CAIR “Hate Video” Goes Viral – Here Are the Facts That CAIR is Hiding
By David Stein
On Friday, March 4th, as people were getting ready to start their weekend, a viral video was burning its way across the Internet, propelled by high-profile liberal websites, and spread by thousands of Facebook users.
The video, released by the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) and titled “Hate Comes to Orange County,” appeared to show a group of angry pro-American protesters outside an event held by a Muslim organization in Yorba Linda, CA. The choppy video shows the protesters yelling and chanting “U.S.A., U.S.A.” and “no sharia” as Muslim families in traditional dress enter the venue. Footage from earlier in the day shows Villa Park Councilwoman Deborah Pauly pointing at the Muslim event and telling the crowd that “what’s going on over there right now….is pure, unadulterated evil.”
The way in which the video is edited, it appears as though the crowd of protesters, Councilwoman Pauly, and several other politicians in attendance, were targeting the Muslim event for no other reason than that it was a Muslim event. As presented by CAIR, the video seems to show a bunch of bigots targeting Muslims merely because they’re Muslims.
Immediately, liberals on the web began reposting the video with titles like “Proof of Islamophobia” and “Don’t tell me Islamophobia isn’t real!”
No one seemed particularly troubled by the lack of context in the video. Muslim-American organizations have events all the time. Why were so many people protesting this one?
Wasn’t anyone on the left even a little curious?
Certainly not at the Huffington Post, where writer Zaki Hasan accepted the video as-is, writing:
Videos like the one above remind me of the bracing reality that sometimes folks hate just to hate. Because they can. Because it’s all they have.
And regarding Councilwoman Pauly’s “pure, unadulterated evil” comment:
She’s saying it about women, children, and families who are there to help the poor. You take rhetoric like this, draped in the trappings of patriotism but anti-American to its deeply-bigoted core, and you wonder if people like Pauly and her ilk, be they the protesters or her fellow politicos, would even grasp the clear irony that her speech and those like it embody the very same hatred and bigotry she seems to think she’s railing against when calling her fellow citizens — her neighbors — “pure, unadulterated evil.”
So, according to the HuffPo, a local politician got up one day and decided, for no particular reason, to go to a Muslim charity event and call children evil. And the HuffPo sees no need to dig deeper for context? There’s the muckraking spirit that won the hearts of the powers-that-be at AOL!
In The Washington Post, “faith” columnist Eboo Patel wrote that there can be only one possible motive for the protest:
The only fluid we know for sure that motivated the protesters in Yorba Linda was hate…. The only thing equal to the sadness of watching these children be derided at a fundraiser for a women’s shelter is seeing the American flag be used as a weapon of scorn.
CAIR put out a press release (recently scrubbed by CAIR, 5/7/11) to accompany the video, which stated:
The Greater Los Angeles Area office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-LA) today released a video of a rally organized by anti-Muslim bigots to protest a February fundraising event held by an American Muslim relief group for relief work and charity in the U.S.
The event — held at Yorba Linda Community Center, a facility that has been frequented by Muslim families and businesses over the years — first became a target of anti-Muslim bigots over two of the fundraiser’s speakers, who were to speak on the importance of charity in Islam. Initial attempts of some groups to have the Yorba Linda Community Center and the Yorba Linda City Council cancel the fundraising event failed, followed by the protest.
Ah-ha, a clue. Apparently, the presence of two particular speakers at the event sparked the protests. But CAIR didn’t see fit to name the speakers (repeated emails to CAIR-LA communications manager Munira Syeda asking why the two speakers were not named in the press release went unanswered).
Of course, no answers were needed. Anyone (that is, anyone except the geniuses at the HuffPo and WaPo) would have known to simply check any Orange County newspaper for more complete coverage of the protest.
It turns out that the two speakers whose presence at this “charity” event created such outrage were Siraj Wahhaj and Amir Abdel Malik-Ali.
Wahhaj is an unindicted co-conspirator in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing that killed seven people and injured over one-thousand (Wahhaj is also a staunch defender of the bombing’s mastermind, Sheikh Omar Abdel-Rahman). Wahhaj is an advocate for bringing sharia law to the U.S. In the past, he has spoken about replacing the U.S. Constitution with the Koran, and installing an emir or a caliphate to run the U.S. (it should also be noted that he’s a former CAIR advisory board member).
However, Wahhaj (much like the Cordoba House imam, Feisal Abdul Rauf) is a fairly cautious man, usually managing to avoid serious PR gaffes when in public (one notable exception: in 1992, he threatened to personally burn down a gay-friendly mosque in Toronto, according to the Al Fatiha Foundation, a group that monitors anti-gay discrimination in the Muslim world).
The other speaker, Amir Abdel Malik Ali, is not cautious at all. He is arguably one of the most well-known, shameless, and unapologetic extremists in the American Muslim community. Malik-Ali vocally advocates the murder of Israeli civilians and the total destruction of the state of Israel. He supports Hamas and Hezbollah, and he openly encourages Muslims to “martyr” themselves by becoming suicide/homicide bombers.
I could go on, but it’s probably more effective to let Malik-Ali speak for himself:
This is the man (along with Siraj Wahhaj) who the protesters were targeting. This is the man to whom Councilwoman Pauly was referring when she spoke of “pure, unadulterated evil.” This is the context that so many on the left felt no need to inquire about.
And this is the man who CAIR didn’t want to mention in its press release.
Because the one thing that a group like CAIR doesn’t want anyone to ask is, “why invite a supporter of murder and terrorism to a simple fundraising banquet?”
A legitimate point can be made that the protesters outside the event should have moderated their tone when children were entering the venue. However, we should also ask why parents were bringing their children to an event featuring an advocate of racially and religiously-based murder
What did those parents expect their children to learn from that man? And what effect will it have on those boys and girls to have seen Malik-Ali – a man who praises children for becoming suicide/homicide bombers – treated as a respectable Muslim leader?
What good can possibly come of that?
UPDATE: About four hours after the preceding story was posted, CounterContempt finally received a reply from CAIR-LA’s Munira Syeda. Comments in parentheses are mine.
“David, my apologies for not being able to get back to you sooner. As we have said before, Americans have a right to voice their opinions, dissent, even engage in hate speech. Everyone who knows about the ICNA Relief fundraiser knows about the controversial speakers involved (That’s simply not true. Many of the liberal websites that initially covered this story relied only on CAIR’s press release and video for information, and therefore were not aware of the identity of the two speakers. And while that kind of sloppy journalism isn’t CAIR’s fault, it can certainly be suggested that CAIR did its part to ensure that anyone who didn’t take the extra effort to find out the speakers’ identities, would not find out from CAIR). Protesters can and have a right to protest speakers they deem controversial or disagree with. This is an American tradition that should be preserved. In the case of the Yorba Linda protest, the video clearly shows protesters engaging in hate rhetoric targeting women and children, rather than the speakers themselves. In fact, one of the elected officials, who is charged with upholding the Constitution, advocated killing of Muslim attendees at the fundraiser (Councilwoman Pauly directed her comments about “sending terrorists to an early meeting in paradise” not to the event’s attendees, but to event speaker Malik-Ali, who believes that Muslims who martyr themselves while killing Jews will receive a great reward in heaven). What is preventing the protest organizers and elected officials from condemning the hateful rhetoric of the protesters, regardless of whether they were a ‘fringe’ element or not?”