CAIR Chapter Defends Against Protestors' Claims of Terrorist Ties
By Jon Jordan, NEWS 9
NORMAN, Oklahoma -- A Muslim advocacy group with a chapter in Oklahoma City is being criticized for having ties to terrorist organizations.
For the past year the Council on American-Islamic Relations, known as CAIR, has been a growing concern for lawmakers in Washington. Legislative leaders have claimed the Muslim group has been helping to funnel money to terrorist, a sentiment that is now starting to be felt in Oklahoma.
In an effort to shed light on the Muslim organization, protestors with Oklahomans Against CAIR Hate demonstrated outside OU's Meacham Auditorium. That is where CAIR showed a documentary Saturday night on Islam.
"We wanted to educate the people coming here that CAIR has terrorist ties. We are really concerned because they don't want to admit that," said Cindy Crenshaw, who was protesting CAIR Saturday.
Razi Hashmi, the Oklahoma executive director for CAIR, said the allegations of terrorist ties are false and said he hoped the protest would help to create better dialogue between the two-sides.
One of the protestors was former Oklahoma lawmaker Kevin Calvey and current candidate for the state's 5th District. Calvey said he has the proof that ties CAIR to terrorist organizations.
"This group CAIR, the Council on American-Islamic Relations, has terrorist connections that were proven in federal court last year," Calvey said.
A case the Anti-Defamation League references in a letter where CAIR was named as a "co-conspirator" in a case that found a Texas-based charity had been funneling some $12 million to Hamas. The founder of CAIR's Texas-based chapter, Ghassan Elashi, was sentenced to 65 years for his involvement.
Hashmi said the evidence is a bunch of lies that have been fueled by the Internet.
"There will always be obstacles along the way, and I think these obstacles really come from anti-movement sentiments and bigotry, and a lot of the ignorance you may see," Hashmi said.
Despite the allegations made against CAIR, there has been no evidence connecting Oklahoma City's chapter to any ties to terrorism.