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December 3, 2018 1:54 pm

Why Are Websites Matching Donations for CAIR, When Its Leaders Support Terrorism?

avatar by John Rossomando

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A woman looks at the Facebook logo on an iPad in this photo illustration taken on June 3, 2018. Photo: Reuters / Regis Duvignau / Illustration / File.

The Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) sent out a fundraising email for #GivingTuesday last week, claiming that Facebook and PayPal would match up to $7 million in donations to the group.

“Today is giving Tuesday, a day where you can show your support for the important civil rights and advocacy work that CAIR does every day. Today also, Facebook and PayPal will match up to seven million dollars in donation[s]. So I urge you to support CAIR as much as you can,” CAIR Executive Director Nihad Awad said in a YouTube video linked to in the solicitation.

But Awad’s plea for donations omitted critical fine print. Facebook and PayPal pledged to match $7 million in donations for all non-profits that signed up to participate in the program, not just CAIR. Donations would be paid out directly from Facebook and/or the PayPal Giving Fund, Facebook’s webpage about the fundraiser said.

CAIR set at $150,000 goal for Giving Tuesday, but raised just over 10 percent of that — $15,981.

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Awad is on record supporting Hamas, and more recently has emerged as a strong supporter of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s dictatorship. In addition to imprisoning thousands of dissidents and hundreds of journalists, Israel’s Shin Bet found that Erdogan’s regime gives money to and trains Hamas via a Blackwater-type private military company called SADAT International Defense Consulting. SADAT is run by one of Erdogan’s top military advisers.

IRS forms from the PayPal Giving Fund show that the CAIR San Francisco Bay Area (CAIR SFBA) chapter, run by Zahra Billoo, received $19,237 in 2017 and $6,773 in 2016. The PayPal Giving Fund hosts a donor page for CAIR SFBA where visitors can donate.

But Billoo’s support for Hamas and antisemitic hatred toward “Zionist” Jews is blatant. She repeatedly equates the Israeli Army with ISIS. She also tweeted in November 2014 that “Blaming Hamas for firing rockets at [Apartheid] Israel is like blaming a woman for punching her rapist. #FreePalestine v @KathlynGadd.”

This wasn’t the only time Billoo defended terrorists for firing rockets into Israel. She praised Hezbollah in 2009 for launching rockets. “The ish just hit the fan: http://tinyurl.com/7ctj3a ! AH for Hezbollah having the courage to do what the Arab governments won’t!” she wrote.

By serving as fundraising platforms for CAIR, Facebook and PayPal are funding the sort of hatred that they claimed to oppose when they kicked out right-wing InfoWars conspiracy theorist Alex Jones for “promoting hate” in August and September.

John Rossomando is a senior analyst at The Investigative Project on Terrorism.

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