Friday, April 08, 2005

CAIR and the National Review - Revisited

Charles at LGF has a post linking comments from Srdja Trifkovic, the foreign-affairs editor of Chronicles: A Magazine of American Culture and director of The Rockford Institute's Center for
International Affairs.

(We had written about National Review's stunning capitulation to CAIR here. NR, faced with the potential of losing Boeing's ad revenue pulled two books offered through its book service that CAIR deemed anti-Islamic.)

Read Trifkovic's post here. Excerpts:

Immediately I called Boeing’s Vice President for Communications, Larry McCracken, to find out what was going on. He did acknowledge that the company had received many messages demanding Boeing’s pressure on NR to drop the ads, but he insisted that his company had not done anything of the kind. He said that Boeing was not in any kind of communication with NR over this issue and gave me specific assurances that it had not made any attempt to influence NR’s decision one way or another, and had no intention of doing so in the future. Such clear-cut statements, I must say, rang true: A seasoned professional could have chosen more ambiguous words had he wanted to secure a fallback position.

My next call was to Jay Nordlinger, NR’s managing editor. He had just returned from a trip, he said, and wasn’t familiar with the details. When I expressed my dismay at what appeared to be going on, he said that his silence should not be construed as approval or agreement. I gave him my phone number, but nobody called me back.

On April 1, as I mused gloomily on how easy it was for those effette laptop bombardiers to submit to the culture of dhimmitude, some comfort came with the news that The Sword had jumped to a three-digit position on, and that my book and The Life and Religion of Mohammed were No. 1 and No. 2 best-sellers on The pleasing thought that the Muslims were doing for me what Abe Foxman had done for Mel Gibson was soon offset by e-mails informing me of Islamist gloating around the world. From Moscow Egor Engelhardt sent me the link to a Muslim site in Russia that celebrated CAIR’s feat.

And Trifkovic provides a nice reminder of exactly the type of outfit to whom the venerable National Review caved:

1. CAIR has called the guilty verdict in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing case “a travesty of justice” and decreed that it “represents the degree to which an anti-Muslim venom has penetrated into society.”

2. CAIR condemned the conviction of Omar Abdel Rahman, the blind sheikh, for conspiring to blow up New York City landmarks including two tunnels in 1995, as a “hate crime.”

3. CAIR advisory-board member Siraj Wahhaj was named by U.S. Attorney Mary Jo White in 1995 as one of the unindicted co-conspirators in the attempt to blow up New York City sites in 1993.

4. In August 1998, CAIR condemned the targeting of terrorist training camps in Afghanistan in the aftermath of the bombings of two U.S. embassies in Africa.

5. In October 1998, CAIR demanded the removal of a Los Angeles billboard describing Osama as “the sworn enemy.”

8. In April 2001 CAIR issued a press release criticizing Khalid Duran’s then-forthcoming book it had not seen, Children of Abraham: An Introduction to Islam for Jews. Its attack grew into an international campaign, with some Arab religious leaders calling the author an apostate (murtadd)—an invitation to a compulsory death sentence under Islam.

Some days after the attacks CAIR also called on its supporters to send donations, which was seemingly nice: under a picture of the World Trade Center in flames the message said simply, “Donate to the NY/DC Emergency Relief Fund.” Yet the hyperlink took would-be donors to the website of the Holy Land Foundation, an Islamic “charity” whose assets were frozen soon thereafter by the U.S. Government because it had given millions of dollars to Hamas.

A week later CAIR called on people to donate to the Global Relief Foundation, another Islamic charity based in suburban Chicago, whose assets were also frozen in December 2001. According to the Treasury Department,
“The Global Relief Foundation has connections to, has provided support for, and has provided assistance to Usama Bin Ladin, the al-Qaeda Network, and other known terrorist groups.”

Diana West also takes National Review to task for its backtracking.

I can appreciate the commercial pressures on the National Review and their concern that CAIR could badly damage Boeing's prospects in Muslim countries which, in turn, could costs hundreds or thousands of American jobs. But for a titan of the conservative movement the honorable thing to have done was take the Hootie Johnson route. Release Boeing from any commercial commitments to NR should the pressure become too intense and make up for the lost revenue another way.

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