Response to Attacks on CAIR-PA Banquet and Congressman Pat Meehan

“CAIR is an Islamic group that forwards the false belief that Islam is a ‘religion of peace’ when it is simply a terroristic world-dominating political movement and not a religion at all.”

“The City of Chester is full of black people who have fallen for the scam of Islam.”

The above statements are from Aaron Proctor, an amateur fear-monger working to make a name for himself in Delaware County after the state of California rejected him.  It is refreshing that the Inquirer does not view incoherent ramblings on a blog as worthy of print news.  It is troubling that Congressman Pat Meehan feels such ramblings merit an official response.

Any reasonable person understands that saying a global religion and its followers are nothing but terrorists is pure bigotry and hate speech, and that is who Mr. Proctor is, a bigot who has found an audience, the Valley Forge Patriots and many others, for his hate speech.

Mr. Proctor’s speech is eerily similar to those who have committed hate crimes against Muslim Americans in recent months.  As a precaution, CAIR-Philadelphia will be notifying local police of the possibility that Mr. Proctor and others will be a security threat to our annual banquet.  We are particularly concerned as many families with children plan to attend.  We appreciate that he has provided a picture on

With nearly 1,000 attendees, the CAIR-Philadelphia banquet is the largest gathering of Muslim Americans and people of all faiths in Pennsylvania outside major holidays.  People come to celebrate their participation in democracy, to hear from local leaders, shake hands with elected officials and to celebrate the accomplishments of CAIR-Philadelphia, a civil rights advocacy organization they are proud to claim as one of their own.  This is not an isolated event, but a major annual undertaking that the entire Philadelphia Muslim community appreciates – a key reason CAIR-Philadelphia is so successful.  100% of our funds come from local supporters and we are proud of our grassroots credibility.

Regarding Congressman Pat Meehan, it is an unfortunate reflection of today’s political climate that he chose to issue a statement attacking CAIR without ever speaking to us.  We would like to ask him why he was so moved to act by a hate-monger.  Rep. Meehan, do you agree that Islam is a “terroristic world-dominating political movement and not a religion at all?”  If Islam is terroristic, then do you believe that your own Muslim constituents in Delaware County are all terrorists?  We hope you respond to those questions as swiftly as you responded to Mr. Proctor.

CAIR’s advocacy model is a shining example of Muslim American civic participation. Our track record of success speaks for itself.

Judge an organization by its actions and deeds, not internet rumors and mythology:

See here for more about CAIR’s consistent and persistent condemnations of terrorism:

Meehan attacks us citing our inclusion on an “un-indicted coconspirator” list in 2007. Bush administration prosecutors brazenly listed 307, yes over 300, American Muslim organizations and individuals who were among the most outspoken critics of his administration as “unindicted co-conspirators.” Unindicted of course, because there is zero court-admissible evidence to suggest that they are in anyway related to terrorism. As an attorney, Meehan is aware that the UCC designation carries with it no due process or relevance.

Last year, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit found that the U.S. Department of Justice violated the Fifth Amendment rights of the North American Islamic Trust, and by implication the rights of similarly-named Muslim organizations such as CAIR, when it included them on the 2007 publicly-filed “unindicted co-conspirators” list.

CAIR’s standing with the state and federal government is clear. 

Rep. Meehan also attacks one of our speakers, Imam Johari Abdul-Malik, via guilt by association tactics and internet smears.  We offer the following facts to Rep. Meehan.  In late 2010, Imam Johari Abdul-Malik was sent to Afghanistan by the U.S. Department of State as part of a bridge building effort between the United States and Afghans. Also, in 2010 the imam gave an opening invocation at the Virginia state legislature.

With regards to law enforcement, we have always and continue to teach our community, “If you know of any criminal activity taking place in your community, it is both your religious and civic duty to immediately report such activity to local and federal law enforcement agencies.” We also advise them to have legal counsel present when talking to law enforcement. Such advice is constitutionally-based and common for a civil liberties organization to offer.

Immediately after the CAIR national office became aware of the poster Congressman Meehan cites as another concern, the organization issued the following public statement over its e-mail list and later on Fox News: “A 30-year old image that is inconsistent with CAIR’s policy of constitutionally-informed cooperation with law enforcement agencies was placed on the local events page of a CAIR chapter web site. Once it was brought to our attention it was removed. The image was not designed by CAIR and the event it promotes was not organized by CAIR.”

Finally, as a singular example of the kind of information a short conversation would have provided Meehan, we offer this.

The Congressional Research Service (CRS), the body that produces research for Members of Congress, in its report American Jihadist Terrorism: Combating a Complex Threat, related two instances of CAIR reporting potential threats directly to the FBI and other authorities (emphasis added).  One of those cases involving five young men from Virginia is often cited as a model for Muslim Americans reporting threats to authorities.

Finally, CAIR-Philadelphia will not become preoccupied with this circus as we have real, substantive contributions to make and work to do.  We continue planning for our banquet, we expect a great turnout and we look forward to continuing our good work.  Congressman Meehan is welcome to communicate with us at any time.

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