Saturday, May 18, 2024

CAIR Leaders Shill for Hamas in American Media, Reporters Cooperate

NewsCAIR Leaders Shill for Hamas in American Media, Reporters Cooperate

As Israel continues to respond with force to the heinous October 7th attack perpetrated by Hamas terrorists who raped young women, kidnapped children, and burned families alive, television journalists try to demonstrate their objectivity by soliciting responses from Muslim leaders in the United States. In their effort to be evenhanded, they speak with leaders of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), an organization with deep and enduring ties to Hamas, the designated terrorist organization that perpetrated the October 7 massacre.

CAIR is an offshoot of the Islamic Association for Palestine (IAP), which was founded by Hamas operatives using seed money from a Hamas charity called the Holy Land Foundation (HLF), whose leaders were convicted in 2008 of providing material support for Hamas. As documented by the Investigative Project on Terrorism, CAIR was listed as a unindicted co-conspirator in the HLF trial as part of a campaign to “advance the Hamas agenda within the United States.”

Moreover, two CAIR founders, including its current national director, Nihad Awad, took part in a 1993 meeting with Hamas members in Philadelphia. The following year, Awad, publicly stated, “I am in support of the Hamas movement.” In 2014, when the local CAIR chapter co-sponsored a rally in downtown Miami, protesters repeatedly chanted “We are Hamas” and “Let’s go Hamas.” Nevertheless, CAIR’s well-known links to Hamas do not disqualify its leaders from being trusted journalistic sources.

The problem is particularly evident in the CAIR stronghold of South Florida where Islamists have made inroads in local schools and where politicians appear at Islamist events. For example, a number of Tampa TV stations featured Abdullah Jaber, Executive Director of CAIR-Florida, in numerous interviews. He suggested in an interview broadcast on 10 Tampa Bay (WTSP) that Israel is ultimately responsible for the violence against its citizens because it is the “occupier.” To Tampa’s Fox News affiliate, Fox 13, he legitimized Hamas’s massacre of Israeli civilians by casting Israel as a “colonizer.”

Wilfredo Amr Ruiz, CAIR-Florida’s Media and Outreach Director also received sympathetic coverage, appearing on CBS 4 Miami (WFOR), ABC 10 Miami (WPLG), ABC 25 West Palm Beach (WPBF) and Telemundo.

The key displayed on the wall behind CAIR official Wilfredo Ruiz during his interview with a TV reporter in South Florida affirms the message of Palestinian rejectionism displayed at the entrance of a refugee camp in the West Bank. (Dexter Van Zile photo)

He told WFOR that Israel is committing the crime of ethnic cleansing against Palestinians living in in Gaza. He was given little effective pushback from the hosts, who seemed unable to challenge him with the facts of Palestinian rejectionism. When queried by a WPBF reporter about Hamas’s intentions, Ruiz said he was offended declaring, “I’m a Muslim but I’m not a terrorist.” Ironically enough, during the interview, a map of Israel hung on the wall behind Ruiz, with the word “Palestine” written under it and a key next to it. By displaying a key on the wall during the interview, Ruiz is obliquely expressing support for Hamas’s agenda — even as he complains of being asked about the group’s intentions.

In another interview, Ruiz declared that associating all Muslims or Palestinians with Hamas organization is “dangerous.” But even as he distanced himself from Hamas Ruiz promoted support for the war it started by posting a graphic collage on his Facebook page containing several photos of dead terrorists from Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ), ludicrously referring to their deaths as “war crimes.” After the interview, Ruiz posted fake news from Al Jazeera (and Hamas), falsely attributing the attack on the al-Ahli Baptist Hospital in Gaza to Israel, when it was fired by PIJ in an attempt to kill Israeli civilians.

While the problem is particularly pronounced in South Florida, it is evident elsewhere. Hussam Ayloush, executive director of CAIR-Los Angeles, told KCAL that the war had been “provoked” by Israel. Ahmed Rehab, the Executive Director of CAIR-Chicago, accused Israel of committing “genocide” against Palestinians during a press conference.

CAMERA analyst Sean Durns reminds reporters that “CAIR is an unindicted co-conspirator in one of the largest terrorism finance trials in U.S. history.”

Reporters should stay well away from CAIR, Sean Durns, senior research analyst at the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting and Analysis (CAMERA), told Focus on Western Islamism.

“The media has long provided cover for CAIR, a faux civil rights organization with a long history of both extremism and antisemitism,” he said. “Reporters should note that CAIR is an unindicted co-conspirator in one of the largest terrorism finance trials in U.S. history and several CAIR employees and lay leaders have been arrested and/or deported on terrorism related charges.”

Joe Kaufman is a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center and the Chairman of the Joe Kaufman Security Initiative.

Beila Rabinowitz, director of Militant Islam Monitor, contributed to this report.

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