Recently there has been a lot of discussion about western Islamic groups denouncing terrorism. Like many of us I said ‘Finally!’ and started reading more about who was saying what. And, just as I was afraid, the media isn’t looking close enough at the story to give it an accurate account. With the media, things aren’t always what they seem.
Taking a closer look at the statement, you only have to look at who made the statement to see something is up. The ‘ruling’ was made by the FCNA (Fiqh Council of North America) and CAIR (Council on American-Islamic Relations). What is wrong with these groups? Well, the knowledge that they have extensive ties to terrorist activities and groups in the past displays a bit of hypocrisy on their part.
* Abdurraham Alamoudi, head of the American Muslim council and American Muslim Foundation and trustee of the Fiqh Council of North America was subsequently convicted of immigration fraud and plead guilty to a plot in which he was going to assassinate the leader of Saudi Arabia on behalf of Al Qaeda associates in London. He was sentenced to 23 years in prison. He also facilitated the transfer of approximately $1 million to Al-Qaida from an organization called the Movement for Islamic Reform in Arabia (MIRA), a U.K.-based Saudi oppositionist group, a group designated a terrorist organization by Treasury as well as admitted to taking part in a Libyan plot to assassinate Crown Prince Abdullah of Saudi Arabia for which he was sentenced to 23 years in prison.
* Taha Jaber Al-Alawani, President of the Fiqh Council of North America, is an unindicted co-conspirator in the case against Sami al-Arian, the alleged North American leader of Palestinian Islamic Jihad and is an official of several organizations, including the SAFA Group, which the government suspects is related to a network of terrorist entities.
* Sheikh Muhammad al-Hoonati, member of the Fiqh Council of North America, was formerly the president of IAP, a part of the HAMAS propaganda machine.
* Ghassan Elashi was a founding Board Member of CAIR-Texas. Elashi was also Chairman and Treasurer of HLF and Vice President of Marketing for Infocom, a computer export company. Elashi was convicted on July 7, 2004 of six counts, including false statements, conspiracy to violate the Export Administrations Regulations and the Libyan Sanctions Regulations, and conspiracy to file false Shipper’s Export Declaration forms. Infocom was found guilty on all ten counts with which it was charged. Additionally, Ghasan Elashi and his brothers Basman and Bayan were found guilty of the Marzook-related charges on April 13, 2004. Additionally, on July 27, 2004, Elashi, HLF, and six other HLF officials were indicted for providing material support to Hamas, engaging in prohibited financial transactions with a Specially Designated Global Terrorist, money laundering, conspiracy and filing false tax returns
* Rabih Haddad was co-founder of the Global Relief Foundation, whose assets the U.S. government froze on December 14, 2001 for financially supporting Al Qaeda and was subsequently deported to Lebanon.
In addition, CAIR has a history of opposing US Government involvement against individuals suspected of involvment in terrorist activities.
So, what does this mean to the statements? Is it a marked change in the leadership and direction of the organizations or is it lip service by the groups in order to continue functioning as a valid organization while using it as a cover to continue supporting terrorists and terrorist activities?
Unfortunately we may have our answer already.
Radio talk-show host Michael Graham was suspended by station WMAL-AM for repeatedly describing Islam as a ‘Terrorist Organization’ on his radio program. Graham said he has been ordered off the Washington station, without pay, for an indefinite period while the station investigates the comments that drew complaints from a Muslim group, the Washington-based Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR). (source)
While I am not ready to completely denounce the statement made by this group, it is obvious that the welcome statement should unfortunately be taken with a grain of salt and continued monitoring should take place before we know for sure.