In an open letter addressed to the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), a leading Jewish advocacy group, the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), a national Islamic civil rights and advocacy group accused the ADL of contributing to growing Islamophobia in American society by using “smears and exclusionary tactics” in its latest attack on the due process of a group of American Muslims.
According to CAIR, those smears appeared in a recent ADL news release targeting members of a coalition defending the legal rights of officials of the Holy Land Foundation (HLF) Muslim charity currently on trial in Texas.
CAIR alleged the ADL falsely claimed in its release that members of the coalition have been “tainted by their own murky associations with radical organizations and individuals.”
CAIR officials denounced the accusations.
“It is regrettable that the Anti-Defamation League, which claims to defend American civil liberties, would seek to exploit the growing level of Islamophobia in our society by using the same smears and exclusionary tactics that have in the past been used by anti-Semites to target the Jewish Community,” Ibrahim Hooper, communications director of CAIR National, told InFocus.
In its Aug. 21, 2007, press release, ADL stated, “If CAIR truly repudiates acts of terror and murder, we would welcome a simple declaratory statement that no cause, no matter how just it may be, justifies the use of suicide killers, rockets or other means to target civilians.”
Hooper accused the ADL of attempting to muzzle the First Amendment rights of American Muslims by smearing and demonizing them.
In its Aug. 29, 2007, open letter responding to the ADL’s release, CAIR’s National Chairman Parvez Ahmed and National Executive Director Nihad Awad wrote:
“A little research would have revealed a CAIR-coordinated 2005 fatwa, or Islamic juristic opinion, that states in part: ‘All acts of terrorism targeting civilians are haram (forbidden) in Islam. It is haram [forbidden] for a Muslim to cooperate with any individual or group that is involved in any act of terrorism or violence. It is the civic and religious duty of Muslims to cooperate with law enforcement authorities to protect the lives of all civilians.’
“Also, our 2004 ‘Not in the Name of Islam’ online petition states: ‘No injustice done to Muslims can ever justify the massacre of innocent people, and no act of terror will ever serve the cause of Islam.’”
Hooper also accused the ADL of being “shamefully hypocritical” on the issue of terrorism. (MORE)