CAIR Offers Condolences On Death Its Former NY Director; Ghazi Y. Khankan Once Defended Hamas Suicide Bombings Against CiviliansBy
The Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) has expressed its condolences on the death of Ghazi Y. Khankan, a former director of the CAIR-NY office and said to be known for his interfaith activities. According to the CAIR announcement:
WASHINGTON, April 26, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — The board and staff of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) today offered sincere condolences to the family of Al-Haaj Ghazi Y. Khankan, a respected New York Muslim community leader and activist who died today on Long Island….’To God we belong and to Him we return,’ said CAIR National Executive Director Nihad Awad. ‘Brother Ghazi was a true pioneer in helping the American Muslim community have a voice in our society through positive civic engagement and coalition building. His interfaith efforts also helped Americans of other faiths better understand Islam and the American Muslim experience. As an early supporter of CAIR’s New York chapter, Brother Ghazi was instrumental in defending the civil rights of all New Yorkers.’ Awad added: ‘The best way to honor Brother Ghazi’s memory is to continue his life’s work of promoting mutual understanding.’ In a statement, CAIR-NY Board Chair Zead Ramadan said: ‘It is with profound sadness that we share the news of the passing of our beloved Brother Al-Haaj Ghazi Y. Khankan this morning. He was a trailblazer in advocacy for the understanding of Islam in the U.S. dating back to the 1950s. He has been a part of and helped build most of the significant Muslim organizations in New York, including leading New York’s CAIR office as its executive director. ‘Br. Ghazi will always be remembered for conducting his work and interactions with others with a kind heart, fairness, a brilliant poetic wit, and with a tranquil and respectful disposition. He mentored and affected so many people. May Allah, in His infinite Mercy, keep Al-Hajj Ghazi in the best place, have mercy on his soul, and bring peace to the hearts of his family and loved ones.’
According to various reports, Ghazi Khankan had once defended Hamas suicide bombing against Israeli civilians during an interfaith event:
In November 2001, the executive director of the Council on American Islamic Relations New York office, Ghazi Khankan, defended Hamas suicide bombings against Israeli civilians. “From a religious point of view, [Palestinians] have the right to defend themselves. Such self-defense cannot be equated with Bin Ladin. The people of Hamas who direct their attacks on the Israeli military are in the correct position. Those who attack civilians are wrong,” he said. Replying to a question concerning his definition of civilians, Khankan said, “Who is a soldier in Israel and who is not? Anyone over 18 is automatically inducted into the service and they are all reserves. Therefore, Hamas in my opinion looks at them as part of the military. Those who are below 18 should not be attacked.”
On October 7, 2001, Mr. Khankan offered his conspiratorial views on the 911 attacks: (see Note below)
“Why is it assumed that Muslims were behind the attack on 9/11? We know at least three people assumed to be hijackers who are still alive in the Middle East. The question is, who is impersonating these Muslim names? Who benefits from assuming Muslims are behind this tragedy and who benefits from this tragedy? I think the media should seriously go and investigate these three and find out if they are really the 3 hijackers or someone else is impersonating them. I think it is a very important thing that we insist the media not cover up these facts.”
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 it 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.