The leader of a prominent Muslim group said in November that he was “happy to see” Hamas attack Israel on Oct. 7, according to a speech translation.
The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) is a civil rights organization that claims to promote advocacy “on behalf of Muslims and others who have experienced religious discrimination,” according to the organization’s website. Nihad Awad, executive director and co-founder of CAIR, appeared to celebrate the Hamas Oct. 7 attacks that left 1,200 civilians dead and claimed that Israel “does not have that right to self-defense” during the American Muslims for Palestine convention on Nov. 24, according to a translation from the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI). (RELATED: Muslim Org That Advised White House Gives Students, K-12 Parents Script To Denounce ‘One-Sided’ Support Of Israel)
“The people of Gaza only decided to break the siege, the walls of the concentration camp, on October 7. And yes, I was happy to see people breaking the siege and throwing down the shackles of their own land, and walk free into their land,” Awad reportedly said, according to MEMRI. “The people of Gaza have the right to self-defense, have the right to defend themselves, and yes, Israel, as an occupying power, does not have that right to self-defense.”
CAIR Executive Director Nihad Awad at AMP Convention: I Was Happy to See the People of Gaza Break the Siege on October 7; They Were Victorious; the People of Gaza Have the Right to Self-Defense – Israel Does Not #Hamas #Gaza #Palestinians @CAIRNational @NihadAwad pic.twitter.com/WDbSRjFJo0
— MEMRI (@MEMRIReports) December 7, 2023
Awad released a statement on Thursday claiming that he had condemned “violence against all civilians” and said antisemitism is “a real evil” during his speech at the convention, according to CAIR’s website. Awad also claimed that an “anti-Muslim, anti-Palestinian hate website” had taken his words “out of context and spliced them together to create a completely false meaning.”
The Biden administration partnered with CAIR in May to combat antisemitism, even after the group claimed that Israel was an “apartheid state.” CAIR has prevented Daily Caller and Daily Caller News Foundation reporters from attending press events, once in 2012 and again in October of this year.
“The Daily Caller is not a news outlet, it is a hate group. You cannot come in,” CAIR communications director Ibrahim Hooper previously told a Daily Caller reporter.
CAIR did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
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