Letter: Stop Maligning CAIR


STOP MALIGNING CAIR

I was pleased to see The Press-Enterprise run an article from the front page of The New York Times on a group of right-wing and pro-Israel extremists seeking to silence and marginalize American Muslim groups by exploiting the increasing anti-Muslim sentiments in our society ("Muslim advocacy group raises profile, suspicion," March 14).

I wanted to include some important excerpts from the Times piece that were left out of The Press-Enterprise article:

“Government officials in Washington said they were not aware of any criminal investigation of the group. 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 FBI official who directed counterterrorism in the Washington field office from 2002 to 2005.”

The mere fact that CAIR is being slammed by Islamophobes should not be a surprise to those working toward social activism. In their day, major grass-roots organizations were similarly attacked. Yet they, and now CAIR, remain committed to the American ideals of justice, pluralism, freedom of speech and freedom of religion.

Munira Syeda
Communications Coordinator
Council on American-Islamic Relations, Southern California
Pomona

 


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