Beniamin Baird 20 October 2017 | Excerpted from The American Spectator
Counting on the same naïveté that has propelled CAIR to prominence.
Coming soon to a mosque near you: Muslimedia, a forum that promises to offer “blunt debate about the way journalists cover Muslims at home and abroad.” For the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), which organizes the events with the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ), the forum serves as an opportunity to deceive the press and attain legitimacy for its extremist worldview.
SPJ and CAIR make for strange bedfellows. While SPJ is concerned with defending freedom of speech and pursuing ethics in journalism, CAIR was designated as a terrorist entity by the United Arab Emirates in 2014. The FBI and Justice Department suspended contact with CAIR in 2008 because of the group’s links to terrorism, and the Anti-Defamation League has labeled CAIR an anti-Semitic group with ties to terrorism.
Despite this dark past, CAIR enjoyed the support of a naïve media long before SPJ’s Muslimedia experiment. CNN, the Washington Post and the New York Times are among the mainstream media outlets to regurgitate CAIR’s deceptive press releases and publish its theological opinions in over 5,000 media references every year. Although the terror-tied Islamist group seems to have persuaded the media that it represents Muslim Americans, a 2011 Gallup poll shows that 88 percent of this population believes that CAIR fails to represent their interests.
Much of this distrust from moderate Muslims is likely due to CAIR’s frequent support for some of the most hateful, homophobic, and misogynistic religious leaders in the country — some of whom will lead discussions at Muslimedia panels in three separate states.
CAIR-less reporting in Boca Raton
The premiere Muslimedia event was held at the Islamic Center of Boca Raton (ICBR). Citing “Islamophobia,” event participants brought up a controversial decision by Florida election officials to preclude the ICBR mosque from serving as a polling station during the 2016 election. However, no one mentioned the mosque’s long and troubling history of anti-Semitism, or how this hateful rhetoric may have dissuaded voters from visiting the ICBR mosque.
Locals were certainly troubled by ICBR’s co-sponsorship of an anti-Israeli protest in 2000 where Muslim participants chanted, “With jihad we’ll claim our land, Zionist blood will wet the sand.” ICBR Imam Ibrahim Dremali was also on site to whip the crowd into a frenzy with a sermon on martyrdom.
An essay appearing on ICBR’s website in October 1999 (only removed after September 11, 2001) concluded that, “There can be no harmony between Jews — who are usurpers and aggressors” and who have “taken organs from [Muslims] for transplant into Jewish patients…”
A second Muslimedia conference, held at the Islamic Society of Greater Oklahoma (ISGOC), strictly prohibited the participation of any non-Muslim with a background in Islam or Arab culture. University of Oklahoma SPJ adviser and panel moderator Judy Gibbs Robinson intentionally sought out journalists with “no special knowledge about Islam.”
Multiple corroborating reports of extremism at the Oklahoma mosque began to emerge in 2014 when ISGOC congregant Jah’Keem Yisrael brutally beheaded a coworker after an argument about “stoning” women for crimes against Islam. He was heard shouting Islamic scriptural phrases moments before the decapitation.
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