Politics

Hamas-associated CAIR applauded by White House

Photo of Neil Munro
Neil Munro
White House Correspondent

White House officials have applauded advocacy efforts by the Council on American-Islamic Relations, even though top FBI managers refuse to meet its leaders, the council has been judged by courts to have been associated with the Islamic terror group Hamas, and several of its employees and members have been jailed or expelled for jihadi-related terrorist offenses since 2001.

CAIR was publicly applauded at a Mar. 10 White House event by Valerie Jarrett, senior advisor and assistant to the president for intergovernmental affairs and public engagement, for its work with MTV to counter “bullying.” “Bullying can be prevented if we all take action,” said Jarrett, as she cited the MTV project, and named CAIR as a partner.

After lauding the National Education Association, Cartoon Network and a litany of other Democratic-affiliated advocacy groups and companies that are part of the White House’s “anti-bullying” campaign to reshape children’s opinions, Jarrett thanked MTV for “launching a new coalition that will work to fight bullying and intolerance online.” The coalition partners include the Hispanic advocacy group, “the National Council of La Raza, the Anti-Defamation League, and the [Council on] American-Islamic Relations, GLAAD and many others,” Jarrett said.

“There’s no controversy,” said Ibrahim Hooper, CAIR’s press secretary. To advance CAIR’s causes, including “cyber-bullying,” he said, “we do what we think is necessary…what other people do is up to them.”

White House officials declined to respond to inquiries from The Daily Caller.

On Feb. 11, FBI Director Robert Mueller told a House hearing that the FBI does “not have a relationship with CAIR [because] there are individuals in CAIR with whom we had issues with and continue to have issues with.” When pressed by Republican New York Rep. Peter King, Mueller added that “there are occasions when individuals who may be either loosely associated with CAIR or may have attended a CAIR event that we do have relationships with… [and] on some occasions, we may be at [events] or with persons who have an affiliation with CAIR.”

The issues that Mueller referred to include the 2008 Holy Land Fund trial, where evidence showed that the most prominent Muslim advocacy groups in the United States had associations with Hamas, which is the Palestinian branch of the Egypt-based Muslim Brotherhood. The tied groups include the Islamic Society of North America, which is an umbrella organization for many Muslim groups, and the North American Islamic Trust, which owns the titles to many U.S. mosques. “The government has produced ample evidence to establish the associations of CAIR, ISNA, NAIT, with NAIT, the Islamic Association for Palestine, and with Hamas,” Judge Jorge Solis said in a July 2009 ruling.

CAIR is connected with Hamas through its director, Nihad Awad, who was a co-founder in 1994 of the Islamic Association for Palestine. Documents subsequently presented in court by the federal government showed the IAP was the U.S. propaganda and advocacy arm of Hamas, according to data provided by the Investigative Project on Terrorism, founded by journalist Steve Emerson. In turn, the IAP was one element of a larger circle of organizations founded by supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood.