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News Analysis

CAIR Gives Award to Anti-American Islamist

Ryan Mauro

The San Francisco Bay Area chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) presented Hatem Bazian, chairman of American Muslims for Palestine, with an “Empowering American Muslims” Award on November 17. The group’s honoring of an Islamist that spews anti-American rhetoric is in line with the worldview espoused by its executive director, Zahra Billoo, especially since Israel’s Operation Pillar of Defense against Hamas started.

In 2004, Bazian seemed to endorse the killing of U.S. soldiers in Iraq and violence in Israel by praising the “uprising in Iraq” and “intifada in Palestine.” In the same speech, he urged Muslim-Americans to follow in their footsteps by launching an intifada in the U.S. to “change fundamentally the political dynamics here.” Aware of the incendiary nature of his remarks, he eerily said, “They’re gonna say some Palestinian [is] being too radical—well, you haven’t seen radicalism yet.”

According to Kashmir Media Service News, Bazian said in June, “The United States wants India to balance China, because if there is a conflict with China, we always like that the darker people fight our war and the more these people die is better for the officers because racism can be manifested across many sectors.”

He also accused the U.S. government of persecuting the Muslim-American community. He said, “In the post 9/11 era there is [a] strategic and systematic process of targeting the Muslim leadership of organizational structures by eliminating the existing leadership that has developed over the last 40 years…”

A board member of Bazian’s organization, Osama Abu Irshaid, defends Hamas’s rocket fire into Israel as “legitimate resistance.” He used to be the editor of a publication by the Islamic Association for Palestine, a Muslim Brotherhood front that advocated for Hamas when it was in existence.

[ad] As we reported, AMP’s conference this month features over a dozen Islamist speakers, most of which are tied to the Muslim Brotherhood and have spoken in support of Hamas. Its conference logo shows the state of Palestine replacing Israel.

In addition to leading American Muslims for Palestine, Bazian is a co-founder of Zaytuna College, America’s first Muslim college. Another co-founder is Imam Zaid Shakir, a cleric whose extremism ClarionProject.org has thoroughly documented.

The award was given at CAIR-SFBA’s 18th annual banquet, which also featured Imam Johari Abdul-Malik, director of outreach for the radical Dar al-Hijrah mosque. A 2002 Customs and Border Protection report said the mosque was “operating as a front for Hamas operatives in the U.S.” In 2001, Abdul-Malik endorsed attacks on Israeli infrastructure.

The honoring of Bazian is predictable given the activism of CAIR-SFBA’s Executive Director, Zahra Billoo. According to the Investigative Project on Terrorism, she was an adviser to the Muslim Students Association West from 2005 to August 2010. The Muslim Students Association was founded by the Muslim Brotherhood. During her time at MSA West, outrageous extremism was preached by speakers it booked.

In February 2011, CAIR-SFBA’s website featured a poster for an event that said, “Build a Wall of Resistance; Don’t Talk to the FBI.” The graphics on the poster portrayed the FBI in dark ways. The poster was removed after it got negative attention.

The Israeli operation against Hamas prompted a furious series of tweets by Billoo, including one on November 21 that explicitly calls for the destruction of Israel when she  retweeted:

"From the river to the sea, Palestine WILL be free [referring to the entire width of Israel which spans from the Jordan river to the Mediterranean Sea]."

November 20, she compared Hamas’s rocket attacks on Israel to fighting off a rapist:

“#LiesImTiredofHearing: Apartheid Israel is only defending itself. That is as true as a rapist who invades your home may defend himself.”

Here are some more:

“#LiesImTiredofHearing: Zionism is not racism. It is.”

“#LiesImTiredofHearing: Apartheid Israel takes measures to avoid killing civilians.”

On November 20, she retweeted a message that read:

“So Israel has ‘unleashed the gates of hell’ on #Gaza, so let the gates of hell be unleashed on Israel on the Day of Judgement. #Pray4Gaza”

The phrase “gates of hell” is a quote from Hamas after the operation began.

On November 15, she retweeted from the same person the following:

“Israel ‘defending’ itself is analogous to Nazi Germany defending itself from Jewish uprisings.”

In Billoo’s world, Hamas’s attacks on Israel are just as legitimate as “Jewish uprisings” were against Nazi Germany. That’s the mindset that’s behind the misleading press releases by groups like CAIR that are demanding U.S. action against Israel for trying to stop rockets from falling on its civilians and condemning the Senate for its "obsession with Israel's unequivical [sic] 'right to self-defense.' "

Ryan Mauro is ClarionProject.org's National Security Analyst and a fellow with the Clarion Fund. He is the founder of WorldThreats.com and is frequently interviewed on Fox News.