Dmitri Shufutinsky

CAIR Needs to Be Labeled a Hate Group

Muhammed Siddiqui, on January 15th, 2022, held a number of hostages in a Texas synagogue. He demanded that his sister, Aafia, be released from jail and that he be allowed to speak with her. Aafia is currently serving an 86-year prison sentence at the Carswell Federal Medical Center after attempting to kill US military personnel. Unsurprisingly, the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) is lobbying for her to be released from prison. In fact, enthusiastic antisemite, Linda Sarsour, is one of those leading the charge. Now, of course, CAIR is claiming to “stand in solidarity” with the Jewish community–as they do every time it is politically expedient for them to do so.

All of this comes after Zahra Biloo, San Francisco Bay’s Executive Area Director of CAIR, marked synagogues and Jewish organizations as targets for boycotts and harassment, claiming that “Allah has promised us victory.” This kind of conspiracy theory-riddled talk has no place in the public sphere, especially for a self-proclaimed “advocacy, anti-hate group.” This chilling language sounds no different than the radicalized Christian White Supremacists who have targeted mosques and synagogues in recent years. The time has come for the United States to do as the United Arab Emirates did years ago, and label CAIR as an organization with ties to terrorism.

CAIR has for years been spreading radicalization through the country through its ties to the Muslim Brotherhood–including Hamas. Several of its employees and higher-ranking officials have been linked to terrorism or brutal dictatorships, such as that of Muammar Gaddafi. It has ignored complaints over gender discrimination within the organization, as well as sexual harassment claims. This may be, in part, due to the near monopoly on the group of Saudi Wahhabist religious viewpoints. The organization also supported and advocated for Rasmea Odeh, a convicted terrorist, up until her deportation to Jordan.

The same way that the Jewish Defense League (JDL), Westboro Baptist Church, and other such organizations have been labeled as terror groups or ostracized as bigoted organizations, so, too, should CAIR. There are far better and more tolerant advocacy groups for Muslim Americans that deserve to be uplifted more than this one. If American values include interfaith coexistence, then CAIR cannot possibly adhere to such values based on both its actions and its words.

About the Author
Dmitri Shufutinsky is a freelance reporter with the Jewish News Syndicate, and a Junior Research Fellow with ISGAP. He made aliyah to Kibbutz Erez through Garin Tzabar in 2019, and served as a Lone Soldier in the IDF. Dmitri is an ardent Zionist and a supporter of indigenous rights, autonomy, solidarity, and sovereignty. He currently lives in Hadera, and a graduate of Arcadia University's Masters program in International Peace & Conflict Resolution.
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