The following essay by Andrew Harrod was previously published at Sharia TipSheet.
Muslim Brothers Shut Out Critics
by Andrew Harrod
July 25, 2019
The email announcing the Eventbrite refund of my ticket for Washington, DC’s July 23-24 Muslim Collective for Equitable Democracy conference clearly indicated to me a depressingly familiar tactic of controlled public relations. Once again defenders of Islam like the Hamas-derived Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) had excluded the inquisitive eyes and ears of a known critic like me from participation in a purportedly public event.
Numerous past and present CAIR officials filled the conference schedule, such as CAIR Executive Director Nihad Awad, Abbas Barzegar, Zahra Billoo, Robert McCaw, and Corey Saylor while CAIR had promoted the conference online. CAIR’s radical political allies such as the past and present Congress members Keith Ellison, Ilhan Omar, and Rashida Tlaib also appeared in the conference lineup. New York City Muslim-American political activist Debbie Almontaser and the nationally-known Gold Star father Khizr Khan also continued their long history of event appearances with CAIR.
Such CAIR involvement gave this author a foreboding feeling when he purchased a conference ticket. CAIR’s longstanding practice of strictly scrutinizing event attendees does not allow entry for anyone who would question CAIR’s pro-jihad/sharia affiliations. CAIR has accordingly refused this author admittance to CAIR’s gala dinner, as well as CAIR Capitol Hill and National Press Club briefings.
CAIR’s aversion to prying eyes reflects a broader pattern among its likeminded Islamist allies. Georgetown University Professor Jonathan Brown once ejected this author from a lecture, before outrageously proclaiming that Islamic doctrine precluded condemnation of slavery and sex slavery. Brown later similarly revoked this author’s invitation to a conference co-hosted by Georgetown’s Saudi-established Prince Alwaleed bin Talal Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding (ACMCU), which Brown directs.
Representative Omar’s own personal behavior at the conference continued this see, hear, and speak no evil maxim. As with a past refused request to condemn Al Qaeda publicly, she responded testily to a request to denounce Muslim practices of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) made by a fellow panelist, Muslims for Progressive Values President Ani Zonneveld. Omar claimed that such questions directed at Muslims were offensive and rejected commenting upon FGM, a horror that 98 percent of females suffer in Omar’s ancestral Somalia, the highest rate globally.