Friday, September 15, 2006

CAIR's Odd 2005 Rating Of The US Congress

Project Vote Smart has a page from 2005 where CAIR evaluates Congressmen.

According to the page:
"CAIR's mission is to enhance understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding."

The following ratings indicate the degree that each elected official supported the interests of the organization in that year.
My Pet Jawa points out the oddity of the rating given to the Congressmen--they either have a rating of 100...or 0, which implies the rating is based on the results of single vote on a particular issue, which would not make for a particularly in-depth evaluation.

Rob at Say Anything discusses this and finds out what the single issue is that CAIR used as the basis of their rating system: The Real ID Act.

According to Wikipedia:
The REAL ID Act of 2005 is Division B of United States Public Law 109-13 (H.R. 1268). This controversial legislation is claimed to deter terrorism by:
* Establishing national standards for state-issued driver's licenses and non-driver's identification cards;
* Waiving laws that interfere with construction of physical barriers at the borders;
* Updating and tightening the laws on application for asylum and deportation of aliens for terrorist activity;
* Introducing rules covering "delivery bonds" (rather like bail bonds, but for aliens that have been released pending hearings);
* Funding some reports and pilot projects related to border security; and
* Changing visa limits for temporary workers, nurses, and Australians.
It might not be obvious at first glance why CAIR is so opposed to this bill. They actually give 2 reasons.

The bill makes it harder for people fleeing persecution to gain asylum in the U.S. In some cases, it may create a situation where an asylum seeker needs documents from the very government they are fleeing to prove their case.
To me, this does not seem like a whopper of a reason for opposing a bill that is designed to help fight the war on terror. Surely in such a rare case as CAIR is describing special allowances can be made.

But there is the second reason why CAIR opposes the bill:
The bill also states: "An alien who is an officer, official, representative or spokesman of the Palestine Liberation Organization is considered, for purposes of this Act, to be engaged in a terrorist activity." If enacted, this would terminate the current high hopes that the new situation in the Palestinian Territories can lead to a just peace.
Joel Mowbray has written extensively about CAIR and its connection with Keith Ellison, who is aiming to be the first Moslem to be elected to Congress. Mowbray writes about CAIR's less than covincing condemnation of terrorism:
Although CAIR has repeatedly condemned "terrorism," it has pointedly refused invitations to do so by naming specific Islamic terrorist organizations. In November 2001, the Washington Post asked a CAIR spokesman to condemn Hamas or Islamic Jihad. He refused, explaining, "It's not our job to go around denouncing." Given a similar opportunity to denounce Hamas and Hezbollah by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette in February 2002, CAIR spokesman Ibrahim Hooper called such queries a "game," and added, "We're not in the business of condemning."

But for those unfamiliar with the group, CAIR is very much "in the business of condemning"—but only when it comes to TV shows, Israel, or U.S. policy.
Sure enough, CAIR does not consider the PLO--which has killed Americans--to be a terrorist entity.

The only remaining question is how is it that the Real IDT Act was passed into law last year on May 11, 2005--yet Abbas was in the US just 2 weeks later on May 25 seeking American aid.

Probably the same way the US let in Khatami...and

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