(WASHINGTON, D.C., 4/5/18) — The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, today called for Federal Election Commission (FEC) and IRS investigations of virulently anti-Muslim advertisements that used Facebook and Google to target voters in swing states prior just before the 2016 election.
Robert Mercer, a top supporter of President Trump, reportedly spent $2 million to help fund the group behind Islamophobic video ad, titled “Welcome to the Islamic States of America,” which featured the “Hollywood” sign replaced with the Islamic phrase “Allahu Akbar” (God is Great) and the Statue of Liberty wearing a burka. In the video, St. Paul’s Chapel in Manhattan is shown with an Islamic star and crescent and Sports Illustrated magazine becomes “Sharia Law Illustrated.”
Mercer was a top donor – giving some $2 million — for Secure America Now, the shadowy group that produced the ads. The group told the IRS it only spent $124,192 on political activities, while reporting more than $1 million in political spending to the FEC in 2016.
“While these bigoted ads did not mention a specific candidate, it does not take a brain surgeon to realize that there was only one presidential candidate that based his campaign on anti-Muslim fear-mongering,” said CAIR National Executive Director Nihad Awad. “We urge the FEC and IRS to investigate whether these clandestine ads violated federal election or tax laws.”
He noted that former top White House strategist Stephen Bannon, who ran Mercer’s white supremacist and anti-Muslim Breitbart site, once wrote a film script that warned of America turning into the “Islamic States of America.”
CAIR said it has witnessed an unprecedented spike in bigotry targeting American Muslims and members of other minority groups since the election of Donald Trump as president. The Washington-based civil rights organization has also repeatedly expressed concern about Islamophobic and racist Trump administration policies and appointments.
Community members are being urged to report any bias incidents to police and to CAIR’s Civil Rights Department at 202-742-6420 or by filing a report at: http://www.cair.com/report
CAIR launched an app to share critical “know your rights” information and to simplify the process to report hate crimes and bias incidents. CAIR is urging American Muslims and members of other minority groups to download the app and utilize this resource to stay informed and empowered.
For a quick download of CAIR’s civil rights app, click here: http://www.cair.com/app
CAIR is America’s largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance understanding of Islam, protect civil rights, promote justice, and empower American Muslims.
La misiÃ³n de CAIR es proteger las libertades civiles, mejorar la comprensiÃ³n del Islam, promover la justicia, y empoderar a los musulmanes en los Estados Unidos.