The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) wasted no time before holding a press conference in California to defend Islam after a horrific deadly shooting carried out by multiple gunmen, one of whom authorities say is a man named Syed Farook.
“We have condemned all violence everywhere,” said speaker Muzammil Siddiqi in the press conference. He heads the Islamic Society of Orange County mosque in Garden Grove, California. Siddiqi urged people “not implicate Islam or Muslims” because “our faith is against that kind of behavior.”
But Siddiqi’s past statements suggest otherwise.
“America has to learn — if you remain on the side of injustice, the wrath of God will come!” Siddiqui said at a White House protest against Israel in 2000.
Siddiqi also reportedly praised suicide bombers, as reported by the Kansas City Star.
Siddiqi also counted suspected al Qaeda operative Adam Yahiye Gadahn as a parishioner at the Islamic Society of Orange County, though Siddiqi eventually kicked Gadahn out of the mosque.
Siddiqi defended jihad in an interview with The New Yorker magazine in a 2007 article about Gadahn.
Siddiqi called jihad “a struggle for peace and justice, so that you establish peace in the world, you establish justice in the world, and defend your own rights—the right of life, the right of property, the right of dignity and honor and freedom, and the right of your religion. So you defend yourself for that, and you defend other people who are suffering and oppressed. So jihad may take a military action, but it is not always a military action.”
The Islamic Society of Orange County did not immediately return a request for comment. CAIR also did not immediately return a request for comment.