Monday, December 9, 2013

CAIR's Hussam Ayloush and Middle Eastern Affairs

"But as a civil rights organization we're not here in the business of being dragged into 
the Middle East affairs and the conflicts of the Middle East."

-Hussam Ayloush
November 16, 2013 to an interviewer in Anaheim  

Hussam Ayloush, the Southern California director of the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR), has made some recent statements that don't seem to square with the facts. One example is his recent statement to an interviewer that CAIR is not in the business of being dragged into Middle East affairs and conflicts. Indeed CAIR does involve itself in Middle East affairs as does Ayloush himself, as shown by two recent speaking engagements in the Southern California area as well as his active involvement in the present Syrian crisis.

On November 16,  Ayloush, was asked a few questions by an interviewer at the annual CAIR conference in Anaheim. When asked if CAIR would condemn organizations like Hamas, Ayloush became angry. As part of his response, he said, "But as a civil rights organization we're not here in the business of being dragged into the Middle East affairs and the conflicts of the Middle East. We are an American organization....".  He then went on to accuse the interviewer of bigotry. You can see the full interview here.

In reality, CAIR-and Ayloush- are indeed involved in Middle Eastern affairs and the conflicts in the Middle East. In November, Ayloush made at least two speaking appearances in Southern California about the situation in Syria. He spoke at UC Irvine  on November 19 and in Riverside on November 20th (Fousesquawk). In both appearances, he was advertised as a CAIR representative. Ayloush is an advocate for American intervention in Syria. He also sits on the board of the Los Angeles chapter of the Syrian American Council (SAC). In his Riverside speech, he referred to Syrian aid organizations and told the audience,  "If you’re interested I can give you names of 4 or 5 of them that I’ve worked with. I’ve seen them on the ground. Many volunteers have given their lives trying to smuggle food and drinks and medicines to peopleso they’re all legitimate.  In his position with the SAC, no doubt he could.

Here is more on SAC and  the Syrian aid groups listed in the above link (Family Security Matters).

And there is that video he showed in Riverside, "Not Any More" (see link), produced by one Matthew VanDyke. Mr. VanDyke is more than just a film maker. He joined the rebels fighting Qaddafi in Libya and spent time as a prisoner of war. Mr VanDyke and the Syrian American Council are quite active together. On September 30, SCA hosted VanDyke in Anaheim for a screening of his film.  In addition, here is a Twitter communication between Ayloush and VanDyke regarding the film.

In September, this letter addressed to anti-war groups appeared on Ayloush's personal website in regards to Syria:

As for CAIR itself, they are indeed involved in the Syrian crisis. As shown below in this report, a former CAIR leader from Texas has been named head of a Syrian rebel group.

More specific to Ayloush, here he is as the Southern California director of CAIR holding a seminar on how to influence elected officials on the Syrian issue.

In addition to the Syrian rebels, Ayloush is obviously a supporter of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt as evidenced by this photo in front of the poster that symbolizes the protests over the removal of Mohammed Morsi from power.

Hussam Ayloush

Not that Ayloush is supporting the Brotherhood in Egypt in his spare time. CAIR itself does, indeed, take an interest in Egypt.

And then there is Israel.

CAIR has a long history of denouncing Israel as outlined here by CAIR  A few of the citations involve the Southern California area under Ayloush's responsibility. He is actually mentioned in one citation by name.

Here is what the Anti-Defamation League has to say about CAIR:

In addition, on October 22, 2000, Ayloush reportedly spoke at a demonstration in front of the Israeli consulate in Los Angeles. At that same protest, it was reported that some students from the UCLA Muslim Student Association were chanting, "Death to Israel! Death to Jews!" The report stated that CAIR co-sponsored the rally (see p 25).

To sum up, Ayloush's statement to an interviewer in Anaheim on November 16 about CAIR not being dragged into Middle Eastern affairs or conflicts simply does not hold water. When you make careless statements like that when asked uncomfortable questions about Hamas, you call into question your credibility. That is the dilemma public figures like Ayloush face when they are asked that particular question-one they cannot squarely answer. They dance around and make careless statements that are easily refuted. I suspect Mr Ayloush wishes he could take back that statement.

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