CAIR Can’t Have it Both Ways

How was your summer vacation? I was back in Egypt and spent more time offline than expected. Being offline is great, by the way. I highly recommend it.

Being in Egypt was an experience. Every time I go home it amazes me how much has changed… and how nothing has changed. The first thing I noticed was how bad the economy was. And then there was the omnipresent police. Any Egyptian has very mixed feelings about this powerful and omnipresent force in Egyptian society. They keep us safe, in theory anyway, but also keep us on edge.

I was thinking about this when I saw the latest CAIR report: “Feeling the Hate: Bias and Hate Crimes Experienced by Muslim New Yorkers.” The big take-away: “The report found that while 64 percent of Muslims have experienced a hate crime, bias incident, or both, only 4 percent of Muslims reported a hate incident to law enforcement.”

I’m old enough to remember when CAIR urged us not to talk to law enforcement. Back in 2011, CAIR chapters circulated posters with the slogan: “Build A Wall of Resistance: Don’t Talk to the F.B.I.” Back in the heyday of the so-called War on Terror, CAIR was always wary of US law enforcement, warning us that we couldn’t trust them.

Lo and behold, 12 years later, CAIR now bemoans the fact that so many Muslims do not report incidents to police. Our communities are now reaping what CAIR sowed for over two decades.

(There is a parallel here between CAIR and the American Far-right in feeding the perception of persecution and conspiracies by evil force, but that’s a post for another time.)

CAIR has benefitted from painting Muslims as helpless targets of conspiracies and is deeply invested in keeping Muslims in a constant state vigilance and victimization. It has built a brand leveraging Islamophobia, both real and imagined, to solicit donations. But Nothing CAIR does aims at addressing the root cause of Islamophobia. That so many Muslims decide not to report incidents of harassment shows the extent to which CAIR has failed even in its nominal mission.