"CAIR Doesn't Deserve the Harassment," a Commentary by Arab American News

March 17, 2007

Source: The Arab American


Congressman Bill Pascrell (D-NJ) recently reserved a room on Capitol Hill for a panel discussion on "Global Attitudes on Islam-West Relations: U.S. Policy Implications," sponsored by the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR). It was the fifth Hill event for CAIR in the last two years. It was selected as a target of opportunity by some who seek to block participation in the political process of American citizens of the Islamic faith by defaming their representative institutions and organizations.

Pascrell came under attack from those groups that want to stifle America Muslim political participation. While some sought to use smears and Islamophobia to silence the American Muslim perspective, an aide to Representative Pascrell stated the following: "It is important that Muslim Americans feel they are part of our country."

The entire episode was triggered by an intentionally inaccurate story in the "Washington Times," designed to impeach the credibility of the organization. The episode was exacerbated when the Republican Conference chose to issue statements that were reflective of "Google" searches of anti-Muslim Internet hate sites.

CAIR operates under the strict guidelines of its core values. These values include: support for freedom of religion and freedom of expression, and a commitment to supporting policies that promote dialogue, civil rights and diversity in America and worldwide.