October 16th, 2009 11:28 EST
Congress Blast Claims That Muslim Interns are Spies
A prominent national Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization today applauded statements by members of the U.S. House of Representatives rejecting claims made yesterday by several of their GOP colleagues that Muslim congressional interns are spies. "
The Council on American-Islamic relations (CAIR) also said that one of its directors has received a death threat after the Wednesday launch of a Muslim-bashing " book by several right-wing members of Congress. CAIR`s offices in Washington, D.C., Detroit, and Northern and Southern California also received obscene phone calls. The San Diego caller referenced the anti-Muslim book.
CAIR said its national communications director today received a faxed death threat that stated: Muslim Neanderthal Dougie Hooper (AKA Ibrahim Hooper) will be soon hanged for treason against the United States. " The fax also included an image of a gallows with the label Dougie Hooper. " CAIR has informed the FBI of the threat.
SEE: Death Threat Against CAIR Official
Yesterday, several right-wing members of Congress launched a book called Muslim Mafia " and asked for an investigation of Muslim spies " on Capitol Hill. The book promoted by the elected officials contains a reference to CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper as Dougie Hooper. "
An article in Politico said the alleged spying by Muslims was in fact a fairly straight forward public relations and lobbying strategy, " with the goals of "`placing Muslim interns in congressional offices` and registering people to vote. "
SEE: Islam Group Ridicules Muslim `Spies` Claim (Politico)
In response to the right-wing smears, the Atlanta Journal called CAIR a mainstream, all-American civil liberties and advocacy group. "
SEE: Paul Broun and Dr. Strangelove
An article on Salon.com called the actions of the elected officials who launched the anti-Muslim book the most despicable domestic political event of the year. " The article calls the co-author of Muslim Mafia " a ranting, insane hatemonger. "
SEE: GOP House Members Call for Investigation of Muslim Political Activity (Salon)
SEE ALSO: The Muslims are Coming!
The demand for a probe of Muslim spies " in Congress drew condemnation from other elected officials, one of whom called it a witch hunt. "
Rep. Loretta Sanchez (D-CA) issued a statement yesterday, which read in part:
I am appalled by this request [for an investigation of Muslim "spies` in Congress], and the insinuation that Muslim-Americans are somehow conspiring against this country through their work on Capitol Hill. As a strong advocate for diversity and religious freedom, I find these claims to be outrageous and offensive. I urge the rest of my colleagues to join me in denouncing this witch hunt, which is clearly intended to create fear and distrust in our Capitol Hill community. "
House Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers, Jr. (D-MI) today issued the following statement in support of American Muslim congressional interns:
"It shouldn`t need to be said in 2009, and after the historic election of our first African-American president, but let me remind all my colleagues that patriotic Americans of all races, religions, and beliefs have the right - and the responsibility - to participate in our political process, including by volunteering to work in Congressional offices. Numerous Muslim-American interns have served the House ably and they deserve our appreciation and respect, not attacks on their character or patriotism."
SEE: Conyers Blasts GOP Lawmakers` Accusations of Muslim `Spies`
Dave Gaubatz, the anti-Islam blogger who co-authored Muslim Mafia, " has a long history of bigotry targeting Islam and Muslims. Gaubatz has called Islam an evil ideology " and worked for a racist group that sought to make adherence to Islam " punishable by a 20-year prison term. A post yesterday on his blog outlined his wish to destroy CAIR. "
SEE: Fox Trumpets CAIR Conspiracy Theory Charges Made by Author with Anti-Islam History
SEE ALSO: Republican Lawmakers Leading Witch Hunt Against Muslim Group
In the past, Gaubatz has been questioned by state and federal law enforcement authorities for actions that were perceived as those of a stalker. CAIR has filed a criminal report against Gaubatz over materials he and his son say they stole from the civil rights group`s offices.
Along with his past rhetorical attacks on CAIR, Gaubatz has called President Obama a crack head " and wrote that a vote for Hussein Obama is a vote for Sharia Law. " He also called Islam a terminal disease that once spread is hard to destroy. "
In a statement, CAIR said:
It is troubling that right-wing elected officials would serve as publicity agents for extremists who seek to bar an American minority from exercising its constitutionally-protected rights. We applaud those who stand up for the right of all Americans to participate fully in our nation`s political system.
CAIR calls on the FBI to investigate the death threat against its national communications director and to bring the perpetrators to justice. "
CAIR is America`s largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance the understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.