CAIR – Distorting Facts, Videos, and Reality

March 8th, 2011 3:00 AM

Recently, the Los Angeles branch of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-LA) released a video showing a group of protestors exhibiting anti-Muslim sentiments outside an ICNA fundraising dinner.  Liberal media outlets ran with the press release as a way to highlight bigotry towards Muslims, with the video showing up on The Guardian, Think Progress, Salon, Mediaite, Huffington Post, and Hillary Clinton’s source for ‘real news’, Al Jazeera.  Problem being, the video and press release is so wrought with false statements, distortions, and a cut and paste documentary style, it could have passed as a Michael Moore film.

Naturally, these news outlets casually gloss over the ICNA’s controversial ties to radical clerics, terrorist organizations, and the implementation of Sharia law.  Outlined previously, the group has hosted events with such speakers as radical cleric Anwar al-Awlaki, and Siraj Wahhaj, an unindicted co-conspirator in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, and one of the keynote speakers at this particular fundraiser.  Additionally, the group has documented ties to Hamas, Jamaat-e-Islami, and the Muslim Brotherhood. 

All facts which seemingly bear little relevance as to why there would be a protest in the first place.  But even beyond an exploration of reasons behind the protest, is concern that these media outlets would present a distorted video as evidence of anything other than their own journalistic malpractice.

The video attempts to portray the obnoxious portion of the protestors as the whole of the entire crowd.  However, the Orange County Register paints a picture of a much more serene group of protestors, with many in the crowd waving American flags, singing patriotic songs, and tying red, white, and blue bandanas on their dogs.  The report stated that, “the event had the atmosphere of a July 4th picnic.”

Problems began when a small group of individuals, separate from the several hundred peaceful protestors, started yelling and booing a mere 50 yards from the entrance to the event. 

“As the fundraiser started, a splinter group of about 100 stood about 50 yards from the community center entrance and booed, yelled "go home" and chanted "no Sharia law" as attendees entered the building.”

The rogue faction was nothing more than a small percentage of the entire protest, and stood in their own separate area, but is clearly being featured in the video clip as representative of the entire group. 

Additionally, the CAIR press release lists a favorite target of theirs, Pamela Geller, as a sponsor of the protest.  We contacted Pamela about this accusation which she flatly denied:

“The video said I was a sponsor of this rally - I was no such thing. Yes, I ran it on my blog and supported a protest against terrorist sympathizers, but that video was cut to highlight bad behavior, which I don't encourage, nor do you see at my rallies.”

Geller also shifted focus back on the ICNA and what they stand for:

“It is also important to remember that ICNA is not a benign charitable organization, but an Islamic supremacist group with ties to the Muslim Brotherhood. It explicitly calls for Sharia rule, which institutionalizes oppression of women and non-Muslims and denies the freedom of speech and the freedom of conscience. This does not excuse people behaving obnoxiously toward ICNA members, but ICNA itself stands for a far greater repression and denial of human rights than that which is represented by a few insulting remarks.”

More claims of the video being distorted were made by the first vice chair of the Orange County G.O.P. Organizing Committee, Deborah Pauly.  In an NBC-LA report, Pauly states that the video was ‘craftily edited to change the meaning of her words.’ 

At one point during the day, Pauly discusses violent jihadists in the Middle East, saying that she knows “quite a few Marines who would be very happy to help these terrorists to an early meeting in paradise.”  But the editors insert this comment between shots of the attendees arriving at the event, creating the impression that Pauly was referring specifically to those at the fundraiser.

The NBC report also calls into question where the splinter group of protestors came from, citing the fact that the video was made some time after the actual rally. 

“…video of protestors hurling insults at the Muslims were shot in darkness, apparently several hours after a sun-splashed afternoon rally…”

The group also seems to have no ties to the rally itself.  Pauly states, “We don't even know who these people are, they arrived as our event was ending.”

Another witness, Rabbi David Eliezrie, confirmed this:

“I participated in a peaceful protest on the lawn a hundred yards away from the Yorba Linda Community Center. The Mayor, city council members, congressman, the local reform rabbi, and others spoke.

Another demonstration started near the entrance of the Community Center. Those in the second rally spoke harshly as indicated on the video. We did not join them, in fact we told people not to go there.”

He surmises:

“The edited video by CAIR is another incident in a long history of distorting the truth.”

The media also has a long history of distorting the truth, presenting CAIR consistently as a moderate group when their motives have proven slightly more radical.  So is it any surprise that when CAIR creates a propaganda piece, that the media accepts it verbatim?

Cross-posted at the Mental Recession

Photo Credit:  Examiner