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May
29

American Jewish Committee Joins CAIR To Fight Oklahoma Sharia Ban

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U.K.. Jewish media is reporting that the American Jewish Committee (AJC) and the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) are both part of a coalition that is fighting a proposed ban of Sharia law in Oklahoma. According to a report in the Jewish Chronicle:

Muslims want to protect religious freedom” American Jewish groups are fighting a proposed ban of Sharia law in the state of Oklahoma. A coalition of organisations that include the Council on American-Islamic Relations and the American Jewish Committee (AJC) are backing a legal appeal against a measure that would prevent Islamic law from being used in the state’s courts. The AJC filed a brief last week with the US Court of Appeals arguing that the ban is an attack on religious freedom. The AJC said the provision – called the “Save our State law” by its supporters and adopted after a referendum which delivered a 70 per cent “yes” vote last November – is unconstitutional, violating a clause in the First Amendment which bars a state preference for one religion over another. “In a nation that treasures religious freedom and whose constitution forbids government to have favoured or disfavoured faiths, the Oklahoma provision cannot stand,” wrote AJC Associate General counsel Marc Stern. The Anti-Defamation League and the Union of Reform Judaism supported the brief, as did the Centre for Islamic Pluralism and the Baptist Joint Committee for Religious Liberty. A judge issued an injunction in November putting the law on hold while the challenge is being heard. Stephen Schwartz, who converted to Islam as an adult and is the executive director of the Centre for Islamic Pluralism, said both Jews and moderate Muslims are interested in protecting religious freedom. “This is not American, to pass a law in any state that’s against the practising of a religion,” he said. He said American Jewish groups often work with mainstream Islamic organisations. “The AJC has organised three trips for moderate Muslims to visit Israel,” Mr Schwartz said. In the original lawsuit against the Oklahoma measure, Muneer Awad of the Council on American Islamic Relations said the law would infringe the rights of Oklahomans to wear religious head scarves, choose Islamic marriage contracts or to be buried according to Islamic practices. He said the purpose of the law was made clear by Oklahoma Representative Rex Duncan, who said on television that “America was founded on Judeo-Christian principles”.

Documents released in the Holy Land Trial have revealed that the founders and current leaders of CAIR were part of the Palestine Committee of the Muslim Brotherhood as well as identifying the organization itself as being part of the US. Brotherhood. A recent post discussed an interview with the Deputy leader of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood in which he confirms a relationship between his organization and CAIR. Investigative research posted on GMBDW had determined that CAIR had it origins in the U.S. Hamas infrastructure and CAIR and its leaders have a long history of defending almost all individuals accused of terrorism by the US. government, frequently calling such prosecutions a “war on Islam.” In 2009, a US federal judge ruled “The Government has produced ample evidence to establish the associations of CAIR, ISNA and NAIT with HLF, the Islamic Association for Palestine (“IAP”), and with Hamas.”” The Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) and the North American Islamic Trust (NAIT) along with CAIR are part of the US Muslim Brotherhood.

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The Center for Islamic Pluralism, one of the groups identified as part of the coalition in the Jewish Chronicle article, has posted a denial stating:

“No such coalition exists between the Council on American-Islamic Relations and the mentioned Jewish groups, much less with our organisation. We in CIP consider CAIR to represent radical, not “mainstream” Islam.”

It is our view that the confusion likely centers on how the authors/editors of the Chronicle story decided to use the term “coalition.” It is possible that the term was used to describe a set of organizations acting jointly in support of a legal filing as opposed to a formal coalition. However, the GMBDW believes that the headline to our post accurately reflects the issue at hand which is that a major U.S. Jewish organization is acting on the same side of an issue as a U.S. Muslim Brotherhood organization. We take no particular position on that fact and only considered it worthy of note.

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