Council of American Islamic Relations (CAIR) takes serious offense at the hypocritical, condescending language President Barack Obama expressed during his State of the Union address this week. We reject Obama’s pretentious statement that “American Muslims are a part of our American family” and consider it an insult to our intelligence. These words carry no weight considering Obama’s ongoing war on our Muslim sisters and brothers in Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, Palestine and Somalia and continually dwindling civil rights here in the US.
We refuse to accept the material comforts of the American dream while innocent Muslims abroad are slaughtered and tortured everyday by American bombs and drones. We refuse to be silenced about US war crimes in return for elusive inclusion in the so-called American family. We can and should advocate for both civil rights at home and cessation of brutal military occupations committed in our names abroad.
We have also reprimanded our executive director Nihad Awad for missing a perfect opportunity to remind the public about US atrocities on his recent NPR interview in which he was given a chance to comment on the State of the Union address. Awad failed to mention the occupations of Afghanistan and Iraq even once. He was too busy emphasizing the need for “civil” discourse. We’re embarrassed by Awad’s heedlessness and apologize to the Muslim American community for this unacceptable omission.
Due to Awad’s insensitivity, failure to shout from the rooftops about ongoing genocide, and his disorganized priorities, we’ve prohibited him from appearing in the media on behalf of CAIR for a month. He is also to write the following statement on a blackboard at CAIR’s headquarters 100 times: “To say that we should have civility in our discourse is a code word in the media and in political debate, for saying that we should not be exposing our leaders as criminals, or calling for their removal from office. Civility is really the death of politics, which thrives on passion and withers with civility.”