Gov. Ted Strickland met up with the terror-connected Council on American Islamic Relations on Sunday. From the CAIR website:
(COLUMBUS, OH, 6/18/2007) Ohio Governor Ted Strickland spoke last night at the tenth annual banquet of the Council on American-Islamic Relations chapter in that state (CAIR-OH).
Governor Strickland addressed the crowd of 350 people, saying: â€œOn behalf of all Ohioans, [my wife and I] appreciate your vision to promote justice and mutual understanding. We gather under CAIR-Ohio’s theme this year, â€˜American Muslims: Connecting and Sharing,â€™ to do just that, to connect and share and get to know each other better.â€
Here’s some background on CAIR. From the Cleveland Jewish News:
CAIR has been presented as a civil rights group advocating acceptance of and equality for American Muslims. But there is another side to CAIR. Senator Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) describes it as an organization â€œwhich we know has ties to terrorism.â€ And (anti-terrorist expert) Steve Emerson calls it â€œa radical front group for Hamas.â€
CAIR officials have been indicted for various charges ranging from fundraising for terrorist organizations to aiding and abetting jihadists. An ADL report observed that CAIR was founded by leaders of the Islamic Association for Palestine, a Hamas-affiliated, anti-Semitic propaganda organization and that CAIR also endorsed and participated in several anti-Israel rallies supporting Hezbollah last August.
And you may remember that Democratic California Senator Barbara Boxer withdrew an award she had issued to a CAIR member. From MSNBC:
Dec. 29, 2006 - In a highly unusual move, Sen. Barbara Boxer of California has rescinded an award to an Islamic activist in her home state because of the manâ€™s connections to a major American Muslim organization that recently has been courted by leading political figures and even the FBI.
Boxerâ€™s office confirmed to NEWSWEEK that she has withdrawn a â€œcertificate of accomplishmentâ€ to Sacramento activist Basim Elkarra after learning that he serves as an official with the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR). After directing her staff to look into CAIR, Boxer â€œexpressed concernâ€ about some past statements and actions by the group, as well as assertions by some law enforcement officials that it â€œgives aid to international terrorist groups,â€ according to Natalie Ravitz, the senatorâ€™s press spokeswoman.
You have to wonder why Strickland thought the visit was politically necessary, considering the recent news of CAIR’s precipitous decline in membership since September 11, 2001. The Washington Times:
Membership in the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) has declined more than 90 percent since the 2001 terrorist attacks, Audrey Hudson will report in Tuesday’s editions of The Washington Times.
According to tax documents obtained by The Times, the number of reported members spiraled down from more than 29,000 in 2000 to less than 1,700 in 2006, a loss of membership that caused the Muslim rights group’s annual income from dues to drop from $732,765 in 2000, when yearly dues cost $25, to $58,750 last year, when the group charged $35.
Obsequious blatherings to CAIR are not restricted to Democrats though, unfortunately. President Bush is among the worst. From National Review Online:
On a weekend when the Bush administration achieved a new CAIR-friendly low, a prominent Democrat, following the lead of other prominent Democrats, distanced herself very publicly from the unsavory Council on American-Islamic Relations.
The Transportation Security Administration is the executive agency created after 9/11 to protect American travelers. Yet, Americans viewing its website this weekend could not have felt very protected. Aghast, instead, would have been the proper response to this posting. As if snuggling up to CAIR, coercing our law-enforcement and intelligence professionals to endure CAIRâ€™s Islamic â€œsensitivity training,â€ and inviting CAIR to weigh in on our nationâ€™s foreign policy were not enough, we now have a Bush-administration agency publishing an unedited CAIR press release on publicly subsidized, official government Internet space.
In this instance, right under TSAâ€™s emblem and a memorial banner depicting the late President Gerald R. Ford, Americans were treated to a news announcement beneath the big blue headline, â€œCAIR Welcomes TSA Hajj Sensitivity Training.â€ If you have the stomach for it, compare this TSA posting to the official CAIR press release from which it cribbed. They are identical.
There’s a lot more where that came from.
You don’t speak for all Ohioans in your praise of CAIR-OH, Gov. Strickland. Many Muslims and non-Muslims alike are concerned about CAIR-OH’s extremist agenda, and you do nothing but buttress the public credibility of an organization whose sole purpose is to incite ethnic and religious hatred and create barriers to “promote justice and mutual understanding” between Muslims and non-Muslims. When you praise CAIR-OH, Governor, it is not in our name.