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A new Islamist tactic: conning legitimate heroes to appear at publicity events.
In May 2017, Taliesin Myrddin Namkai Meche was stabbed, along with two others, on a train in Portland, Oregon. Meche stepped in, along with several others, to protect two teenage girls - one of whom was wearing a hijab - from the violent tirades of a fellow passenger. Meche and another good samaritan were fatally stabbed, while a third was seriously injured. Authorities have since named the killer as a "self-proclaimed white supremacist."
On November 18, the Los Angeles chapter of the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) is hosting a banquet at which Meche will be posthumously named a "Champion of Justice." Meche's mother, Asha Deliverance, is due to accept the award on her son's behalf. She is described in CAIR's event flyer as a "peace and love activist."
The murders in Portland were horrifying. It is only fitting that Meche and the other victims of this hate-crime should be honored by someone. But that someone should not be CAIR.
There is no greater illustration of CAIR's duplicity and exploitation than the LA chapter's upcoming banquet.
CAIR is exploiting this tragedy to further its own political agenda. It has organized this event to further the deceit that CAIR works to fight racism and hatred, only to distract from its long history of promoting such racism and hatred. At the very event honoring Meche, in fact, CAIR has also invited one of American's most extreme hate preachers - a Salafi cleric named Siraj Wahhaj.
Wahhaj has advocated stoning adulterers to death, chopping off the hands of thieves and lashing people who drink.
He has warned Muslims: "Take not into your intimacy those outside of your race. They will not fail to corrupt you. Don't you know our children are surrounded by kafirs [non-Muslims]. I'm telling you, making the hearts of our children corrupt, dirty, foul."
Wahhaj has also encouraged his audiences to hate homosexuals, and noted that the Islamic punishment for homosexuality is death.
Siraj Wahhaj addresses the Philadelphia chapter of CAIR in 2012.
And in stark contrast to Meche's last valiant act, Wahhaj has called on Muslims to convert gang members in order to harness their capacity for violence: "They [inner city populations] need to get out of the street and into the masjid, learn Islam and then get [back] in the street because these people have guts and courage that a lot of Muslims don't have. Some of these people are ready to stand in front of anyone and fight." He has even added, "I will never tell anyone, 'Don't be violent.' That's not the Islamic way."
CAIR claims to be a civil rights group that advocates on behalf of American Muslims. But it is an unelected Islamist body, with little mandate from American Muslims. Because of CAIR's history of ties to extremism and terror, the FBI and Justice Department have, since 2008, banned outreach with CAIR. The Anti-Defamation League, meanwhile, has condemned CAIR for its promotion of anti-Jewish sentiment. And in 2014, the United Arab Emirates even designated CAIR as a terrorist organization.
Other speakers at CAIR's banquet on November 18 include Jonathan Brown, who has defended rape and sex slavery within Islam.
There is no greater illustration of CAIR's duplicity and exploitation than the Los Angeles chapter's upcoming banquet. Only CAIR could offer "peace and love" along with violence and hate in the course of a single dinner.
Sam Westrop is the director of Islamist Watch, a project of the Middle East Forum.