Eric Rozenman
Writer and editor.

Washington Post, stop whitewashing CAIR

The Council on American-Islamic Relations is far from a benign civil rights group – it’s a proven friend to Hamas
People walk by the One Franklin Square Building, home of The Washington Post newspaper, in downtown Washington on February 21, 2019. (Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP)
People walk by the One Franklin Square Building, home of The Washington Post newspaper, in downtown Washington on February 21, 2019. (Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP)

Bias by commission – sanitizing Hamas rapists and murderers as “militants” or “fighters” for example – represents one way news media distort reality. But more insidious, because of invisibility, is bias by omission. And The Washington Post’s omission of relevant facts is the gift the newspaper keeps on giving to the Council on American-Islamic Relations.

Media large and small, with the Post prominent among them, persist in accepting CAIR’s self-description as the largest Muslim American advocacy and civil rights organization. This, even though a search of open-source information would reveal the council as a false flag operation with deep connections to the Palestinian terrorist organization Hamas.

Such omissions invalidated a Post article late last month, “Chaudry suspended over Israel criticism.” Zainab Chaudry, director of CAIR’s Maryland chapter, was suspended temporarily from her oxymoronic participation in the state’s Commission on Hate Crime Response and Prevention. Among other things, she had compared Israel’s retaliation for the terrorists’ October 7 slaughter of 1,200 Israelis to Nazi Germany’s mass murders of Jews. Chaudry also criticized media for portraying “Palestinian freedom fighters” as terrorists.

The Post did note that “by law, the commission must include members from specific community groups, including CAIR, the Anti-Defamation League, the Baltimore Jewish Council and the NAACP.” Technically true, this information – absent as it was of any context – could mislead readers into equating CAIR with prominent Jewish and African American civil rights groups. The Post failed to add that:

*The council was an unindicted co-conspirator in the 2009 federal Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development retrial. Five men were convicted of raising $12 million for Hamas, a US government-designated terrorist organization. Two of them, including Ghassan Elashi, co-founder of CAIR’s Texas chapter, received 65-year sentences;

*In 2005, CAIR agreed to an out-of-court settlement of its libel suit against the website Anti-CAIR. Anti-CAIR dropped two of five contested charges but the agreement let stand three others – that the council was founded by Hamas members, founded by Islamic terrorists and funded by Hamas;

*Over the years, at least four other CAIR lay leaders or staffers in addition to Elashi have been arrested, convicted and/or deported on weapons or terrorism charges; and

*Council co-founder Omar Ahmad once declared that the Quran, Islam’s scripture, “should be the highest authority in America, and Islam the only accepted religion on Earth.”

The Post covers up

But Washington Post readers never learn any of the above. The paper’s treatment of Chaudry exemplified its chronic whitewashing of CAIR. This was seen also in two articles on October 22. In “Jewish schools boost security as protests intensify” and “Some in GOP test free speech in targeting of campus protesters’ visas,” The Post identified the council as “a national civil rights group” and “the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization.”

As part of its CAIR cover-up, the paper reported that the council’s Maryland leader, Chaudry, said that as executive director of CAIR Maryland, “she also condemns the killing of hundreds of Israeli civilians in the Oct. 7 attack by Hamas. ‘My organization has been consistent in condemning the targeting of innocent civilians whether they be Israeli or Palestinian,’ she said.”

Chaudry’s condemnation of “the targeting of innocent civilians” by either side is a false equivalence. Hamas explicitly targets noncombatants – that’s what terrorists do – while Israel goes to great lengths, including advance warnings to civilians in combat areas, to avoid striking noncombatants.

Even more, it is camouflage. Residents of the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip were in danger from Israeli retaliation because the organization, having embedded itself among noncombatants in violation of the rules of war, counted on using Arab civilians in its “human shields/CNN” strategy. But CAIR ignored that, as well as Hamas’ violations of international law by seizing and holding civilians. Just two days after the terrorists’ mass murder of Jews, the council suggested Congress cease funding for Israel due to the Jewish state’s non-existent “apartheid occupation.”

The Post reported that Chaudry, on her personal social media, criticized news media “for portraying ‘Palestinian freedom fighters’ as ‘terrorists’’’ and that she claimed to be a victim of “scapegoating of individuals who express any support of Palestinian rights.” Her allegations attempt to dress lies as truth. “Freedom fighters” do not decapitate infants and incinerate families. Advocates of “Palestinian rights” do not support Hamas’ hiding behind Gaza residents or its goal of an Islamic theocracy over Israel, the West Bank and Gaza Strip established by a genocide of the Jews.

You would think The Washington Post, with the resources of owner and Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, could report that much.

About the Author
Eric Rozenman is author of From Elvis to Trump, Eyewitness to the Unraveling; Co-Starring Richard Nixon, Andy Warhol, Bill Clinton, The Supremes and Barack Obama! published by Academica Press. He also wrote Jews Make the Best Demons: 'Palestine' and the Jewish Question, New English Review Press. He is former Washington director of CAMERA, the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America, and editor of B'nai B'rith's International Jewish Monthly magazine.
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