We are under constant surveillance by the far-right Islamophobes. Little that we say in our Facebook groups escapes the attention of Robert Spencer or David Horowitz, who in turn use our concerns for their own bigoted purposes. As the saying by Imam Ali goes:
!كلمة حق يراد بها باطل
The latest example comes thanks to Hassan Shibly, the CAIR-Florida official stands accused by his ex-wife of domestic abuse and polygamy. It’s a huge scandal that triggered lots of buzz in Muslim circles, including on our blog, complaining about the culture of silence surrounding the misdeeds of our leadership, e.g., CAIR. How organizations supposedly speaking in our names use Islamophobia to deflect criticism and accountability.
Lo and behold, here comes a piece covering the scandal from the Islamophobic Frontpage Magazine, the flagship publication of the David Horowitz Freedom Center, better known for giving voice to such far-right luminaries of inclusivity as Stephen Miller (author of the Muslim Ban), Robert Spencer, and Ann Coulter. I refuse to link to the rag, but here are excerpts (with emphasis added by me):
“[Shibly] is a very important figure in CAIR, a group that speaks, in large part, for the Muslim-American community and which has documented ties to Hamas. Shibly is the Executive Director of CAIR’s Florida chapter, a position he has held since 2014, and he has been highly visible in his pursuits as CAIR-Florida leader (and lawyer), from attempting to regain the American citizenship of ISIS bride Hoda Muthana to trying to convince the courts that the federal ‘terrorism watch list is unconstitutional. For years, Shibly’s own name was found on the list, and given CAIR’s relationship to overseas terror, that makes sense…
“Shibly, who is vehemently anti-Israel, has stated that his group relies on the Islamic Community of Tampa (ICT), a mosque founded by persons related to Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ), for “programs” and “fundraising,” and only in 2019, Shibly met with convicted PIJ member, Hatem Fariz, at CAIR’s Tampa headquarters. As well, Shibly owns firearms, and provided his radical background along with his alleged history of domestic violence, trusting Shibly’s words could be a big mistake, especially when children are involved.” [original emphasis]
The gist of the story is that CAIR is part of a global network of Jihadi terrorists with the ultimate goal of imposing Shari’a and establishing an Islamic State. AND THAT IT IS REPRESENTATIVE OF AMERICAN MUSLIMS! Shibly, an American with firearms (gasp!), is only the tip of the iceberg. There is no way the author is genuinely driven by a concern for Shibly’s children, let alone his estranged wife or Muslims in general.
The real conspiracy here is the symbiotic relationship forged between our inept/abusive leaders and the equally inept/dishonest Islamophobes. The Shiblys who speak in our name are a godsend for FrontPage magazine. And the bigotry of the FrontPage crowd is great for CAIR, which get to claim to be our protector. Frontpage Mag wouldn’t sell without the Shiblys of the world, and the Shiblys of the world wouldn’t have a career without Frontpage Mag.
It isn’t yet conclusively proven that Hassan Shibly beat his wife and cheated on her. But it is beyond a doubt that he and other CAIR leaders have abused and cheated on us, American Muslims. We ordinary members of the community are like a battered wife, forced to take shelter from an external abuser in the home of our internal abuser.
We know the Islamophobes are watching us – eager to use our complaints for their own ends. My hope is that more righteous allies are also out there, ready to step forward with genuine compassion to help us bring accountability to our own failed leaders.