Thomas Jefferson once wrote that the man who reads nothing at all is better educated than the man who reads nothing but newspapers. He might as well have had in mind what used to pass as the "newspaper of record." That the New York Times has long shown unabashed bias in favor of any and all leftist causes is hardly news, but that it is now doing the same with respect to radical Islam is novel and disturbing, if not altogether surprising. A case in point is the March 14, 2007, Neal MacFarquhar’s front page puff piece on the radical Islamist Council of American Islamic Relations (CAIR) entitled "Scrutiny Increases for a Group Advocating for Muslims in U.S."
MacFarquhar’s egregious bias is openly on display in both what he says about CAIR, and even more so in what he does not say about the self-appointed "largest Muslim human rights organization in America."
To start with the former, MacFarquhar informs us that a "small band" of conservative critics "have made a determined but unsuccessful effort to link it (CAIR) to Hamas and Hezbollah," the US Government-designated terrorist organizations. Further, he cites unnamed government officials who compare the "standards used by critics to link CAIR to terrorism as akin to McCarthyism, essentially guilt by association," while a retired FBI official is trotted out complaining that asking the critics "for cold hard facts, you get blank stares."
The bottom line, according to MacFarquhar, is that "there were no charges linked to CAIR in any of the (terrorism related) cases involved" and, moreover, government officials "were not aware of any criminal investigation of the group." And lest there is any doubt as to who is behind the organized smear of this noble civil rights organization, why, it’s the Jews, of course, in the guise of "pro-Israeli lobbyists" who, we are told, have created "a cottage industry of attacking the group and anyone dealing with it."
Really? It just so happens that the "small band" of critics include such prominent "conservatives" as Senator Chuck Schumer who has stated in the congressional record that CAIR "has ties to terrorism" and "intimate links with Hamas." And it just so happens that several CAIR officials have already been prosecuted by the US government and sent to jail or deported for terrorism-related activities while employed by CAIR. So much for "no charges linked to CAIR."
"McCarthyism, guilt by association?" Rather, proven guilt for associating with terrorists, for which CAIR’s "National Civil Rights Coordinator and Communications Specialist," Randall Ismail Royer, for instance, was sentenced to 20 years in prison. "Cold hard facts," "blank stares?" Perhaps the former FBI official meant the blank stare of one Ghassan Elashi, founder of CAIR-Texas and the Hamas front Holy Land Foundation, closed down by the US government as a terror financier, as he was carted off to jail. Mr. Elashi, already serving a six and a half year sentence, is soon to be tried again on the more serious charge of conspiracy to fund Palestinian terrorists.
Apropos, the Holy Land Foundation (HLF), its close association with CAIR and terrorism funding is just one of those "cold hard facts" that Mr. MacFarquhar would rather not talk about; for if he did, he would have to acknowledge that CAIR not only openly collected donations for HLF on its website, but was itself a beneficiary of seed money from it while being incorporated. Nor are the New York Times reporter and his editor interested in providing some background on how CAIR came into being as a spin-off from the Hamas clearing house in the United States, the Islamic Association of Palestine (IAP) – an organization founded and financed by top Hamas operative Abu Musa Marzook in 1981. That would have required telling the reader that as IAP’s pro-Hamas activities became impossible to hide, its top officials, Nihad Awad, Omar Ahmad and Rafeeq Jaber, simply incorporated CAIR in 1994, moved over and became the top honchos of a brand-new Hamas front.
As for IAP’s terrorist bona-fides, in December of 2004, a federal judge in Chicago found it and the Holy Land Foundation liable for $156 mln awarded to the estate of David Boim, an American teenager murdered by Hamas terrorists in Israel. No wonder IAP ceased to exist shortly thereafter.
Faced with examples of such grotesquely slanted reporting in a reputable newspaper, critics often tend to blame it on journalistic ignorance. That excuse would not hold much water in this case. All of the facts discussed above are widely known and easily available to anyone with access to Google and an hour of time. Apparently, Mr. MacFarquhar and his New York Times editor deliberately chose to disregard them. This used to be called propaganda. Or was it disinformation?