Is the US government investigating the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), as it indicated it would (here and here)? If not, why not? If so, what are its findings?
Consider this syllogism:
According to former State Dept. press director Jeffrey Rathke, in Nov. 2014, the US asked the UAE why it considers CAIR a terrorist organization.
Muslim Brotherhood membership = a possible indicator of extremism.
CAIR = a Muslim Brotherhood organization.
∴ CAIR = "possibly" an "extremist" i.e. terrorist organization.
A recently-published British government report concludes that "membership of, association with, or influence by the Muslim Brotherhood should be considered as a possible indicator of extremism," according to Prime Minister David Cameron. The report also notes that the British government was mistaken in believing it shared a common agenda with the Muslim Brotherhood against al-Qaeda and militant Salafism in general. Cameron said the government would be more careful in the future not to provide legitimacy or a platform for the Muslim Brotherhood.
CAIR seed money included $5,000 from the Muslim Brotherhood Hamas front Holy Land Foundation.
The study is particularly noteworthy given that CAIR, a widely-quoted organization which poses as a civil-rights group, is a Muslim Brotherhood entity. A federal district court found it to be so, listing it under the heading "The following individuals/entitles who are and/or were members of the US Muslim Brotherhood's Palestine Committee and/or its organizations." CAIR is number 11 on the list. CAIR was started with the help of a $5,000 donation from the Holy Land Foundation, a terrorist organization prosecuted by the aforementioned court for aiding the terrorist group Hamas. According to the US Department of Justice, the Muslim Brotherhood is "Hamas' parent organization."
The problem is not limited to leaders from long ago: CAIR's current executive director, Nihad Awad, participated in a Hamas meeting in Philadelphia and has voiced support for the group. Doubtless it is this mindset that caused CAIR's reluctance to condemn Osama bin Laden following the 9/11 attacks.
Given CAIR's record of ties to Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) severed ties with CAIR back in 2009 "until [the FBI] can resolve whether there continues to be a connection between CAIR or its executives and HAMAS." The FBI declined to respond to any questions about whether it has investigated – or is investigating – CAIR or what it has found.
After the United Arab Emirates designated CAIR a terrorist organization in November 2014, the US State Department indicated it would investigate. What has it found? State declined to say anything on the record about this. On background, a State Department official would only say the US government has "engaged with the Emirati government regarding their designation of CAIR." Whether the UAE responded, what its response was, and whether the US government made any findings about CAIR remain a mystery.
Why won't the federal government answer these questions about what it has learned about CAIR?
Johanna Markind is associate counselor for the Middle East Forum.