When a Florida resident was arrested this month for threatening to "shoot up a Florida synagogue," the Florida chapter of the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) "welcomed" his arrest and used the opportunity to take a very public stand against anti-semitism.
But while CAIR is eager to denounce anti-semitism committed by non-Muslims, the organization is much less enthusiastic about reprimanding its own officials for anti-semitic statements.
CAIR-Florida's recent position is particularly absurd given the fact that the very official who issued the condemnation is himself a well-known anti-Jewish activist.
In response to the synagogue plot, CAIR-Florida's Communication Director, Wilfredo Amr Ruiz, lamented the "incessant barrage of divisive rhetoric coming from the highest office in the land" which "certainly contributes to a toxic environment that endangers the safety and security of all religious minorities."
And yet, in 2010, Ruiz published an article repeating anti-Semitic accusations, including the ludicrous claim that the Talmud instructs Jews to "throw dead dogs and monkeys" next to the grave of Muhammmad. " Ruiz also stated that the Talmud refers to Christians as "idolaters, murderers, fornicators, filth and beasts" and that it exhorts the Jew to deceive the Christian and "not assist him during illness, pregnancy or death."
Ruiz became CAIR Florida's communication director in 2011, after serving as legal counsel and director of the Puerto Rico office of the Miami-based group American Muslim Association of North America (AMANA), which was founded by the overtly anti-Jewish, Hamas supporter, Sofian Abdelaziz Zakkout.
Since Ruiz joined CAIR-Florida, he has continued to serve as AMANA's legal advisor, and the groups have worked together to organize pro-Hamas rallies. At a rally organized by CAIR-Florida and AMANA in Miami in 2014, protesters screamed, "We are Hamas" outside the Israeli consulate. Zakkout later posted photos of the rally with the caption "Thank God, every day we conquer the American Jews like our conquests over the Jews of Israel!"
On social media, Ruiz's posts combine antisemitic endorsements with regular criticism of Israel and incongruous admonishments of the Jewish community.
Ruiz has even 'liked" a Facebook comment that denied the Holocaust and stated "Hitler wasn't so bad after all." Ironically, Ruiz promotes calls for the Jewish community to do more about "Islamophobia" - deeming articles on the subject as a "must read."
And yet, at other times, Ruiz has reposted a Haaretz article on President Trump's immigration policy, quoting "If, as Jews, we say 'Never Again,' we have to truly mean it. For anyone."
Despite occasional attempts to portray himself as a liberal activist concerned with the dangers of bigotry, Ruiz's antisemitic opinions are still on full display. He has decried the Antisemitic Awareness Act, and quoted the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood leader, Essam Al Arian: "'Israel will fall within 10 years, Jewish occupiers must leave."
In CAIR's Florida's press release, Ruiz concludes that "worshippers everywhere expect instead a strong message from our leaders that anti-Semitism, racism, Islamophobia, and all forms of xenophobia are intrinsically un-American and un-patriotic and have absolutely no place in our nation." Given this proclamation, can it be expected that CAIR will take the next logical step and distance itself from Ruiz?
Islamist Watch contacted CAIR-Florida to ask whether it could reconcile Ruiz's own anti-Semitism with his camera-friendly condemnation of the plot against a Florida synagogue. CAIR-Florida did not respond.