CAIR’s Curious Complaint

March 5, 2009

CAIR’s Curious Complaint

By Robert Spencer
FrontPageMagazine.com | Thursday, March 05, 2009

The notorious Islamic advocacy group the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) claims that American Muslims have renewed “feelings of anger, disillusionment and mistrust” toward the FBI. And why? Because the Feds placed a spy in the Islamic Center of Irvine, California, to gather information about a brother-in-law of Osama bin Laden’s bodyguard, Ahmadullah Niazi. That spy, according to the Associated Press, “recorded Niazi on multiple occasions talking about blowing up buildings, acquiring weapons and sending money to the Afghan mujahadeen.”

So what could be the problem? If CAIR is really the moderate organization that it claims to be, abhorring terrorism, rejecting any attempt to use Islamic teaching to incite to violence, and proudly embracing American values and the American system, shouldn’t it be applauding the FBI’s bold and daring initiative in apprehending Niazi?

Yet instead, CAIR huffed in a statement that “infiltrating mainstream mosques the way FBI informants infiltrate white supremacist groups illustrates the FBI’s perception of American Muslims as a community that must be constantly monitored, instead of being treated as an equal partner in fighting crime and terrorism.”

CAIR is grasping at straws here in trying to give the impression that the FBI has an unwarranted “perception of American Muslims as a community that must be constantly monitored,” when in fact its spying operation yielded recordings of an Islamic jihadist talking on “multiple occasions” about “blowing up buildings, acquiring weapons and sending money to the Afghan mujahadeen.” Didn’t Ahmadullah Niazi show by saying such things that monitoring him was entirely justified? Would CAIR have preferred that the FBI did not send an informant into the Islamic Center of Irvine, and that it never became aware that Niazi was talking there about sowing death and mayhem in the name of Islamic jihad?

“What matters to the FBI,” according to its former counterterrorism chief.

Robert Blitzer, “is preventing a massive attack that might be planned by some people…using the mosque or church as a shield because they believe they’re safe there. That is what the American people want the FBI to do. They don’t want some type of attack happening on U.S. soil because the FBI didn’t act on information.”

It’s interesting to examine that statement in light of CAIR’s complaints. Blitzer has made clear what matters to the FBI. But what matters to CAIR? Does this self-described “leading advocate for justice and mutual understanding” also wish to prevent “a massive attack that might be planned” in a mosque? There are precedents – most notably the first World Trade Center bombing in 1993, which was largely planned in mosques. Prosecutor Andy McCarthy recalls that “the recruiting went on in the mosque, a lot of the instruction went on in the mosque, we even had gun transactions in there.”

Would CAIR prefer to see another jihad attack on the scale of that bombing, rather than suffer an informant in an American mosque? If nothing illegal is going on in American mosques, why should CAIR be concerned if someone is monitoring what is happening inside them? Niazi’s statements make it clear that the FBI acted perfectly responsibly in infiltrating this group, just as when it infiltrated the Aryan Nations and other racist groups in the Eighties and Nineties; where there was smoke, there was fire, and the government acted nimbly to head off acts of violence and protect American citizens.

And there is plenty of smoke coming from mosques in the United States. In 2008 the Mapping Sharia in America Project disclosed the results of its undercover study of over 100 mosques in this country, which found that three-fourths of those months taught hatred of the West, the virtues of jihad and Islamic supremacism, and the necessity to establish the rule of Islamic law in America, replacing the U.S. Constitution. Most had ties to the Saudis and the Muslim Brotherhood, the international Islamic organization that is dedicated in its own words to “eliminating and destroying Western civilization from within and sabotaging its miserable house.”

In light of all that, this statement from CAIR’s Greater Los Angeles Area office seems more than a little Orwellian: “The American Muslim community has never wavered from its commitment to keeping America safe, nor has it hesitated from cooperating with various law enforcement agencies, including the FBI, in ensuring the security of all U.S. citizens.” CAIR wants the FBI to stop placing informants in mosques, and to trust its assurances that they will help them with anti-terror efforts. Yet CAIR has opposed every anti-terror initiative that has ever come down the pike, most notably the Patriot Act. It aided the Flying Imams in their lawsuit against the passengers who reported them for suspicious behavior — a lawsuit that, had it succeeded, would have made Americans afraid to report suspicious behavior in airports for fear of being sued. And now CAIR wants informants out of the mosques despite the manifest fact that in many mosques there is plenty that law enforcement officials should know about.

If the FBI turns a blind eye to what is going on in the mosques, who will be the sole beneficiary? American Muslims, if we are to believe what CAIR and the mainstream media say about them, should be grateful for the opportunity to root out jihad terrorists from their ranks, and should welcome informants. That instead they complain of “anger, disillusionment and mistrust” is more than telling.

Robert Spencer is a scholar of Islamic history, theology, and law and the director of Jihad Watch. He is the author of eight books, eleven monographs, and hundreds of articles about jihad and Islamic terrorism, including the New York Times Bestsellers The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (and the Crusades) and The Truth About Muhammad. His latest book, Stealth Jihad: How Radical Islam is Subverting America without Guns or Bombs, is available now from Regnery Publishing.


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