After meeting with White House officials to once again urge the Obama administration to launch a war on Syria, American Islamists led by the Ikhras Shoe-Of-The-Month Award-winning Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) held yet another of their Syria-related press conferences. This latest one was staged in front of the Russian embassy in Washington D.C. to condemn Russian military assistance to Syria. Last week Russia began an air campaign directed at Al-Qaeda, the Islamic State, and other terrorist organizations. The joint Russian-Syrian operation was undertaken after an official request from the legitimate Syrian government and months of planning by the Russian and Syrian military leaderships. Nevertheless, CAIR and the usual cast of U.S. Islamists, which included the Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC) and Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), decided to condemn Russia’s military operation in Syria, as if these impudent charlatans are entitled to offer an unsolicited opinion about, let alone a condemnation of, a bilateral relationship between two independent sovereign states. Clearly, they have adopted the same paternalistic, condescending and colonial mentality of the U.S political class in front of which they made a career out of groveling.
After posting a photo of Nihad Awad from the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) with George Bush Jr on our twitter feed with a comment (السفاح الذي قتل اكثر من مليون عراقي هو الذي تقف الى جانبه لتآخذ صورة تذكارية) about his willingness to attend a White House photo-op with the butcher of over one million Iraqis Mr. Awad sent us the following message:
لا مانع ان يكون لك رأي مخالف لكن لا تدعي ما لا تعلم. هذه الصورة أخذت في عام 2000 م. فأرجو ان تتحلى بألجرأة وتصحح خطأك.لم التقي ببوش بعد 2001
There is no problem with you having a different opinion, however, do not make assertions about what you don’t know. This picture was taken in the year 2000 so I hope you would have the courage to correct your mistake. I did not meet with Bush after 2001. [Translation by ikhras]
Yes Mr. Awad, we have no problem correcting any “mistake” you can plausibly claim we may have made. We did not indicate the date of the photo, but since we were clearly criticizing your willingness to attend a Bush White House photo-op, we’re willing to point out this photo was taken prior to the US invasion of Iraq in 2003. But this then presents a question for you which we also hope you have the courage to answer honestly. Are you implying that you would have declined an invitation to a Bush White House event after 2003 in protest of the criminal invasion of Iraq? Your own political “activism” and CAIR’s almost 2o-year record of continuous and uninterrupted working relationships with successive US administrations would suggest otherwise.
“We are trying to console ourselves through this bewildering rejection,” stated CAIR director Nihad Awad in a press release. “Having spent years proving my patriotism, I was shocked to not receive an invitation. I had in mind some really good ideas to help the President win the war on terrorism and win hearts and minds. Like, offering people in Afghanistan and Iraq dates and iced water to break their fast on.
One of the top ways to disrespect a revolution is to use it as an opportunity to score cheap political points by praising your own local warmongering commander in chief and ignoring that Obama has sent military support to Mubarak since the former was inaugurated. CAIR has stated:
[Nihad] Awad said CAIR also welcomed President Obama’s statements in support of a “genuine transition” to democracy in Egypt. “President Obama demonstrated that he is on the right side of history by supporting the will of the Egyptian people,” said Awad.
Awad is supposed to know Arabic, so unlike James Zogby and Ray Hanania, one can’t give him the benefit of the doubt for failing to understand the Egyptian people’s outrage at numerous US administrations’ support for their dictator. In fact, the Egyptian people’s dissatisfaction with US support for Obama was even stated for him in plain English in mainstream media:
Anti-American sentiment in Egypt has percolated just below the surface in Egypt for years, exacerbated by the 2003 invasion of Iraq and Washington’s steadfast support for Israel.
While the current level of public antipathy remains relatively low, anti-U.S. placards have been popping up amid the anti-Mubarak posters in the streets. And some seeking an end to Mubarak’s three decades of rule are quick to cite what they see as American hypocrisy.
“They are just waiting to see which side wins and then they will claim to have backed them all along,” said Amin Iskander, an official of the El Karama party, an opposition group.
If you must state your congratulations to the Egyptian people along with praise for a US president who’d supported the target of their revolution, then better to ikhras, Nihad. You’re either hopelessly naive for believing damage-control statements politicians like Obama make and taking them at face value. Or you’re opportunistic. Either way, you’re an embarrassing spokesperson for US Muslims. Both you and Obama are on the wrong side of history on this and on many other issues.
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.”