Exclusive: CAIR Terror Fatwa Signatories Attend Conference Honoring HAMAS Terror Cleric Qaradawi
Author: Patrick Poole
Source: The Family Security Foundation, Inc.
Date: September 12, 2007
Despite their fatwah saying terrorism is haram (forbidden) in Islam, some of CAIR’s signatories to the fatwah attended a conference honoring a cleric who is listed by the U.S. as a “Specially Designated Global Terrorist.” FSM Contributing Editor Patrick Poole has the details.
CAIR Terror Fatwa Signatories Attend Conference Honoring HAMAS Terror Cleric Qaradawi
By Patrick Poole
On July 28, 2005, the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) held a press conference trumpeting a fresh fatwa issued by the Fiqh Council of North America allegedly condemning terrorism, a document that was subsequently signed by CAIR and more than one hundred other American Muslim organizations. The Fiqh Council of North America/CAIR terrorism fatwa specifically states:
In the light of the teachings of the Qur’an and Sunnah we clearly and strongly state:
1) All acts of terrorism targeting civilians are haram (forbidden) in Islam.
2) It is haram for a Muslim to cooperate with any individual or group that is involved in any act of terrorism or violence.
3) It is the civic and religious duty of Muslims to cooperate with law enforcement authorities to protect the lives of all civilians.
The CAIR media event, which featured the premiere of a public service announcement by the group heralding the issuance of the “anti-terror” fatwa, was covered by the New York Times and the Washington Post, and picked up by countless other media establishment outlets.
At the time, Steve Emerson of the Investigative Project commented at Counterterrorism Blog, “The Islamic Leaders’ ‘Fatwa’ is Bogus,” on the vacuous nature of the document:
In fact, the fatwa is bogus. Nowhere does it condemn the Islamic extremism ideology that has spawned Islamic terrorism. It does not renounce nor even acknowledge the existence of an Islamic jihadist culture that has permeated mosques and young Muslims around the world. It does not renounce Jihad let alone admit that it has been used to justify Islamic terrorist acts. It does not condemn by name any Islamic group or leader. In short, it is a fake fatwa designed merely to deceive the American public into believing that these groups are moderate. In fact, officials of both organizations have been directly linked to and associated with Islamic terrorist groups and Islamic extremist organizations. One of them is an unindicted co-conspirator in a current terrorist case; another previous member was a financier to Al-Qaeda.
Events in recent weeks have confirmed yet again Emerson’s analysis as two of the 18 original Fiqh Council of North America signatories of the fatwa, Dr. Jamal Badawi and Dr. Salah Sultan, were featured speakers at a three-day conference held in July in Doha, Qatar honoring HAMAS spiritual leader Youssef Al-Qaradawi – a direct violation of the CAIR fatwa’s proscription against any cooperation “with any individual or group that is involved in any act of terrorism or violence.” Qaradawi was listed by the U.S. government as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist in 1999.
An article on Qaradawi’s personal website lists Badawi, professor emeritus at St. Mary’s University in Halifax, Nova Scotia, and a member of the Board of Directors of the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), as one of the “prominent figures” in attendance at the Qaradawi conference.
Salah Sultan, one of the founders of the Muslim American Society (MAS) and until recently the president of the American Center for Islamic Research, delivered a tearful presentation at the conference, describing himself as a “friend and pupil” of the terror cleric, and also delivering a paper on the “scientific and intellectual contribution of Qaradawi”. Both his speech and paper were subsequently posted on Qaradawi’s personal website. I have noted elsewhere that Sultan was even photographed with Qaradawi during the conference.
Also speaking at the conference was HAMAS leader Khaled Mash’al, who praised Qaradawi for being the first cleric to issue a fatwa permitting the use of “martyrdom operations,” i.e. suicide bombings, by HAMAS against civilians in Israel:
From day one to the present, the sheikh, may Allah reward him, has not hesitated to support the jihad and the resistance, and to support the fighters, and the resistance factions. One of the most notable manifestations of this support was when we relied - after Allah - on his support of martyrdom operations. He never hesitated to issue rulings in support of these operations, and there were times when we were in dire need of these rulings.
The remarks at the conference by Mash’al and Qaradawi’s response originally broadcast on Al-Jazeera were translated by MEMRI. [video] During Mash’al’s speech, Sultan can be seen sitting on the speakers’ dais.
As Emerson noted two years ago, a number of individuals and organizations that had signed CAIR’s supposed “anti-terror” fatwa were even at that time known to be associated with terrorist groups and had vocalized their support for Islamic terrorism. Since then, nothing has changed. At almost every given opportunity, these individuals and organizations violate not just the spirit, but the letter, of the fatwa they put their names to.
Meanwhile, the establishment media continues to give them a pass (though the LA Times reported in July that after Salah Sultan fled the U.S., he has been “glorifying holy war” and stirring up Sunni-Shi’ite sectarian strife in Bahrain). With such brazen disregard for their pretended principles of peace and moderation, it is one of the great mysteries of our time how CAIR, ISNA and many of these groups have any public credibility left. Perhaps our own government could lend a hand by banning individuals who openly cavort with known terrorist leaders, such as Jamal Badawi and Salah Sultan, from continuing to reenter the U.S. to spread extremism here at home?
FamilySecurityMatters.org Contributing Editor Patrick Poole is an independent journalist who contributes to a number of publications and serves as a consultant to law enforcement on the domestic terror threat from Islamic radicalization. His past work in public policy received coverage from a number of national and international media outlets, including the New York Times, ABC News, the Baltimore Sun, WIRED News , the National Post (Canada), The Guardian (UK), and Jungewelt (Germany). He is the Executive Director of Central Ohioans Against Terrorism and he maintains a blog, Existential Space .
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