On June 17th, Mohammed Morsi, Egypt's former Muslim Brotherhood President, died in court. Officials from the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) rushed to lament his death on social media. CAIR's national director Nihad Awad wrote: "#Morsi's case is one of tens of thousands of others-activists, journalists, lawyers, doctors, educators who languish in abhorrent conditions in Egypt under #sisi's authoritarian rule." Zahra Billoo, head of CAIR's San Francisco chapter (CAIR-SFBA) chapter, announced the death of "Egypt's first democratically elected president in decades."
But CAIR, despite positioning itself as a commentator on hate speech, international politics, and American Islam, has remained predictably silent over extremist statements by American Islamists about the circumstances of Morsi's death.
On June 21, Dr. Mohammed Khalid Sidiqqi gave a sermon at Masjid Darussalam in San Francisco, a mosque is managed by the Islamic Society of San Francisco and which has partnered with CAIR-SFBA in the past.
Siddiqi made bizarre antisemitic accusations claiming that "Morsi, the only democratically elected president of Egypt, was killed by those Zionist agents, and, unfortunately, we have many of them in the Muslim world nowadays who are working for Satan and becoming the disciples of Satan."
Siddiqi went on to say that Morsi " was only trying to help humanity by bringing the truth of Islam. When Islam [was being] spread throughout the whole world, their slogan was only one thing: Justice, justice, and justice." Many would argue this is a rather inaccurate depiction of a President who took advantage of his power to pass a constitution establishing Islamic law as the main source of legislation, constrained the media, with critics of the regime losing their platforms, and pardoned Islamists sentenced to life sentences on terrorism charges.
Siddiqi also connected Morsi's death to the Algerians elections of 1991, in which Islamists won the majority but were prevented from taking power. The Islamists then resorted to violence, leading to a bloody civil war in which hundreds of thousands of Algerians died. Siddiqi suggested "Zionist agents" were also involved in these events. In fact, many Algerians at the time did not want to live under a theocratic regime – understandable, given the bloody Islamist terrorist attacks that followed the elections.
CAIR-SFBA is in fact familiar with the Islamic Society of San Francisco that manages the mosque where Siddiqi was given his platform to blame "Zionists" for the failure of violent Islamists to accrue power. CAIR once held a voter registration drive at the mosque.
So we asked CAIR National and its SFBA branch whether they had anything to say regarding Siddiqi's claims. Neither responded, confirming once again that CAIR is not willing to condemn extremism unless it suits its political agenda.