Cyrus McGoldrick, the head of the New York chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-NY), has announced his departure from the organization. This comes just weeks after McGoldrick was exposed for mimicking a slogan from Hamas calling for Israel’s destruction.
On his Facebook page, on Monday, January 7, McGoldrick stated, “It is with a heavy heart but also some excitement that I announce my departure from CAIR-New York.” He did not say why he was leaving CAIR, though he did ask those reading of his departure to “forgive me my shortcomings.” It was these shortcomings that might have pushed him out of the group.
On November 29, 2012, McGoldrick tweeted and posted to his Facebook page, “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free.” Palestinian militants, including Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ), have been using this slogan for years. The river represents the Jordan River, and the sea is the Mediterranean – both sides of Israel. It denotes an end to Israel’s existence.
When it comes to making outrageous statements, McGoldrick has gained himself an unflattering reputation. In November, when Israel retaliated against Hamas, who had just fired hundreds of rockets into Israeli civilian neighborhoods, he chose to side with Hamas. He stated, “Gaza under attack for the last few days. May G-d protect them [Hamas] and grant them victory.”
McGoldrick has publicly come out in support of a number of convicted terrorists and terrorist associates. They include:
- Aafia Siddiqui, who had been sentenced to 86 years in prison for shooting at and attempting to kill American soldiers and FBI agents in Afghanistan
- Tarek Mehanna, who received a 17.5 year sentence for plotting to kill Americans and providing material support to al-Qaeda
- Lynne Stewart, who had been sentenced to ten years in prison for smuggling messages from imprisoned “Blind Sheikh” Omar Abdel Rahman, the spiritual leader of the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, to his violent followers in Egypt
Of them McGoldrick stated, “Until they are free, none of us are free.” That statement was made this month. And about Siddiqui, Mehenna and the Holy Land Foundation (HLF), an American Islamic charity that was shut down in December 2001 for raising millions of dollars for Hamas, he emphatically stated, “We have to fight for them.”
McGoldrick also took up the cause for Khader Adnan, a spokesman and senior West Bank leader of Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ). Adnan had been jailed by the Israelis and was in the midst of a hunger strike, a tactic he had previously used when he had been imprisoned by the Palestinian Authority (PA).
McGoldrick wrote, “We must all be Khader Adnan. I don’t believe in hunger strikes, but our brother is struggling with the only thing he has left: his life.” No mention was made of the scores of innocent people, including Americans, who had brutally lost their lives at the hands of Adnan’s PIJ.
CAIR, like McGoldrick, has had problems relating to terrorism. A number of the group’s officials have been convicted in and/or deported from the United States for terrorist-associated crimes. Indeed, CAIR can credit its very existence to leaders of Hamas and PIJ. CAIR was established as a part of the American Palestine Committee, an umbrella organization created by then-global head of Hamas, Mousa Abu Marzook. And CAIR’s parent organization, the Islamic Association for Palestine (IAP) – also part of Marzook’s umbrella – was co-founded by PIJ leader Sami al-Arian.
But while CAIR is no stranger to terror, representatives from the organization, many times, have been careful about voicing support for those convicted of terrorist acts. McGoldrick, on the other hand, is overt and outspoken in his support. He is someone who brings a lot of unwanted attention to CAIR, attention that CAIR doesn’t crave, especially after the group was named a party to Hamas financing not too long ago, especially when CAIR is attempting to paint itself as a civil rights group, especially now as it is trying to worm its way into government circles.
McGoldrick’s words have already gotten him in trouble. When he recently tweeted a wild accusation regarding investigative journalist and counter-terrorism expert Steve Emerson, saying that Emerson had been involved in “child pornography,” Emerson sued for defamation.
It is these things and more – “shortcomings” – that would cause a group such as CAIR to disassociate itself with Cyrus McGoldrick. He is the true face of CAIR but probably a face CAIR would wish to be hidden – at least, for now.
Joe Kaufman is a candidate for United States Congress. He is an expert in the fields of counter-terrorism, foreign affairs and energy independence for America.
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