LA Times Named CAIR’s Head As A “New Civil Rights Leader” In The US; We Overlooked This One

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The Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) announced in March of this year that the LA Times had named its Executive Director Nihad Awad as on of the “New Civil Rights Leaders” in the US. According to the CAIR announcement:

March 6, 2105 WASHINGTON – The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) today said the Los Angeles Times has named its National Executive Director Nihad Awad as one of the nation’s ‘new civil rights leaders.’

CAIR was listed along with a number of other civil rights activists ‘fighting battles old and new’ in the newspaper’s coverage marking this month’s 50th anniversary of the historic march on Selma.

The entry for Awad noted that he ‘has been an outspoken opponent of blanket surveillance of Muslims.’ He is quoted saying: ‘I’m outraged as an American citizen that my government, after decades of civil rights struggle, still spies on political activists and civil right activists and leaders,’. . .’I’m really angry that despite all the work that we have been doing in our communities to serve the nation, we are treated with suspicion.’

‘As America recalls the historic significance of the march on Selma, we welcome the recognition of our nation’s latest generation of civil rights leaders,’ said CAIR National Board Chair Roula Allouch. ‘Acknowledgement of Nihad Awad’s contributions – and by extension those of CAIR – to the continuing struggle for civil rights is well-deserved.’

In August 2014, the GMBDW reported on Mr. Awad’s attempts to reinvent himself as spiritual leader in the context of his attendance at the funeral  of Michael Brown, the teenager who was shot to death by police in Ferguson, Missouri. As we noted at that time, given his historical association with Hamas Mr. Awad’s efforts in this regard struck us strike us as disingenuous and hypocritical to say the least and his publicized attendance at the funeral in rather poor taste. The GMBDW reported in August 2014 on what appears to be the growing effort by the US Muslim Brotherhood to gain increased legitimacy by associating itself with broader civil rights issues in the US.

Nihad Awad, a leader of the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR), was present during an infamous 1993 meeting held in Philadelphia by senior leaders of Hamas, the Holy Land Foundation, and the Islamic Association of Palestine (IAP). The Holy Land Foundation was convicted on charges of providing financial support for Hamas and the IAP is generally considered to have represented the Hamas infrastructure in the U.S. A widely reported FBI memo based on wiretaps of the meeting indicated that its purpose was “to develop a strategy to defeat the Israeli/Palestinian peace accord, and to continue and improve their [HAMAS] fund-raising and political activities in the United States.” Mr. Nihad was an employee of the IAP at the time of the meeting. Mr. Awad had been asked about his attendance at the meeting during a civil lawsuit and said the didn’t think that he had but that he didn’t remember. The next summer, he was videotaped stating ‘I am in support of the HAMAS movement’ during a seminar at Miami”s Barry University.

The Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) has been a long-time part of the US Muslim Brotherhood/Hamas infrastructure in the US.

For more info on CAIR, go here.

Nihad Awad
Nihad Awad

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