US media is reporting the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) has joined an initiative to boycott a planned virtual White House Eid celebration to be hosted by President Biden in connection with his stance on the violence in Israel and Gaza. According to an article in The Hill:
May 15, 2021 CAIR said it was joining with other groups in the boycott over the White House’s “incredibly disappointing and deeply disturbing” response to the violence. “We cannot in good conscience celebrate Eid with the Biden Administration while it literally aids, abets and justifies the Israeli apartheid government’s indiscriminate bombing of innocent men, women and children in Gaza. President Biden has the political power and moral authority to stop these injustices. We urge him to stand on the side of the victims and not the victimizer,” said CAIR National Executive Director Nihad Awad.
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CAIR has stated that its action was in response to Biden administration statements that “ignore the Israeli assault on Al-Aqsa” and what it characterized as the “expulsion” taking place in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah.
The American Muslims for Palestine (AMP), a Palestinian advocacy group with strong ties to both the US MB and to the US Hamas support infrastructure, had earlier urged the Muslim community to strongly rebuke the Biden response to developments in Israel and Gaza and to not participate in the event, stating:
We cannot celebrate Eid with a President who justifies the killing of our brothers and sisters in Palestine! The United States is party to the war crimes committed by Israel as the US government funds the illegal occupation to the tune of $3.8 billion minimum annually, which in turn is used to purchase weapons from US manufacturers to be used on the Palestinian people.
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CAIR is part of the Global Muslim Brotherhood (GMB) in the US. It describes itself as “a grassroots civil rights and advocacy group” and was founded in 1994 by three officers of the Islamic Association of Palestine, part of the US Hamas infrastructure at that time.
A coalition of 42 organizations that co-signed a boycott pledge included CAIR, AMP, and several others tied to the GMB:
- JETPAC Resource Center, part of a Muslim political action committee led by CAIR-Massachusetts board member Nadeem Mazen
- Muslim Legal Fund of America, whose Executive Director Khalil Meek also serves as a board member of the US Council of Muslim Organizations (USCMO)
- USCMO founding member Islamic Circle of North America
Prior reporting by the Global Influence Operations Report about CAIR and US politics has included:
- A November 2020 report that CAIR has issued a statement congratulating Democratic President-elect Joe Biden on his victory, vowing to hold the forthcoming administration accountable on Muslim inclusion and civil rights issues.
- An April 2021 report that a coalition of American Muslim advocacy organizations tied to the US Muslim Brotherhood has published a report on American Muslims elected or re-elected to public office during 2020.
- A May 2021 report that the United States Council of Muslim Organizations has published an open letter calling on President Joe Biden to appoint a State Department special envoy to monitor and combat Islamophobia.
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