After Jewish organizations pulled out of the 2019 Women's Marches over accusations of anti-Semitism, splits in the protest movement have continued to emerge. In New York and New Jersey, competing marches are due to go ahead. Prominent liberal organizations such as the Southern Poverty Law Center and even the Democratic National Committee have reportedly withdrawn their support.
One group, however, remains steadfastly in support. The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), along with its local branches and officials around the country, are among the leading sponsors and speakers of Women's March rallies on Saturday.
CAIR is a particularly active partner – it is an official sponsor of the D.C. March and is even offering "Muslims March for Justice" caps, emblazoned with the CAIR logo, for participants to wear.
Few who read the Forum's research and writings will be unaware of CAIR and its long history of links to terror, extremism, anti-Semitism and misogyny. Many will also not be surprised that an Islamist organization has partnered with a progressive cause – a successful, long-standing strategy for CAIR.
It has been extensively reported that Linda Sarsour, for instance, is a leading figure within the Women's March movement. Her involvement with the boldly anti-Semitic Louis Farrakhan and his Nation of Islam has been comprehensively uncovered. But behind Sarsour stands a legion of other CAIR activists willing to take advantage of this weekend's parade of progressivism.
In Washington D.C., the March's steering committee includes Roula Allouch, Chair of CAIR's National Board. Just last year, Ms Allouch was happy to join forces with two Deobandi clerics who preach violent misogyny.
One, Hussain Kamani, explains that Muslim men may fulfill any sexual desires "with a female slave that belongs to him" and teaches that when Muslim husbands are learning to "train their wives," beating them, Kamani concedes, should only be a "last measure." The other, Abdur Nasir Jangda, has declared: "The thing to understand is that the husband has his set of divinely given rights one of which is the right to have his physical desires satisfied."
In New Jersey, one of the marches is being led by Kaity Assaf, a former CAIR associate who "got involved at the suggestion of the New Jersey branch of the Council on American Islamic Relations." In Los Angeles, the local CAIR branch is a prominent partner, with a senior official, Marwa Rifahie, due to address the March. And it's a similar story with CAIR branches in Minnesota, Washington State, San Jose, San Diego, Kentucky, among others.
Other Islamist speakers include Zahra Billoo, director of CAIR's San Francisco branch. Last year, Billoo was happy to share a platform with Siraj Wahhaj, a former member of CAIR's advisory board who is not at all shy about his own hatred for women.
Wahhaj has previously said: "The so-called feminist movement, many of them are headed by lesbians. They will have you hating men...we want our women back to their natural place."
This didn't stop Billoo from inviting Wahhaj to serve as the keynote speaker for CAIR-San Francisco's annual banquet in 2017. Incidentally, Women's March leader Linda Sarsour has referred to Wahhaj as her "mentor."
For years, CAIR and its leading advocates have put out peace-and-love press releases promising "solidarity" and "unity" with Jewish organizations, in the face of the purported racism and violence of American society. But when those proffers of solidarity are actually put to the test, CAIR's real agenda is revealed. Withdrawing from the Women's March events would entail leaving an even bolder 'progressive' cause behind. For CAIR and its cohorts, "solidarity" is nothing more than exploitation of a sanitizing, modish cause.
At some point in the future, when genuine campaigners for women's rights call on CAIR to put its promises of "solidarity" into action, will the terror-linked, extremist-ridden Islamist group behave any differently? We doubt it.