Friday, November 13, 2009

Put Aside The Israel Lobby--What About The MUSLIM Lobby?

In CAIR's Inner Workings Exposed, Daniel Pipes writes about Muslim Mafia: Inside the Secret Underworld that's Conspiring to Islamize America, a book by P. David Gaubatz and Paul Sperry, based on the undercover work of Gaubatz's son Chris who in 2008 spent six months as an intern at CAIR's headquarters in Washington, D.C.--during which, he acquired 12,000 pages of documentation and took 300 hours of video.

In his blog, Pipes summarizes some of CAIR's deceptive claims that are revealed in the book:

Claim 1: According to Ibrahim Hooper, the organization's communications director, "CAIR has some 50,000 members." Fact: An internal memo prepared in June 2007 for a staff meeting reports that the organization had precisely 5,133 members, about one-tenth Hooper's exaggerated number.

Claim 2: CAIR is a "grass-roots organization" that depends financially on its members. Fact: According to an internal 2002 board meeting report, the organization received $33,000 in dues and $1,071,000 in donations. In other words, under 3 percent of its income derives from membership dues.

Claim 3: CAIR receives "no support from any overseas group or government." Fact: Gaubatz and Sperry report that 60 percent of CAIR's income derives from two dozen donors, most of whom live outside the United States. Specifically: $978,000 from the ruler of Dubai in 2002 in exchange for controlling interest in its headquarters property on New Jersey Avenue, a $500,000 gift from Saudi prince al-Waleed bin Talal and $112,000 in 2007 from Saudi prince Abdullah bin Mosa'ad, at least $300,000 from the Saudi-based Organization of the Islamic Conference, $250,000 from the Islamic Development Bank, and at least $17,000 from the American office of the Saudi-based International Islamic Relief Organization.

Claim 4: CAIR is an independent, domestic human rights group "similar to a Muslim NAACP." Fact: In a desperate search for funding, CAIR has offered its services to forward the commercial interests of foreign firms. This came to light in the aftermath of Dubai Ports World's failed effort to purchase six U.S. harbors in 2006 due to security fears. In response, CAIR's chairman traveled to Dubai and suggested to businessmen there: "Do not think about your contributions [to CAIR] as donations. Think about it from the perspective of rate of return. The investment of $50 million will give you billions of dollars in return for fifty years."

Read the whole thing.

In addition to CAIR, now it appears that there is another Muslim organization that uses some of the same techniques: National Iranian American Council (NIAC), led by Trita Parsi [who himself is not a Muslim].

In his exclusive article, Iran advocacy group said to skirt lobby rules, Eli Lake writes about aspects of NIAC that are reminiscent of CAIR--least of which is its tendency to exaggerate its numbers:
The organization has between 2,500 and 3,000 members, according to Mr. Parsi, but had fewer than 500 responses to a membership survey conducted last summer, internal documents show. Yet NIAC asserts that it is the largest such group and represents the majority of the nearly 1 million Iranian Americans.
Their description of themselves as merely an advocacy group appears to be similarly exaggerated. When Obama became president, Dennis Ross was likely to become adviser on Iranian policy--and Ross was known to advocate a hard line against Iran. Patrick Disney, acting policy director of NIAC embarked on a strategy that described as "Create a media controversy" around Ross.

"Those groups that feel comfortable being more aggressive in opposing Ross publicly (possibly Voters for Peace, [Friends Committee on National Legislation] , Physicians for Social Responsibility, others) will do so," Mr. Disney wrote in an e-mail obtained by The Washington Times, "while others who may have less latitude on the matter will declare their preference for a more agreeable envoy."

Although Ross was appointed anyway and wound up on the National Security Council, NIAC is emerging as a major voice for negotiating with Iran and lifting U.S. sanctions.

In fact, there are indications that NIAC actually is a lobby:
a lawsuit has brought to light numerous documents that raise questions about whether the organization is using that influence to lobby for policies favorable to Iran in violation of federal law. If so, a number of prominent Washington figures could come to regret their ties to the group.

...Law enforcement experts who reviewed some of the documents, which were made available to The Times by the defendant in the suit, say e-mails between Mr. Parsi and Iran's ambassador to the United Nations at the time, Javad Zarif - and an internal review of the Lobbying Disclosure Act - offer evidence that the group has operated as an undeclared lobby and may be guilty of violating tax laws, the Foreign Agents Registration Act and lobbying disclosure laws.
Furthermore, though Parsi has denied the comparison, in 1999:
Mr. Namazi and Mr. Parsi collaborated on a paper that they delivered at a conference in Cyprus. They described their vision for an organization modeled after the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), the pro-Israel lobby. The paper, among other things, proposed seminars on lobbying for Iranian Americans, based on AIPAC's youth leadership seminars. One of NIAC's first actions was to sponsor similar events.
Read the whole thing.

Not that anyone expects much of an uproar about a 'Muslim Lobby'--especially in light of the general denial that the Fort Hood massacre had anything to do with the fact that the alleged perpetrator was a radical Muslim.

But lobbying by Muslim is a increasingly visible phenomenon, nonetheless.

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