CAIR’s Latest Attempt to Pretend It Opposes Antisemitism

A few days ago, the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) condemned the distribution of antisemitic flyers in Charlottesville, Va.

“The rise of antisemitic bigotry is cause for concern for all Americans and this disturbing trend must be addressed by members of all faith and minority communities,” said CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper. “We condemn the distribution of this hateful propaganda and stand in solidarity with the Virginia Jewish community against antisemitism.” 

I would argue that what seems like a welcome condemnation by CAIR is actually more insidious.

Consider firstly what they are condemning: antisemitic material distributed by far Right group Goyim Defense League hate group:

This is low-hanging fruit for the vast majority of people, and CAIR loses no credibility among its supporters by condemning this. In fact, CAIR condemn these instances of antisemitism regularly.

What they don’t do is condemn other forms of antisemitism, especially when it is related to the Jewish state.

For example, they have not only refused to condemn antisemitism by their frequent ally American Muslims for Palestine (AMP), they have made clear they do not and have “never considered AMP or its leaders antisemitic.”

CAIR’s frequent ally, American Muslims for Palestine (AMP), has a recurring problem with anti-Semitism. Its founder, Hatem Bazian, has a long history of crude bigotry, and other AMP leaders are little better. In February, AMP-New Jersey president Sayel Kayed (a former member of AMP’s national board) gave a speech in Middlesex which included several grossly anti-Semitic statements, including the false and ludicrous claim that Israeli prime minister Menachem Begin claimed Jewish ownership of Mecca, and that Israel aspires to invade and annex all territory between the Nile and the Euphrates rivers; he also agreed with an audience member who claimed that most European Jews are descended from the Turkic Khazar people (a popular claim in anti-Semitic circles which has virtually no scientific support), and therefore have no historical claim on the land of Israel.

Recently, Islamist Watch coordinator Samantha Mandeles reached out to the New Jersey chapter of CAIR to ask for its reaction to Kayed’s slurs. In response, CAIR-NJ director Jim Sues wrote, “CAIR has a long history of challenging anti-Semitism in all its forms. We believe that such statements are inappropriate.” Mandeles duly noted the exchange on the Islamist Watch blog, as well as an identical statement from CAIR-National director Ibrahim Hooper, and the Middle East Forum posted on Facebook that “CAIR Condemns [AMP]’s Blatant Anti-Semitism.”

At this point, the recriminations started flying. CAIR was pummeled on social media by angry Islamists, accused of “brown-nosing” the hated “Islamophobes.” On June 5th, CAIR-NJ posted in response:

“CAIR did not condemn American Muslims for Palestine (AMP) or its leaders as anti-Semitic. Our reaction was in reference to one statement by an audience member at a public event, not to AMP itself. Unfortunately, anti-Muslim and pro-Israeli Apartheid groups seek to promote their extremist views using distortions and misinformation. CAIR does not and has never considered AMP or its leaders anti-Semitic.”

They also refused to condemn the antisemitic mapping project that has been condemned as anti-Semitic and possible incitement to violence.

But it is even worse than that. CAIR and its personnel has perpetuated antisemitism.

Like Zahra Billoo, CAIR’s Executive Director for the San Francisco Bay Area, who you may recall incited against Jews at an AMP conference in 2021:

Obviously, CAIR defended her, and attacked those of us who called out her antisemitism.

Then there’s Shaheen Nassar, Director of Policy and Advocacy for CAIR’s Los Angeles branch, who denied the Jewish connection to the Land of Israel while perpetuating the antisemitic “Khazar” theory:

And let’s not forget CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, quoted in their press release above, who spreads the antisemitic trope of a powerful lobby affecting election results:

shares things from websites and people with a history of antisemitism:

as well as from organizations tied to terror groups:

And remember the CAIR report regarding “Islamophobia in the Mainstream,” which a coalition that represents more than 2,000 Orthodox Jewish rabbis on American public policy issues condemned as “pro-terror” and “antisemitic”?

I posit that when CAIR condemns the blatant antisemitism of the far Right, they not only try to come across as fighting Jew hatred, but they do so in order to cover up the Jew hatred emanating from within its own organization and from its allies.


David Lange

A law school graduate, David Lange transitioned from work in the oil and hi-tech industries into fulltime Israel advocacy. He is a respected commentator and Middle East analyst who has often been cited by the mainstream media

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