Council on American Islamic Relations


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 in the course of 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. In 2008, the then Deputy leader of the Egypt­ian Mus­lim Broth­er­hood acknowl­edged a rela­tion­ship between the Egypt­ian Broth­er­hood and CAIR.  In 2009, a US 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 US. 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.