For years, the U.S. government has offered rewards for its most wanted terrorists as a way of incentivizing people to be on the lookout. Its success obviously relies upon widespread knowledge of the award and what the terrorists look like.
For the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), a U.S. Muslim Brotherhood group, the fact that Americans would become aware that the majority of the most-wanted terrorists are Islamic extremists compelled it to take action. As usual, CAIR cried “Islamophobia,” deployed its interfaith partners and was successful in having the most-wanted terrorist ads taken down.
The U.S. government had posted ads on buses in Seattle that said, “Faces of Global Terrorism.” Their purpose was to notify citizens that up to $25 million could be earned for information leading to the neutralization of 16 top terrorists. OnIslam.net explains that 7 of the terrorists are from Africa, 4 from the Philippines, 3 from the U.S., 1 from Malaysia and 1 from Chechnya.
CAIR, noticing that these 16 terrorists are Muslims, said the ads were offensive and claimed that it promotes Islamophobia. The director of CAIR’s branch in Washington state, Arsalan Bukhari, took action and rallied his non-Muslim allies.
Bukhari and CAIR teamed up with the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) chapter in their state. This is not the first time the ACLU has allied with CAIR and other U.S. Muslim Brotherhood entities. The director of the ACLU’s Center for Democracy spoke at a CAIR fundraiser and the organization has come to the defense of CAIR, despite its connection to the radical Muslim Brotherhood.
Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn and Rep. Jim McDermott (D-WA) also got involved. McGinn’s press release credits CAIR and the ACLU, as well as the Minority Executive Directors Coalition, Mothers for Police Accountability, the Seattle Human Rights Commission, the Asian Counseling and Referral Service and the Faith Action Network, among others in the successful campaign to thwart the ads.
Another member of the bloc against the government’s ads is the Northwest Washington Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church, the largest Lutheran denomination in the country. The Church is a member of the Shoulder-to-Shoulder Campaign, an interfaith coalition that includes the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), CAIR’s fellow Brotherhood entity. The coalition was ISNA’s top bragging point when it met with Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan in May.
The pressure worked. FBI Special Agent Fred Gutt said the ads were taken down as “a result of our continued engagement with the community and the feedback we are getting.”
Yet again, CAIR succeeded by portraying itself as the voice of the Muslim-American community.
Its moderate Muslim opponents, like Dr. Zuhdi Jasser of the American-Islamic Forum on Democracy, are sidelined. Jasser supports the ads and says that “When the FBI puts up pictures of individuals that happen to be on the list, those photos need to come out and those are the most recent.” Jasser added,
“I’m trying to figure out how the FBI does its work and somehow also has to be concerned about political correctness.”
Characterizing the FBI as biased against Muslims is an old exercise for Bukhari and CAIR. In December 2009, it was reported that he advised Muslims not to talk to the FBI. “There’s nothing to gain from talking to law enforcement,” he said to a Somali audience at a mosque. The reason he cited was Islamophobia. “There are too many things happening to Muslims recently,” he said.
According to a former U.S. Muslim Brotherhood front member, Abdur-Rahman Muhammad, it was decided at a private meeting that the term “Islamophobia” should be used to silence opponents to the Muslim Brotherhood’s agenda.
“This loathsome term is nothing more than a thought terminating cliché conceived in the bowels of Muslim think tanks for the purpose of beating down critics,” he says.
Dr. Jasser, a Muslim who is vocal about the abuses that taken place in the name of combating Islamophobia, framed the latest controversy as part of an overall ideological struggle.
“If you do not identify Islamism, you will be asleep to the world’s greatest threat in the 21st century,” he warned.