After years of enjoying intimate access to policymakers and offering sensitivity training to law enforcement personnel, luck may be running out for the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR). As the Islamist lobby group faces an embarrassing lawsuit and a suddenly cold shoulder from Washington, some are speculating that CAIR's time on the national stage is almost up.
The slippery slope began last November. During its annual dinner, CAIR was served with a federal civil complaint on behalf of four individuals alleging that Morris Days, a "resident attorney" at CAIR's former Herndon, VA, office, had defrauded them by not providing paid-for legal work — perhaps because he is not actually a lawyer:
According to the complaint, CAIR failed to conduct a background check on Days prior to hiring him and when they did discover his massive fraud, they immediately set about to cover it up. CAIR officials purposefully concealed the truth about Days from their clients, law enforcement, the Virginia and D.C. state bar associations, and the media.
Twenty-four hours later, CAIR took another hit as the trial of the Holy Land Foundation, a charity charged with funding the terror group Hamas, ended with guilty verdicts on all 108 counts. Federal prosecutors had listed CAIR as an unindicted co-conspirator in the case.
Now evidence has emerged that the government is reducing contact with CAIR due to concerns over the skeletons rattling in its closets. The Investigative Project (IPT) reports that last fall, "FBI field offices began notifying state CAIR chapters that bureau officials could no longer meet with them" until the organization's national leaders answer questions they would rather avoid:
In one letter obtained by IPT News, James E. Finch, special agent in charge of the FBI's Oklahoma City field office, canceled a meeting of the local Muslim Community Outreach Program, a state-federal program designed to enlist Muslims in terrorism prevention and investigate reports of civil liberties violations.
"If CAIR wishes to pursue an outreach relationship with the FBI, certain issues must be addressed to the satisfaction of the FBI. Unfortunately, these issues cannot be addressed at the local level and must be addressed by the CAIR national office in Washington, D.C.," the letter said.
In the wake of the above revelations, five members of Congress have circulated a document, entitled "Beware of CAIR," which advises their colleagues to "think twice" about engaging with CAIR representatives based on "indications that this group has connections to Hamas."
Whether or not CAIR's days really are numbered, at long last the bloom is off the Islamist rose.