A former Marine who served in Beirut in 1982-1983 and Iraq in 2003 looks into the camera and declares, “On behalf of myself and my family, we will no longer conduct business at Best Buy.” He cuts his card in half. The Marine joined over 8,000 others who have signed a petition to boycott Best Buy over the company’s financial support for the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), a group tied to the Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas.
The federal government designated CAIR as an “unindicted co-conspirator” in the trial of the Holy Land Foundation, a charity discovered to be a front for Hamas. CAIR’s name appears on a list of entities belonging to the Muslim Brotherhood’s secret “Palestine Committee” set up in the U.S. to support Hamas. The FBI subsequently ended its use of CAIR as a liaison to the Muslim community. CAIR lost its fight to have the designation lifted in 2009 when it was ruled that there was “ample evidence” connecting CAIR to Hamas.
On January 23, the Facebook page of CAIR’s Minnesota chapter announced that Best Buy had become a “Platinum Sponsor” of its annual banquet to be held on February 11. CAIR says the event sold out with nearly 350 attendees. The keynote speaker was Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf of “Ground Zero Mosque” fame. The Master of Ceremonies was Hussein Khatib, a former official with the Holy Land Foundation who is also designated as an “unindicted co-conspirator.” His name appears on a list of those who “are and/or were a part of the HAMAS’ social infrastructure in Israel and the Palestinian territories.” He is also on the National Board of American Muslims for Palestine.
The controversy started when Marc J. Fink reported on the issue at Islamist-Watch.org on April 19. Best Buy chose to react, not by admitting fault, but by inferring that the criticism is motivated by intolerance.
“Best Buy’s customers and employees around the world represent a variety of faiths and denominations. We respect that diversity, and choose to engage with our customers, employees and communities in ways that reflect their traditions and maintain good relationships for Best Buy,” its online statement reads.
We at RadicalIslam.org, the website of the Clarion Fund, set up a petition where people could declare their intention to boycott Best Buy until it rescinds its support for CAIR. Within one week, it had over 8,000 signatures and the number is steadily increasing. If you haven’t already, you can add your name to it by clicking here.
The opposition to CAIR is not rooted in bigotry. A 2007 federal filing states, “From its founding by Muslim Brotherhood leaders, CAIR conspired with other affiliates of the Muslim Brotherhood to support terrorists.” It says “the conspirators used deception to conceal from the American public their connections to terrorists.”
The government isn’t making this up as part of some anti-Muslim scheme, as CAIR would have you believe. In 1993, the FBI learned that about two dozen members and supporters of Hamas were going to hold a secret meeting in Philadelphia and decided to wiretap it. Among the participants were Shukri Abu Baker, the leader of the Holy Land Foundation, and Omar Ahmad and Nihad Awad, two top officials of the Islamic Association for Palestine. The Muslim Brotherhood lists the IAP as one of its fronts and IAP’s ties to Hamas are thoroughly documented.
“War is deception. … Deceive, camouflage,” Baker forcefully emphasized during a discussion of how to, in the words of another participant, “support jihad in Palestine.” Another questioned, “This will be classified as terrorism according to America. … How are you going to perform jihad?”
Omar Ahmad explained how to play a game of semantics to trick Americans. He said that there is a difference between saying “I want to destroy Israel” and “I want to restore the 48 land,” which would mean the elimination of the state of Israel. He admited that “we didn’t say that to the Americans.”
The discussion turned to the need to create new groups with less baggage. One participant said, “We must form a new organization for activism which will be neutral because we are placed in a corner, we are place in a corner. It is known who we are, we are marked and I believe that there should be a new neutral organization which works on both sides.”
CAIR was created the next summer by Omar Ahmad and Nihad Awad. That same year, Awad said, “I am in support of the Hamas movement.” A 2004 document by the Muslim Brotherhood’s Palestine Committee lists CAIR and IAP among its “working organizations.”
Awad is still CAIR’s executive director. In 2004, he was asked by an Arab publication about the designation of Hamas as a Foreign Terrorist Organization by the U.S. He replied, “We do not and will not condemn any liberation movement inside Palestine or Lebanon.” Ahmad was the national chairman until 2005. In April 2011, Patrick Poole broke the story at PJ Media that the Justice Department blocked a planned prosecution of Ahmad.
CAIR and its Islamist allies are swinging hard, especially at government agencies involved in counter-terrorism. The Muslim Brotherhood, shockingly, is viewed as a “moderate” force by the current government. The boycott of Best Buy is an opportunity for people to make a real difference. Let’s not pass it up. Sign the petition and send it to your friends, family, and colleagues.