Robert Spencer

Editor’s note: The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) has been in the news heavily this week because of the organization’s role in getting Juan Williams fired from his NPR post over comments he made on Fox News’ “O’Reilly Factor.” In the July 2009 issue of Townhall Magazine, Robert Spencer wrote an exclusive, in-depth investigative piece about the shadowy group with very suspicious ties. Below is the full text of the piece titled, “Devil May CAIR.” Subscribe to Townhall Magazine today to get even more reporting and analysis like this.

“We are similar to a Muslim NAACP,” says the spokesman for the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), Ibrahim Hooper. The group says that its mission is “to enhance understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.”

Law enforcement officials all over the country have received sensitivity training from CAIR, and—up until October 2008, when the FBI belatedly and tentatively cut off cooperative efforts—the organization has been a key partner in the FBI’s attempts to reach out to Muslim communities in the United States. The mainstream media routinely seek CAIR out for a moderate Muslim perspective, despite the fact that led to the FBI’s decision to finally cut its ties to the group: CAIR was named an unindicted co-conspirator in the trial of the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development (HLF), which was once the largest Islamic charity in the United States but has been shut down for funneling charitable contributions to the jihad terrorist group Hamas.

That unindicted co-conspirator status is just one aspect of CAIR’s dark side, belying its moderate pretensions. All those who love freedom and want to defend the United States should know about this dark side—and it should give pause to government and law enforcement officials who still work with this unsavory group.

In broad outline, CAIR’s dark side has been known for years. Sen. Richard Durbin, D-Ill., said that CAIR is “unusual in its extreme rhetoric and its associations with groups that are suspect.” Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., said of CAIR that “we know it has ties to terrorism” and “intimate links with Hamas.” Schumer’s words have been proven correct.

Pennsylvania Republican Rep. Bill Shuster said: “Time and again the organization has shown itself to be nothing more than an apologist for groups bent on the destruction of Israel and Islamic domination over the West.”


Robert Spencer

Robert Spencer is the director of Jihad Watch, a program of the David Horowitz Freedom Center, and the author of ten books.