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Opinion Editorials, April 18, 2009


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Peter King Demands Targeting Mosques, Complaints of FBI Spying on Muslim Americans

Verse: Rally to a Good Cause

CAIR: Officials Asked to Repudiate NY Rep’s Anti-Muslim Remarks

CAIR Video: Michigan Islamic Group Says FBI Trying to Recruit Spies

CAIR Audio: Mich. Group Claims FBI Recruiting Muslim Spies

Michigan Muslims Request a Probe of FBI (Detroit News)

FL: Acquitted Muslim Vows to Fight Deportation (Tampa Trib)

MN: Ellison on Bachmann Imam Flap: ‘Psycho Talk’



“Whoever rallies to a good cause shall have a share in its blessings; and whoever rallies to an evil cause shall be answerable for his part in it.”

The Noble Quran, 4:85



Rep. Peter King falsely states that ‘few Muslims come forward to cooperate with the police’

(NEW YORK, N.Y., 4/17/2009) - The New York chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-NY) today called on American Muslims and all people of conscience to urge their elected representatives to repudiate Rep. Peter King’s (R-NY) bigoted response to a Department of Homeland Security (DHS) report released earlier this week about the rising threat of right-wing extremism.

In interview on MSNBC, Rep. King stated in part: “[Napolitano] has never put out a report talking about look out for mosques. Look out for Islamic terrorists in our country. Look out for the fact that very few Muslims come forward to cooperate with the police. If they sent out a report saying that, there would be hell to pay.”

SEE: Republican Rep. Peter King: DHS Should Be Targeting Mosques

“We urge elected representatives to distance themselves from King’s bigoted remarks,” said CAIR-NY Community Affairs Director Faiza N. Ali. “Sweeping generalizations about Muslims and mosques have no place in serious national security discourse.”

Ali said King's assertions are directly contradicted by FBI Director Robert Mueller, who on April 23, 2008,told theU.S. House Judiciary Committee: “And every opportunity I have, I re-affirm the fact that 99.9 percent of Muslim-Americans or Sikh-Americans, Arab-Americans are every bit as patriotic as anybody else in this room, and that many of our cases are a result of the cooperation from the Muslim community in the United States.”

At a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on March 25, 2009, Director Mueller said the Muslim community “has been tremendously supportive and worked very closely with [the FBI] in a number of instances around the country.”

Ali said King has a long history of rhetorical hostility toward the American Muslim community. He has stated that there are “too many mosques in this country” and has endorsed racial and religious profiling.

SEE: King Endorses Ethnic Profiling

Ali also said: “Muslims will continue to work with law enforcement authorities to take proactive measures to keep our homeland both safe and free.”

She recently coauthored a critique, entitled “Counterterrorism Policy: MACLC’s Critique of the NYPD’s Report on Homegrown Radicalism,” as part of a New York-based Muslim coalition effort to provide a Muslim perspective on law enforcement strategy and decision-making. SEE: Muslim American Civil Liberties Coalition

Click here to watch the video.

The Council of Islamic Organizations of Michigan is asking U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder to investigate complaints that claim the FBI is spying on Islamic leaders and congregations.

Last week, the organization sent a letter to Holder stating that members of the community have been approached and asked to monitor certain individuals attending mosque. Members say they also have been asked to monitor the donations made by those same individuals.

Dawud Walid, the executive director of the Michigan chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations says complaints grew after the FBI reportedly planted an informant in a mosque in Southern California. (More)


Click here to listen to the audio.

--- MICHIGAN MUSLIMS REQUEST A PROBE OF FBI - TOP Feds after informants on local mosques, say members of coalition Gregg Krupa, Detroit News, 4/17/09

A coalition of Muslim organizations asked U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder on Thursday to investigate complaints that the FBI is approaching local Muslims, asking them to inform on Islamic congregations in Metro Detroit.

Muslim leaders in Michigan and across the country say members of mosques are frequently asked to provide information about activities in their communities.

"We seek to ensure that our country is secure from all threats regardless of the source, but we take exception to community members being asked to spy on law-abiding Americans exercising the constitutional rights of freedom of speech, freedom of religion and freedom of assembly," said Victor Ghalib Begg, chairman of the Council of Islamic Organizations of Michigan, a group that represents mosques and other Michigan Muslim organizations. (More)

----- MEGAHED VOWS TO FIGHT DEPORTATION - TOP Elaine Silvestrini, Tampa Tribune, 4/17/09

Youssef Megahed plans to fight "to the end" the government's efforts to deport him as a terrorist, his father said.

Megahed, who was born in Egypt but is a legal, permanent resident of the United States, was arrested by immigration agents April 6, three days after a federal jury acquitted him of criminal explosives charges.

In an e-mail Thursday to The Tampa Tribune, Samir Megahed described his son's account of an immigration court hearing Tuesday in Miami.

"It lasted for only a few minutes and the government asked the judge to delay the hearing for two weeks because they are not ready," Samir Megahed wrote.

He said the government's request surprised his son because "after two years of investigation, they still need more time to prepare for the case."

Youssef Megahed also asked for a delay to allow him to hire an attorney, and asked the judge to set bail. The judge said that could be considered at the hearing, Samir Megahed said.

Youssef Megahed was provided with a copy of his green card, which expires in 2017, and his application for U.S. citizenship, dated July 17, 2007, about three weeks before his Aug. 4, 2007, arrest in South Carolina. (More)

----- MN: ELLISON ON BACHMANN IMAM FLAP: ‘PSYCHO TALK’ - TOP Andy Birkey, Minnesota Independent, 4/16/09

bachmann2Rep. Keith Ellison responded to a statement made by Rep. Michele Bachmann last week, when she said the so-called “flying imams” visited Minneapolis in 2006 to attend his election victory party.

Ellison, the first Muslim elected to Congress, appeared on the Ed Schultz Show on MSNBC to refute her claim.

“This is not true,” Ellison told Schultz. “I think it could even be called psycho talk.”

The segment Ellison appeared on was called “Psycho Talk.” Schultz said it was Bachmann’s second appearance since the show debuted less than two weeks ago.

Here’s the full clip.

CAIR is America's largest Muslim civil liberties group and has 35 offices and chapters nationwide and in Canada. Its mission is to enhance the understanding of Islam, protect civil liberties, and empower American Muslims.




The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said: “For every day on which the sun rises there is a (reward) for those who establish justice among people."

Sahih Al-Bukhari, Volume 3, Hadith 870


CIOM Asks AG to Probe Violation of the ‘Constitutional Rights’ of Mosque Congregants by FBI

(WARREN, MI, 4/16/09) - The Council of Islamic Organizations of Michigan (CIOM) today asks US Attorney General Eric Holder to launch an investigation into complaints that Michigan Muslims are being approached to spy on activities of Muslim congregations by the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI). Through coercion of certain members of congregations, the FBI is reportedly promoting entrapment of innocent, law-abiding citizens in otherwise peaceful houses of worship.

CIOM is an umbrella organization of mosques and Islamic organizations within the state of Michigan. Its mission is to facilitate and coordinate communications and key initiatives for Michigan's Islamic organizations; provide effective advocacy on critical social justice issues impacting American-Muslims; establish and maintain productive collaborative relationships with government, civic, legal, interfaith, social, and media organizations; and educate fellow Americans about Islam as a religion and a way of life, Muslim cultures and traditions, and critical issues and challenges facing American Muslims as well as Muslims in other parts of the world.

“We seek to ensure that our country is secure from all threats regardless of the source, but we take exception to community members being asked to spy on law-abiding Americans exercising the constitutional rights of freedom of speech, freedom of religion and freedom of assembly,” said CIOM Chair Victor Ghalib Begg. “We call on Attorney General Holder to launch an investigation into the current methods used by the FBI, targeting entire Islamic congregations, which we believe are misdirected and un-American.”

The Michigan chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-MI), which is a CIOM member, has received complaints that the FBI has approached Michigan Muslims, asking them to spy on unsuspecting worshippers including monitoring their legitimate charitable donations.

Through civic and political engagement and the promotion of dialogue with interfaith leaders and law enforcement agencies, Muslim Americans have been a key, positive and stabilizing force since 9/11, in keeping our nation safe and secure from acts of violence and foreign threats. CIOM believes misdirected policies of our law enforcement agencies will lead the Muslim-American community to be fearful, distrust its Government and be less-cooperative and productive in helping agencies like FBI in its important counter-terrorism efforts. As a member organization, CIOM is appreciative of initiatives such as the “Bridges” forum, organized by the Homeland Security, but current FBI policies will make such efforts less fruitful.

Civil rights advocates have raised serious concerns in recent years that the FBI has been involved in “fishing expeditions” of entire congregations and organizations simply because of their religious/political views, with no justification or proof of any criminal activity. ACLU-Michigan in 2004 raised similar concerns about FBI targeting religious institutions in Michigan.

“Law enforcement’s time and resources should be spent on keeping us safe, not spying on people based on their religious and political beliefs,” said ACLU-Michigan Executive Director Kary Moss.

SEE: ACLU of Michigan Nationwide Effort to Expose FBI Spying on Law-Abiding Religious Groups

Prominent American Muslim organizations have recently raised similar concerns of the use of agent-provocateurs to entrap worshippers including youth in Southern California.

SEE: Man Says He Was Informant for FBI in Orange County (LA Times)
SEE: FBI Director Questioned About Muslim Relations (In Focus News)

CONTACT: CIOM Chair Victor Ghalib Begg, 586-808-2864, Cell


Gregg Krupa, Detroit News, 4/16/09

A coalition of Muslim organizations is asking U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder today to investigate complaints that the FBI is approaching local Muslims and asking them to inform on Islamic congregations in Metro Detroit.

Muslim leaders in Michigan and across the country say members of mosques are frequently approached and asked to provide information about activities in their communities.

"We seek to ensure that our country is secure from all threats regardless of the source, but we take exception to community members being asked to spy on law-abiding Americans exercising the constitutional rights of freedom of speech, freedom of religion and freedom of assembly," said Victor Ghalib Begg, chairman of the Council of Islamic Organizations of Michigan, a group that represents mosques and other Muslim organizations in Michigan. (More)


Jeff Karoub, Associated Press, 4/16/09


Dawud Walid, executive director of the Michigan chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, said such complaints aren't new, but concerns grew after a recent revelation the FBI planted a spy in a Southern California mosque…

"If there was a specific imam who they felt was telling people to support Osama bin Laden, that's a different story -- we wouldn't have a problem with that," he said. "Community members would be the first people to report to federal law enforcement if such things were being said." (More)


Suraj Sazawal, OBM Watch, 4/15/09

Months of deteriorating relationships between the FBI and major American Muslim organizations came to a head when revelations of a FBI informant posing as a convert in mosques became public in February 2009. The incident, combined with the FBI's disengagement from communications with the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), has lead several American Muslim advocacy groups to consider a suspension of ongoing outreach with the FBI. The growing tension was raised during a Senate hearing where FBI Director Robert Mueller was questioned about the Bureau's conduct about investigating Muslim organizations.

Alleged FBI Informant at California Mosques

The activities of undercover FBI agents at California mosques were discovered during the February 2009 detention hearing of Ahmadullah Sais Niazi, a naturalized US citizen from Afghanistan, who is charged with making false statements to obtain his citizenship. According to Niazi, he was arrested because he refused to conduct secret spying operations on other worshippers for an FBI agent. Niazi said the agent told him to cooperate or the FBI would make his life a "living hell".

During the detention hearing, Thomas Ropel, an FBI special agent, testified that an informant had gone undercover at Niazi's mosque. It was later learned through media interviews that Craig Monteilh, a California resident with an extensive criminal background, admitted to having been the paid FBI informant. Monteilh, behaving as a recent convert to Islam, reportedly espoused a violent ideology with members of mosques across southern California. He claims to have recorded thousands of hours of conversations "between Muslims in their homes, restaurants and mosques in southern California." The FBI would neither confirm nor deny that Monteilh was used to spy on California mosques.

Monteilh's spying ended after Niazi and other members of the Islamic Centre of Irvine grew suspicious of him and contacted the authorities asking for a restraining order against him. The FBI then began to investigate Niazi and sought his services as an informant, according to the American Muslim Taskforce on Civil Rights and Elections, which has formally filed a complaint with the FBI. His refusal led to his arrest on immigration issues. Niazi has pleaded not guilty to the charges. The spying has resulted in a "chilling effect" on worshippers at mosques and their donations. Many Muslims have decided to avoid attending public services and several mosques have reported a decline in zakat donations. (More)


The Council on American-Islamic Relations is calling for universities to provide legal help for students.
Ibrahim Hirsi, MN Daily, 4/15/09

The disappearances of young Somali men from Minneapolis, including two students from the University of Minnesota, have resulted in numerous students being questioned by the FBI, both on and off campus.

The federal agents have been visiting students in high schools, colleges and the University for information about the missing Somali men.

The Council on American-Islamic Relations is calling on colleges to provide more legal help for students and also says students have been approached by the FBI while walking to class and in the library. Students have also received calls from investigators. (More)


Matt Coker, OC Weekly, 4/15/09

The National Lawyers Guild--last seen in Clockwork four hours ago in relation to a debate it is hosting at Chapman University concerning visiting professor John Yoo signing off on torture while advising the Bush White House--is doing some signing off of its own. It's joined the 44 groups that have signed a statement blasting the FBI for recent incidents involving the use of informants and spying on Islamic mosques.

The issue came to a head in February following the high-profile, self-outing of such an informant who admitted spying on the Islamic Center of Irvine. That case, other spying reports and the rocky relations between the FBI and the Muslim American advocacy group the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) prompted a coalition known as the American Muslim Taskforce on Civil Rights and Elections (AMT) to issue a statement in March saying that it is considering suspending outreach relations with the FBI. That, in turn, caused Members of Congress to grill FBI Director Robert Mueller about the bureau's use of informants and soured relations with American Muslims.

Besides the National Lawyers Guild, the new signatories include: the Colorado Muslim Council, the Muslim Consultative Network and the Islamic Shura Council of Southern California (ISCSC), which represents dozens of Southern California mosques and Muslim organizations. "Trust is a cornerstone of human society and is the basis of all relationships," said Muzammil Siddiqi, ISCSC chairman. "I urge President Obama to preserve it for the good of America and all people." (More)



Forum on National Security, Rule of Law & Torture ~ Saturday, April 18th, 10:00 AM - 2:00 PM ~ The Torture Memos of John Yoo ~ Chapman University Law School, Orange

Forum on National Security, Rule of Law & Torture:
The Torture Memos of John Yoo

WHEN: Saturday, April 18th, 10 a.m. - 2 p.m.
WHERE: Chapman University Law School, Kennedy Hall, Rooms 237 A&B, 370 N. Glassell, Orange, CA

Speakers Include:

  • Larry Everest, Author of "Oil, Power & Empire" & writer for Revolution newspaper.
  • Ann Fagan Ginger, President, Meiklejohn Civil Liberties Institute.
  • Tim Goodrich, Iraq Veterans Against the War.
  • Ameena Qazi, Staff attorney, Council on American-Islamic Relations.
  • Katherine Darmer, Professor of Law, Chapman University.
  • MC Michael Slate, Host of KPFK’s Tuesday edition of Beneath the Surface.

Hosted by the National Lawyers Guild Chapman Student Chapter

John Yoo, architect of the torture memos under the Bush Regime, is a visiting professor at Chapman U Law School. Hear from experts in various fields about the crimes he has committed, why this continues to be conducted by the U.S. government, and what we must do to stop it.

Contact: or 949-257-8501 for more information.


Report urges review of military strategy when targeting urban areas
Kim Sengupta, The Independent, 4/16/09

Air strikes and artillery barrages have taken a heavy toll among the most vulnerable of the Iraqi people, with children and women forming a disproportionate number of the dead.

Analysis carried out for the research group Iraq Body Count (IBC) found that 39 per cent of those killed in air raids by the US-led coalition were children and 46 per cent were women. Fatalities caused by mortars, used by American and Iraqi government forces as well as insurgents, were 42 per cent children and 44 per cent women.

Twelve per cent of those killed by suicide bombings, mainly the tool of militant Sunni groups, were children and 16 per cent were females. One in five (21 per cent) of those killed by car bombs, used by both Shia and Sunni fighters, was a child; one in four (28 per cent) was a woman.

The figures, compiled by academics at King’s College and Royal Holloway, University of London, show that hi-tech weaponry has caused lethal damage to those in the population who would be furthest away from the conflict. (More)


Under Obama Administration, Offending Officers Continue to Serve, Promoted
Harper’s Magazine, 4/16/09

The May issue of Harper's Magazine ( reveals the continued practice of Christian evangelical proselytization in the American military and a lack of recourse within the Obama administration, according to a leading civil rights watchdog group prominently featured in the magazine's cover story.

The Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF: and its founder and president Mikey Weinstein were profiled by Jeff Sharlet in his piece for Harper's Magazine, “Jesus Killed Mohammed: The Crusade for a Christian Military.” Mr. Weinstein is the nation's leading advocate for the protection of individual soldiers' constitutional rights to religious freedom and a frequent critic of the U.S. military hierarchy's blind eye to efforts to evolve the nation's military into a modern day band of Christian crusaders…

The following are examples of evangelical proselytization practices detailed in the Harper's Magazine cover story:

An Easter Sunday raid on Iraqi insurgents in 2004. Special Forces Officers, inspired by a showing of Mel Gibson's The Passion of the Christ, wrote the words “Jesus Killed Mohammed” in Arabic on their Bradley Fighting Vehicle and shouted the saying in both English and Arabic to entice Muslim soldiers into the open before embarking on an attack to put down the insurgency. (More)



CAIR-NY Community Affairs Director Faiza N. Ali, 212-870-2002, 718-724-3041,;

CAIR-NY Civil Rights Director Aliya Latif, 212-870-2002, 732-429-4268,;

CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-488-8787 or 202-744-7726,


CAIR Communications Coordinator Amina Rubin, 202-488-8787 or 202-341-4171,

 E-Mail: -----






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