CAIR, the so-called Muslim civil rights organization, offered a remarkably restrained reaction to Donald Trump’s election Wednesday, which lots of supposedly even-keeled journalists fretted would unleash a reign of terror against devotees of Muhammad.
Nihad Awad, the longtime CAIR executive director and Hamas sympathizer, even sounded conciliatory.
“As citizens of this great nation, we accept the result of the democratic process that has bound us together as one nation,” he said.
“Regardless of who won or lost yesterday’s election, American Muslims are here to stay. We are not going anywhere, and will not be intimidated or marginalized. God willing, the American Muslim community will continue to mobilize to challenge bigotry, to uphold justice and to protect the freedoms and rights of all Americans. American Muslims will also increase outreach to their fellow citizens of other faiths and backgrounds to build bridges of mutual understanding and cooperation.”
“We will hold the new president to the highest standard in defending the rights of all those residing in our nation, as guaranteed by the Constitution,” Awad continued.
What’s up with this olive branch? Hard to know for sure.
CAIR spokesman Ibrahim Hooper recently seemed intent on building common ground with the Washington Gadfly by sending a cheeky response to the suggestion here that they might want to champion the Palestinian who assassinated Bobby Kennedy in 1968. But he immediately hung up the phone when I tried to ask him about the statement.
The obvious political calculus for CAIR is that they maxed out the benefits of rhetorically lynching Trump so they might as well try to work with him.
Besides, why devote considerable organization resources to immediately picking a fight with the next president of the United States when so many journalists are already working so hard to bloody him up as a dangerous bigot?
Reporters might want to talk to actual Muslim-Americans before pursuing this line of argument anyway— Sikh American Legal Defense and Education Fund (SALDEF) board member Kavneet Singh told NBC News that his organization feared a possible wave of hate crimes in the wake of Trump’s election.
“We are hopeful that the vitriol and rhetoric of the campaign will begin to subside,” he said. “But from our experience, we have learned that times like these call for heightened vigilance with respect to bias-motivated attacks.”
But early Wednesday morning, shortly after John Podesta said Hillary would not concede, a Muslim-American cab driver, who became a United States citizen in 2005 ten years after immigrating from Pakistan, told a reporter he voted for Hillary Clinton but was not worried that Trump appeared headed to the White House. Ferrying his passenger to a downtown Washington bar he mainly seemed focused on finding another fare and only shared his feelings after considerable prodding.