L.A. Times: CAIR ‘Does Not Regret’ Helping Terrorist’s Family, Despite Breitbart Criticism

CAIR microphone (Jessica Gresko / Associated Press)
Jessica Gresko / Associated Press

An article published in the Los Angeles Times on Sunday reported that the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) — an unindicted co-conspirator in the Holy Land Foundation (HLF) trial, which is accused of funding Hamas — said it rushed to support the family of the San Bernardino terrorists immediately after the radical Islamic attack took place this past December because “[w]e wanted to make sure no one is punished for the sins of others.”

That statement from CAIR’s executive director in Los Angeles, Hussam Ayloush, reportedly came in response to the organization receiving “angry calls and critical coverage from conservative media, including Breitbart, which ran a headline asking, ‘Why is CAIR helping San Bernardino terrorists after the fact?‘”

The article that the Times was referring to was penned by Breitbart California editor Joel B. Pollak, who wrote that CAIR had “confirmed” that the attacks were radical Islamic terror even before the FBI had been willing to come out and call it that.

Pollak noted that CAIR was providing legal assistance and religious burial rites to the terrorist’s family after the attack. Pollak also drew upon CAIR-LA’s decision to hold interfaith vigils less than a week after the incident was their way of “exploiting the terror attacks to launch a religious outreach campaign,” and noted that such “interfaith vigils at mosques serve a proselytizing purpose, helping to expose the curious public to Islamic prayer and practice.”

If many Americans have trouble distinguishing between radical Islam and Muslims in general, it is because radical organizations like CAIR deliberately blur the distinction, helping those who have declared war on the United States.

CAIR ought to be shamed for exploiting terror–not rewarded by the media and politicians as the leading, and legitimate, voice of American Muslims.

The Times pointed out that this was the first time CAIR had advised a family of a suspected terrorist, adding: “For years, CAIR, which has 30 chapters in the U.S., has acted to condemn terrorist attacks and educate the public about Islam at a time when anti-Muslim sentiment was high. But it also has been a polarizing organization, reviled by critics who accuse it of being linked with radical Islam, terrorism and groups such as Hamas.”

Nearly six months after the deadly incident, which took the lives of 14 people and injured 22 others, Ayloush said CAIR “does not regret the decision” and drew upon one event in particular to demonstrate the organization’s conviction behind its actions.

Throughout the first week the December 2 shooting took place, Ayloush would reportedly make periodic visits to the home of San Bernardino terrorist Syed Rizwan Farook’s brother-in-law, Farhan Khan, to check in on him and his family, and to monitor the threats they were receiving.

Ayloush told the Times that during one of the visits he “noticed Khan’s children on the floor eating candy” and said “their mother told him that they had run out of food because they didn’t feel comfortable leaving the home to shop for groceries.”

CAIR reportedly said that although their decision with regard to the San Bernardino incident still remains as a legacy with the group, they continue to work to condemn terrorism. Ayloush reportedly said CAIR “should be honest about everything: more honest within the community about the fact that we cannot discount the threat of barbaric groups like ISIS. We must not say it’s tiny and it will disappear.”

The Times article also points to several California incidents in which CAIR became involved. The first deals with a Muslim student, Bayan Zehlif, who was mistakenly identified as “Isis Phillips” in her high school yearbook, and for which Los Osos High School in Rancho Cucamonga apologized.

CAIR reportedly hosted a news conference that allowed for Zehlif to to voice her opposition to the incident. (The school is located 10 miles away from a Fontana high school that crowned a devout Muslim, who covers her hair with a hijab, as their prom queen. Fontana is two towns over from San Bernardino.)

In another incident, a group of Muslim women were kicked out of Urth Caffe in Orange County after the Muslim owner of the Cafe reportedly authorized a call to the police after the Muslim female patrons “were loud and abusive to the Urth Caffe employees and refused to give up their table per the stated policy.” However, as Parvini notes in the Los Angeles Times piece, “CAIR expressed its concern that they were removed because of their faith.” And the Muslim advocacy group cited “Islamophobia” as the reason behind the Muslim cafe owner’s decision to remove the Muslim patrons.

Follow Adelle Nazarian on Twitter @AdelleNaz


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