CAIR’s claim to represent American Muslims is contradicted by its falling membership and donations. While the group claimed “some 50,000 members” in 2007, the Washington Times showed that CAIR’s membership plummeted from a 2000 high of 29,000 to only 1,700 in 2006. Based on its IRS 990s from 2004 to 2006, CAIR’s reported membership revenue from American Muslims plunged from $119,029 in 2004 to $41,383 in 2006. This accounts for only 1 percent of the group’s funding from that year.
Even as its grassroots base continued to erode, CAIR’s revenue was increasing. The website CAIRObservatory chronicles its significant contributions from foreign donors, embassies and governments.
For years, CAIR has made conflicting statements about its overseas sources of funding. In a press release issued after the 9/11 terrorist attacks, it asserted: “We do not support directly or indirectly or receive support from any overseas group or government.”
By January 2009, however, CAIR claimed, “there is nothing criminal or immoral about accepting donations from foreign nationals… The U.S. government, corporations and non-profit organizations routinely receive money from foreign nationals.”
According to an attachment to the foundation’s Form 1023, the government of Qatar has given $405,000 over a 5 year period. This figure doesn’t include the foreign money that could come in through the lobbying arm, CAIR-AN, which has given $1,080,000 during that same period. These donors include:
Embassy of the UAE – $219,563
Kingdom Holding Company, Saudi Arabia – $199,980
National Bank of Fujairah, UAE – $100,000
Red Crescent, Abu Dhabi, UAE – $99,985
Bin Hammodah Properties, Abu Dhabi UAE – $44,985
Although the group has sometimes drawn congressional scrutiny, successive presidential administrations have stopped short of moving against CAIR.
In June of 2011, Rep. Frank Wolf, a Virginia Republican, asked the IRS to investigate whether CAIR has received or solicited funds from foreign governments.
Wolf was especially concerned about CAIR Executive Director Nihad Awad’s letter to Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi, which solicited money and praised the dictator. Wolf also asked the IRS if it is aware that Awad tried to solicit funds from Sudanese President Omar Hassan Bashir, who has been indicted internationally as a war criminal.
The IRS did not do an investigation.
According to the documents, CAIR received at least $2,792,203 in contributions, income and money from foreign principals in the form of 11 distinct transactions, including a $2,106,251 mortgage loan from a foreign principal for CAIR’s Washington, D.C. headquarters and at least $54,500,000 in pledges from foreign principals.
CAIR has met and coordinated with foreign principals on at least 35 occasions and engaged in more than 100 political influence operations on behalf of foreign principals in the United States.
CAIR did not respond to requests for comment.