The Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) has announced that what it calls “leaders of the nation’s leading Syrian-American and Muslim advocacy organizations” met earlier this month with White House officials to discuss Russian airstrikes in Syria. According to the announcement:
October 8, 2015 Washington, DC Leaders of the nation’s leading Syrian-American and Muslim advocacy organizations today met with top-ranking White House officials to express concerns over Russia’s recent airstrikes in Syria that resulted in the killings of civilians and destruction of civilian infrastructure.
At the White House meeting, the leadership discussed the ramifications of the recent bombings and suggested policy recommendations for the protection of civilians and the resettlement of more refugees.
The meeting was followed by a news conference in front of the Russian embassy in Washington, D.C., at which the leadership also hand-delivered a letter addressed to the Russian ambassador urging Russian President Putin to rethink his military strategy in Syria.
During the news conference, CAIR National Executive Director Nihad Awad said: ‘American inaction is giving the green light to Russia to meddle in the Middle East. This will only prolong the life of a dictatorship and play into the hands of ISIS. It will reignite extremes on both sides.’
In the letter delivered to the embassy, the Syrian-American and Muslim leadership stated:
‘The ongoing Russian military intervention in Syria is not in Russia’s short or long-term interest in the Middle East. Russia will be perceived, and is being perceived, by the majority of Syrians, Arabs and Muslims, as a foreign military power that is helping a brutal regime to massacre its people.
‘The current approach in Syria will only lead to more refugees, more terrorism, and more death. . .Russia should use its influence to stop the massacres committed by the Syrian government and to press for a representative and pluralistic government in Syria as a core foundation for any effort to combat terrorism.’
In an op-ed published yesterday, Syrian American Medical Society (SAMS) Board Member Zaher Sahloul and MPAC President Salam Al-Marayati cautioned that the current conflict could also escalate into a perceived religious war.
According to the CAIR announcement, there were eight other groups represented at the press conference including seven that are known to be tied to the US Muslim Brotherhood:
- Syrian American Medical Society ((last known Chairman is M. Zaher Sahloul, former President of the Mosque Foundation)
- American Relief Coalition for Syria (coalition that includes some of the same groups listed here)
- Islamic Society of North America (well-known part of the US Muslim Brotherhood)
- Syrian American Council (leaders tied to the US Muslim Brotherhood)
- Syria for Relief and Development (headed by Jihad Qaddour, known to be tied to the US Muslim Brotherhood)
- United for Free Syria (headed by Yahya Basha, former President of the American Muslim Council that also included Abdurrahman Alamoudi
- Syrian Emergency Taskforce (also headed by Jihad Qaddour and with many ties to the US Muslim Brotherhood)
- Karam Foundation
The Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) describes itself as “a grassroots civil rights and advocacy group and as “America’s largest Islamic civil liberties group.” CAIR was founded in 1994 by three officers of the Islamic Association of Palestine, part of the U.S. Hamas infrastructure at that time.
For a profile of CAIR, go here.
As we discussed in 2010, one of the common tactics of the US Muslim Brotherhood is to construct coalitions of its own front organizations as well as inter-related groups and individuals, giving the appearance that the Brotherhood has more broad-based support than it actually enjoys. The above is a classic example of this tactic.