CAIR’s Guide to Media Manipulation
Thu, October 17, 2013
Executive Director and Founder of CAIR Nihad Awad (left) with Corey Saylor, national legislative director of CAIR, at a press conference called by CAIR to release CAIR's latest report, “Legislating Fear: Islamophobia and Its Impact in the United States."
The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), a U.S. Muslim Brotherhood entity and unindicted co-conspirator in the Holy Land Foundation trial, is a master media manipulator. And it is passing on its skills to aspiring activists in ways that should offend and wake up every journalist.
The Investigative Project on Terrorism obtained a CAIR presentation about influencing the media and presented it in an online video (see below). The presentation bears the name of Ibrahim Hooper, CAIR’s communications director.
In 1993, Hooper was working for CAIR’s predecessor when he said, “I wouldn’t want to create the impression that I wouldn’t like the government of the United States to be Islamic sometime in the future. In 2003, he allegedly said on a radio program that sharia law would replace the Constitution if Muslims became the majority.
One of the slides titled, “Characteristics of a Journalist,” displays the condescending attitude that CAIR has towards the media. The characteristics are as follows:
- “They will expect you to do their work. Let them.”
- “Does little primary research.”
- “Under extreme deadline pressure.”
- “Fears charges of inaccuracy.”
CAIR recognizes that journalists have to turn their stories in on time. They are often juggling multiple stories and are not encouraged to indefinitely pursue stories to their ultimate end, digging up every fact and following every lead. After all, most articles are short and are designed to only give a basic overview.
CAIR has offices around the country and staff members whose job is to develop personal relationships with media sources. Once CAIR convinces the media source that it is the authoritative spokesperson of the Muslim-American community, it becomes the spokesperson.
Through this relationship, CAIR can pitch stories complete with accompanying “facts” and quotes, offering the journalist or radio/TV producer a much-needed shortcut. The result is that CAIR, to a large degree, gets to write the narrative.
This relationship is best articulated by the words of Sarwat Husain, Vice Chair of CAIR. In 2008, she spoke at the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) South Central Conference in San Antonio, Texas. ISNA is CAIR’s fellow U.S. Muslim Brotherhood entity and, along with CAIR, is an unindicted co-conspirator in the largest terror-funding case in U.S. history which involved the Holyland Foundation.
According to the Investigative Project online video, she said:
“Media in the United States is very gullible, ok? And they will see that if you have something, especially as a Muslim, if you have something to say, they will come running to you—and take advantage of that.”
According to her bio on the CAIR website, Husain serves on the Texas Media Empowerment Project, publishes the largest Muslim newspaper in the state and frequently writes for San Antonio Express News. She even used to sit on the FBI Regional Advisory Council.
In 1993, the FBI wiretapped a secret U.S. Muslim Brotherhood/Hamas meeting in Philadelphia that was attended by two of CAIR’s future founders. One of the topics was the need to build a new front with clean hands that could influence the media, with deception as a primary tactic.
“Forming the public opinion or coming up with a policy to influence … the way the Americans deal with the Islamists, for instance. I believe that should be the goals of this stage,” said Hamas operative Abdel Haleem al-Ashqar.
CAIR was born the following year.
A Muslim Brotherhood document written as far back as 1982 (but seized in a 2001 raid by authorities in Switzerland) emphasized the need for a media offensive. Titled "The Project," a stated goal was to “diffuse Islamic policy so that it is largely and efficiently covered by the media.”
The memo states that the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood has a “Media and Art Organization” that is tasked with making newspapers, magazine, radio and television programs, audio/visual centers and building a recording studio. It even says that it has producers, journalists and program anchors ready.
An undated Muslim Brotherhood document also captured in the 2004 Virginia raid and called the “Phases of World Underground Movement Plan” lists the phases of Brotherhood operations in general (not referring to America exclusively). All are done with the utmost secrecy and deception. The media plays a central part.
Phase 2, described as the “phase of gradual appearance on the public scene,” is focused on “gaining public support and sympathy.”
Phase 3, described as the “Escalation Phase, prior to conflict and confrontation with the rulers,” focuses on “utilizing mass media.” Another objective is “containment of the remaining influential elements in the society in preparation for the whole shake-up stage.”
The final fifth phase is, “Seizing power to establish their Islamic Nation under which all parties and Islamic groups become united…”
The internal Brotherhood documents agree: The media is a top-tier target. And based on the statements made by CAIR officials, they are happy with the results.
Ryan Mauro is the ClarionProject.org’s National Security Analyst, a fellow with the Clarion Project and is frequently interviewed on top-tier TV stations as an expert on counterterrorism and Islamic extremism.