Raymond M. Berger
Real Bullet Points

Are 100 Members of the US Congress Useful Idiots?

Useful idiots fail to comprehend the cynical manner in which they are being used.

Recently 100 members of the US Congress wrote letters of support for the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR).1

Is there anything wrong with this? What exactly is CAIR?

On the surface, the support of these members of Congress is reasonable. After all, CAIR describes itself as a Muslim civil rights group working to “enhance understanding of Islam, protect civil rights, promote justice, and empower American Muslims.” According to CAIR, these civil rights efforts are needed in response to many misconceptions about Islam and attacks on the Muslim community in America, especially since the 911 terrorist attacks.

CAIR has dedicated itself to a number of Muslim civil rights causes. It has worked to counter anti-Muslim workplace discrimination and restrictions on wearing the hijab. It has implemented programs to educate Americans about Islam. In 2005 they helped to promote a fatwa (religious ruling) condemning religious extremism and the use of violence against civilians.

But a closer look at CAIR reveals a more sinister picture.

CAIR: A Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing

CAIR is a front group for the international organization, the Muslim Brotherhood. The Brotherhood was founded in 1928 by an Islamic scholar and schoolteacher in Egypt. From the start, its goal was to return Islam to its former glory by overthrowing secular governments (at first in Egypt and the Arab world). Muslim Brotherhood Islamists believe that all Muslims must return to the original ways of Islam, as expounded by the prophet Mohammed.

Hamas, the jihadi organization that governs the Gaza Strip, is an offshoot of the Muslim Brotherhood. The Hamas Charter explicitly calls for the killing of Jews (not just Israelis) and for the destruction of Israel.

In 1994, Nihad Awad, future Executive Director of CAIR, openly declared his support for Hamas. And why wouldn’t he? According to the Muslim Brotherhood, the model of Islamic conquest is to be applied all over the world. Muslim Brotherhood organizations now exist both in Muslim countries and in the Western democracies. The Brotherhood promotes the replacement of democratic institutions with societies governed by a strict interpretation of sharia, or Islamic law. (More recently, Awad has said he no longer supports Hamas and opposes suicide bombing.)

It is ironic that US Congresspersons support CAIR. If CAIR succeeds in its mission, the US Congress and the Constitution that supports it will be abolished.

One of the most damning indictments against CAIR—- and one that reveals the duplicity of its motives—-was the 2007 Holy Land Foundation trial in Washington, DC. This was the largest anti-terrorist financing trial in US history, in which Holy Land Foundation officials were convicted of funneling money to the terrorist group Hamas. (Hamas is named by the US and several other countries as a terrorist organization). In that trial, US prosecutors listed CAIR as an unindicted co-conspirator. All Holy Land Foundation defendants in the trial were found guilty upon retrial in a federal court.

As a result of the convictions in the Holy Land Foundation Terrorism Trial, and the naming of CAIR as an unindicted co-conspirator, the FBI cut its once-close ties with CAIR. According to FBI officials:

………. the decision [to cut ties with CAIR] followed the conviction of the HLF directors for funneling millions of dollars to Hamas, revelations that [CAIR Executive Director] Nihal Awad had participated in planning meetings with HLF, and CAIR’s failure to provide details of its ties to Hamas. During a 2008 retrial of the HLF case, FBI Special Agent Lara Burns labeled CAIR “a front group for Hamas.” In January 2009, the FBI’s DC office instructed all field offices to cut ties with CAIR, as the ban extended into the Obama administration.2

Terrorist Involvement of CAIR Officials

A number of CAIR officials have been arrested on terrorism-related charges. For example:

  • A CAIR Director was sentenced to federal prison for violating US sanctions against Sadaam Hussein’s Iraq;
  • A CAIR Community Affairs Director pled guilty to bank and visa fraud and agreed to be deported. He had funneled money to support terrorism and published material advocating suicide attacks against the U.S.;
  • A founder of CAIR’s Dallas chapter was convicted in the Holy Land Foundation terrorism financing trial;
  • A CAIR communications specialist and “civil rights coordinator” is currently serving a 20 year prison sentence. He had trained with a foreign terrorist organization and was indicted on charges of helping al-Qaeda and the Taliban fight American troops in Afghanistan.
  • A CAIR Northern Virginia Director is currently serving a 23 year prison sentence for terrorism related financial and conspiracy charges;
  • A cofounder of CAIR’s parent organization was sentenced to 57 months in prison for funneling money to Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ), a State Department designated terrorist organization. (PIJ is an armed group that is currently firing numerous rockets into Israel from the Gaza Strip);
  • A CAIR fundraiser was deported from the US after his arrest on terrorism-related charges for financing al-Qaeda and other terrorist organizations.3


In 2017 the Hoover Institution released a policy paper on political Islam as an ideology and a movement. According to the paper’s author, Ayaan Hirsi Ali:

…the American public urgently needs to be educated about both the ideology of political Islam and the organizational infrastructure called dawa that Islamists use to inspire, indoctrinate, recruit, finance and mobilize those Muslims whom they win over to their cause…..Dawa as practiced by radical Islamists employs a wide range of mechanisms to advance their goal of imposing Islamic law (sharia) on society. This includes proselytizing but extends beyond that. In Western countries, dawa aims both to convert non-Muslims to political Islam and to instill Islamist views in existing Muslims. The ultimate goal of dawa is to destroy the political institutions of a free society and replace them with the rule of sharia law.4  [Words underlined here appear as italicized in the original text.] 

According to Hirsi Ali, dawa is subversion from within. It is a cynical practice to use western freedoms in order to subvert those very freedoms. CAIR conforms to this model. Their leaders neutralize any criticism of Islam by claiming that this criticism is religious bias. They shut down debate by crying Islamophobia, preventing examination of their goals and methods. They hide their true intentions by clothing themselves in the mantle of a human rights organization, when their goal is to eradicate those very rights.

Useful Idiots

In contemporary parlance, useful idiots are people who propagandize for a political cause without fully understanding it. They fail to comprehend the cynical manner in which they are being used as tools by that cause.

The members of the US Congress who wrote letters of support to CAIR are useful idiots.

Of the 100 members of Congress who wrote these letters of support, 97 were Democrats.



  1. Here’s a List of 100 Members of Congress Supporting CAIR. Clarion Project, November 11, 2019. Retrieved January 22, 2020 from:

In 2018 the list of members of Congress who sent letters of support to CAIR included 100 names. CAIR claims that in 2019 “120+” members of Congress sent support letters.

  1. Wikipedia. Council on American-Islamic Relations. Retrieved January 22, 2020 from:

  1. Holton, C. Army War College Sides with CAIR. Tribune (Bronxville, Mount Vernon, Westchester, Yonkers). June 16, 2019. Retrieved January 22, 2019 from:

  1. Hirsi Ali, A. The Challenge of Dawa: Political Islam as Ideology and Movement and How to Counter It. Hoover Institution Press, 2017, pp. 2, 3.
About the Author
The author is a life-long Zionist and advocate for Israel. He believes that a strong Jewish state is invaluable, not only to Jews, but to the world-wide cause of democracy and human rights. Dr. Berger earned a PhD in Social Welfare from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and has twenty-seven years of teaching experience. He has authored and co-authored three books as well as over 45 professional journal articles and book chapters. His parents were Holocaust survivors.
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