SHOW THE WASHINGTON TIMES WHAT YOU THINK OF ITS BIASED REPORTING
CAIR asks Muslims to respond to newspaper's 'hit piece' by becoming members
(WASHINGTON, D.C., 6/12/07) - CAIR today accused a right-wing Washington, D.C., newspaper of "agenda-driven reporting" for falsely suggesting there has been a drop in its grassroots support.
According to CAIR, an article in today's Washington Times newspaper misrepresented figures on its tax filings to falsely indicate a drop in membership.
In a statement sent to the Washington Times prior to publication of the false and misleading article, CAIR Executive Director Nihad Awad stated:
"Comparing CAIR's 2000 dues figure to that of 2006 is a misleading and mischievous 'apples and oranges' exercise because those figures were calculated based on different criteria. They do not include the thousands of people of all faiths who became CAIR members through several free or low-cost membership drives. For example, between 2002 and 2006, more than 25,000 people became active members for $10 or less during those drives.
"Our membership is increasing steadily, as is our donor base, annual budget, and attendance at CAIR events around the country promoting interfaith understanding and respect for civil liberties.
"The increase in CAIR's grassroots support in the American Muslim community is clearly demonstrated by the opening of 25 chapters and offices since 2001, all of which are funded exclusively through local donations. Each year, CAIR fundraising banquets in Washington, D.C., and nationwide are sold-out events of up to 2000 people.
"We are also concerned that Washington Times reporter Audrey Hudson has apparently had a vendetta against our organization and the American Muslim community since she was barred from a recent CAIR news conference because of her history of sloppy and agenda-driven reporting. It is unfortunate that her apparent bias leads her to 'cook' CAIR's membership figures and to tarnish the journalistic reputation of the Washington Times."
The Washington Times did not include any of Awad's statement in today's article.
"Support for CAIR has grown as ordinary Muslims witnessed the exponential growth in attacks on their faith by Islamophobes seeking to marginalize and disenfranchise the American Islamic community," said CAIR Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper. "It is CAIR's principled and effective defense of the American Muslim community and our criticism of failed foreign and domestic policies that have made us the target of these scurrilous attacks. We will not be intimidated or silenced by hate-mongers."
"CAIR is first and foremost a service organization that responds to the needs of millions of American Muslims," said Hooper.
He said CAIR, since its founding in 1994, has helped some 20,000 individuals and families who reported incidents of anti-Muslim bias or discrimination. In the past year alone, some 10,000 people attended CAIR fundraising events. More than 300 community leaders currently serve on CAIR boards and as staff nationwide. CAIR donors include people of all faiths and walks of life.
Hooper asked members of the American Muslim community and other people of conscience to "tell the Washington Times what they think of its irresponsible, agenda-driven reporting" by becoming a CAIR member.
He said many Muslims have expressed concerns about repeated instances of anti-Islam bias in the Washington Times' reporting and commentary. The paper has in the past refused to publish CAIR's responses to its Islamophobic content.
SEE: CAIR Says Washington Times 'Hypocritical' on Press Freedom
Hooper cited a recent front-page article in the New York Times that quoted government officials as saying CAIR's critics engage in McCarthyite tactics. The article stated:
"More than one described the standards used by critics to link CAIR to terrorism as akin to McCarthyism, essentially guilt by association.' Of all the groups, there is probably more suspicion about CAIR, but when you ask people for cold hard facts, you get blank stares,' said Michael Rolince, a retired F.B.I. official who directed counterterrorism in the Washington field office from 2002 to 2005."
CAIR, America's largest Islamic civil liberties group, has 33 offices and chapters nationwide and in Canada. Its mission is to promote justice, enhance the understanding of Islam, and empower American Muslims.
IMMEDIATE ACTION REQUESTED:
Show the Washington Times what you think of its biased and anti-Muslim reporting by becoming a CAIR member.
To become a CAIR member, go to: https://www.cair.com/asp/membership.asp
To donate to CAIR, go to: https://www.cair.com/asp/default.asp
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