Response to Barbara Boxer's Snub of CAIR

Recently Barbara Boxer (D-CA) rescinded an award given to the Sacramento director of the Council of Arab-Islamic Relations. Now an open letter is being circulated by Progressive Christians Uniting that calls for Senator Boxer to return the award and apologize to CAIR.

It is unfortunate that we live at a time when a growing xenophobia is enveloping our nation. That there is a strong extremist element within parts of the Arab and Islamic world is not to be denied, but if we're going to end the violence it will take people of good will, and CAIR has been a good partner, as is demonstrated in the letter of support below:

Please Reject Islamophobia and Restore the Good Name of CAIR(Council on American Islamic Relations)

Dear Sen. Boxer:

As interfaith leaders and concerned citizens, we are alarmed that you hastily rescinded the appropriate recognition your office had given to Basim Elkarra, who represents the Council on American Islamic Relations in Sacramento.

You took this action rashly after the award came under intense attack from Joe Kaufman, Steve Emerson, and others who make it their particular business to discredit and defame Islamic organizations based in the U.S. You did not consult people like ourselves before rescinding the award. We could and would have freely and accurately characterized CAIR as a responsible and highly-esteemed force for reconciliation and sanity, both in international affairs and in deepening interfaith understanding here in the United States.

Our purpose, however, is not to scold but to ask very simply that you not put CAIR at further risk of isolation and defamation. You can do this by stating clearly that you have not found any evidence to the effect that CAIR endorses terrorism or offers support and comfort to groups that engage in terrorism. The FBI will be happy to assist you in this.

We believe that the staff who advised you to rescind the award to Mr. Elkarra did so out of a panic response, recognizing that people like Kaufman and Emerson are capable of doing damage to your own reputation and exposing you to ridicule for allegedly consorting with a questionable organization. We believe that much greater damage to your reputation is being done every single day that your actual and grave mistake�rescinding the award rather than taking time to discover the facts�is allowed to stand. But more than this, we are profoundly disturbed by the immense long-term damage now being done to CAIR�s reputation, to intergroup relations, and to American principles as a result of a tempest precipitated by some extreme right-wing Islamophobes.

We in California have particularly sad memories of what can happen when a minority group is unfairly and unjustly isolated, accused, and convicted in the public�s mind as disloyal and dangerous. The internment camps for Japanese Americans stand as a stark reminder of the danger and tragedy that loom near when entire groups are subjected to character assassination and false charges.

Please show us that you understand the danger, that your principles remain strong, and that you are committed to a truly open society in which a particular faith tradition or ethnic background may never again be automatically equated with disloyalty. State clearly and unambiguously what we all know and attest to be true: that CAIR is a worthy participant in our ongoing democratic discourse and in our interfaith community life.

To sign, please visit


Emerson, a Jew who gets it
A perspective of a moderate Muslim

At the risk of sounding anti-Semitic, I want to say this: either American Jews are completely clueless about the internal struggle inside Islam or they are so cowardly, that they are even afraid to voice their opinion. Or maybe it's a combination of both.

Every time there is a development that involves radical Islam, be it a Mayor of New York attending an Islamist parade, DOJ's officials attending an Islamist conference, or a protester being sued for having the balls to expose an Islamist-sponsored event at an amusement park, the American Jewish community is as quiet as a church mouse. It's like it is not even there.

The effect of this silence is devastating. Not for the Jewish community, not yet. That time is still to come. The silence affects the American Muslim community. Every time moderate Muslims are ignored and Islamists are legitimized (by either direct support from government representatives or silent support of the ADL), radicals gain ground. In the current PC climate, moderate Muslims have pretty much no choice but to keep their mouths shut.

Luckily for us, not everyone in the Jewish community is like that. There are some Jews that are speaking out. One of them is Steven Emerson, who has been warning the West about the dangers of Islamic fundamentalism since before PanAm 103. Most of his current work is focused on exposing the radicals masquerading as the moderates – those radicals who are embraced by the DOJ and the Pentagon, by the mayor of New York Bloomberg (Rudy would never get into bed with terrorist supporters) and the Treasury Department, by the State Department and the Department of Homeland Security, by the Congress and the White House.

There is a war of ideas within Islam, and moderate Muslims are losing. Most of Muslim clergy and Muslim establishment are paid for by the Wahhabis. Moderate Muslims are being run out of Mosques and community centers, and in many cases are physically threatened. Moderate Muslims have no place in the media or public debate, because the place reserved for Muslims is filled by Islamic radicals, who attempt to make criticizing anything Islamic a taboo. According to the Islamists, a Muslim can do no wrong.
1. When a non-Muslim criticizes Islam or Muslims, he/she is an Islamophobe.
2. When a Muslim criticizes Islam or Muslim, he/she is not a real Muslim, therefore see #1.

This is a tactic used by "moderate" Muslims, the darlings of the government and the media. But how can you call someone who praises bin Laden, or has ties to Hamas, or calls for the elimination of Israel, or wants to replace the Constitution with the Koran a moderate? They are anything but moderates, however nobody except for a few people like Steven Emerson seems to notice that. But even when the Emersons of America appeal to the public, they are often being dismissed as alarmists and racists. Well, they are anything, but. You don't have to be a clairvoyant to predict the future when it comes to expansion of radical Islam and extinction of moderate Muslims. All you need to do is get your heads out of the sand.

Why our government is so forgiving and forgetful when it comes to individuals or organizations with known terrorist ties and anti-American views is beyond me. Why the Jewish leaders are so timid when it comes to the subject of radical Islam is incomprehensible.

I thank God every day for people like Steven Emerson, because they are the last glimmer of hope for moderate Muslims.


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