Daniel Greenfield, a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Freedom Center, is an investigative journalist and writer focusing on the radical Left and Islamic terror.
A week before a Muslim terrorist attacked a Texas Temple in a bid to free CAIR’s favorite terrorist, Lady Al Qaeda aka Aafia Siddiqui, the hate group released another of its increasingly discredited “Islamophobia” reports seeking to cut off donations to Jewish and anti-terror groups.
The reports, originally titled, ‘Fear Inc’, started out bad and have only gotten worse over the years. The 2021 report, ‘Islamophobia in the Mainstream’, is a cynical campaign to smear pro-Israel groups like EMET, CAMERA, and MEMRI for calling out CAIR’s anti-Semitism.
In MEMRI’s case, the group is guilty of posting video clips of Islamic support for terrorism and anti-Semitism that make CAIR and its pro-terrorists look bad, like the CAIR-TX panel on Aafia Siddiqui in which Linda Sarsour described Lady Al Qaeda as a political prisoner as well as a CAIR rally in support of Lady Al Qaeda not long after the anniversary of September 11 at which a speaker blamed “Zionist judges” for the plight of Muslim terrorists in Guantanamo Bay.
CAIR complains that MEMRI “inaccurately translates news” and is guilty of “inflammatory representation”, but the speakers at the CAIR events are using English and the only inflammatory materials are coming out of their mouths.
It’s understandable that CAIR wouldn’t want people hearing that a speaker at one of its rallies was accusing the Jews of being behind the imprisonment of Siddiqui only to have a Muslim terrorist attack a synagogue over her. The problem here isn’t islamophobia: it’s anti-Semitism.
The Coalition for Jewish Values, representing thousands of Orthodox Jewish rabbis, correctly responded to the latest CAIR smear campaign by calling it “both pro-terror and anti-Semitic”.
The CAIR report mentions the term “Jew” or “Jewish” fifteen times, but fails to reference either Al Qaeda or ISIS. It dangerously insinuates that the only reason anyone is upset about Islamic terrorism is because there’s a Jewish conspiracy to smear Muslims as terrorists.
It’s not hard to imagine how future anti-Semitic terrorists like Faisal Akram will react to that.
The main targets here are Jewish communal charities and pro-Israel groups like CAMERA, which challenges anti-Israel media bias, and EMET, which advocates in support of Israel.
CAIR’s case against CAMERA is that in 2012, it “published a report called The Islamic Society of North America: Active, Influential and Rooted in the Muslim Brotherhood. The report accuses multiple American Muslim organizations and individuals to be (sic) front groups for terrorism.”
The Islamist group does not bother trying to actually disprove the material or even linking to the report. That way readers don’t know that the report has damning information about CAIR.
The report CAIR denounces noted that, “Ghassan Elashi, a founder of the Texas chapter of the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR), another Brotherhood derivative, received a 65 year sentence” in a Hamas financing case, and that, “Judge Jorge Solis ruled that “the government has produced ample evidence to establish the associations of CAIR, ISNA, NAIT, with the Holy Land Foundation, the Islamic Association for Palestine, and with Hamas.”
This isn’t Islamophobia, these are cold hard facts. But you can see why CAIR would be worried.
The CAIR smear report further complains that the head of EMET Sarah “Stern alleged that Muslim student groups want to destroy America from within.” The actual source describes Sarah Stern speaking about “Muslim Student Association groups”. The MSA, a specific network with ties to the Muslim Brotherhood, rather than the general “student groups” that CAIR implies, has been linked to anti-Semitic invective on college campuses and support for Islamic terrorism.
MSA and CAIR also have close connections. Once again, CAIR defines Islamophobia as criticism of its network. That becomes absurdly obvious when CAIR denounces the American Islamic Forum for Democracy and its Muslim leader Zuhdi Jasser as islamophobes.
CAIR declares, with a straight face, that an organization with “Islamic” in its name is really “an anti-Muslim lobby group founded by Zhudi (sic) Jasser”. In typical fashion, CAIR misspells Zuhdi Jasser’s name, while accusing a Muslim of being an Islamophobe. CAIR seems to have learned nothing from the Southern Poverty Law Center which was forced to pay out $3.4 million to Maajid Nawaz and apologize to him for smearing the Muslim as an anti-Muslim extremist.
But this is one of many misspellings, absurdities, and errors that fill the botched smear of a report which is remarkable only for its hopeless sloppiness and elementary ignorance.
The David Horowitz Freedom Center, a longstanding critic and target of CAIR since the original Fear Inc. smear campaign, comes under attack yet again. But CAIR’s report also makes it clear that its research is so terrible that it would be thrown out by an elementary school teacher.
CAIR claims that we engage in “antiMuslim lobbying” (sic) and “many anti-Muslim and xenophobic projects including, Jihad Watch, ProntPage MAgazine (sic), TruthRevolt. com, Israel Security Project, Discoverthenetworks.com, Students for Academic Freedom, and Individual Rights Foundation.” TruthRevolt hasn’t existed since 2018. CAIR’s report is 4 years out of date. The Israel Security Project also isn’t a current entity and it takes work to misspell FrontPage.
After smearing the Freedom Center, CAIR attacks Gatestone Institute, falsely accusing it of spreading “anti-Muslim narratives and hysteria.” In fact, Gatestone’s ranks include multiple Muslim writers, among them, Zudhi Jasser. CAIR’s only example of its Islamophobia is that it “took out a full page advertisement in the New York Times that called on Muslims to codnemn (sic) worldwide violence, thereby implying that Islam was the cause of global violence.”
CAIR neglects to mention that this was actually an ad by Muslims, including Nawaz and Jasser, Tarek Fatah, the founder of the Muslim Canadian Congress, and multiple others, that quoted the Koran and urged Muslims to oppose ISIS.
That CAIR slanders an ad by Muslims opposing ISIS as Islamophobic says everything about its bad faith, its dishonesty, and its extremism. And that of the reporters who quote its reports.
CAIR is counting on media outlets to repeat its lies, rewrite its executive summary without delving into its report, and noting the multiple errors and misspellings, or following up on its actual sources, or to avoid mentioning any of this if they actually do their due diligence.
Above all else, CAIR doesn’t want the media to connect the dots between the latest anti-Semitic attack in Texas and this report accusing Jews of being behind an “Islamophobia network.”
This has always been the thrust of CAIR’s Islamophobia reports, but it’s never been this blatant.
CAIR is trying to delegitimize mainstream pro-Israel groups as Islamophobic for advocating for the Jewish State and for being willing to report on its ugly ties to hate and terror. But if reporters start questioning CAIR now, they would also have to reevaluate the past and present smears of the Middle East Forum, the Investigative Project on Terrorism, the David Horowitz Freedom Center, Gatestone, the American Freedom Law Center, and other counterjihadist groups.
Like bad banks and worse narratives, CAIR has become too big to fail, because of all the politicians and reporters who have added to its credibility over the years.
CAIR’s latest Islamophobia smear report shows why it’s so often accused of anti-Semitism.
And why no one in the media will hold the hate group accountable.