Originally published under the title "Three Tricks Islamic Extremists Use to Conceal the Truth about the Orlando Massacre."
Hours after 49 innocent people were brutally killed during the Pulse massacre in Orlando, the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) and other Islamist groups were already deploying time-tested tactics to divert attention from the obvious cause of this massacre, a radical form of Islam much like their own. Three bear highlighting: diversion, claiming the terrorist attack had nothing to do with Islam, and publicly smearing Muslim reformers.
In Dallas, the diversion tactic was set into action on social media when Alia Salem, head of CAIR's Dallas-Fort Worth chapter, attacked the lieutenant governor of Texas, Dan Patrick, for a bible verse he tweeted at 6:00 AM on Sunday, only minutes after the end of the Pulse showdown. Patrick's tweet featured Galatians 6:7, which states "Do not be deceived; God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows."
Salem seemed to interpret this passage to suggest that those murdered in the club deserved what they received, retweeting the Bible verse with the comment: "The moment when right-wing extremists and Muslim extremists publicly align. #TrueColors #Orlando #StandWithLGBTI."
CAIR has deployed time-tested tactics to divert attention from the cause of the Orlando massacre.
Patrick later deleted his tweet, explaining that it had been scheduled in advance, before the atrocity had occurred. Despite this, Salem kept her tweet (replacing the vanished Patrick tweet with a screenshot of it).
The exaggeration of rightist anti-Muslim sentiment is a diversion tactic that CAIR, and Salem in particular, often resort to. CAIR regularly asserts that "right-wing" and "anti-government" terrorism is a bigger threat than radical Islam, while Salem won the 2015 CAIR chapter of the year award, largely for her success launching the Ahmed "clock boy" Mohamed media hoax.
And after the San Bernardino terrorist shooting, CAIR's most prominent local leader, Los Angeles Executive Director Hussam Ayloush, used a similar method of blame-shifting. He told CNN, "When we support coup leaders in Egypt or other places, when we support dictatorships, oppressive regimes around the world that push people over on the edge, then they become extremists, then they become terrorists. We are partly responsible."
It is CAIR, the leading and most influential Muslim Brotherhood-founded group operating in this country, that is partly responsible, not the American people. Instead of focusing on uniting Muslims against ISIS and radicalism, CAIR leaders chose to blame Americans and "Islamophobia."
Instead of seeking to unite Muslims against ISIS, CAIR leaders blamed Americans and 'Islamophobia.'
The second tactic that CAIR has deployed is making the case that terrorist acts have nothing to do with Islam.
Following the Orlando attack on Sunday, CAIR-Arizona Executive Director Imraan Siddiqi tweeted: "This sick, cowardly act has no justification in any religion or ideology -Anyone who does: The Muslim community & world stands against you." He later pinned the tweet to the top of his profile.
Siddiqi knows this is not true. He is well aware that religions and ideologies can be used for justifying the murder of gays and lesbians. In fact, it was just three months ago on March 28th when Dr. Farrohk Sekaleshfar's speech at the Husseini Islamic Center in Sanford, Florida drew protests because in 2013 Sekaleshfar described the killing of gays as an act of love in accordance with Islam: "We have to have that compassion for people. With homosexuals, it's the same... Out of compassion, let's get rid of them now."
But is CAIR concerned with casting out Muslims who advocate violence? No, they are more concerned with ridiculing and marginalizing peaceful, patriotic Muslim leaders. CAIR cannot allow other Muslim groups who do not share their Islamist ideology to emerge as competitors.
CAIR's third tactic is smearing Muslim reformers.
CAIR has sought to ridicule and marginalize peaceful, patriotic Muslim leaders.
Since Siddiqi so loudly proclaimed that no ideology could inspire mass murder, his next move was to stoop to the character defamation of Muslims courageous enough to speak its true name.
Dr. M. Zuhdi Jasser, one of the leaders of the Muslim reform movement, wrote that, "Mateen pledged allegiance to #ISIS at standoff. How much more evidence do we need that the enemy's ideology is: #Islamonationalism #Islamism," and Siddiqui replied "...and of course look who shows up to throw gasoline on the fire."
Clearly, Jasser is not the one responsible for fueling hate. Siddiqui and CAIR's smear campaigns are complete misrepresentations of the truth.
As CAIR increasingly names "Islamophobia" as the primary problem, more and more of its leaders, such as CAIR-Michigan Executive Director Dawud Walid, continue to assert that America is irredeemably racist since its founding. Rather than helping to prevent future attacks, CAIR offers would-be terrorists further reason to wage war against America.
Other countries, like the United Arab Emirates, which named CAIR as a terrorist organization in 2014, are waking up to the game CAIR is playing. So should we.
Until America's most prominent Muslim organization stops trying to demonize Christian politicians, right-wingers, Muslim reformers, and US foreign policy, Americans will likely fall victim to more of these hate-driven terrorist attacks. Islamist ideology is the problem, and it's up to Muslims first and foremost to extricate it from their communities and faith.
David M. Swindle is the coordinator of Islamist Watch, a project of the Middle East Forum.