The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) has issued a statement calling on the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) to cancel a May 2022 event in Hungary, set to feature the Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban as a keynote speaker. According to the CAIR statement:
April 6, 2022 We urge any Americans who do not wish to be associated with authoritarianism, racism or Putin’s war on Ukraine to boycott this CPAC event in Hungary. It makes no sense for an American political organization to hold an event in a foreign country with speakers who promote fascism, racism and bigotry, including Islamophobia and antisemitism.
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In the statement, CAIR also accused Orbán of championing anti-immigration policies aimed at Muslim migrants and attempting to undermine the free press and democratic governance.
The event is the first iteration of America’s most prominent conservative gathering CPAC to take place in continental Europe. Scheduled for 18–20 May 2022 in the Hungarian capital Budapest, it will also include speaking appearances by Santiago Abascal Conde, the leader of Spain’s far-right Vox party, and Eduardo Bolsonaro, a son of Brazil’s right-wing President Jair Bolsonaro. The gathering is organized by the Center for Fundamental Rights (CFR), a Hungarian government-funded organization that says its mission is to preserve “national identity, sovereignty, and Christian social traditions.” During an April 2022 press event, CFR President Miklós Szánthó explained that the cooperation with CPAC had been ongoing for over two years and that in 2021, he was present at the main CPAC conference in Washington, DC. During the same press event, Dan Schneider, the Executive Director of the CPAC host American Conservative Union, said that his organization had been working towards “taking CPAC on the road” and that similar conferences have already been held in Asia and South America.
Earlier this year, the Global Influence Operations Report (GIOR) published a report on the role that prominent US conservatives, including Fox News host Tucker Carlson, have been playing in a developing alliance with European nationalists, a potential means for Russia to exert covert influence in Europe and the US by using Hungary as a platform. In August 2021, the GIOR reported that Carlson had spent a week hosting his show from Budapest, where he gave what was described as a “fawning interview” with Viktor Orbán.
The Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) describes itself as “a grassroots civil rights and advocacy group and as “America’s largest Islamic civil liberties group.” CAIR 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.
For more on CAIR go here.