, “No CAIR leader, no CAIR organization, no CAIR chapter, has ever been charged with a crime.”
This is patently false. There are at least four convicted CAIR officials:
- Ghassan Elashi, founding board member of CAIR-Texas (sentenced to 65 years in prison for terror-related charges in Holy Land Foundation trial)
- Randall (Ismail) Royer, a CAIR communications specialist (sentenced to 20 years for aiding and abetting other terrorists in gaining access to a training camp in Pakistan)
- Bassem Khafagi, CAIR director of community relations (sentenced to 10 months in prison for bank and visa fraud).
- Muthanna Al-Hanooti, CAIR-Michigan executive director (sentenced to 1 year in prison for attempting to buy oil from Saddam Hussein’s Iraq while it was under sanctions)
In 2011, it was reported that CAIR co-founder Omar Ahmad was nearly indicted. Serious questions are also being asked about foreign donations to CAIR and possible money laundering. This list does not include fundraisers who have been indicted or deported, such as Mohammad El-Mezain who raised over $100,000 for CAIR-NY.
Keep in mind, the core issue isn’t illegal activity. It is CAIR’s legal activity in support of the Islamist ideological cause.
The evidence introduced in the Holy Land Foundation suggests CAIR was established to support the Islamist agenda through influencing the media, governmental officials and public policy. It may not be a revenue stream for Hamas, as one of the purposes of the Holy Land Foundation was, but CAIR is still part of the Muslim Brotherhood network.
CAIR Claims Unindicted Co-Conspirator Listing Means Nothing
Hamze dismissed the list of unindicted co-conspirators as being just a “list of names” and “just a blatant list of things.” Being listed by the Department of Justice as an unindicted co-conspirator in a terror financing trial doesn’t happen to just anyone. The designations happen for a reason.
An unindicted co-conspirator is defined as a “person who is identified by a law enforcement officer to have engaged in a conspiracy, but who is not charged in the indictment charging that person’s fellow conspirators.”
CAIR was included because of its involvement in the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood conspiracy to support Hamas, which one main component – the Holy Land Foundation – was successfully prosecuted for.
What CAIR Didn’t Tell You About the Judge’s Ruling in 2009
Hamze correctly states that a federal judge ruled in 2009 that the Justice Department should not have made the list of unindicted co-conspirators public. What he chose not to mention is that the judge upheld the designation, ruling that the government provided “ample evidence” to justify it.
He also claimed that CAIR was not given an opportunity to challenge the designation. This was true of the Holy Land Foundation, hence the 2009 ruling. However, CAIR was given the opportunity to defend itself to Judge Solis and it failed.
CAIR Says It Shouldn’t Be Held Responsible for CAIR’s Actions
Hamze distanced himself from CAIR’s national leadership and other chapter leaders by describing it as a “federation of chapters” and saying he does not report to the Executive-Director.
CAIR chapters register independently, but Hamze’s organization wouldn’t be called CAIR-FL if it wasn’t a part of CAIR. If his chapter doesn’t reflect CAIR, then it wouldn’t have been honored with the 2013 CAIR Chapter of the Year Award.
The deceptive registering of independent front groups was discussed by CAIR co-founder Omar Ahmad during a 1993 Brotherhood/Hamas meeting that was wiretapped by the FBI. He was recorded saying, “Registering an organization is easy. I can register 100 organizations in 100 cities in one day.”
And even if CAIR-FL were independent, it has its own radical history. For example, in June, CAIR-Tampa leader Hassan Shibly said, “Nationalism was pumped into Muslim communities to divide us to weaken Islam which united us.” You can read more about his history here.
It is ludicrous to suggest that the actions of senior CAIR officials do not reflect the entire organization. If a senior CAIR official like Hamze genuinely objects to CAIR’s conduct, he can leave.
Throughout the debate, Hamze was unable to refute that it forms part of the Muslim Brotherhood’s network of affiliated organizations dedicated to furthering the cause of the international Muslim Brotherhood’s totalitarian Islamist goals. In addition, the designation of the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) as a terrorist organization by the UAE alongside Al-Qaeda, the Muslim Brotherhood and the Islamic State was a damning indictment that was left totally unanswered in the debate.