In April 2008, Omer Subhani, then-communications director of CAIR-Florida, stated: “[I]f any CAIR officials have done any wrong doing then they should be punished. … If they have done wrong then our government should go after them.” Less than two months later, the United States Justice Department named CAIR (Council on American-Islamic Relations) as a co-conspirator in a federal terrorism trial dealing with the financing of millions of dollars to Hamas.
In January, Fox News reported that the FBI had “severed its ties” with all CAIR chapters. Now, Parvez Ahmed, the former national chairman of CAIR’s board of directors, has come out with his own thoughts on punishment for the group. Ahmed served as CAIR’s national chairman from May 2005 until his resignation in June 2008. His departure was not without controversy and his parting words were not complimentary. In an interview with the Florida Times-Union, Ahmed said he became “a little burned out pushing so hard” for CAIR to be more “open and transparent.”
Ahmed’s time away from CAIR hasn’t stopped the FBI from considering him a person of interest. Following the Fox News report, the intelligence agency paid Ahmed a visit. In an article he wrote for the Fayeteville Observer, Ahmed stated, “I was surprised to see an FBI agent stop by my office in Jacksonville, seeking reasons for my resignation as CAIR chairman.”
Ahmed’s departure came shortly before the federal retrial against the Hamas charity, the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development (HLF). The Justice Department named CAIR a co-conspirator. This no doubt could have triggered the FBI inquiry. During the first HLF trial, a number of documents were released implicating CAIR. Given this fact, it is curious why Ahmed would pose a challenge to the government regarding CAIR’s “terrorist ties.”
Ahmed wrote in the Observer piece, “If CAIR has ‘terrorist ties,’ as Reps. Sue Myrick and Patrick McHenry of North Carolina and Paul Broun of Georgia claim it does, then the FBI should not be ‘limiting’ contact with CAIR, but rather should shut the organization down.” He then made a similar statement in an article he penned for the Huffington Post: “If CAIR has ‘terrorist ties’ as some members of Congress claim then the FBI should shut CAIR down.” If the government were to take Ahmed’s challenge seriously, CAIR would no longer exist.