A series of Memorial Day tweets made by the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) has angered a number of American Muslims.
According to the Clarion Project, the tweets by CAIR officials questioned whether to honor U.S. troops who gave their lives in wars they oppose.
CAIR officials frequently depict American soldiers as murderers, imperialists and abusers of Muslims.
One tweet by Zahra Billoo, the executive-director of CAIR’s San Francisco Bay Area chapter, read that she “struggles with Memorial Day each year” and added, “How does one balance being pretty anti-war while honoring those who died in the military?”
She also quoted another CAIR official, Dawud Walid, the executive-director of CAIR’s Michigan chapter, as questioning whether they should honor American soldiers that died in “unjust” wars and occupations.
The Clarion Project noted that Billoo did, however, find one “soldier” she felt comfortably honoring. On May 26, she promoted an article from the anti-Semitic and anti-American Nation of Islam that asked for help for a “black liberation soldier” named Imam Jamil al-Amin.
Al-Amin was a member of the Black Panthers terrorist group and was convicted of murdering a police officer in 2000. He is also anti-American and has said that “if America doesn’t come around, we’re gonna burn it down,” and “I say violence is necessary. It is as American as cherry pie.”
Not all Muslims, however, welcomed the tweets, and a backlash was sparked following a Clarion Project report on the topic.
The comments by CAIR officials prompted several Bosnian Muslims to thank U.S. soldiers for their sacrifices, with one explicitly saying that CAIR does not speak for them.
“Without the US, #Bosnia would by now be part of racist project of ‘Greater Serbia.’ #Muslims in #Bosnia are greateful [sic] to US! #thx,” read one tweet.
Another read, “THANK YOU American soldiers for opposing Serbian campaign of ethnic cleansing and #genocide in #Bosnia and for bombing #Serbia.”
In addition, a number of Muslim human rights activists responded in statements to the Clarion Project.
Dr. Zuhdi Jasser, President of the American-Islamic Forum for Democracy, told the website, “The real truth that CAIR and their Islamist colleagues at the Organization of the Islamic Conference hypocritically ignore is that our American sons and daughters in the military have sacrificed more to liberate free-thinking Muslims from the shackles of real oppression in countries like Afghanistan and Iraq than any other nation, especially Muslim-majority countries.
“Our military is ground zero in the ideological conflict against Islamism. Islamist groups like CAIR cannot both claim that Muslims should be conscientious objectors against ‘occupation’ while also claiming they respect their service and patriotism,” added Jasser.
Dr. Ahmed Subhy Mansour, President of the International Quranic Center, said, “As an experienced Muslim thinker and scholar, I cannot help but notice the role the U.S. military plays in international developments worldwide, where the U.S. is the number one contributor of international aid. Moreover, the U.S. military’s humanitarian work is the most active in comparison to any other military in the world, providing medical services and food supplies in many conflict zones.
“Organizations like CAIR choose to overlook all of the above work of the U.S. military. The approach exemplifies radicals’ views of the world as two camps: Infidels (the West) and believers (Muslims). This contradicts the real Islamic teachings, as I clarify in this article,” he said.
Dr. Tawfik Hamid, former Islamist and Chair for the Study of Islamic Radicalism at the Potomac Institute, told Clarion Project, “As a Muslim, I would like to thank the U.S. troops for fighting Islamist radicals and terrorists since September 11. Our American soldiers who lost their lives in this war are true heroes who died to defend our nation and to save the world from the enemies of our civilization.”
Former FBI Counterterrorism expert John Guandolo revealed to Arutz Sheva in March that he has information showing CAIR is a front for the terrorist organization Hamas.
In 2008, CAIR was listed as an unindicted co-conspirator in the largest terrorist money laundering case in U.S. history – the trial of the Holy Land Foundation in which five HLF officials were convicted of funneling money to Hamas.
U.S. District Court Judge Jorge Solis ruled that, "The Government has produced ample evidence to establish the association" of CAIR to Hamas, upholding their designations as unindicted co-conspirators. In 2008, the FBI formally ended all contact with CAIR because of its ties to Hamas.
Individuals from CAIR visited the White House at least 20 times starting in 2009, according to a 2013 investigation by the Investigative Project on Terrorism (IPT).
In 2010 the organization gave a lifetime achievement award to Helen Thomas, the veteran White House correspondent who resigned after she said in an interview that Jews should “get the hell out of Palestine” and go back to Poland and Germany.