Raymond M. Berger
Real Bullet Points

Something About Congresswoman Ilhan Omar Should Bother Us

A police officer in the Washington, DC area observed a woman in Islamic garb taking photographs of the support structures of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge.

Congresswoman Ilhan Omar got herself into a bit of trouble.

This past March she spoke at a fundraising banquet held by the Los Angeles branch of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR). In her speech she referred to the September 11, 2001 attacks on the US. According to Omar, “after 9/11 because they recognized that some people did something,” American Muslims “started to lose access to our civil liberties.” Presumably the phrase “some people did something” referred to the hijacking and crashing of three commercial airliners by Saudi terrorists.

President Trump and many others criticized Omar’s comments for their insensitivity to the loss of almost 3,000 American lives in the September attacks.

That criticism was understandable. But far more sinister than Omar’s insensitivity was a largely ignored fact: The purpose of Omar’s speech was to raise funds for an unsavory organization.

CAIR is a front group, one of several such groups established by a murky Islamist organization called the Muslim Brotherhood.¹  In setting up groups like CAIR, the Brotherhood’s purpose was to undermine American institutions and replace the US government with a government run under sharia, or Muslim law. CAIR itself has extensive ties to terrorist groups and sympathizers.

This raises a disturbing question that has received little attention. Why is a powerful Congresswoman helping to raise funds for an organization connected to terrorist and Islamist groups devoted to destroying the US government? Why has she not been investigated by the FBI?

The Brotherhood

The Muslim Brotherhood was founded by Hassan al-Banna, an Egyptian devotee of an extreme form of Islam. Al-Banna believed that the subjugation of Islamic lands by non-Muslims (infidels) was the result of the abandonment of Islamic law by Muslims themselves. On a trip to the United States he was outraged by the decadent ways of Americans. In order to oppose Western decadence, he believed that Muslims must return to the true path of Islam. That is, they must strictly adhere to the Koranic principles laid out by the Prophet Mohammed in the seventh century. The goal of Islamists such as al-Banna is the defeat of the infidels and the establishment of a worldwide caliphate under sharia law.

That is the raison d’être of today’s Muslim Brotherhood, and by extension, CAIR. The Brotherhood has active chapters in many Islamic and Western countries.

The Brotherhood in America

In the summer of 2004, a police officer in the Washington, DC area observed a woman in Islamic garb taking photographs of the support structures of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge. The woman was accompanied by Ismail Elbarasse. Elbarasse was apprehended when the police officer discovered he had an outstanding warrant against him as a material witness in an investigation of the terrorist organization, Hamas. Hamas is one of many branches of the Muslim Brotherhood.

Under a search warrant, the FBI searched Elbarasse’s home in Annandale, Virginia. In the hidden sub-basement of that home, the FBI made a startling finding: The home served as a repository of documents for the American branch of the Muslim Brotherhood. The documents revealed what the FBI had long suspected: A myriad of Muslim groups in the US were intimately linked to the Muslim Brotherhood. Among these groups was CAIR, the sponsor of Ilhan Omar’s speech, in which she was dismissive about the 9/11 terrorist attacks on the US.

Currently, both the US House of Representatives and the Senate are considering passage of the Muslim Brotherhood Terrorist Designation Act. This proposed legislation states that “the Muslim Brotherhood meets the criteria for designation as a foreign terrorist organization under….the Immigration and Nationality Act” and should be officially designated as such.

The Brotherhood Memorandum

One of the documents discovered in Elbarasse’s home was especially revealing. Written in Arabic, it was entitled, “An Explanatory Memorandum: On the General Strategic Goal for the Group in North America.” This was the plan for the Muslim Brotherhood takeover of the United States.

Is this document legitimate? A US court of law thought so. It entered the Explanatory Memorandum as evidence in the US versus Holy Land Foundation trial, the largest terrorism financing trial in US history.

The Memorandum left no doubt about the intentions of the US branch of the Muslim Brotherhood:

The process of settlement is a ‘Civilization-Jihadist’ process with all the word means. The Ikhwan [Muslim Brotherhood]must understand that their work in America is a kind of grand jihad in eliminating and destroying the Western civilization from within and ‘sabotaging’ its miserable house by their hands and the hands of believers so that it is eliminated and God’s religion is made victorious over all other religions.

The Council on American-Islamic Relations

CAIR is a creation of the Muslim Brotherhood in America.² You would not know that from the way CAIR describes itself. On its website, the organization clams it is “a grassroots civil rights and advocacy group.” The notion of civil liberties figures predominantly in its literature. CAIR describes itself as “a leading advocate for justice and mutual understanding.”

None of this is consistent with the philosophy or goals of the Muslim Brotherhood.

I have no doubt that many CAIR followers believe their civil rights rhetoric. But the reality is that many of the top leaders of CAIR have ties to internationally recognized terrorist groups and have made statements supportive of Islamic terrorism.

CAIR events regularly include Islamists and it works closely with other Muslim Brotherhood organizations. Some CAIR officials openly support the terrorist organization Hamas, whose charter calls for the killing of all Jews everywhere in the world. Some CAIR officials support the elimination of the state of Israel. Other officials obfuscate: they say they oppose terrorist groups but will not condemn Hamas or Hezbollah by name.

Omar’s Troubling Bedfellows

At the CAIR fundraiser this past March, Omar appeared with CAIR-Florida director Hassan Shibly. He has excoriated gay people. He repeatedly refused to acknowledge Hamas and Hezbollah as terrorist groups. He regularly demonizes the U.S. military as no better than Islamic jihadists. Omar herself borrowed a page from this anti-US playbook when she recently condemned US soldiers who fought jihadis in Somalia. She failed to condemn the jihadis themselves.

Hussam Ayloush is the director of the Los Angeles office of CAIR that sponsored Omar’s talk. He accused the US of being partly responsible for the San Bernardino terrorist attacks. He described US military intervention in Iraq and Afghanistan as part of a campaign to instill “fear of Muslims.” He ignored legitimate US interests in ending foreign support for Al-Qaeda terrorists who have claimed many American lives.

In 2013 the US Internal Revenue Service reported that CAIR violated the US Foreign Agent Registration Act by hiding support it received from foreign donors. The IRS said that CAIR engaged in more than 100 political influence operations on behalf of foreign principals in the United States.

In the US vs. Holy Land Foundation trial, the largest terrorism financing trial in US history, CAIR was named as an unindicted co-conspirator in terrorism financing. When CAIR launched a court appeal to have this designation removed, the court judge upheld the designation.  In 2008, five senior executives of the Holy Land Foundation, at the time the largest Muslim charity in the United States, were convicted of funneling millions of dollars to Hamas.

Due to its terrorist ties, the FBI severed official contact with CAIR, stating that it “does not view CAIR as an appropriate liaison partner.”

To Love or To Re-Make America?

Recently Congresswoman Ilhan Omar claimed she loves the US more than anyone who was born there. But this is belied by her frequent criticisms of the US, her dismissiveness about deadly anti-American terrorist attacks, and her false anti-Semitic accusation that Jews bribe the US Congress.

In her short tenure as Congresswoman, Omar has shown that she deliberately evokes and savors controversy. She garners media attention.

But the American people should not allow Omar’s verbal outrages to obscure a far more important and sinister aspect of her career as a lawmaker—-her support for ideas and organizations that seek to remake America in the image of an extremist Islam.


  1. From the Wikipedia entry for Hassan al-Banna. Retrieved September 19, 2019 from:

Author Ezat Mossallanejad characterized the Muslim Brotherhood as a “highly fanatical” organization and criticized the following passage from al-Banna as a “blatantly fundamentalist” declaration: “God is our objective, the Quran is our constitution, the Prophet is our lender; struggle is our way and death for the sake of God is the highest of our spirations. Mossallanejad also calls the following statement about jihad highly fanatical and sadistic: ‘…in the Sacred Law it is the slaying of the unbelievers, and related connotations such as beating them, plundering their wealth, destroying their shrines, and smashing their idols… it is obligatory on us to begin fighting with them … even if they do not fight against us.” He argues that “this type of spiritual appeal to forces beyond human reasoning is the common language of all villains, scamps, scallywags, rascals, warlords, and gangsters, whether Bush, Blair or Khomeini.”

  1. How and Why Hamas Founded CAIR. Mosaic: Advancing Jewish Thought. April 15, 2019. Retrieved September 19, 2019 from:

…….how Hamas operatives created CAIR.

When 25 [Hamas] members and supporters gathered at a Marriott Hotel in Philadelphia on October 27, 1993, they were unaware that the FBI was monitoring their deliberations. The confab was a brainstorming exercise: how best to back Hamas and derail the Oslo Accords while concealing these activities from the American government? . . . In the U.S., Hamas was [by this time] perceived as the principal enemy of the popular “peace process.”

That was where [a] new organization would come in. . . . The new entity’s Islamism and Hamas promotion would have to be less “conspicuous.” It would need to couch its rhetoric in sweet nothings like “social justice,” “due process,” and “resistance.” If it did those things, though, it might be more attractive . . . and effective. A Muslim organization posing as a civil-rights activist while soft-pedaling its jihadist sympathies might be able to snow the American political class, the courts, the media, and the academy.

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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