Witnessing the gruesome attacks on four Americans in Fallujah last week would thoroughly sicken any fellow American?except for one very prominent American-Muslim organization, the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR).
In a statement issued shortly after the gory murders, CAIR said that it ?condemned the mutilation of those killed in Iraq on Wednesday.? The slaughter of these men was not ?murder,? though, it was merely a ?killing.?
Nowhere in the statement, in fact, did CAIR condemn the murder of the four Americans.
Nowhere in the statement did CAIR condemn setting on fire the cars the men were driving.
Nowhere in the statement did CAIR condemn the parading of the charred bodies through the street or the hanging of one of the headless corpses hanging from a bridge over the Euphrates River as the locals stoned it.
This is no mere oversight or simple semantic slip. In the press release?s second paragraph, CAIR explains, ?The mutilations violated both Islamic and international norms of conduct during times of war.?
What ?war?? The war ended long ago, even long before Saddam?s beard was examined for lice and other living creatures. What has been going on since can only be described as ?terrorism,? not ?war.?
But CAIR clearly sees this as a ?war? between legitimate foes, going so far as to call ?on all parties to the conflict to respect the sanctity of the dead and the sensitivities of their families.? The only parties, though, are the American-led coalition forces attempting to build a democracy and the terrorists trying to prevent it.
So why is CAIR calling on ?all parties? as if there were a war between two legitimate sides? Probably because CAIR doesn?t view terrorists as terrorists.
This means that an American Muslim organization has incredibly taken the same stance as much-publicized Fallujah cleric Sheikh Khalid Ahmed, who condemned only the mutilations as contrary to Islam?CAIR?s reasoning as well?but not the murders.
And this isn?t the only time CAIR has refused to condemn terrorism.
CAIR?s spokesman was given the opportunity to condemn Hamas and Islamic Jihad by the Washington Post in November 2001. His response was telling: ?It?s not our job to go around denouncing.? Asked a similar question about Hamas and Hezbollah by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette in February 2002, CAIR spokesman Ibrahim Hooper called such inquiries a ?game? and explained, ?We?re not in the business of condemning.?
Joel Mowbray, who got his start with Townhall.com, is an award-winning investigative journalist, nationally-syndicated columnist and author of Dangerous Diplomacy: How the State Department Threatens America's Security.
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