The Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR), a U.S. Muslim Brotherhood entity that purports to be a Muslim civil rights group, has tried to scuttle Dr. Zuhdi’s Jasser’s appointment to the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) since he was appointed in March, 2012.
Jasser is a devout Muslim and fierce opponent of the Muslim Brotherhood and its Islamist ideology. He campaigns relentlessly for democracy and the separation of “mosque and state.”
In the last two weeks, CAIR has appealed twice to USCIF’s Chairman Robert George to investigate Jasser – first for an interview Jasser gave to the media about the military’s new policy to allow service personnel to wear religious items (like a turban or hijab) or grow a beard, and second, about Jasser accepting funding for his organization, the American Islamic Forum for Democracy, from a foundation that also gives money to other groups fighting Islamists and exposing their extremist ideology (groups that CAIR labels as “Islamophobes”).
The U.S. government labeled CAIR an unindicted co-conspirator in the trial of the Holy Land Foundation for financing the Hamas terrorist group. CAIR was listed 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.
Yet, CAIR maintains that Jasser should be disqualified from the commission for “accepting financial support from anti-Muslim groups while he is serving on a commission advocating for religious freedom.”
In response to CAIR’s letter to USCIRF, Jasser said that CAIR was “trying to silence the opposition.”
“The Islamist bullies at CAIR would not be paying so much attention to us lately at the American Islamic Forum for Democracy if we weren’t actually so effective in gaining traction among Muslims as well as in exposing [CAIR’s] own hypocrisy and anti-American Islamism,” Jasser said.
“It is rather pathetic for an organization which purports to be about American and Muslim interests to squander its resources attacking other American Muslims as well as patriotic American foundations with their fabricated claims of ‘Islamophobia,’ all the while their directors send letters to foreign dictators and autocrats, enemies of the U.S., begging for money.”
“Good luck finding in CAIR’s well-funded press releases any criticism of the fascist Iranian theocrats or the Saudi government who make the oppression and torture of truly moderate Muslims a matter of practice while CAIR turns those Muslims a blind eye,” Jasser continued.
“This all should certainly make every American wonder why a so-called American Muslim civil rights organization is so upset about a reformist, anti-Islamist Muslim sitting on a commission like USCIRF which focuses on the advocacy of religious freedom abroad – often in defense of Muslims and non-Muslims alike, targeted by so many regimes with which CAIR is apparently so cozy.”
CAIR also objected to Jasser’s opinion about religious accommodation in the military. In the interview that Jasser gave to Fox about the military’s new guidelines, Jasser said that in his 11 years of serving in the U.S. military,”[I] was able to practice my faith, fast, pray – and I never saw the need for this type of bending over backwards for political correctness.”
While Jasser said he welcomed the military’s new guidelines that encourage more enlistment of different religions (for example, Muslim women who wear hijabs, Jewish men who wear yarmulkas and Sikh men who are required to have a beard), he expressed reservations about the extent of the accommodations – particularly in areas where such accommodations would create an opening for “litigation jihadists, represented by groups like CAIR and others, to use this as a club on the head of officers that want to maintain safety and mission readiness.”
Distorting Jasser’s words, CAIR wrote a letter to USCIRF saying that Jasser was “seeking to deny religious rights to Muslim military personnel,” which called into doubt his ability to “represent our nation’s interest in protecting minority religions internationally with any integrity.”