WASHINGTON—House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi of California has called for an end to racial and religious profiling of Muslims in a meeting with a group tied to Hamas and Saudi Arabian purse strings.
“We appreciate the opportunity to interact with national leaders and to share the Muslim community’s concerns on issues of mutual concern,” said Arsalan Iftikhar, legal director of the Council on American Islamic Relations, who joined Pelosi and other prominent Democratic members of Congress.
Other national Muslim groups represented at the meeting included the Islamic Society of North America, Indian Muslim Council, Muslim Public Affairs Council, Muslim American Society, Association of Pakistani Physicians of North America, Muslim Bar Association, National Association of Muslim Lawyers, and the Universal Muslim Association of America.
While CAIR bills itself as the leading civil rights group among Muslim-Americans, it is a spin-off of the Islamic Association For Palestine, identified as a “front group” for Hamas by two ex-FBI counterterrorism chiefs.
Randall Todd “Ismail” Royer—a former CAIR staffer who most recently served as communications director for a fund-raising effort sponsored by the American Muslim Council—allegedly trained in Virginia for holy war against the United States and sent several members to Pakistan to join Lashkar-e-Taiba, a Kashmiri terrorist group with reported ties to al-Qaida.
A federal judge sentenced him to 20 years in prison. In a plea bargain, Royer claimed he never intended to hurt anyone but admitted he organized the holy warriors after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on the U.S. He was among nine men who either pleaded guilty or were convicted in connection to the charges. Two others were acquitted on all counts.
After his arrest, Royer sought legal counsel from Hamas lawyer Stanley Cohen, who said after 9-11 he would consider serving as a defense lawyer for Osama bin Laden if the al-Qaida leader were captured.
The federal indictment against Royer, issued June 27, contends he traveled to Pakistan, engaged in propaganda work for Lashkar-e-Taiba and “fired at Indian positions in Kashmir.” The charges also allege in September 2001, he “possessed in his automobile an AK-47-style rifle and 219 rounds of ammunition.”
Another CAIR figure, Bassem Khafagi, was arrested in January 2003 while serving as the group’s director of community relations. The previous December, Ghassan Elashi, the founder of CAIR’s Texas chapter, was indicted for financial ties to Hamas leader Musa Abu Marzook.
Democratic Congressmen John Dingell and John Conyers of Michigan as well as Charles Rangel of New York and other congressional Democrats took part in the discussion with CAIR and Pelosi.
“This discussion is only the first in an ongoing dialogue between Congressional Democrats and Muslim Americans,” Pelosi, the Democratic Party leader, said. “We share a fundamental principle—the belief that diversity is the backbone of our communities. Generations of Muslims have made positive contributions in every aspect of American life. We must now work even more closely to navigate through the challenges we face as a nation.”
Pelosi claimed, “Since September 11th, many Muslim Americans have been subjected to searches at airports and other locations based upon their religion and national origin, without any credible information linking individuals to criminal conduct. Racial and religious profiling is fundamentally un-American and we must make it illegal.”
Working with Conyers, the ranking Democrat on the House Judiciary Committee, Democrats have introduced legislation to end racial profiling, limit the reach of the Patriot Act, and make immigration safe and accessible. Pelosi is a co-sponsor of the End Racial Profiling Act, the Security and Freedom Ensured Act, and the Safe, Orderly, and Legal Visas Enforcement Act.
“These measures are long overdue, and we call on the Republican leadership in Congress to bring them to a vote now,” Pelosi said. “As we protect and defend the American people, we must protect and defend the Constitution and the civil rights that define our democracy. Ours is a country of great diversity and we must stand together as one America.”
The following Democrats also participated in the discussion: former Democratic Whip David Bonior of Michigan, Rep. Gregory Meeks of New York, and Rep. Nick Rahall of Wyoming.
As WorldNetDaily reported, CAIR’s chairman of the board, Omar Ahmad, was cited by a California newspaper in 1998 declaring the Quran should be America’s highest authority.
He also was reported to have said Islam is not in America to be equal to any other religion but to be dominant.
CAIR Executive Director Ibrahim Hooper indicated in a 1993 interview with the Minneapolis Star Tribune that he wants to see the United States become a Muslim country.
“I wouldn’t want to create the impression that I wouldn’t like the government of the United States to be Islamic sometime in the future,” Hooper told the paper. “But I’m not going to do anything violent to promote that. I’m going to do it through education.”