IslamismJanuary 13 2023, 7:41 am

CAIR Publishes Report Laying Out Legislative Priorities

On Jan­u­ary 11, 2023, the Coun­cil on Amer­i­can-Islam­ic Rela­tions (CAIR) held a Face­book livestream press con­fer­ence to announce a new report out­lin­ing the group’s leg­isla­tive pri­or­i­ties in the com­ing years. Accord­ing to a post on the CAIR website:

We encour­age every mem­ber of Con­gress to co-spon­sor and sup­port these Amer­i­can Mus­lim leg­isla­tive pri­or­i­ties to bet­ter pro­tect and uphold the rights of all Amer­i­cans and improve the lives of those impact­ed by our country’s poli­cies overseas.

Read the rest here.

The 25-page report, titled “CAIR Con­gres­sion­al Leg­isla­tive Pri­or­i­ties in the 118th Con­gress” and sent out to all con­gres­sion­al offices in the US House of Rep­re­sen­ta­tives and Sen­ate, con­tains sev­er­al key pri­or­i­ties of the Amer­i­can Mus­lim com­mu­ni­ty as endorsed by CAIR, such as the rein­tro­duc­tion and adop­tion of 23 acts, including:

  • The Com­bat­ting Inter­na­tion­al Islam­o­pho­bia Act, a bill that would estab­lish a spe­cial envoy office at the US State Depart­ment to mon­i­tor and com­bat inter­na­tion­al Islam­o­pho­bia, and which has been crit­i­cized by oppo­nents for its lack of lin­guis­tic pre­ci­sion and poten­tial­ly under­min­ing free­dom of expression.
  • The Nation­al Ori­gin-Based Antidis­crim­i­na­tion for Non­im­mi­grants Act (NO BAN Act), that would broad­en the nondis­crim­i­na­tion pro­vi­sion of the Immi­gra­tion and Nation­al­i­ty Act to pro­hib­it dis­crim­i­na­tion based on religion.
  • The Access to Coun­sel Act, which would ensure US cit­i­zens and Green Card hold­ers can con­sult with an attor­ney to help them under­stand their rights when going through the inspec­tion process at US bor­ders and ports of entry.

CAIR also sup­ports greater con­gres­sion­al over­sight and com­mit­tee hear­ings focused on the FBI’s Ter­ror­ism Screen­ing Data­base (TSDB) – which it incor­rect­ly describes as „uncon­sti­tu­tion­al” ­­­­–as well as Coun­ter­ing Vio­lent Extrem­ism (CVE) lega­cy pro­grams. In its report, CAIR says it also sup­ports con­gres­sion­al hear­ings exam­in­ing con­nec­tions between char­i­ta­ble and foun­da­tion dona­tions to anti-Mus­lim hate groups and anti-Mus­lim hate crimes. CAIR fur­ther speaks out in favor of des­ig­nat­ing India as a Coun­try of Par­tic­u­lar Con­cern over what it says are human rights and reli­gious free­dom vio­la­tions. CAIR says it would sup­port the intro­duc­tion of con­gres­sion­al acts and res­o­lu­tions stop­ping US mil­i­tary aid and weapon sales to sev­er­al coun­tries in the Mid­dle East, includ­ing Israel, the Unit­ed Arab Emi­rates, and Egypt.

CAIR describes itself as “a grass­roots civ­il rights and advo­ca­cy group and as “America’s largest Islam­ic civ­il lib­er­ties group.” It was found­ed in 1994 by three offi­cers of the Islam­ic Asso­ci­a­tion of Pales­tine, part of the US Hamas infra­struc­ture at that time. Doc­u­ments dis­cov­ered dur­ing the ter­ror­ism tri­al of the Holy Land Foun­da­tion con­firmed that the founders and cur­rent lead­ers of CAIR were part of the Pales­tine Com­mit­tee of the Mus­lim Broth­er­hood and that CAIR itself is part of the US Mus­lim Broth­er­hood. The orga­ni­za­tion is led by Nihad Awad, its long­stand­ing Exec­u­tive Direc­tor and one of the three founders. Recent­ly, CAIR has been gen­er­al­ly por­trayed in the media as a Mus­lim civ­il rights group. CAIR reg­u­lar­ly cam­paigns against laws restrict­ing state busi­ness with com­pa­nies that boy­cott Israel and its lead­ers have a his­to­ry of defend­ing indi­vid­u­als accused of ter­ror­ism by the US gov­ern­ment, often label­ing such pros­e­cu­tions a “war on Islam.”

For more on CAIR, go here.



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