December 8, 2023 | New York Post

The White House partnered with CAIR to fight antisemitism — despite its antisemitism

December 8, 2023 | New York Post

The White House partnered with CAIR to fight antisemitism — despite its antisemitism

The Biden administration was consulting with violent antisemites on the best ways to counter antisemitism.

Nihad Awad, the director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, delivered a speech last month that circulated only this week in which he described Hamas’ Oct. 7 massacre of Israelis as an act of “self-defense.”

“I was happy,” Awad said, to see Gazans “walk free into their own land.”

A White House spokesman denounced Awad’s “shocking antisemitic statements” in “the strongest terms.”

So far so good.

The only problem?

Back in May, when it released its national strategy to counter antisemitism, the White House included CAIR on its list of organizations that would help implement the strategy.

Specifically, CAIR signed on “to educate religious communities about steps they can take to protect their houses of worship from hate incidents.”

So what do you do when your role models of Muslim tolerance make a big public show of being Hamas supporters?

You quietly remove the troublesome reference to CAIR from the White House website and hope that no one notices.

Of course, that never works thanks to free and simple tools like the Wayback Machine that let anyone with anyone with an Internet connection look at older versions of just about any web page.

Getting caught is mildly embarrassing, but the real question is why the White House ever thought that partnering up with CAIR was a good idea.

The Biden folks had a chance two months ago to rethink their choice, when CAIR signed on to a statement from American-Islamic groups blaming Israel for the Oct. 7 massacre.

And that was no outlier.

CAIR has a long history of antisemitism that the White House chose to ignore, even though it received plenty of warnings (and criticism) when it decided to make CAIR a partner.

What CAIR is and always has been is an Islamist lobby with two main lines of business: condemning Israel for real and imagined crimes against Palestinians, and condemning critics of various forms of Muslim bigotry as Islamophobes.

CAIR may want you to think it is concerned for the human rights of all Muslims, but its approach is highly selective.

It doesn’t have much to say about the dictatorships that wreck so many lives and economies across the Muslim world.

The numbers of the dead and displaced in Syria, Lebanon, Iraq, Yemen and Sudan dwarf the tragedy in Gaza.

But the loudest yelps from CAIR are always about Israel, because their concern is mainly about Arabs killed by Jews, not the far greater number of Arabs killed by Arabs, or Muslims killed by Muslims.

Perhaps this is because Awad, CAIR’s chief, is of Palestinian origin.

That origin may explain why he thinks that on Oct. 7 Hamas terrorists were walking on Palestinian land — even though the Israelis they murdered lived inside Israel’s 1948 borders, not in territories captured during 1967’s Six-Day War.

CAIR’s antagonism toward Israel and the Jewish people is not just a matter of ethnic resentment. It draws on CAIR’s distorted view of Islam itself.

In his speech, Awad implicitly praised martyrdom, asserting “Israel did not scare [Palestinians] because they knew that their heaven is in Gaza, if they would like to die, they will go to another heaven.”

This echoed a verse in the Koran that terrorists rely on heavily to recruit and radicalize young men: “Never think of those martyred in the cause of God as dead. In fact, they are alive with their Lord, well provided for.”

Awful as CAIR may be, this is not the only case of American institutions dedicated to tolerance recruiting and empowering Muslim bigots.

Zeinab Chaudary, appointed to Maryland’s hate-crime task force by the Democratic state attorney general, posted on social media about her belief that the infants Hamas murdered Oct. 7 were a figment of our collective imagination: “I will never be able to understand how the world summoned up rage for 40 fake Israeli babies.”

(She was suspended from her post but later reinstated.)

This is what America gets when its best universities obsess about intersectionality and microaggressions, but with all their tolerance can’t recognize that antisemitism is no less dangerous than other forms of racism.

This is why the presidents of three of America’s best schools — Harvard, Penn and MIT — were incapable of telling Congress that calls for the genocide of the Jews are not necessarily violations of university policy. It all depends context, they said.

In this environment, perhaps Nihad Awad thought no one would notice if he let the mask slip and exposed himself and his organization as pro-Hamas antisemites. 

Hussain Abdul-Hussain is a research fellow at the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies.


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