Allen West, Florida Conservatives Fire Back at CAIR's 'Islamophobe' Claims
Around the State
Florida conservatives were included last week in a list from the Council for American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) for standing at the “center of promoting Islamophobia in America” and they are firing back at the organization.
"This report sheds light on the groups promoting Islamophobia in our society and reveals to the reader the impact those groups have on our nation's discourse about Islam, pluralism and the future of the protections enshrined in the U.S. Constitution," said Corey Saylor who heads up CAIR’s efforts on the matter.
CAIR released a study last week which looked at “Islamophobes” and included former U.S. Rep. Allen West and conservative activist David Caton and the Florida Family Association (FFA) as two of the worst 10 offenders in the nation. The other members of the top 10 on the list were retired Lt. Gen. William G. "Jerry" Boykin; Zuhdi Jasser and the American Islamic Forum for Democracy; former Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain; U.S. Rep. Peter King, R-N.Y., who has said he will run for the Republican presidential nomination in 2016; David Yerushalmi; Walid Shoebat and the Forum for Middle East Understanding; “state legislators who sponsored anti-Islam legislation;" the Clarion Fund; and Lowe's.
The report rips West on a host of fronts. “Allen West represented a congressional district that includes parts of Florida’s Broward and Palm Beach counties,” CAIT noted in the report. “In 2003, then Lt. Col. Allen West was fined $5,000 for using improper methods to force information out of an Iraqi detainee. In 2012, West said he was aware of 78 to 81 members of the Democratic Party [in the U.S. Congress] that are members of the communist party."
“West claims that Islam is not a religion and that Muslims are a ‘fifth column,’” CAIR continued.
West fired back on Tuesday, insisting he was proud of the distinction since he had a low opinion of CAIR.
“CAIR bestowed upon me a great honor,” West posted on Facebook on Tuesday. “They listed me in the top 10 of individuals and organizations they fear.”
West went on the attack, linking CAIR to Islamic terrorism.
“CAIR is an unindicted co-conspirator in the largest terrorism financing case in America, the Holy Land Foundation trial,” West insisted. “It is basically a front group for the Muslim Brotherhood in America. Also, it seems CAIR has a history of meeting with Iranian leadership, the largest state sponsor of Islamic terrorism, during the annual U.N. General Assembly.”
West also cited CAIR’s outreach -- and what they fail to focus on.
“I have yet to hear or see CAIR on any TV, radio, or newspaper op-ed pages explaining the recent vicious attacks by Muslims against Christians in Pakistan and against innocent shoppers in Nairobi,” West wrote. “To be forced to recite a koranic verse or die is simply barbaric. To conduct a targeted attack against Christians departing from church services is savage, not just in Pakistan, but in Nigeria, Egypt, Syria, and all across countries with Muslim governance (or lack of it). If saying so makes me an 'Islamophobe' so be it. It just confirms that CAIR, and their ilk, fear those who will relentlessly confront them with the truth. Lastly, to those who have the ‘COEXIST’ bumper stickers on their vehicles, read Solomon's Proverb 17:28 … you may may want to scrape it off.”
CAIR also took aim at Caton and the FFA, labeling the conservative organization a “fringe right-wing group” and noting sourly the FFA successfully lobbied Lowe’s to stop advertising during “All American Muslim” on TLC. CAIR also criticized FFA’s attempts to pass anti-Sharia legislation at the city and state levels.
Caton responded in kind. “As expected, the report, as it relates to Florida Family Association Inc., is long on name calling and short on the facts,” Caton insisted.
Taking exception with CAIR’s description of the FFA as “a right wing fringe group,” Caton laid out the group’s successes.
“If Florida Family Association is so ‘right wing’ then how did Florida Family Association influence 128 out of a total of 136 advertisers to stop advertising on Al Jazeera America?” demanded Caton. “Ninety-four percent dropped the channel."
Caton also claimed “the number of companies advertising on the channel” went down “from 60 per week to eight.” Caton also insisted CAIR was relying on an incorrect news story from the New York Times regarding FFA’s protest of TLC.
Other Florida activists targeted by CAIR include Republican congressional hopeful Joe Kauffman and Pastor Terry Jones of the Dove World Outreach Center. Jones made international headlines for holding Koran-burning events.
Reach Kevin Derby at email@example.com.