Since September 11, 2001, the Council on American-Islamic Relations has used subsequent terrorist attacks to educate Americans about Islam through radio and TV.
Following the London bombings, a Washington, D.C.-based radio host, Michael Graham of the Disney owned 630 WMAL, devoted a show to the attacks, saying that followers of Islam were terrorizing Britain. Some of Mr. Graham's statements - such as "Islam is at war with America" and "Islam is a terrorist organization" - resulted in a campaign by CAIR to get him fired.
On July 25, CAIR's head for southern California, Hussam Ayloush, appeared on Hugh Hewitt's syndicated radio show. As a blog run by former Navy SEALs, Froggy Ruminations, reported, "For the first two hours of his program today, Hugh unwittingly turned the keys of his radio show over to an organization that has a long track record of apologizing for Islamic terror." The blog said that Mr. Ayloush specifically criticized MEMRI. Its writers added, "Ayloush stonewalled on every point, and gave the impression, like a good little CAIR spokesman, that there really isn't any terrorism in the world."
"I can't remember all the deceptions and outright lies that were told and many of them went unchallenged" is how Froggy Ruminations summed up the interview. Those words could also apply to a July 25 interview between a CAIR spokesman, Ibrahim Hooper, and a sympathetic Chris Core, who hosts a radio show on the same station as Mr. Graham. Mr. Hooper was brought on the air to discuss statements Mr. Graham made and used the opportunity to further CAIR's ongoing unofficial Da'wa campaign of Islamic missionary activity to teach Americans about Islam and to influence them to convert. In some ways, CAIR has already been successful. They openly state in Arabic that tens of thousands of Americans have converted to Islam, an unsubstantiated claim.
During the interview, Mr. Core asked Mr. Hooper to address Western criticism of calls for Muslims to kill infidels found in the Koran. Mr. Hooper said "that was nonsense," explaining that while there are such verses, they only refer to military campaigns during the time of Mohammed. This does not jibe with the views and teachings of leading Islamist scholars throughout the world.
As the Saudi-based Web site Al-Minbar quoted Sheikh Muhammad Saleh al-Munajjid as saying: "Muslims must ... educate their children to Jihad. This is the greatest benefit of the situation: educating the children to Jihad and to hatred of the Jews, the Christians, and the infidels; educating the children to Jihad and to revival of the embers of Jihad in their souls."
The program got interesting when Mr. Core asked Mr. Hooper to explain the concept of Jihad. He said, "Jihad is a respected concept in Islam. Jihad does not mean flying planes into buildings. It does not mean blowing up subways ... I just read a Tradition of the Prophet, it's called a hadith ... It said, ‘the best Jihad is to speak a word of truth to an oppressive ruler' ... Jihad in its military sense means a Muslim nation having a standing army, people in uniforms there to defend the borders, to prevent invasions, to do anything any normal army does, for any nation. That's what a real Jihad is. It has to be called by a legitimate government... It's like having the U.S. army only it's in the Muslim context."
Mr. Hooper complained that jihad is only reported on when it is referred to as "holy war," which has been "misused by people on both sides of the spectrum." The way in which Mr. Hooper and CAIR define jihad to Americans is misleading. According to the Islamic Affairs Department of Saudi Arabia's embassy in Washington, D.C., one definition of jihad is the following: "The Muslims are required to raise the banner of Jihad in order to make the Word of Allah supreme in this world, to remove all forms of injustice and oppression, and to defend the Muslims. If Muslims do not take up the sword, the evil tyrants of this earth will be able to continue oppressing the weak and [the] helpless."
Mr. Stalinsky is the Executive Director of the Middle East Media Research Institute.