In testimony today before a Senate panel, efforts by the FBI to outreach to the Council of American Islamic Relations was called into question:
The FBI’s outreach efforts to the Council on American-Islamic Relations have been counterproductive, according to an expert at a Senate hearing on countering violent Islamism who called the group an extension of the extremist Muslim Brotherhood.
Although other witnesses told the Senate Homeland Security panel that communication with CAIR is beneficial, Zeyno Baran, senior fellow at the Hudson Institute, a conservative think tank, said its relationship with the FBI leaves agents ill-prepared to work with the American Muslim community.
“For months now, FBI agents have been trained by CAIR to be sensitive to Muslims,” she said. “This is completely self-defeating.”
Baran said she believes CAIR was founded by the Muslim Brotherhood to influence U.S. officials, and works not as a faith group but as one with a political agenda of Islamism, a philosophy that treats Islam as a political ideology.
Furthermore, she said, the group was among those named as unindicted co-conspirators in a recent federal case that charged the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development with providing millions of dollars and logistical support to the militant group Hamas.
Baran questioned how CAIR is defining proper respect for Muslims when it advises the FBI.
“The agents are going to be misinformed and they will be overly sensitive and they will not ask certain questions,” she said. Later in the hearing, she said CAIR “does not reflect the Muslim community as a faith community, but as a political group.”
...Other radicalization experts who testified at the hearing took issue with Baran’s characterization of CAIR.
Peter P. Mandaville, associate professor of government and politics at George Mason University, said he is not familiar with the specifics of the FBI program, but the picture Baran painted of CAIR did not sound right.
“I don’t share the view that CAIR as an organization is best understood primarily as a front for the Muslim Brotherhood,” he said. “I do believe there are individuals associated with that movement who hold those views, but I think it wrong to characterize the organization in its entirety” in relation to the Muslim Brotherhood.
The Muslim Brotherhood's US Network by Zayno Barnan
...In the U.S., for example, the great majority of prominent Muslim organizations were founded by members of the Brotherhood from a great variety of Muslim countries. Such organizations include the Muslim Student Association, the Council on American-Islamic Relations, the Islamic Society of North America, but as just the recitation of their names indicates, none of them bear the name of the Brotherhood expressly---from the Introduction to a program on the Muslim Brotherhood at the Hudson Institute
Exhibit GX3-85 Muslim Brotherhood plan to overthrow the U.S.