It has been a while since I have paid much attention to the antics of local leading Islamists here in Phoenix. But last month’s fundraiser on November 3rd for the local chapter of the Council on American Islamic Relations-Arizona demonstrated the deep-seated pathology and duplicity of this so-called “leading American Muslim civil rights organization.” It appears that staging opportunities to embarrass the American justice system and its leadership is also turning into the modus operandi for this self-described “representative of Arizona Muslims.” Their recent local fundraiser and manipulation of respected American government leaders is simply one more of a long line of indicators of how much of a liability CAIR is to the respect and standing of the American Muslim community.
At this year’s 6th annual chapter fundraising dinner, the chapter organizers led by Mohammed El-Sharkawy and his Board of Directors decided to invite Phoenix’s Special Agent in-Charge (SAC) of the FBI and his Assistant SAC in order to present the SAC with an “award” for his service to the Muslim community. The award presentation was set to occur at the end of the program after all the speeches and fundraising. The keynote address was given by none other than Eric Vickers. Mr. Vickers was brought in as “an American Muslim leader on civil rights and the Justice Department” practicing law in St. Louis. One could assume that Mr. Mohammed Hanoud, the CAIR-AZ Civil rights coordinator and others at the local CAIR office made the connection with Mr. Vickers and that they must travel in the same streams of thought.
As a little background, Mr. Vickers came to prominence in 2002 as the executive director of the American Muslim Council, taking over for Abdulrahman Alamoudi after Mr. Alamoudi was arrested in London carrying a bag of $340,000 cash given to him by the Libyan government for assistance in a plot to assassinate King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia. Mr. Alamoudi is now serving 23 years in a federal prison after pleading guilty. Mr. Vickers took over after Alamoudi’s departure to prison and oversaw the slow disappearance of the AMC. Mr. Vickers also interestingly has had his license to practice law suspended in 1999 and again in 2002 after “a number of clients complained about shoddy work,” according to the St. Louis Daily Record.
Mr. Vickers appears to have been reincarnated after years of disappearance in the national Islamist movement. He was identified as representing the American Muslim Council last week on the “O’Reilly Factor “(video) on Fox News. The American Muslim Council site and organization appears to be also resurrected on the web. On O’Reilly, he waxed denial and offered apologies about the significance to the threat of Islamism of the case of the British teacher imprisoned for allowing a Sudanese student to name the class teddy bear Mohammed. In the interview, Mr. Vickers couldn’t even find time to articulate a firm criticism of the oppressive nature of Islamist blasphemy laws and the so-called Islamic nations which enforce them. To read the transcript of his speech at the CAIR fundraiser and then listen to his response to the Sudanese incident and riots asking for the beheading of the teacher, one can’t help but notice a profound hypocrisy. CAIR-AZ, in a premeditated fashion, chose to bring on this loose cannon with a checkered past to give the keynote address in front of local government leadership. This speaks volumes to the agenda of the local CAIR chapter and, by extension, CAIR national.
Mr. Vickers’ speech at the CAIR dinner (with a partial transcript available here) is a classic diatribe of deception often employed by Islamists and their propagandists.
Mr. Eric Vickers: “I want to really [audio cut] CAIR has been on the frontline for well over a decade now and it has done so under a great deal of criticism. It has done so with many enemies out there trying to undermine it. It is like the southern Christian Leadership Conference that Martin Luther King headed up and we talked about.[audio cut] existed since 9/11— this nightmare that we as Muslim Americans have had to deal with. This nightmare of us having to be rounded up by the FBI and the Justice Department. To be questioned with questions and bring fear into us and our families. We have had to face having to [cut out]….about terrorism and Islamophobia. All these negative things we have had to endure, but things are beginning to turn. Two weeks ago in Dallas something very historic event happened. The United States government, the Justice Department, Our Justice Department, Our FBI targeted…[cut out… then loud applause and chanting of takbir (Allahu Akbar—God is great by the audience present]. A couple years before that in Florida, in another case that the Justice Department and ICE. A case that chose Sami Alarian- in Florida. A case that chose him and three others in Florida…[cut out]. Not a single conviction. Not a single conviction. In all these cases , there [cut out]…..What jurors are told is that the government is going to come in with all kind of evidence with all kind of witnesses, but you have to use your common sense. You have to look through the evidence that is presented and not be biased. You are expected to do so for any people in this country. [applause]
What unmitigated temerity! Mr. Vickers, a Missouri lawyer, with a repeatedly suspended law license and even a history of jail time for refusing to appear in court in his role as an East St. Louis city attorney, presented a speech riddled with false and fabricated allegations about the Justice Department. On top of that, he presented this kind of intellectual trash punctuated with a revival meeting type chanting in front of our local respected SAC and his deputy. Note also that leadership from the local Police Departments was present.
No convictions -- Mr. Vickers? You are ashamed of “your Justice Department,” “your FBI?” Perhaps, Mr. Vickers, if you would get off your anti-American demagoguery and Islamist fantasies, you would realize that the Justice department is trying to do what Muslim leaders have entirely abrogated to them – the cleaning out of corruption in the Muslim community and the associated ideological battle against Wahhabism, Salafism, and militant Islamism – the root causes of Islamist terror? But individuals like Mr. Vickers and clearly, organizations like CAIR, prefer to malign the DOJ and enable Islamism and its networks.
Mr. Vickers is most well known for distributing a memorandum from the AMC in 2003 stating that the 2003 Space Shuttle Columbia disaster was an act of God for divine retribution against the state of Israel. He received the following repudiation from Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY):
It is unthinkable that any American would take such perverse pleasure in a tragedy that so greatly affects not only the people of the United States, but also the people of India and Israel, and which has drawn expressions of sympathy and solidarity from leaders around the world. Moreover, to presume that a divine purpose reflects one's own hateful feelings toward the Jewish People is insulting to all people of faith and good will.
Mr. Vickers also stated on MSNBC’s “Hardball with Chris Matthews on June 27, 2002 that al Qaeda was "involved in a resistance movement."
Perhaps if Mr. Vickers wasn’t so duplicitously focused on false victimization issues, he would have not associated directly with an organization whose director committed high crimes befitting terror networks which threaten American security. No convictions, Mr. Vickers? Mr. Alamoudi is pled guilty and is serving hard time. In fact, he is intentionally deceptive about Mr. Al-Arian (as he has been in print). Mr. Al-Arian was certainly convicted. The Holy Land Foundation trial did not end in exoneration by 12 saviors of the justice system as he implies, but it ended in a mistrial and was chock full of extraordinarily troubling information about various Muslim organizations in America – all of which he must dangerously dismiss as either fabricated or of little significance.
To the credit of SAC Lewis, realizing the hostile environment, he apparently left at the earliest opportunity after Mr. Vickers’ audacious diatribe on behalf of CAIR-AZ. Later when the CAIR emcee called upon him to present his award, she stated,
CAIR Emcee: “CAIR would also like to recognize Phoenix FBI SAC John Lewis. Mr. Lewis has spent countless nights conducting information sessions for Muslims throughout the Valley and has answered questions about everything from immigration to personal safety. If Mr. Lewis could please come to the stage.” “Mr. Lewis” [NOT PRESENT] “Mr. Lewis has left. But he makes this a better place to live for all of us.”
Could the CAIR-AZ leadership of Mr. Sharkawy, Mr. Hanoud and their operatives really claim ignorance about Mr. Vickers’ background, his Islamist ideology, and his speech? It takes but a few minutes on the net to realize the pathology of Mr. Vickers’ venom and background. But they still invited him. Identified on the “O’Reilly Factor” as being affiliated with the American Muslim Council last week, why would an organization looking out for the best interests of America and Muslims invite a director with such a malignant track record defending Islamists, espousing radical ideas, and leading an organization who’s former leader is doing hard time for crimes directly related to the War on Terror? Obviously, CAIR is focused on the best interests of Islamists.
The only explanation is that this was another “opportunity” to hit home the victimization mantra while the captive audience of local FBI and police leadership sat and listened. What better way to ensure their attendance than giving the SAC an award? All this took place at the expense of the respect of the Muslim community in the Valley, with those defending and preserving our Homeland security.
The gig is finally up for the local CAIR chapter on their Islamist methods with their tired use of civil rights setups.
Similarly, the flying imams lawsuit also began with a similar strategic process to exploit the legal process (lawfare) to distract America. Mr Ahmed Shqeirat, the lead local flying imam in the case, actually emceed the fundraising portion of the fundraising dinner and profusely thanked Mr. Vickers for his speech and leadership. This recent exposé discusses the latest update on the case. Birds of a feather and all that.
Hassan Abujihad is on trial in a Connecticut federal courtroom this year on terrorism and espionage charges. CAIR-AZ has still not had to answer for their public relations campaign to defend Mr. Abujihad when he was first accused in 2004. The CAIR-AZ executive director at the time, Deedra Abboud, jumped at the opportunity to act as spokeswoman for the accused: Abujihaad, who was arrested for providing aid and comfort to our enemies.
Abujihaad, was a U.S. Postal Service employee in 2004. CAIR-AZ’s Abboud said he was “scared he might get picked up for something he can’t imagine being a part of.” Abboud, who is now the executive director of the local Arizona chapter of the Islamist Muslim American Society, made numerous comments to the media echoing Abujihaad’s denials of his connection to the classified information found in Babar Ahmed’s possession in 2004. Abboud remarked to the LA Times that Abujihaad had been a “target of surveillance” and that “he does not feel that he made any anti-American statements… perhaps he may have disagreed with some policies.” These comments are quite bizarre in light of the publicized sickening and treasonous communications from Abujihaad while on the ship.
Clearly this organization, CAIR, and its chapters are actually trying to create division between “their” Muslim membership and the United States Government. They are more concerned about victimology than with preserving American security.
With friends like these, the U.S. government would do well to stay far away from organizations that repeatedly prove their mission to be entirely unrelated to American security and far more closely related to Islamism’s transnational goals. The silver lining, if there is one, is that these tactics are not going unnoticed by the majority of Americans and especially the yet-unaffiliated American Muslim.
Our local SAC acted in exemplary fashion by departing the Islamist revival meeting in haste. I surely doubt that opportunity will never present itself to CAIR again. CAIR and its Arizona chapter are doing American Muslims no favors in our relationship with the leadership of the United States Government and their impression of the engagement, the role, and the personal responsibility of American Muslims in leading the fight against militant Islamists.
When will the rest of the American Muslim community wake up to how many steps backward this organization continues to take us as a faith community and in our responsibilities as citizens engaged in cooperation with homeland security? With friends like these…
Now the more difficult issue remains: how to motivate the non-Islamist Muslims to join the effort against the root cause of terrorism – political Islam and its motivations and marginalize the Islamist organizations like CAIR with motives and methodology contrary to American interests and security.