One day after four GOP congressmen held an anti-CAIR, anti-Muslim press conference excusing CAIR of placing Muslim interns on the Hill to spy, there is a building resistance against this nonsensical assertion in mainstream America.
Atlanta Constitution-Journal Columnist Cynthia Tucker wrote the following today:
CAIR is a mainstream, all-American civil liberties and advocacy group that tries to eliminate bias against Muslims and advance the integration of Muslim-Americans into the American mainstream, like countless other minority advocacy groups…
CAIR probably figures nothing would help their image more than having well-educated, hard-working young Muslim Americans working in congressional offices.
But [a GOP fringe congressman from Georgia] Broun et al see a terrorist plot, a 2009 version of the Manchurian Candidate. What crackpots.
Glenn Greenwald of Salon.com stated that yesterday’s anti-CAIR, anti-Muslim press “might actually be the most despicable domestic political event of the year.” Greenwald also wrote:
CAIR is a non-profit organization of American citizens who are Muslim and their “mission is to enhance understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.” They stand accused of plotting to influence members of Congress and trying to help interns obtain positions in Congress in order to advance their political agenda. That’s consistent with what virtually every political advocacy group in the nation does; it’s normally called activism and democracy. But because, in this case, it’s a group of Muslims who are doing this, these House Republicans are depicting it as some sort of nefarious espionage plot against the U.S. that demands a criminal investigation.
Meanwhile, Dave Gaubatz, the extremist referenced by the fringe GOP congressmen as providing proof of the alleged spying Muslim interns, is being referred to by people of other faiths as a “paranoid, racist loon.” It is still shocking to me (actually it really shouldn’t be) that these congressmen would use such a xenophobe and racist as inspiration to call for a House Sergeant at Arms investigation!
Update at 4:49 PM –
Rep Conyers stated the following:
It shouldn’t need to be said in 2009, and after the historic election of our first African-American president, but let me remind all my colleagues that patriotic Americans of all races, religions, and beliefs have the right – and the responsibility – to participate in our political process, including by volunteering to work in Congressional offices. Numerous Muslim-American interns have served the House ably and they deserve our appreciation and respect, not attacks on their character or patriotism.
Update 4:55 PM –