ADL Troubled by National Islamic Civil Rights Organization's Failure to Condemn Terrorism by Name
New York, NY, August 21, 2007 … The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today said it was deeply troubled by the failure of the leadership of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) to address its past affiliation with groups such as the Islamic Association for Palestine and to clearly and unequivocally condemn terrorists by name.
"As an organization representing itself as America's largest Islamic civil liberties group with a mission to enhance understanding of Islam and encourage justice and mutual understanding, it is deeply troubling that CAIR simply refuses to issue a clear and unequivocal condemnation of terrorists and terrorism," said Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director. "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."
ADL had written to CAIR in December 2006, after the national Muslim organization had issued statements condemning the Holocaust denial conference in Tehran and the Iranian cartoon contest and attended an event at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum memorializing victims of the Holocaust.
In the letter to CAIR Executive Director Nihad Awad the League said that, "If CAIR truly seeks to 'challenge those who would fan the flames of anti-Semitism' (CAIR press statement, December 13, 2006), it must address its past affiliation with groups such as the Islamic Association for Palestine whose ideology is rooted in the same virulent anti-Semitism that produced and pervaded the Holocaust denial conference in Tehran."
To date, ADL has received no response to its letter. Instead, CAIR has accused ADL of "seeking to hinder the due process rights of American Muslims by using smears and exclusionary tactics."
Mr. Foxman said: "No matter how heartfelt CAIR's statements on Holocaust denial may be, this organization can never be fully accepted in the Jewish community until it clearly and unequivocally condemns by name terrorists – such as Hezbollah and Hamas – that seek to kill Jews and destroy Israel; and denounces the anti-Semitic rhetoric and support for terror organizations that regularly occurs at rallies sponsored by CAIR and other Muslim organizations in the United States."
ADL's online backgrounder on CAIR notes that:
• CAIR was founded by several leaders of the Islamic Association for Palestine (IAP), a Hamas affiliated anti-Semitic propaganda organization.
• While CAIR condemns terrorism in general terms, it has refused to condemn by name terrorist groups - such as Hamas and Hezbollah - that seek to destroy Israel and kill Jews.
• CAIR repeatedly asserts that U.S. counter-terrorism initiatives are directed by the pro-Israel lobby.
• Since the outbreak of the second Palestinian Intifada in 2000, CAIR has participated in and endorsed several rallies where support for terrorist organizations was undeniable.
The Anti-Defamation League, founded in 1913, is the world's leading organization fighting anti-Semitism through programs and services that counteract hatred, prejudice and bigotry.