Republican Lawmakers Leading Witch Hunt Against Muslim Group

October 15, 2009 4:40 pm ET

The Council of American-Islamic Relations has recently come under attack from four Congressional Republicans who accuse the group of attempting to plant spies in key Congressional offices in order to affect policy.  Rep. Sue Myrick (R-NC), Rep. John Shadegg (R-AZ), Rep. Trent Franks (R-AZ), and Rep. Paul Broun (R-GA) held a press conference yesterday accusing the Muslim advocacy group of "trying to infiltrate the offices of members of Congress by placing interns in the offices."  The accusations against CAIR are in large part frivolous and are based on a new book written by authors known for their history of deception and bigotry.

Author and Publisher Of Book Have Track Record Of Derogatory Statements; Book's Publisher Known For Advancing Conspiracy Theories

Book Published By Group Known For Pushing Conspiracy Theories. World Net Daily, the publisher of the book Muslim Mafia: Inside the Secret Underworld That's Conspiring to Islamize America, has been at the forefront of a campaign to question the legitimacy of President Barack Obama, writing:  "California attorney Orly Taitz, who has filed a number of lawsuits demanding proof of Barack Obama's eligibility to serve as president, has released a copy of what purports to be a Kenyan certification of birth and has filed a new motion in U.S. District Court for its authentication." The article added: "WND was able to obtain other birth certificates from Kenya for purposes of comparison, and the form of the documents appear to be identical." [World Net Daily, 10/15/09, 8/2/09]

Author Of Book Muslim Mafia Known For History Of Anti-Muslim Statements. According to Politico: "The proclamation from the four Republicans came in advance of a book, entitled Muslim Mafia: Inside the Secret Underworld that's Conspiring to Islamize America, which includes a forward by [Rep.] Myrick. The author of the book, Dave Gaubatz, an anti-Islam activist who wrote last year that 'a vote for Hussein Obama is a vote for Sharia Law.'" [Politico, 10/14/09]

CAIR Criticized Gaubatz For Past Affiliation With Group Attempting To Outlaw Islam.  In an October 14 post, CAIR stated that Gaubatz is a "former employee of the racist group Society of Americans for National Existence (SANE). On its now members-only website, SANE offered a policy proposal that would make it illegal to be a Muslim: 'Whereas, adherence to Islam as a Muslim is prima facie evidence of an act in support of the overthrow of the US. [sic] Government through the abrogation, destruction, or violation of the US Constitution and the imposition of Shari'a on the American People...It shall be a felony punishable by 20 years in prison to knowingly act in furtherance of, or to support the, adherence to Islam.'" [CAIR, Who Is Dave Gaubatz?, 10/14/09]

Co-Author Paul Sperry Called For Contaminating Afghan Water Supply With Pig's Blood.  In an article on World Net Daily, Sperry called for the use of pigs, which are highly offensive to Muslims, as a tool of war: "U.S. forces should start by dropping leaflets over Kabul, the capital of Afghanistan, warning residents, in their native Persian tongue, that we've enlisted Afghani moles to contaminate their water supplies with pig's blood.  The propaganda would also warn that American soldiers have greased their bullets with pork fat. We could tell them, while we're at it, that we've ordered special pigskin-lined fatigues for this mission." [World Net Daily, 9/27/01]

Purported Evidence Of "Muslim Spies" Stolen By "Muslim" Spy. According to Word Net Daily: "The book begins as a real-life, heart-pounding thriller, with Chris Gaubatz, the son of co-author David Gaubatz, preparing to go underground as an intern for CAIR at its Herndon, Va., office.  Astoundingly, the younger Gaubatz, posing as a bearded Muslim convert, ends up with a position at CAIR's national office in Washington, just three blocks from the U.S. Capitol building, working alongside top leaders Ibrahim Hooper, Nihad Awad and Corey Saylor." [World Net Daily, 10/14/09]

Benign CAIR Memo Highlights Need To Influence Policy

CAIR Strategy Memo Notes The Importance Of Influencing Policy And Increasing Voter Participation. The innocuous CAIR memo notes: "We will impact local congressional districts with each chapter influencing at least two legislators through strong grass roots responses.  We will focus on influencing congressman responsible for policy that directs impacts the American Muslim community. (For example congressman on the judiciary, intelligence, and homeland security committees.)  We will develop national initiatives such as a lobby day and placing Muslim interns in Congressional offices.  We will work to add at least 30,000 new voter registrations." [Shadegg Release, 10/15/09, parentheses original]

Politico Calls Memo "Straight Forward." As reported by Politico, "The document basically lays out a fairly straight forward public relations and lobbying strategy and indeed, one of the goals is 'placing Muslim interns in congressional offices' and registering people to vote." [Politico, 10/14/09]

Rep. Broun Called Out By Atlanta Journal Constitution Columnist. Writes Cynthia Tucker: "So what did Broun and his colleagues have as 'evidence'? A CAIR strategy document that says, among other things, they would try to place Muslim as interns on Capitol Hill. CAIR probably figures nothing would help their image more than having well-educated, hard-working young Muslim Americans working in congressional offices. But Broun et al see a terrorist plot, a 2009 version of the Manchurian Candidate. What crackpots." [Atlanta Journal Constitution, 10/15/09]

CAIR's Actions Uncontroversial And Common.  Salon's Glenn Greenwald notes: "They stand accused of plotting to influence members of Congress and trying to help interns obtain positions in Congress in order to advance their political agenda.  That's consistent with what virtually every political advocacy group in the nation does; it's normally called activism and democracy.  But because, in this case, it's a group of Muslims who are doing this, these House Republicans are depicting it as some sort of nefarious espionage plot against the U.S. that demands a criminal investigation." [Salon, 10/15/09]

Rep. Broun Falsely Labeled CAIR A Co-Conspirator In Terror Case

Rep. Broun Falsely Labeled CAIR A Co-Conspirator In Terrorism Case. In a statement posted on the website of Arizona Congressman John Shadegg, Rep. Broun called for an investigation into CAIR's activities: "I believe allegations that CAIR has targeted members of Congress on security related committees must not go uninvestigated. I want to thank my colleagues for continuing to educate the public about CAIR's connections to the terrorist organization HAMAS and most recently for bringing attention to more allegations that surround this non-profit.  The U.S. Justice Department must share the findings that led them to name CAIR as a co-conspirator in a terrorism case with Congressional offices."  [Shadegg Release, 10/15/09]

  • CAIR Was Listed As An Unindicted Co-Conspirator In The Holy Land Foundation Case. The New York Times reported that in the Holy Land Foundation terrorism financing case, CAIR, along with 300 other individuals and groups, was listed as an unindicted co-conspirator: "Technically, the prosecution can introduce statements made by any individual or organization named as an unindicted co-conspirator without such statements being dismissed as hearsay. Those on the list have not been charged with anything, but they are concerned that the label of unindicted co-conspirator will forever taint them, particularly if the Holy Land group is convicted, and that they will have no legal recourse." [New York Times, 08/16/07]

Department Of Justice Advises Against Identifying Unindicted Co-Conspirators. The DOJ's Criminal Resource Manual notes: "In the absence of some significant justification, federal prosecutors generally should not identify unindicted co-conspirators in conspiracy indictments." [, Criminal Resource Manual, accessed 10/15/09]

Civil Rights Groups Have Called For CAIR To Be Removed From List.  The American Civil Liberties Union argued that CAIR's inclusion on the list falsely tarnished the group's name: "'What we'd really like to see is a decision before the trial starts in order to have that stigma removed, before all these issues are prominent again,' said Hina Shamsi, one of the ACLU attorneys who filed Wednesday's request." [The Dallas Morning News, 6/19/08]