As noted recently by Campus Watch, University of Michigan history professor Juan Cole will be speaking at a CAIR (Council on American Islamic Relations) fundraiser this March. In light of Cole's high-profile fundraising efforts for CAIR, one assumes he either shares the group's Islamist political agenda or serves as a useful idiot in its promotion.

Strengthening that assumption, it turns out Cole will be the primary speaker at yet another upcoming CAIR event, this time on January 23 at the National Press Club in Washington D.C. Moderated by CAIR Legislative Director Corey Saylor and titled, "Fear for Votes: How Some 2008 Candidates are Exploiting Islamophobia," the event will undoubtedly push the idea that any and all discussion of radical Islam in the 2008 presidential election is tantamount to "Islamophobia."

This would be familiar ground for Cole, who, while addressing an audience at UCLA's Center for Near Eastern Studies in January, 2006, had this to say about threats facing the U.S. from the Muslim world in the wake of Sept. 11, 2001:

"The whole thing is a mirage…Basically, I think the Washington power elite lost their bugbear when the Soviet Union fell, and the only way they could convince us to let them tax us to spend hundreds of billions of dollars a year on military things and to throw all this money to their cronies and to take away our civil liberties is if there's a powerful external enemy."

This kind of muddled thinking falls into line with Cole's recent assertion – also documented by Campus Watch – that last week's incident involving U.S. Navy vessels and Iranian patrol craft in the Straits of Hormuz was "a serious error if not a Republican Party fabrication." Would Cole then accuse 2008 presidential candidates addressing the Iranian regime's rising belligerence of being part of a "fabrication"? It certainly wouldn't be beyond the pale for Cole, nor would it for his beneficiary, CAIR.

As for the theme of CAIR's upcoming event, one has to wonder just who exactly is exploiting "Islamophobia" in this scenario. The candidates who acknowledge America's struggle with radical Islam, or apologists such as Cole and CAIR who seek to deny this dangerous ideology by playing the "Islamophobia" card? The answer is self-evident.