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CAIR Banquet Sold Out, Congressional Coalition Blasts Anti-Muslim Reps
(WASHINGTON, D.C., 10/23/09) - The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) announced today that its 15th annual banquet on October 24th in Arlington, Va., is sold out. (The banquet registration site will close tonight at 9 p.m. Eastern. No tickets will be sold at the door.)
At the dinner on Saturday, hundreds of Muslim community members and activists, interfaith leaders and diplomats from Muslim nations will hear addresses by Rev. Jesse Jackson, formerCongressman Paul Findley, Imam Mahdi Bray of MAS-Freedom, and Dr. Agha Saeed, chair of the American Muslim Taskforce on Civil Rights and Elections (AMT). Muslim comedian Ahmed Ahmed will perform at the banquet.
CAIR also announced that the Congressional Tri-Caucus, a coalition made up of theCongressional Black Caucus, the Congressional Hispanic Caucusand the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus, released a statement blasting far-right House members who recently promoted a Muslim-bashing book to insinuate that Muslims in Congress are “spies.”
The Congressional Tri-Caucus statement reads in part:
“These charges smack of an America of sixty years ago where lists of “un-American” agitators were identified. We should be affirming the importance of diversity and tolerance for all interns and staff who serve in Congress without suspicion of being identified as ‘spies.’
“The idea that we should investigate Muslim interns as spies is a blow to the very principle of religious freedom that our founding fathers cherished so dearly. If anything, we should be encouraging all Americans to engage in the U.S. political process; to take part in, and to contribute to, the great democratic experiment that is America.
“We all have experienced the sting of discrimination and we know that there will be challenges ahead. But our message should be firm that the America we believe in welcomes people of all backgrounds to the U.S. Congress.”
Paul David Gaubatz, the co-author of the book launched by the far-right elected officials, is the former “Director of Intelligence and Counter-terrorism Studies” of the racist hate group Society of Americans for National Existence (SANE) and its associated Mapping Shari’a in America Project. The Mapping Shari’a in America Project is devoted to spying on mosques and other Islamic institutions in the United States.
SANE’s 2007 IRS Form 990 indicates that Gaubatz was paid $148,898 for “research.”
Gaubatz has a long history of bigotry targeting Islam and Muslims. He has called Islam an “evil ideology” and a “terminal disease.” Along with his past rhetorical attacks on CAIR and Islam, Gaubatz has called President Obama a “crack head” and wrote that “a vote for Hussein Obama is a vote for Sharia Law.”
A 2007 commentary by the head of SANE, David Yerushalmi, called for a “war against Islam and all Muslim faithful.” Yerushalmi wrote in part:
“…The following can be considered the SANE War Manifesto. On the so-calledGlobal War on Terrorism, GWOT, we have been quite clear along with a few other resolute souls. This should be a WAR AGAINST ISLAM and all Muslim faithful…At a practical level, this means that Shari’a and Islamic law are immediately outlawed. Any Moslem in America who adopts historical and traditional Shari’a will be subject to deportation. Mosques which adhere to Islamic law will be shut down permanently. No self-described or practicing Muslim, irrespective of his or her declarations to the contrary, will be allowed to immigrate to this country…”
Another SANE “manifesto” called for making “adherence to Islam” punishable by a 20-year prison term.
SANE’s website once contained the following white supremacist language as part of its mission statement:
“America was the handiwork of faithful Christians, mostly men, and almost entirely white, who ventured from Europe to create a nation in their image of a country existing as free men under G-d.”
Other articles on the SANE website made racist statements such as: “There is a reason the founding fathers did not give women or black slaves the right to vote,” and "Race matters and affects your intelligence. Jews are the smartest white people around. Orientals smarter than Whites. Latinos next. Then Blacks.”
Another SANE article stated:
“Is there something unique about the Black American (or, at least the Black New Yorker) that leads him to murder so disproportionately and to most often kill and victimize his own?”
Since the launch of the Muslim-bashing book by the far-right officials, CAIR has reported that that one of its directors received a death threat apparently prompted by the book’s Islamophobic content.
CAIR is America's largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance the understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.