A leader of the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR), a part of the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood, has written an article for a Saudi newspaper in which he called the recent Holy Land terrorism financing trial “an Israeli trial tried on American soil” and a “witch-hunt”, two themes often propagated by the Brotherhood and certain to do nothing to counter the perceptions of Muslims abroad which U.S. Brotherhood organizations frequently state lie at the root of the terrorism problem. Here, CAIR Vice-Chair Ahmad Al-Akhras explains his view of how the trial relates to U.S. MIddle East policy:
Many observers in this country and abroad viewed these charges as an attempt to block humanitarian aid to Palestinians suffering under a brutal Israeli occupation. They were also seen as a means to chill the First Amendment rights and charitable giving of American Muslims and other people opposed to our nation’s one-sided policies in the Middle East. In essence, this was an Israeli trial tried on American soil in which guilt by association was used as a substitute for actual evidence…Edward Abington, the US consul general to Jerusalem, former ambassador and the second ranking intelligence officer for the State Department during the mid-1990s said that the evidence presented by the prosecutions in this case was a propaganda exercise by the Israelis. Describing the thousands of pages presented in this trial, he testified that you don’t know where they came from, how they are related to each other. If you are an American analyst, you can’t rely on those documents as showing a true picture.
Dr. Al-Ahkras goes on to claim that the the government employed “surveillance gathered by illegal means” as well as “spying on citizens, guilt by association, and anonymous foreign witnesses and evidence.” Here, he makes a comparison with the McCarthy era:
What we observed throughout this trial was similar in many ways to what happened in the 1950s, a political witch hunts. Sen. McCarthy targeted anyone who he disagreed with. Today, the witch-hunt is targeting the American Muslims. It was wrong then and it is wrong today. Joseph Welch, then secretary of the army, addressed the strong senator in a manner that will continue to echo through the history of this nation: You’ve done enough. Have you no sense of decency, sir, at long last? Have you left no sense of decency? Just before this remarkable moment, he told the senator, Until this moment, senator, I think I never really gauged your cruelty, or your recklessness.
CAIR and other Muslim Brotherhood organizations have often said that the roots of terrorism lie in the perception of a one-side U.S. foreign policy and a “war on Islam”, yet a statements such as these to a Saudi newspaper would seem only to enhance such perceptions.