In his opening remarks at the annual fund-raising dinner for the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR), a part of the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood, CAIR leader Nihad Awad alleged that American Muslims were being denied the right of “giving legitimate charitable work for needy people.” Awad also echoed other familiar Brotherhood themes- that American Muslims are being “targeted” and should be included in the governmental decision making process. According to a VOA news report:
The CAIR director also urged Obama to “restore the rule of law” that Awad said has been eroded over the past eight years by the Bush administration. Awad expressed the hope Obama’s administration will be, as he put it, more respectful of the rights of people of all faiths. “American Muslims feel left out. American Muslims feel [they are]being selectively targeted by certain agencies, and American Muslims should not be deprived from giving legitimate charitable work for needy people, and also American Muslims have to be part of the decision-making process when it comes to domestic policies and foreign policies, especially when it is pertaining to the Muslim world.” Awad said the “politics of fear” had failed to distract American voters from the real issues during the November national elections. He noted how a controversial documentary film linking Islam with terrorism was widely distributed across the United States by some conservative American political groups, just weeks prior to the November presidential election. But the tactic failed to excite much public interest, and it did not discourage American Muslim voters from going to the polls in record numbers.
The reference to being denied the right to give to legitimate charities is likely in relation to the recent conviction of the Holy Land Foundation (HLF) and its leaders for the financing of Hamas terrorism. CAIR was named an unindicted co-conspirator in that case and the organization is an outgrowth of the U.S. Hamas infrastructure and member of the U.S Brotherhood’s Palestine Committee along with HLF. A CAIR statement blamed the conviction on “fear-mongering.”
CAIR, along with the rest of the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood, has a long history of claiming that U.S. Muslims are the victim of organized campaigns of hate and discrimination, often identifying the U.S. Jewish community as being responsible. Despite this portrayal of the treatment of U.S. Muslims, U.S Brotherhood organizations have consistently pleaded for the chance both to represent the Muslim community inside and outside the U.S. claiming they are the “best ambassadors” for the U.S.