Rich Tucker

Paul Harvey frequently observes, “Self-government won’t work without self-discipline.” But these days, those who aren’t interested in self-discipline want to discipline others -- including Paul Harvey.

The venerable radio commentator drew the ire of the Washington-based advocacy group Council on American-Islamic Relations earlier this month when he aired a segment on cockfighting in Iraq. After explaining that Saddam Hussein had allowed blood sports to provide an outlet for his repressed people, Harvey finished one of his commentary segments by saying, “add to the thirst for blood a religion which encourages killing, and it is entirely understandable if Americans came to this bloody party unprepared.”

CAIR swung into action.

The organization issued an “Action Alert” on its Web site Dec. 5, demanding an apology. “We had hoped that a respected broadcast professional like Mr. Harvey would not join the growing number of Islamophobic hate-mongers in our society,” intoned CAIR Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper.

CAIR makes a living exposing supposed “Islamophobics.” It has also criticized Dr. Laura Schlessinger for what it called an “anti-Muslim tirade,” and urged the Senate to reject Daniel Pipes’ nomination to the board of the United States Institute of Peace. CAIR calls Pipes a “Muslim-basher.”

But while CAIR is lashing out at critics of Islam, it hasn’t spent enough time condemning the terrorists who have hijacked that faith.

In fact, until recently, CAIR had a suspected terrorist-supporter right in its midst. Last month Bassem Khafagi, former community affairs director for the organization, pled guilty to bank and visa fraud. The FBI says Khafagi is also a member of the Islamic Assembly of North America, which is under investigation as a possible terrorist group.
Khafagi will be deported to Egypt.

Also, CAIR’s executive director Nihad Awad declared in 1994 that since the Palestinian Liberation Organization had opened peace talks with Israel, he would now “support the Hamas movement more than the PLO.”

Hamas, of course, is a terrorist organization, dedicated to replacing democratic Israel with an Islamic Palestinian nation. It launches attacks on Israelis, and has killed untold numbers of people in the name of Islam.

CAIR’s spokesman Hooper insists that Awad’s statement was made before Hamas was declared a terrorist organization, and before it had carried out any suicide bombings. In fact, he says, CAIR doesn’t support Hamas, and the only time
CAIR even mentions the organization is “to refute inflammatory allegations of this type.”


Rich Tucker

Rich Tucker is a communications professional and a columnist for Townhall.com.