New York Times Describes CAIR as ‘Civil Rights Group’
A long New York Times feature article and photo essay about “American Muslims and Their Guns” describes the Council on American-Islamic Relations as “a national civil rights group.”
That’s biased language. It’d be more accurate to call the organization an advocacy group, or to omit the description. The same Times article, demonstrating a double standard, refers to the National Rifle Association without describing the NRA as a “civil rights group,” even though the NRA exists in part to defend the Second Amendment right to bear arms.
“Civil rights” are something that everyone is supposed to be for. If you oppose them, it probably makes you a racist or something else terrible. The civil rights movement was a heroic example of America at its best.
CAIR, though, has its critics. A few days after the Times article, Mosaic described the organization as “dangerous,” referencing its “longstanding ties to Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood.” A search of the CAIR website turns up a 2014 press release from the Connecticut chapter “calling on state officials to sever financial ties with Israel and stop investing in Israel companies and bonds.” A 2004 CAIR national press release condemned Israel for killing Sheikh Ahmed Yassin. CAIR described Yassin as a “Palestinian Muslim religious leader.” The Times itself, at the time of Yassin’s death, quoted the Israeli government as saying Yassin, a leader and founder of Hamas, had been “responsible for numerous murderous terror attacks, resulting in the deaths of many civilians, both Israeli and foreign.”
If you defend Jew-killers and call for boycotting Israel, the Times calls you a civil rights group. What about the civil rights of the Israelis? The Times doesn’t seem to think they count, at least when it comes to defining CAIR as a “civil rights group.”
More of Ira Stoll’s media critique, a regular Algemeiner feature, can be found here.