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September 27, 2016 7:13 am

CAIR Leader: 9/11 Bill Part of ‘War on Islam’

avatar by Steven Emerson

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Council on American-Islamic Relations Executive Director Nihad Awad. Photo: YouTube/Screenshot.

Council on American-Islamic Relations Executive Director Nihad Awad. Photo: YouTube/Screenshot.

It might be one of the few things on which Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton agree: President Obama was wrong Friday when he vetoed the “Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act” (JASTA).

The bill, which passed the House of Representatives and Senate, would allow Americans victimized by foreign terrorists to sue countries responsible for the attacks. Specifically, 9/11 victims could sue Saudi Arabia, as 15 of the 19 hijackers who struck the World Trade Center, Pentagon and Flight 93 were Saudis.

But in an interview with the Arabic-language Al Sharq Al Awsat, Council on American-Islamic Relations Executive Director Nihad Awad cast the legislation as an anti-Muslim attack.

The bill “is a continuation of the series of [actions] attaching terrorism to Islamic societies, the Islamic world and Islamic countries, as well as Islamic personalities, since it aims to demonize Islam,” an Investigative Project on Terrorism translation of Awad’s remarks said. “… things have reached the point of attaching the accusation of terrorism against Saudi Arabia, which is the heart of the Muslim world, and accusing it is an accusation of Muslims all over the world.”

He compared the bill to campaigns against mosque construction in the United States, and said that it was motivated by the same ideology that “supports the campaign of Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, saying that those who voted for the resolution in the Congress are those waging war on Islam and they always vote for wars and conflicts, and are exploiting the families of the victims in this crisis.”

Senator Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., co-sponsored and advocated for the bill, which enjoyed bipartisan support. In a statement, he pledged to make this President Obama’s first veto to be over-ridden by Congress.

More importantly, Awad’s description that the bill’s supporters “are those waging war on Islam” is especially dangerous and reckless. This message — that the West is at war against Islam — is considered the most effective at radicalizing Muslims.

CAIR officials used to repeatedly invoke that message, but seemed to have backed away from it in recent years. Awad’s revival was directed at an Arabic-speaking audience.

Former Senator Bob Graham, who served as co-chairman of the Congressional 9/11 inquiry, has long advocated for the release of 28 pages of his committee’s report focusing on the hijackers’ connections to Saudi government officials. Those pages were released in July. In a New York Times oped earlier this month, Graham said that they raise more questions than they answer, and advocated for the release of more investigative material still deemed classified.

His motivation for this campaign, and for supporting JASTA, had nothing to do with Muslims, he explained.

“It can mean justice for the families that have suffered so grievously. It can also mean improving our national security, which has been compromised by the extreme form of Islam that has been promoted by Saudi Arabia,” Graham wrote.

President Obama claims that he vetoed the bill out of concern for unintended consequences — that it might open the door to similar litigation against US military and government officials in other countries and “would neither protect Americans from terrorist attacks nor improve the effectiveness of our response to such attacks.”

Both Trump and Clinton said they would sign the bill if elected president, CNN reported.

Steven Emerson is the Executive Director the Investigative Project on Terrorism ( where this article first appeared.

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  • Ilpalazzo

    Wait.. if they’re actually stating they are ‘at war’, then that means deception/taqqiya is permitted. So we can’t trust them at all!

  • roccolore

    CAIR is a front for Hamas and ISIS.

  • CAIR is doing the propaganda work of The Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas, who Awad has publically declared he supports.

    Islam is and always been at war with non-Muslims.

    [Nihad] Awad [co-founder of CAIR] publicly declared “I am in support of the Hamas movement,” during a March 1994 symposium at Barry University.

  • Ichabod Crain

    “A valiant media voice addressing the most compelling issues of our time, with vision, integrity and moral clarity.” That’s a lie!

  • Ichabod Crain

    “Be the first to comment.” it says, but that’s a lie. I made the first comment, but it was deleted because I spoke the truth that nobody on the left wants to hear. So feel free – be the second to comment. But if you say anything critical about Islam, they will delete your comment too.

  • edlorens

    Do you recall how Obama was bent in half bowing to King of Saudi? In this one picture is the whole answer.Are you surprise that Obama has NO respect in other parts of the world? Obama talks about values, but he is the most un-American president. Muslim, bigot. CAIR is a terrorist organization – we should fight them every time, not entertain in the White House.

  • Ichabod Crain

    The bill “is a continuation of the series of [actions] attaching terrorism to Islamic societies, the Islamic world and Islamic countries, as well as Islamic personalities, since it aims to demonize Islam.”

    Islam does a fine job of demonizing itself. Doesn’t need any help in that department. Just read the endless violent verses in the Quran, and look at the actions of Mr. “I’ve been made victorious through terror” Muhammad himself. He was a warlord who slaughtered thousands, robbed them, raped their wives and daughters, robbed camel caravans… His list of crimes just goes on. You can’t top that with inventing stories.