“Islam is a part of the rich Abrahamic tradition and does not in any way suppress Judeo-Christian values in our country…”–CAIR-OK Executive Director Adam Soltani
CAIR and Lawfare: an Interview with Brooke Goldstein
by Jerry GordonÂ (May 2014)
The month of April witnessed the Muslim Brotherhood front group, the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) attacking free speech in films and in academia.Â CAIR, a self-styled Muslim civil rights group, grew out of a support network for Hamas, a terrorist group designated by our State Department.Â It was one of several Muslim Brotherhood linked groups listed asÂ unindicted co-conspiratorsÂ in the 2007 Holy Land Foundation trial in Dallas,Texas. CAIR and the other groups were found to have funneled tens of millions in fundsÂ to Hamas.Â As the month began a CAIR spokesperson attacked the Clarion Project film, theÂ Honor Diaries,Â whichÂ portrays a group of both Muslim and non-Muslim women addressing the problems of misogyny in Muslim majority countries with honor-shame cultures. These cultures follow Islamic doctrine devaluing the rights of women, condoning child and forced marriages, female genital mutilation and violence against women including honor killings. CAIR singled out the film’s executive producer, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, former Somali Dutch politician, now an American citizen and acclaimed author of best sellersÂ InfidelÂ andÂ Nomad.Â Ms. Ali is aÂ fellowÂ at the John F.Â Kennedy SchoolÂ of Government at Harvard University, a member of The Future of Diplomacy Project at the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs. As a girl she was subjected to female genital mutilation and as young woman, escaped from an arranged marriage. Ali, an apostate from Islam, was called an Islamophobe by CAIR. A term which an official of the Runnymede Trust in the UKÂ admittedÂ has no legal definition at a 2013 Warsaw Conference of the Office of Democratic Institutions and Human Rights of the Organization for Cooperation and Security in Europe.
Brooke Goldstein, director of Manhattan-based Lawfare Project, used the bully pulpit ofÂ The Fox NewsÂ program,Â The Kelly FilesÂ with host Megyn Kelly, to confront a CAIR spokesperson during the broadcast on theÂ Honor Diaries controversy. She accused CAIR of engaging in stealth anti-Semitism against the leadership of the film’s sponsor, the Clarion Project because they were “Jewish.” Moreover, CAIR national spokesperson Ibrahim Hooper had demanded a retraction fromÂ Fox NewsÂ program host Kelly of her comments about CAIR’s intimidation during the episode. Kelly refused. CAIR’s attack on theÂ Honor DairiesÂ led to cancellation of showings at three midwestern universities. CAIR didn’t stop with that episode. It next turned to a campaign that ultimately forced the President of Brandeis University to withdraw a commencement honorary doctorate and address by Ms. Ali. Pressure for President Lawrence’s withdrawal of Ali’s honor was exerted by the Muslim Student Association and by what many critics deemed a veritable lynch mob of 86 signatories of a letter by the members of the Near Eastern and Judaic Students faculty at Brandeis. CAIR’s Hooper attacked Ms. Ali’s anti-Islam views trumpeting Brandeis’ capitulation on aÂ Kelley FileÂ exchange. Fox News host Megyn Kelly gave Ms. Ali an opportunity to respond to both Brandeis and Hooper on the same segment. WatchÂ here.
As to the definition of Islamophobia, note Goldstein’s comment:
Islamophobia … is a contrived term that was invented by the Muslim Brotherhood with the sole purpose of stigmatizing those who are engaged in dialogue about militant Islam.
WatchÂ thisÂ Fox News The Kelley FilesÂ You Tube video of the exchanges among host Megyn Kelly, CAIR Chicago representative Ms. Agnieszka Kasroluk and Brooke Goldstein of the Lawfare project on theÂ Honor DiariesÂ controversy:
When New York Police Commissioner William Bratton held a press conference in April and announced the disbanding of a 12 person unit to monitor Muslim communities for possible extremists, CAIR welcomed the move. CAIR New York Board Chairman, Ray MahoneyÂ said:
CAIR-NY welcomes the closing of the NYPD Zone Assessment Unit. This is an important first step. However, the damage of unconstitutional mass spying on people solely on the basis of their religion has already been carried out and must be addressed. We need to hear from the mayor and NYPD officials that the policy itself has been ended and that the department will no longer apply mass surveillance or other forms of biased and predatory policing to any faith-based community.
We askedÂ Brooke GoldsteinÂ of the Lawfare Project about the NYPD surveillance program, she said:
What I can say is that from my dealings with the NYPD, they were not targeting Muslims and engaging in discrimination based on race or religion. What they were doing was targeting institutions that have a connection to terrorism and those groups happen to be Islamist. … Simply because of the fact they have a theological justification has now opened up the NYPD surveillance program to accusations of so-called Islamophobia which are absolutely baseless and ridiculous.
As the month waned, there was another confrontation over a seven minute film produced by the National September 11 Memorial Museum in lower Manhattan given criticism by an interfaith panel.Â The New York TimesÂ noted:
The film,Â The Rise of Al Qaeda, refers to the terrorists as Islamists who viewed their mission as a jihad. The NBC News anchor Brian Williams, who narrates the film, speaks over images of terrorist training camps and Qaeda attacks spanning decades. Interspersed are explanations of the ideology of the terrorists, from video clips in foreign-accented English translations
The controversy was created by a review of the film by a panel from the Interfaith Center in New York led by its executive director,Â Rev. Chloe Breyer, an Episcopal priest and daughter of US Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer. She had ministered to the injured and families of survivors following 9/11. The controversy followed the comments in a letter to the Museum’s director by a panel member Sheik Mostafa Elazabawy of theÂ Masjid ManhattanÂ Mosque who wrote:
The screening of this film in its present state would greatly offend our local Muslim believers as well as any foreign Muslim visitor to the museum. Unsophisticated visitors who do not understand the difference between Al Qaeda and Muslims may come away with a prejudiced view of Islam, leading to antagonism and even confrontation toward Muslim believers near the site.
In a separate interview, Elazabawy was reported to have said:
Don’t tell me this is an Islamist or an Islamic group; that means they are part of us. We are all of us against that.
Megyn Kelly, host ofÂ Fox News’,Â The Kelly Files, weighed into the controversy of the Museum 9/11 film, especially the obsessive public correctness of the Interfaith Center panel and its leader, Rev. Chloe Breyer.Â Kelly, who had previously tackled theÂ Honor DiariesÂ Â and the CAIR contretemps, brought back into the discussionÂ Goldstein of the Lawfare Project. She ably contested the arguments by Breyer and Sheik Elazabawy of the Interfaith Center panel. The contrasts between the positions of Rev. Breyer and Goldstein were stark. Breyer supported the Interfaith panel and Elazabawy’sÂ requests for redaction of the Museum film, while Goldstein vigorously and effectively argued that you cannot deny the truth of the extremist Islamic doctrine that motivated the 9/11 perpetrators to commit mass murder. Watch the Kelly File segment with Rev. Breyer and Ms. Goldstein,Â here.
Brooke Goldstein, director of The Lawfare Project is a Montreal native, graduate of McGill University and holds a JD from Yeshiva University’s Cardozo School of Law. She is a New York City human rights lawyer.Â The Lawfare Project addresses the abuses of the justice system for the express purposes of using it as the equivalent of a weapon of war. Goldstein is also the producer of the acclaimed 2006 documentary,Â Making of a Martyr, concerning the indoctrination of Palestinian children at UN-sponsored schools in the West Bank and Gaza. That is a mean of recruiting them as state sponsored suicide bombers and human shields. Goldstein is the founder and director of theÂ Children’s Rights InstituteÂ (CRI), “a nonprofit organization whose mission is to track, spotlight, and legally combat violations of children’s basic human rights around the world.” She has been a frequent commentator on these topics atÂ FoxNews, CNNÂ and in columns of theÂ New York Sun, New York Daily News, andÂ CommentaryÂ among other media outlets. Goldstein was the 2007 recipient of the E. Nathaniel Gates Award for Outstanding Public Advocacy and the 2009 Inspire! Award bestowed by the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law.
Against this background we interviewed Ms. Goldstein.
Jerry Gordon:Â Thank you for accepting our invitation for this interview.
Brooke Goldstein:Â Thank you for inviting me.
Jerry Gordon:Â We’re here with Ms. Brooke Goldstein, human rights attorney and Director of the Lawfare Project. Brooke, we are discussing some fairly serious invasions of free speech rights by a group called the Council of American Islamic Relations (CAIR). The first incident involved its accusations of “Islamophobia” against a film by the Clarion Project calledÂ Honor Diaries and its Executive Producer, Ayaan Hirsi Ali. She is a noted women’s advocate and former Muslim. Brooke, what is The Lawfare Project and its mission and range of activities?
Brooke Goldstein:Â The Lawfare Project is a legal think tank that is based in New York City and we have a dual mission. The first part of our mission is to track, monitor, combat, and raise awareness about the phenomenon of lawfareâ€”the use of the law as a weapon of war against liberal democracies as it affects free speech rights and undermines the ability of liberal democracies to engage in self-defense in the war on terrorism. The second function we perform is we arrange for pro bono counsel and financial support to anybody who is on the receiving end of a frivolous lawsuit aimed at silencing their exercise of free speech when it comes to issues of national security and public concern. Issues of public concern and national security include the imminent threat of militant Islam, and that is how we came to know CAIR. It is a particularly litigious group that has filed several lawfare lawsuits and engages in bullying tactics and intimidation against anyone brave enough to speak openly and publicly about militant Islam and CAIR’s own connections to terrorism. The type of speech lawfare proponents like CAIR aim to stife includes raising awareness about human rights violations occurring in Islamist countries, against Muslim women (and children). That is precisely what the documentary filmÂ Honor DiariesÂ is all about, the treatment of Muslim women under Sharia law. CAIR has engaged in a variety of intimidation and bullying tactics against students and universities that are hosting screenings ofÂ Honor Diaries, which features Muslim women talking from firsthand experience about Islamist Sharia law and how it is currently applied to women both in Islamist countries and the West. The film is about incidents of female genital mutiliation (FGM), so-called “honor killings,” and child marriage, and features women with firsthand experience with Sharia law, such as Ayaan Hirsi Ali, who was subjected to FGM and escaped a forced marriage. CAIR has bragged about encouraging the cancellation of screenings of this film, attempting to undermine the message that Muslim women deserve human rights. At the same time, CAIR is going around demanding the 9/11 memorial museum censor the screening of a seven minute film about Al Qaeda, which it deems offensive to Muslims becaue the film describes Al Qaeda, accurately, as an Islamist jihadi terror group! CAIR has in the past refused to condemn Al Qaeda and has objected to billboards describing Al Qaeda as an enemy of the United States.
Gordon:Â Is CAIR a Muslim civil rights group?
Goldstein:Â CAIR often misrepresents itself as a civil rights group; it is anything but. It claims to be a self-appointed representative of the Muslim community in the United States but it really does not represent them at all. In fact, it was founded as the operational arm, the public relations arm, of the Muslim Brotherhood and of Hamas. It has ties to the designated terror group Hamas. CAIR was named an unindicted co-conspirator in a Hamas funding trial, the Holy Land Foundation case. It received seed money from Saudi Arabia and from the Holy Land Foundation (HLF). CAIR called the successful prosecution of the Holy Land Foundation for its material support for terrorism “unjust,” even though HLF was funneling money to terrorism! CAIR’s mission is basically to launch a coordinated legal and public relations campaign that punishes and demonizes speech that exposes Islamist terrorism and its sources of financing. It does so by filing frivolous lawsuits and defaming anyone brave enough to discuss the topic. It frequently stereotypes Jews. It defames the counter-terrorism community and it is engaged in abuse of the legal system as a major proponent of lawfare.
CAIR’s comprehensive ties to Islamist terrorism are numerous, information about which is widely available in print and online. The FBI’s former chief of counter-terrorism, Steven Pomerantz, described CAIR, as “effectively giving aid to international terrorist groups.” Senator Chuck Schumer has called out CAIR co-founders Nihad Awad and Omar Ahmad for having “intimate links with Hamas,” and “ties to terrorism.” According to the FBI, CAIR director, Muthanna al-Hanooti, “collected over $6 million for support of Hamas,” and wasÂ sentencedÂ to one year in federal prison for violating U.S. sanctions against Iraq. Communications specialist and civil rights coordinator for CAIR, Randall Todd Royer, trained withÂ Lashkar-I-Taiba, an al Qaeda-tied Kashmir organization and was sentenced to twenty years in prison after being indicted for conspiring to help al Qaeda and the Taliban kill US soldiers in Afghanistan. CAIR fundraiserÂ Rabih HaddadÂ was arrested and deported for working as Executive Director of theÂ Global Relief Foundation, an organization that financed al Qaeda and other terrorist groups.Â Abdurahman Alamoudi, one of CAIR’s former directors, is a supporter of bothÂ HamasÂ andÂ Hezbollah, andÂ is currently serving a 23-year prison sentence for terrorism-related convictions. CAIR’s Community Affairs Director,Â Bassem Khafagi, who has publicly encouraged Muslims to carry out suicide bombings within the U.S., pled guilty to fraud and was deported to Egypt for facilitating the transfer of funds to terrorism.Â Ghassan Elashi, a founding Board member of CAIR’s Texas chapter, was convicted of providing material support to state sponsors of terrorism and knowingly doing business with Hamas, to which he illegally transferred more than $12.4 million dollars. Not surprisingly, CAIR characterized Elashi’s indictment as “a war on Islam and Muslims.”
The facts about CAIR make it all the more disturbing. Members of CAIR have been frequent guests at the State Department and White House. The group has intimidated local law enforcement to provide “sensitivity training.” CAIR has worked with the ACLU, Amnesty and the NAACP and received funding from theÂ Tides Foundation. It Â enjoys access to American public schools. It masquerades as a tax exempt “charitable” organization while enjoying regular access to media outlets. As Senator Jon Kyl aptly noted, CAIR’s Saudi backing and aggressive tactics have effectively “forced out” moderate American Muslims from public dialogue, replacing them instead with a terror-connected institution who claims to speak for them but doesn’t, and levels charges of “Islamophobia” at anyone who does.
Gordon:Â What specifically did CAIR accuse the producers and several prominent Muslim and a few non-Muslim women of doing in this production?
Goldstein:Â As usual, CAIR is accusing the film, the filmmakers, and the Muslim women featured in the film of being “Islamophobic.” What constitutes being Islamophobic in this case according to CAIR? Raising awareness about human rights violations against innocent Muslim women. CAIR’s opposition to the film is quite telling because it really exposes who CAIR is. CAIR has come out against a film featuring Muslim women who themselves have been victims of the most brutal form of Sharia law. They have been threatened on a daily basis with violence from radical Islamists and they’ve exposed CAIR as a group that is not interested in protecting the human rights of the Muslim community, here or abroad. CAIR wants to silence public dialogue about these issues and it has done so by leveling charges of Islamophobia and pressuring schools to cancel the movie, purposefully diverting attention away from the issue of womens rights to the film being “anti-Muslim.” By the way, the term “Islamophobia” was invented in the ’90s by the Muslim Brotherhood. It is the same term the Iranians use to stigmatize anyone who talks about the militant Islamist nature of the Iranian regime. It is the same term the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, a 57-member voting bloc at the United Nations, uses when it co-opts the Human Rights Council to pass, every year for the past twelve plus years, resolutions declare criticism of Islam a crime in international law. It is a term that is merely used to silence and to stereotype anyone who speaks about human rights violations in the Muslim world and the threat of Islamist terrorism. CAIR regularly accuses the American people of being anti-Muslim. They play this victim card but what they are trying to do is intimidate Americans into silence. In 2010, CAIR even established its own “Islamophobia Department” whose sole purpose is to attack our First Amendment free speech rights. They successfully managed to get screenings ofÂ Honor DiariesÂ at University of Michigan (Ann Arbor and Dearborn campuses) and the University of Illinois cancelled. They have filed complaints with the FEC and they have filed numerous lawsuitsâ€”against members of Congress, the FBI, film producers, activistsâ€”all in attempts to raise the price of free speech in this country. That is exactly why we have set up The Lawfare Project, so that American people know that if they are on the receiving end of these types of intimidation tactics or do find themselves the victim of a frivolous lawsuit alleging defamation for speaking the truth about issues of national security, that we will help them. We will help them find pro bono counsel and financial support so they can continue with their important work, writing and talking about these issues publicly.
Gordon:Â You were on several segments of Megyn Kelly’s program onÂ FOX News, The Kelly File, about this problem that erupted over the documentaryHonor Diaries. In one instance you had a CAIR spokesperson contesting you on a panel. What were the points in contention and what was the demand on the part of their national spokesperson, Ibrahim Hooper, that lead to contretemps?
Goldstein:Â CAIR realized very quickly that attacking a film that highlights abuses against Muslim women is a losing position to take when it comes to public relations. Therefore, it quickly decided that it was going to start a character assasination campaign against the filmmakers and the women in the film, and it started to attack the Clarion Fund for employing Jews (!!), and Ayaan Hirsi Ali, calling her a bigot. Ayaan Hirsi Ali herself is a victim of Sharia law, female genital mutilation, and forced marriage. CAIR called the producers that she worked with “Islamophobes” and engaged in a disgusting attack of anti-Semitism against the film’s producers by tweeting an article from a lunatic blogger claiming that Jews behind the film are only producing this film because they’re engaged in a plot to defame Islam. CAIR suggested that there was no way Jewish producers could possibly make a movie that aims to protect the human rights of Muslim women. Of course, CAIR’s assertion is absolutely absurd and goes counter to any notion of interfaith dialogue that CAIR claims to champion. What CAIR is trying to do with Ayaan is engage in a smear campaign against her and other Muslim women, further victimizing them; it’s shameful. Frankly, If CAIR comes out against a film, you should take it as a cue to go see it, because obviously there is truth contained therein and it’s a truth that terror-connection CAIR doesn’t want us to talk about publicly. The goal of this Muslim Brotherhood organization, which has tax-exempt status in the United States, is to make the price of dialogue about these issues so high that we can’t talk about them. To shame students and schools into not teaching about human rights abuses against women, if it makes Islam look bad. Because they know, that when we can’t talk about Islamist terrorism, we can’t understand Islamist terrorism, and if we can’t understand it we can’t defeat it, so that’s CAIR’s ultimate goal.
Gordon:Â Ayaan Hirsi Ali was attacked by CAIR recently when Brandeis University had announced that it was going to confer an honorary doctorate on her at the May commencement. That led to a firestorm of criticism of the University’s President Frederick Lawrence and essentially his withdrawal of that award and honor. What did that illustrate about the banning of free speech in academia?
Goldstein:Â It was a cowardly move. It is a hypocritical move on behalf of Brandeis and they should be ashamed of themselves. Brandeis has hosted anti-Semites, from Desmond Tutu to Max Blumenthal, it accomodates the dishonest Israeli Apartheid Week, but it shies away from honoring a black woman whose mere testimony of abuse inspires rage from a terror-linked organization.
CAIR by accusing Ayaan of being “Islamophobic” and engaging in a charater defamation campaign, is attempting to distract us from the horrific treatment of women under Sharia law. Here in the West we have seen victims of so-called honor violence. CAIR wants to deflect the audiences’ attention away from this pressing issue and attack the people who are telling the truth because CAIR does not want America to know what the truth is. They don’t want Americans to know that innocent Muslim women are being victimized. CAIR thinks it can go around and play “Islamic speech police,” but this isn’t Saudi Arabia. CAIR has no authority to censor what Americans can and cannot see. Americans have every right to see this film, and hear Ayaan’s story and the stories of the myriad of Muslim women in the film. We cherish our free speech in this country; we cherish our women, and we don’t punish dialogue about how theology is used to justify the murder of women. One is free to engage in truthful dialogue no matter how offensive it is, to any religion, and especially when it concerns saving lives.
And we must remember that it was not the filmmakers who brought Islam into the conversation about womens rights; it is those who commit crimes against women, children, and other innocents in the name of Islam that have tarnished the theology. It is those who engage in female genital mutilation and who murder women in the name of Islam who have brought the religion into the dialogue and that’s exactly what this film is about. Talking about these things openly, regardless of whether people may find it offensive, takes courage and, anyway, who do you think are the type of people who find a movie about human rights violation offensive? Should we even care that we are offending these types of people? Those who support and who feel that these human rights violations are justified are the ones who are offended by such a film! CAIR puts itself in that camp and this terror-connected organization has no right to intimidate American students in American schools into cancelling screenings for American audiences.
Gordon:Â CAIR has also been engaged in attacking the American law for American courts legislation that has been passed in several states and is pending here in Florida. CAIR calls thisÂ “bullying legislation”Â when in fact all it does is affirm the constitutional rights of citizens against intrusion of foreign laws in certain cases. What is behind CAIR’s accusations against these legislative proposals?
Goldstein:Â CAIR often accuses Americans of doing what CAIR is guilty of. CAIR’s goal is to undermine the human rights afforded by the U.S. Constitution. You merely have to look to Omar Ahmad, co-founder of CAIR who himself has ties to Hamas, who famously said, “Islam is to be the dominant authority in America. It is to replace the current government.” CAIR does not believe in upholding the U.S. Constitution. CAIR has come out against legislation that reaffirms the Constitution as the supreme law of this land in Kansas and Florida. CAIR has also refused to blame Osama Bin Laden for the terrorist attacks on 9/11. It protested a billboard that depicted Osama Bin Laden as an enemy of the United States. It has justified acts of terrorism and, at the same time, it makes false claims that Muslims are being targeted unconstitutionally. In 2002, it claimed falsely that thousands of Muslims were being rounded up, detained, and have disappeared in this country, which is simply untrue. CAIR spews lies, engages in intimidation, and attempts to mislead the public that terrorists like Osama Bin Laden are not the real threat to America but the U.S. Constitution is. The fact that CAIR enjoys IRS-approved 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status while it actively opposes the U.S. Constitution is outrageous
Gordon:Â In 2008 in Fairfax County, Virginia, we were involved with the intimidation of a local police officer who detained a Muslim physician on his way to services at Dar Al-Hijrah, an infamous mosque where the late Anwar al-Awlaki was a preacher. The police department and the officer were intimidated to agree to a request by CAIR National to undergo “diversity training.” That lead to development ofÂ national legislation,Â introduced in 2009 and subsequently based on a theme from the New York Police Department’s “See Something, Say Something” subway campaign. That legislation has been stalled for nearly five years. Why is that?
Goldstein:Â We have an environment in the current State Department and the current administration that seems to hold those who accuse law enforcement agencies of Islamophobia in a higher regard than those who areÂ inÂ law enforcement who are attempting to protect us from Islamist terrorism. We saw this starting back in December 2011 when former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton had a three day closed door meeting with the head of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) and came out announcing that we were co-signing Human Rights Council Resolution 16/18 with the Muslim Brotherhood government in Egypt, and working with the OIC to implement that resolution within our borders. The resolution itself condemned the use of the media to criticize religion and it was the latest in a series of Resolutions that the Human Rights Council has passed attempting to ban, not just criticism of Islam or writings of Islam, but also thinking thoughts and the ideas that are deemed to be offensive to muslims. What followed? The State Department began redacting anything offensive to muslims from the Department of Defense Counter-Terrorism Manuals, the words Islam and Jihad were wiped out. FBI officials who were deemed “Islamophobic” got fired. The Fort Hood massacre was reclassified as workplace violence, as opposed to theologically motivated terrorism (note Major Nidal Hasan screamed “Allah Akbar” meaning “Allah is great” before he opened fire). A few months before that, Hasan had written an essay arguing for the painful liquidation of non-Muslims.
There is a complete and intentional denial within this administration of the threat of theologically motivated terrorism and groups like CAIR have manufactured this so called “war on Islam” in our counter-terrorism efforts. Thus, our law enforcement is simply not able to do its job. CAIR took it one step further when it brought a class action lawsuit with the ACLU in 2011 against the FBI, alleging illegal surveillance of the Muslim community in southern California. At the same time, CAIR San Francisco was working actively to hamper federal investigations into terrorism by printing and publicly distributing fliers and posters warning Muslims to “build a wall of resistance” and not talk to the FBI. The federal district court judge dismissed the class action suit and held that allowing the case to proceed would risk the disclosure of government secrets.
Gordon:Â In February this year in a Newark federal district court, a decision was handed down against a Muslim legal advocacy group regarding intrusive community profiling in New Jersey by the New York Police Department. That case was considered to be fairly significant, particularly in light of the attempt on the part of other police forces and the U.S. Department of Justice to prevent such activities. Do you think that decision will stand or do you think it will be overturned?
Goldstein:Â What I can say is that, from my dealings with the NYPD, they are not targeting Muslims and engaging in discrimination based on race or religion. What they are doing is targeting institutions that have a connection to global organized terrorism and, in this day and age, the majority of groups being targeted are Islamist due to the fact that there are a lot of Islamist terror networks that have penetrated the USA. The fact that organizations under surveillance are run by Muslims has nothing to do with the reason they are being surveilled by the NYPD. They are being surveilled because the police want to stop acts of murder regardless of what theological justification these groups have. The mere existence of this theological justification, that has been declared by the terrorists themselves, has now opened up the NYPD surveillance program to accusations of so-called Islamophobia, which are baseless.
Gordon:Â There has been a development recently concerning the abduction and removal of American children by Saudi fathers to Saudi Arabia against their will. This matter was in fact a subject of series of hearings by former Republican U.S. Representative Dan Burton of the Government and Reform Committee back in 2002. We recently interviewed two victims, a mother who lost her daughter at the age of five and a young woman in southern Florida who had been abducted by her Saudi father at age 11 and subjected to physical and mental abuse while in Saudi Arabia, but was rescued through her family’s resources. The penalties involved do not seem to be material to prevent the abduction of these children under Sharia by their foreign Muslim fathers. What do you believe can be done about it?
Goldstein:Â I think that we need to support law enforcement, as they apply the law equally to all children and women regardless of their race, their national origin, their ethnicity, or their religion. Children are innocent. I did a movie about the abuse of children by Islamist terrorists calledÂ The Making of a MartyrÂ where I exposed the illegal indoctrination and recruitment of innocent Palestinian children to become suicide-homicide bombers and how they are used as human shields by terrorist groups like Palestinian Islamic Jihad and Hamas. I pointed out that, despite the fact that this crime is widespread, it is ongoing and occurring out in the open, no human rights groupâ€”from Amnesty International to Human Rights Watchâ€”has consistently and coherently condemned this practice as a form of child abuse. In 2004, when I started filming my movie, the Coalition to Stop the Use of Child Soldiers actually came out with a report denying that Palestinian terrorist groups recruit children for armed activities. This was a slap in the face to these children who are being abused and who deserve protection, and this is what I call the real Islamophobia. It amounts to turning a blind eye, by the human rights community and by politicians, to the plight of Muslim women and children, basically sending a green light to radical Islamists to abuse them. Such a blind eye sends the message: Go ahead, continue abusing Muslim children and women with impunity, we don’t care, they don’t deserve human rights. That is the real Islamophobia Â Being irrationally scared of advocating for Muslim women’s equal rights. The real Islamophobes think we will not raise awareness about this issue because we are too afraid to do so. We are too politically correct and we are afraid of being called “anti-Muslim” even when the charge is ridiculous on its face. When New York Congressman Peter King held his radicalization hearings and put Somali Americans on the standâ€”who testified with tears in their eyes about how their Somali American relatives and children were being practically kidnapped by Al-Shabaab, flown across the border, and trained as Mujahideen abroadâ€”Rep. King was called an Islamophobe for advocating that the human rights of the Somali American community be protected. When ABC Family Channel recently announced a series, Alice in Arabia, about an American who was kidnapped and taken to Saudi Arabia, CAIR bullied and intimidated ABC into dropping the series. We have Hezbollah’s Al Manar TV network and Hamas’s Al Aqsa TV, both run by designated terrorist groups that engage in the recruitment of Muslim children and target Muslim women under very brutal interpretations of Sharia law. Both networks, Al Aqsa and Al Manar, are unlawfully being broadcast within the United States by corporations like NileSat IPTV, based in New Jersey, and by ArabTV4All, based in California. They air daily sermons from radical Islamists and cartoons and television programs that teach children to engage in violent activities. They are airing such jihadi recruitment propaganda in this country, illegally, and nothing is being done about it. We are complicit by turning a blind eye to these issues because we are allowing this to continue within our borders without a real coordinated law enforcement response and, when law enforcement does respond, they are crippled by political correctness.
Gordon:Â There have been indications in Congress about the possibility of legislation that might designate the Muslim Brotherhood a terrorist group here. Normally, that is done by our State Department. What is behind that movement and how realistic is it to see this eventuate in the form of legislation?
Goldstein:Â I think it is a long overdue recognition that the Muslim Brotherhood is the mother of all terrorist organizations and is active and operating within our borders to our detriment. There has been significant pushback from the Justice Department in exposing these issues. Texas Representative Louie Gohmert has been trying to get the documents about CAIR, which is the Muslim Brotherhood affiliated public relations front here in the United States. Gohmert has tried unsuccessfully for three years to get the Department of Justice to release the files on CAIR from the Holy Land Foundation Trial. We are receiving a clear message from the State Department , the Justice Department, and the Administration that not only are they simply not willing to expose these issues and to work with Congress but also they’re working with the Muslim Brotherhood.
Gordon:Â One of the more troubling developments has been the complicit activities of certain Jewish defense groups in bolstering the positions of certain Muslim advocacy groups, allegedly on the grounds of free speech and free worship. What is your response to that?
Goldstein:Â Groups that come out and are complicit in these false accusation of Islamophobia are either intentionally attempting to stifle public dialogue, or are unintentionally being misled to believe that there is a campaign against Muslims in this country. I think this is completely inaccurate. Islamophobia, as we mentioned before, is a contrived term that was invented by the Muslim Brotherhood with the sole purpose of stigmatizing those who are engaged in dialogue about militant Islam. If you look at the people who have been accused of Islamophobia, these are very well respected counter-terrorism experts and there is no utility whatsoever in calling people names and trying to intimidate people into silence. The United States thrives on open dialogue and debate about issues that affect our society. The role of Islam and Sharia law in honor killings and female genital mutilation, the threat of militant Islam, the sources of financing for Islamist terrorist groups, these are all very real issues that have to be hashed out through public awareness and debate. There is absolutely no utility in attempting to intimidate those who are engaging in this dialogue by calling names. That’s not how adults who are concerned about the safety of American citizens behave.
Gordon:Â Brooke Goldstein, I want to thank you for this engrossing and comprehensive discussion about an important topic that the U.S. needs to address. We thank you.
Goldstein:Â Thank you. I also want to mention a book that came out by Citizens for National Security. It is called theÂ Council of American Islamic Relations: Its Use of Lawfare and Intimidation.Â It contains examples of attempts by CAIR to bully and sue Americans and U.S. law enforcement into silence. I highly recommend this book for anyone who wants to study CAIR’s role in undermining the First Amendment right of free speech and our national security. The Lawfare Project also published a book entitledÂ Lawfare: The War Against Free Speech. It is a guide for any American who wants a primer on what their free speech rights are in this country, what the First Amendment protects, what is considered defamation, and how to protect yourself against a lawfare lawsuit. Your readers should feel free to contact The Lawfare Project if they are being intimidated. You can visit our website atÂ www.thelawfareproject.org. Thank you so much Jerry for giving this issue the attention it deserves. We appreciate it.