“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.
We are US-based Arab and Muslim organizations. We feel a compelling obligation to explain to our fellow Americans the meaning of the US killing of Osama bin Laden.
We take this opportunity to revisit the inconvenient fact that Osama Bin Laden and the Mujahideen were funded and supported by the US to fight the USSR in Afghanistan in the eighties. We recall that Ronald Reagan had called the Mujahideen “freedom fighters” when their interests coincided with the US’s. We remind ourselves that “Between 1978 and 1992, the US government poured at least US$6 billion (some estimates range as high as $20 billion) worth of arms, training and funds to prop up the mujaheddin factions.”
We note that the Mujahideen aligned themselves with the US, convincing themselves of the “lesser of two evils” argument. We recall that Zbigniew Brzezinski said:
The day that the Soviets officially crossed the border, I wrote to President Carter: We now have the opportunity of giving to the USSR its Vietnam war.
We learn an important lesson from this history and note that collaboration with the US is an immoral and counterproductive effort. Collaboration does not shield one from US persecution, neither is it a smart “strategy.” Aligning with powerful empires is foolish and self-defeating. The logic of House Muslims (or “House Negroes” as Malcolm X called the collaborators of his era) is short-sighted and idiotic.
We abhor the subtext of President Obama and Secretary Clinton‘s remarks, implying that the lives of millions of Afghanis, Iraqis and Pakistanis were worth somehow sacrificing in order to locate one ex-“freedom fighter” (as per Reagan’s words). Indeed, the President and Secretary of State did not even pay lip service to the countless lives devastated, weddings bombarded, children orphaned, spouses widowed, natural resources stolen. We condemn the hypocrisy of Secretary Clinton, who feigned concern for “innocent people” who were killed by OBL but not the innocent people in Afghanistan and Iraq for whose death she caused as Senator then as Secretary of State, or the innocent people in Palestine and Lebanon whose death by Israeli warplanes she supported. We cannot expect Obama and Clinton to apologize for the war crimes the US committed in pursuit of OBL, as it is not in empires’ nature to condemn themselves.
We are still haunted by the images of our sisters and brothers tortured in Abu Ghraib. The stench of scores of corpses from years of war, occupations and sanctions still fills the air. The emotional trauma of drones still terrorizes children. The dreary, bleak future facing millions of displaced Afghani and Iraqi refugees still shakes our conscience. White phosphorus and depleted uranium’s effects on public health and the environment will last for generations to come. That the US eliminated one of its ex-agents and claimed it was not waging war on Islam while war criminals continue to hold power in Washington and Tel Aviv offers us no relief.
We regret having spent the last decade begging for approval from the US mainstream, inviting US politicians to our conventions, having Ramadan iftars in the White House and embarrassing ourselves in a myriad of other ways. Now that OBL is finally dead, we look forward to freeing up the time we’d spent assuring everyone of our patriotism and swearing on the Qur’an that OBL did not represent us. We will no longer construct our discourse to sooth islamophobes’ racist anxieties. We will spend no more time emphasizing that OBL didn’t represent us than Christians assert that Obama, Clinton, Bush and Blair do not represent Christianity.
Instead, we will work on more urgent matters than pursuing the material comforts of the American dream, such as ending the occupation of Afghanistan, ending the occupation of Iraq, boycotting and dismantling “Israel,” closing Guantanamo, restoring civil liberties, ending US hegemony and racism.
American Arab Anti Discrimination Committee, Arab American Institute, American Task Force for Palestine, Council on American-Islamic Relations, Islamic Society of North America, Park51
At its annual convention this year, ADC will be offering a White House tour to the first 100 earlybird registrants. An ADC intern has leaked to Ikhras a transcript of the tour guide’s spiel.
You are prohibited from carrying the following items during this tour: firearms, cameras, inhalers, dignity.
Anyone who asks any questions about foreign policy or civil liberties will be immediately spat on, removed from the premises and lobotomized.
There’s also a new policy requiring all visitors to be barefoot. The White House does not assume responsibility for disappeared shoes.
Please make sure you carry government-issued ID (only US and Israeli governments-issued IDs are accepted). You may be strip-searched, probed and branded. We’ll also need fingerprints, a blood sample, a list of your political affiliations, full disclosure of any and all phobias and embarrassing secrets.
The White House has 132 rooms, 35 bathrooms, 412 doors, 147 windows, 28 fireplaces, 8 staircases and 3 elevators. Folk legend has it that Abraham Lincoln’s ghost still roams in the Lincoln Bedroom. There are also rumors that James Zogby lives under one of the staircases.
This used to be Barack Obama’s advisor Dalia Mogahed’s own office. Since the Secret Service realized her last name is derived from “jihad” she’s been doing her job from home via Skype. Ms. Mogahed expressed no hard feelings. Wouldn’t you like to be able to do your jobs in your pajamas?
This is the East Room, where receptions and parties are hosted. This room was literally a nightclub during Operation Cast Lead.
Here is the Diplomatic Reception Room. This is where several US presidents have met with Israeli prime ministers and Arab leaders to ensure US continued unconditional support for Israeli war crimes.
This is the State Dining Room, where the President lets House Arabs and House Muslims eat his leftovers.
Moving on to the Oval Office. This is the United States’ control room. Operation Desert Storm, Operation Iraqi Freedom, Operation Enduring Freedom were all conceived and planned here. Ladies and gentlemen, you are witnessing the room where the murder, dispossession and displacement of millions of people are carefully planned everyday. If you thought this was impressive, wait until you check out our Pentagon tour next year (assuming you get security clearance).
This over here is the Prayer Room. The tour will take a 10-minute break to give everyone the chance to pray to US empire.
Thank you for joining us. As a souvenir of your visit to the White House today, everyone gets a piece of rubble from houses the US bombed in Vietnam, Korea, Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan or Libya. T-shirts that say “ADC gave me a tour of the White House and all I got was this lousy t-shirt” are available for $24.99 at the ADC headquarters. Have a great afternoon.
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.”