In Defense of the Constitution

News & Analysis

029/05  October 5, 2005

    CAIR:  Equal Rights to Enforced Oppression?

     Recently, the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), had posted on its web site a photo of a group of leaders of the interfaith community who had come together in Washington, D.C. to commemorate the Islamist terror attacks of September 11, 2001.

     What is most interesting about the photo however, is that one of the participants and several of the audience members had hijabs (an Islamic hair covering for women) hand-drawn on to cover their hair, in keeping with the fundamentalist Muslim belief that women's hair should not be seen in public.

     This crude photo re-touching caused CAIR to suffer well-founded ridicule.  However, is there something here that holds a deeper, more sinister implication for North America? 

     Let’s consider:

     CAIR self-describes as a “Muslim Civil Rights Group”, but what kind of civil rights group fails to respect the diversity of its own members by imposing a dress code that not all members may adhere to? 

     What about the “civil rights” of those Muslims who do not want to wear the flowing robes or the hair covering?  Are they not deserving of CAIR’s support?  As the photo incident suggests, apparently not.  Doesn’t this suggest that a Muslim woman who chooses not to wear the head covering is not welcome at CAIR?

     Are Muslim women free to wear/not wear the hijab while employed by CAIR?  How many female CAIR employee’s do not wear the hijab?  Are CAIR members interested enough to investigate and find out if female CAIR employee’s are being forced to wear the hijab at work?  And what does this tell us about the work climate at CAIR; about how CAIR’s leadership views female Muslims?  How many female Muslims are in true leadership positions at CAIR?  Does this percentage accurately reflect the number of female Muslims in North America?

     Sounds to us like CAIR has some ‘splaining to do…and a few courses in diversity and tolerance might do some good as well. 

     Could it be that CAIR is presenting itself as something it is not and is perpetrating a fraud on its membership?

     In a scene straight out of George Orwell’s “1984”, CAIR is serving as the “Ministry of Truth” and is re-writing history it finds inconvenient.  However, this is not fiction; this is the truth and this event tells us a lot about the mind-set of CAIR’s leadership. 

     The question is:

     Do moderate Muslims really want this group of fundamentalist-Islamists as their public face?  Do they believe altering photos to impose the hijab is appropriate?  Do they believe this kind of deceit is acceptable?

     If not, what are they going to do about it?

     Tolerance, diversity…the cornerstones of legitimate “Civil Rights Groups”.  These are two standards apparently missing from CAIR, North America’s premier “Muslim Civil Rights Group”...

Andrew Whitehead

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