Previous posts in this discussion:
PostCouncil on American-Islamic Relations (A. J. Cave, USA, 04/15/19 3:02 am)
When it comes to CAIR (and other similar organizations), I am a Goog-Wik. I Google them and read about them on Wikipedia. I leave it to those who have a better understanding of CAIR to comment. So, this is publicly available information. The sources of Wikipedia piece on CAIR (Council on American-Islamic Relations) are CAIR's website and some investigative media reports.
I had actually never heard of CAIR until looking them up in the context of offensive remarks made by the Congresswoman Omar. As her speech at CAIR event indicates, she was confused about the origins story of CAIR herself, claiming that CAIR was founded after 9/11 because of "some people who did something." It is up to the voters who elected her to decide if she is representing their views or pushing her own personal political agenda.
CAIR was apparently founded in 1994 and according to an article linked on Wikipedia, they have a budget of $3 million a year as of 2007, supporting a staff of 60-70, supplemented by 300 (?) unpaid volunteers. They seem to be (yet) another Sunni-Arab 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization with the lofty goal of not just be the "go-to" organization for all "Muslims," but for all "Americans," They probably have not heard of the US Constitution and all its celebrated amendments.
My rule of thumb for evaluating these sorts of organizations (including similar Iranian-American sister organizations) is checking their annual financial statements. Tax-exempt organizations must publish and post their (preferably audited) financial statements on their websites for public scrutiny of sources and uses of funds. The absence of such crucial information normally puts my brain on red alert.
JE comments: The law for non-profits is to make the financial statements (specifically, the tax form 990) available upon request, although it is not mandatory to post the information on a website. (We don't do this at WAIS.) You can also obtain a copy of any 501 (c)(3)'s 990 from the IRS...just write them a letter!
This 2014 National Review article from Daniel Pipes (hardly unbiased, but still respected) claims that CAIR incites terrorism and is connected to Hamas. The UAE made this same declaration at that time. Can anyone update us here?
Did Ilhan Omar Speak for Her Voters, or as a Private Citizen?
(A. J. Cave, USA
04/17/19 11:55 AM)
A couple of additional thoughts on my previous posts:
On the issue of Ilhan Omar's "some people did something" remarks, the key question is whether she was/is speaking for the voters of Minneapolis, or as a private citizen. What was her speaking fee and how was it funded? She is highly critical of Israel and the President, so regardless of whatever she says, she seems to have the backings of various anti-Israeli and anti-Trump groups who have been defending her every word. Save her support base who got her elected, as a "Muslim" woman, the Democratic leadership has been protective of her too.
This brings up a bigger question: how to evaluate the "words and deeds" of the newly elected "Muslims" to the US Congress. We normally don't cuddle members of the Congress because of their religion(s), since ideally the Congress and her members should honor freedom of religion. That goes for the Evangelicals too.
On 501(c)(3) entities, yes, they are not required by law to publish their tax returns and post them on their websites, but should make them available to anyone who asks for them. However, there's no longer a good reason why such tax filings shouldn't be posted online routinely for the sake of full transparency and convenience. There are a number of online "charity" watchdogs who sort through tax returns of 501(c)(3)s and provide a rating for (potential) donors. As long as they file, they no longer can hide from public scrutiny.
I could not find a rating for CAIR in charitynavigator.org. This watchdog organization (and others) rates tax-exempts with $1M+ revenue. There are multiple listings for various CAIR chapters, so my guess is that they could be flying under the radar using a distributed ledger. I don't know.
I couldn't find a rating for WAIS either. However, there's is a world of difference between WAIS and CAIR for those who care. WAIS is an online journal without an advocacy and lobbying arm, while CAIR is a Islamist advocacy organization.
JE comments: Nor do we have the cool $1 million. But there's always hope! (You've reminded me, A. J.! It's time to pass the hat at WAIS...)