A small but significant victory was achieved in suburban Philadelphia this week when the Montgomery County Bar Association confirmed that Imam Iftekhar Hussain of CAIR, previously invited to address an ecumenical service, would NOT be attending, after all.
Islamist Watch (H/T Susan K) Hussain is chairperson of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) PA Board of Directors and a member of the CAIR PA Philadelphia Chapter Executive Committee.
Precisely whose idea it was to invite a local CAIR spokesperson to this convocation of lawyers and law enforcement officials is still unclear. What is manifestly apparent, however, is that CAIR would never have made the short list if the organizers had spent just a bit of time researching the matter. And the episode proves the effectiveness of focused community activism in denying legitimacy to Islamists.
The Pennsylvania branch of CAIR with which Mr. Hussain has been associated has a deeply troubling history with regard to freedom of expression, urging censorship of a documentary about radical Islam, launching an attack on schools and libraries considering books on Islam from the Philadelphia-based Foreign Policy Research Institute, strong-arming a local Internet newspaper into suspending a writer critical of it, and most alarmingly, colluding with the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission to manufacture data about alleged Islamophobic “bias incidents” in the state and chill free speech.
Hussain himself is also an odd choice both for an ecumenical service and for one that, in the words of the event’s host, St. John’s Church of Norristown, seeks to “affirm justice and law.” On his blog, Iftekhar Hussain’s Thoughts, he admiringly posts articles spreading lies about Israel and decrying its response to Hamas missile barrages aimed at its citizens as “barbaric attack[s]” and “massacre[s]”. For good measure, he posts about the “horrors … committed by U.S. troops on innocent Iraqi civilians” and, as can be expected, characterizes criticism of violent Islam as “hate” speech and manifestations of “Islamophobia.”
ACTION ALERT: Ask Philadelphia Inquirer Not to Promote Anti-Muslim Hate
(PHILADELPHIA, 9/16/2008) – CAIR is calling on anyone who received the “Obsession” DVD in their newspaper to contact the papers publishers to ask why they believe it is appropriate to profit from anti-Muslim hate.