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US Muslim Brotherhood Group Condemns Iowa Law Establishing Anti-Semitism Definition

March 31st, 2022 13:04

The Coun­cil on Amer­i­can-Islam­ic Rela­tions (CAIR) has issued a state­ment con­demn­ing the recent imple­men­ta­tion of two Iowa state laws cod­i­fy­ing a def­i­n­i­tion of anti­semitism and restrict­ing state busi­ness with com­pa­nies that boy­cott Israel. Accord­ing to the state­ment

March 25, 2022 The Coun­cil on Amer­i­can-Islam­ic Rela­tions (CAIR), the nation’s largest Mus­lim civ­il rights and advo­ca­cy orga­ni­za­tion, today con­demned two anti-free speech bills signed into law by Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds on Wednes­day as “doomed and unconstitutional.”

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The first of the two laws, which will take effect on 1 July 2022, builds on an exist­ing sec­tion of the state code that pro­hib­it­ed it from invest­ing in com­pa­nies that boy­cott Israel by expand­ing the def­i­n­i­tion of a “com­pa­ny” to include sub­sidiaries and par­ent com­pa­nies. Iowa is one of 26 U.S. states that have enact­ed laws to hin­der the Boy­cott, Divest­ment, and Sanc­tions (BDS) move­ment, which seeks to eco­nom­i­cal­ly and social­ly pres­sure Israel.

The sec­ond law calls for the state to adopt the Inter­na­tion­al Holo­caust Remem­brance Alliance’s (IHRA) work­ing def­i­n­i­tion of anti­semitism in dis­crim­i­na­tion and anti-bias train­ing. The IHRA def­i­n­i­tion includes tar­get­ing the state of Israel, con­ceived as a Jew­ish col­lec­tiv­i­ty, but explains “crit­i­cism of Israel sim­i­lar to that lev­eled against any oth­er coun­try can­not be regard­ed as anti­se­mit­ic.” In June 2017, the def­i­n­i­tion was adopt­ed for use in Euro­pean Union mem­bers states through a res­o­lu­tion by the Euro­pean Par­lia­ment seek­ing to sup­port judi­cial and law enforce­ment author­i­ties to iden­ti­fy and pros­e­cute anti-Semit­ic attacks.

In May 2021, the Glob­al Influ­ence Oper­a­tions Report (GIOR) report­ed that the Geor­gia chap­ter of CAIR had wel­comed what it called a “major vic­to­ry” in a law­suit against an Israel boy­cott law in Geor­gia after a fed­er­al dis­trict court ruled for­bid­ding boy­cotts of Israel was a vio­la­tion of the First Amend­ment. 

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 U.S. 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 U.S. Mus­lim Broth­er­hood. In 2008, the then Deputy leader of the Egypt­ian Mus­lim Broth­er­hood acknowl­edged a rela­tion­ship between the Egypt­ian Broth­er­hood and CAIR. In 2009, a U.S. fed­er­al judge ruled, “The Gov­ern­ment has pro­duced ample evi­dence to estab­lish the asso­ci­a­tions of CAIR, ISNA and NAIT with HLF, the Islam­ic Asso­ci­a­tion for Pales­tine (“IAP”), and with Hamas.” CAIR and its lead­ers have had a long his­to­ry of defend­ing indi­vid­u­als accused of ter­ror­ism by the U.S. gov­ern­ment, often label­ing such pros­e­cu­tions a “war on Islam,” and have also been asso­ci­at­ed with Islam­ic fun­da­men­tal­ism and anti­semitism. The orga­ni­za­tion is led by Nihad Awad, its long­stand­ing Exec­u­tive Direc­tor and one of the three orig­i­nal founders. In recent times, CAIR has been gen­er­al­ly por­trayed in the media as a Mus­lim civ­il rights group.