Ten questions for the Council on American Islamic Relations

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The Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) has launched a propaganda campaign attacking a state legislative initiative that is designed to protect the constitutional rights of all Americans, including Muslims.

That initiative is known as American Laws for American Courts (ALAC).

CAIR claims this bill would have the opposite effect – infringing upon Muslims’ and others’ right to freedom of religion. CAIR’s real motivation, however, is not to safeguard the U.S. Constitution, but rather to promote the insinuation here of Shariah, a totalitarian Islamic political-military-legal doctrine. Shariah requires and enforces discrimination against women, children, homosexuals, atheists, members of other religions such as Jews, Hindus, Buddhists, and Christians, as well as Muslims who repudiate the dictates of that doctrine.

A review of the actual language of the American Laws for American Courts legislation shows that CAIR is deliberately and falsely characterizing it as anti-Shariah. As we shall see, ALAC is not targeted at either Shariah or Islam. Unlike a constitutional amendment to the State of Oklahoma’s constitution that was approved in 2010 by seventy percent of the voters, neither term is mentioned anywhere in ALAC’s bill language. (A complete comparison can be found here: https://www.americanthinker.com/2011/09/american_laws_for_american_courts.html_ .)

ALAC’s very different approach was vindicated when the Council on American Islamic Relations succeeded in challenging the Oklahoma amendment on the grounds that it singled out Shariah law and therefore was ruled unconstitutional. Instead, ALAC is crafted to prevent the infringement in our court system on individual liberties by any foreign laws or legal doctrines, a phenomenon known as "transnationalism."

This is made necessary since America has unique values of liberty that do not exist in many foreign legal systems. Among those guaranteed rights and privileges are: freedom of religion, freedom of speech, freedom of the press, due process and equal protection under the law, the right to privacy and the right to keep and bear arms.

Unfortunately, increasingly, foreign laws and legal doctrines that would restrict or deny these liberties are finding their way into U.S. court cases, thanks largely to the rulings of transnationalist judges. In some instances, these judges are permitting the use of Shariah to adjudicate disputes on their dockets.

The appeal of the American Laws for American Courts model for preventing such intrusions of unconstitutional foreign laws is evident from the fact that it has been enacted to date in three states: Tennessee in April 2010, in Louisiana in June 2010 and in Arizona in May 2011. And ALAC’s fundamental constitutionality is evident in the fact that neither CAIR nor anyone else has filed a legal challenge to any of these three laws, let alone succeeded in getting ALAC struck down.

Knowing that a legal challenge to American Laws for American Courts is hopeless, CAIR has stooped to launching dishonest and misleading attacks against an initiative designed to preserve our freedoms.

How, one might ask, can an American organization oppose legislation that is crafted to form a reinforcing bulwark to protect our most fundamental freedoms against foreign laws that do not respect them? The answer lies, in part, with the nature of the Council on American Islamic Relations.

The Department of Justice has named CAIR as a front for the Muslim Brotherhood (and its Palestinian franchise: the officially designated terrorist group, Hamas). Evidence introduced in the Holy Land Foundation trial established that the Brotherhood’s mission in America is "a kind of civilization jihad…in destroying Western civilization from within" by our hands. Using our courts to undermine our liberties and Constitution "from within" is one of the most important and effective techniques for advancing this subversive civilization jihad. Two federal courts have refused to strike CAIR’s designation as a Muslim Brotherhood/Hamas co-conspirator and/or joint venturer.


  • CAIR has been named as an unindicted co-conspirator in the largest terrorism finance trial in U.S. history, the 2008 United States vs. Holy Land Foundation case in Dallas, Texas.
    No fewer than four CAIR leaders have been convicted of felonies, including terrorism.
    CAIR has a memorandum of understanding with the Organization of the Islamic Cooperation, the world’s most powerful multinational organization and, with 57 members, its largest – second only to the United Nations. The OIC is, like CAIR, dedicated to the imposition of Shariah doctrine and the criminalization of any "blasphemy" against Shariah law.
  • The FBI has terminated relations with CAIR as a matter of policy.
  • The IRS has reportedly revoked the non-profit status of CAIR’s national organization.
  • CAIR is being sued for engaging in fraud against several of its members.

With this important background on the nature of the Council on American Islamic Relations, let’s analyze its critique of American Laws for American Courts by reviewing in the boxes below key passages from the legislation. (The entire model act can be found here: https://publicpolicyalliance.org/?page_id=38.)

Such a review prompts ten questions concerning CAIR’s opposition to this bill and we will address each, in turn.

ALAC: Purpose

"AN ACT to protect rights and privileges granted under the United
States or [State] Constitution."

Questions for the Council on American Islamic Relations:

1. Why is CAIR opposing legislation designed to protect the rights and privileges granted under our U.S. and state constitutions? What is CAIR’s motivation? Do they think Muslims either don’t deserve or do not want to enjoy the same constitutional rights to which all citizens of this country are entitled? Or is CAIR trying to establish that Muslims are entitled to such rights (notably, freedom of religion and freedom of speech) but other people deemed inferior, for whatever reason (for example, for being "infidels") may not be allowed the same rights as Muslims?

2. Exactly which constitutional rights protected by ALAC does CAIR find offensive or "Islamophobic"? (This made-up term is used by Shariah’s adherents to brand anything or anyone who "gives offense" to their doctrine or its enforcers.) The most important non-Brotherhood Muslim organization in this country, the American Islamic Leadership Coalition, has already endorsed American Laws for American Courts when it was introduced in Michigan. (https://publicpolicyalliance.org/?p=632) Does CAIR consider them "Islamophobic," as well?

ALAC: Finding

"The [general assembly/legislature] finds that it shall be the public policy of this state to protect its citizens from the application of foreign laws when the application of a foreign law will result in the violation of a right guaranteed by the constitution of this state or of the United States, including but not limited to due process, freedom of religion, speech, or press, and any right of privacy or marriage as specifically defined by the constitution of this state."

Questions for the Council on American Islamic Relations:

3. Does CAIR dispute that Article VI of the U.S. Constitution makes it "the supreme law of the land" and, therefore, that all other laws, including Shariah, must be subordinated to it where there is a conflict? There are, of course, myriad areas in which Shariah is at odds with constitutional rights (e.g., women’s ability to divorce, inherit property, enjoy custody of their children and engage or refuse to engage in sexual relations, homosexuality, freedom of expression, etc.) In such instances, would CAIR have the Constitution defer to Shariah?

4. Which rights does CAIR wish to have violated by or subordinated to foreign law? Does it favor unequal treatment for and/or brutalizing of women, homosexuals, apostates, Jews and others in accordance with Shariah?

ALAC: Definitions

"As used in this act, "foreign law, legal code, or system" means any law, legal code, or system of a jurisdiction outside of any state or territory of the United States, including, but not limited to, international organizations and tribunals, and applied by that jurisdiction’s courts, administrative bodies, or other formal or informal tribunals."

Questions for the Council on American Islamic Relations:

5. How can this definition be construed as applying uniquely to Shariah? In fact, it applies equally to all foreign laws. Period. What is more, it does not preclude the application of any foreign law, including Shariah – except insofar as it violates constitutional rights or state public policy.

6. In view of ALAC’s key definition, isn’t it disingenuous and misleading to depict American Laws for American Courts as an "anti-Shariah" bill? CAIR is certainly mischaracterizing ALAC in the campaign that it and other Muslim Brotherhood fronts have been mounting against such legislation. Given the clarity of the language in question, one can only conclude that these Brotherhood groups are doing so knowingly for the purpose of deceiving the American people.

7. Which "foreign law, legal code, or system" does CAIR wish to see incorporated into American constitutional law? Is CAIR seeking the imposition of all foreign laws, even where they violate the U.S. Constitution, or just Shariah?

ALAC: Operative Provision

"Any court, arbitration, tribunal, or administrative agency ruling or decision shall violate the public policy of this State and be void and unenforceable if the court, arbitration, tribunal, or administrative agency bases its rulings or decisions in the matter at issue in whole or in part on any law, legal code or system that would not grant the parties affected by the ruling or decision the same fundamental liberties, rights, and privileges granted under the U.S. and [State] Constitutions, including but not limited to due process, freedom of religion, speech, or press, and any right of privacy or marriage as specifically defined by the constitution of this state."

Questions for the Council on American Islamic Relations:

8. What legal authority is the Council on American Islamic Relations defending by its attack on American Laws for American Courts? Specifically, we need to know: What does CAIR prefer by way of a court, arbitration panel, tribunal or administrative agency that bases its decisions on a code that would not grant our fundamental liberties, rights and privileges?

Clearly, as we have seen, ALAC has been drafted in order to provide guidance so that legal disputes in our courts do not result in the violation of the fundamental liberties, rights and privileges enshrined in the U.S. and our state Constitutions.

Thanks to the guarantees incorporated into the Constitution, no U.S. citizen or legal resident should be denied such liberties. Ensuring that is the case, however, is why ALAC is needed, particularly with respect to women and children. These communities have been identified by international human rights organizations as the principal victims of discriminatory foreign laws.

9. Why does CAIR oppose an inclusive bill extending civil liberties and due process to all citizens and legal residents, given the proven cases of discrimination, especially against Muslim women resulting from too much deference to foreign laws?

There is a certain irony at work here, as shown in an analysis of a sample of legal cases in the United States where Shariah has been successfully introduced to resolve the matter (www.shariahinamericancourts.com): The most frequent victims of the trampling of constitutional rights by foreign legal codes in actual cases in the United States, are Muslim women and their families.

That’s bad enough. But CAIR’s stance suggests that it seeks to relegate all women – not just Muslim ones – to an inferior status incompatible with the equal rights they are entitled to enjoy under the U.S. Constitution.

ALAC: Explicit Exclusions

"This subsection shall not apply to a church, religious corporation, association, or society, with respect to the individuals of a particular religion regarding matters that are purely ecclesiastical, to include, but not be limited to, matters of calling a pastor, excluding members from a church, electing church officers, matters concerning church bylaws, constitution, and doctrinal regulations and the conduct of other routine church business, where 1) the jurisdiction of the church would be final; and 2) the jurisdiction of the courts of this State would be contrary to the First Amendment of the United States and the Constitution of this State."

Question for the Council on American Islamic Relations:

10. Why is CAIR opposed to preserving and protecting religious freedom for all Americans, as spelled out explicitly in the American Laws for American Courts act?

CAIR falsely maintains that American Laws for American Courts trespasses against religious freedom. That assertion is laid bare as patently dishonest by reading this important passage from the model American Laws for American Courts legislation: Far from denying religious freedom, American Laws for American Courts expressly champions and protects that liberty guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution and by state constitutions adopted pursuant to it.

CAIR and its allies have been known to claim that American Laws for American Courts would interfere with canon law or Jewish law. As the plain language of the bill makes clear, this is patently untrue. Indeed, prominent interfaith leaders – including experts in the legal codes of their respective faiths – have endorsed American Laws for American Courts, including Rabbi Aryeh Spero, Rabbi Jonathan Hausman, J.D. and the Reverend Canon J. Philip Ashey, Esq. (See the Interfaith letter of support for American Laws for American Courts at https://publicpolicyalliance.org/?p=653).

In short, American Laws for American Courts is a necessary and constitutional initiative that protects our fundamental freedoms against all foreign legal regimes that would threaten them. Representations to the contrary, particularly from groups like CAIR that are tied to the Muslim Brotherhood, an organization seeking our destruction, should be seen for what they are – fraudulent deceptions – and rejected in the most effective possible way: by ensuring that every state in the union joins Tennessee, Louisiana and Arizona in enacting American Laws for American Courts.

Brigitte Gabriel is an international terrorism analyst and the Founder and President of ACT! for America, the nation’s largest grassroots citizen action network dedicated to preserving national security and combating the threat of radical Islam. She is the author of two New York Times Best Sellers, Because they Hate: A Survivor of Islamic Terror Warns America; and They Must Be Stopped: Why we must defeat radical Islam and how we can do it.

Frank Gaffney is the Founder and President of the Center for Security Policy in Washington, D.C. The Center is a not-for-profit, non-partisan educational corporation established in 1988. Under Mr. Gaffney’s leadership, the Center has been nationally and internationally recognized as a resource for timely, informed and penetrating analyses of foreign and defense policy matters.

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