CAIR: Foiled bombings incited by anti-Muslim "Smear Campaign"
A prominent American Muslim group tonight blamed what it called the "ongoing anti-Islamic smear campaign" by right wing and pro-Israel extremists for creating an atmosphere of Islamophobia that may have incited the Jewish Defense League (JDL) to plot a terrorist bombing at a California mosque and other sites. (SEE: www.jdl.org)
JDL chairman Irv Rubin and another member of that group were arrested Tuesday night on suspicion of plotting to blow up the King Fahd Mosque in Culver City and the offices of Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) and the Muslim Public Affairs Council. Rubin was arrested after the last bomb-making components were allegedly delivered to his co-conspirator's home. Other bomb components were seized at the home. In court documents, authorities quoted one of those involved in the plot as saying that Arabs "need a wake-up call."
"Since the horrific terrorist attacks of September 11, a number of extremist conservative and pro-Israel groups and individuals, apparently alarmed at the growing prominence of American Muslims, orchestrated an
ongoing anti-Islamic smear campaign seeking to marginalize the our community and its leadership," said Omar Ahmad, board chairman of the Washington-based Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR).
"Words do have an impact, particularly on those who already hold deep-seated hostility toward Islam and Muslims. For the safety of our community, this malicious campaign must stop," said Ahmad.
"We extend thanks to the FBI for preventing a domestic terrorist attack. We call on President Bush to condemn all those who may have been involved in the plot. We request that law enforcement authorities offer added protection for mosques nationwide and investigate the possibility that other JDL terrorist cells may exist. And finally, we ask that commentators not link Judaism or the Bible to terrorism as many have done with Islam and the Quran," said CAIR Executive Director Nihad Awad.
Awad also offered support for Rep. Issa, an Arab-American lawmaker who has come under vicious attack by some of the same commentators who vilify Muslims.
In three incidents within the last month, the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) and the American Jewish Committee (AJC) sought unsuccessfully to have Muslim speakers barred for public events designed to promote intercultural understanding. CAIR has received many reports of similar behind-the-scenes
efforts.* (See note below.)
The smear campaign recently went public when the Los Angeles Times wrote: "Pro-Israel or Jewish organizations such as the Anti-Defamation League, the Jewish Defense League and the Middle East Forum think tank have provided news organizations with reams of critical documentation on Muslim leaders
in recent weeks." (Los Angeles Times, 11/3/2001) A Washington Post reporter wrote on November 18 that, "Jewish groups and some conservatives have been lobbying the president to stop courting
certain Muslim leaders."
CAIR also cited several recent articles by the Middle East Forum's Daniel Pipes in which he made the bizarre claim that American Muslims seek to impose Islamic law in the United States.
* NOTE: In 1999, the ADL agreed to pay $25,000 to a community relations fund that resolved a class-action lawsuit filed in 1993 accusing the ADL of spying on Arab-American, pro-Palestinian and anti-apartheid groups and individuals. (AP, Sept. 28, 1999)
Other Jewish groups protested the ADL leadership's 1990 attendance at the funeral of anti-Arab extremist Meir Kahane, whose group is now listed as a terrorist organization by the State Department. (Tikkun, July 1, 1994) Kahane founded the JDL in the 1960s. An off-shoot of Kahane's group continues to raise funds in the United States. (SEE: www.kahane.org) The FBI raided offices associated with that group in January.