|A friend wrote:
"I found your arguments on Islam very educational. However,
your arguments against Kerry are
invalid. Kerry did not say that terrorism IS just a nuisance; he said we
need to get to a point where it is just that. Obviously a lot of
work will have to be done before we get to that point. How could you
make such an elementary mistake?
For the benefit of Mary and all American patriots I reprint the
following op-ed that was first published here in July 26, 2003 so everyone
can see the close relationship that the CAIR enjoys with the
I urge the people in Kerry camp to ask themselves why these Islamsits
are so supportive of Kerry? Do you doubt their intent
to convert America into an Islamic state or perhaps you think they
misunderstand the Democrats?
Please do not allow your political tendencies obscure your vision. The
facts speak very clearly. Kerry and the Democrats play in the hands of the
If the Democrats come to power, the Islamization of America will commence.
Muslims know how to play thier game. It is the non-Muslims who are
Do you want America become like Europe? Then vote for Kerry.
day out to attend a Senate Hearing that did not go well from my
It was a day extraordinaire.
I remembered the Senate Hearing on Dr. Daniel Pipes’s nomination
to the board of the United States Institute of Peace was slated on
Wednesday, the July 23. After
reviewing the schedule, I found there were supposed to be more than one
hearing at the same spot. The
schedule showed the session that I was interested in would start at ten.
Some of my knowledgeable friends told me to go there a bit early as
occasionally the hearings were well-attended and therefore overcrowded
with enthusiastic visitors. I
did not take any chance so I took off from home quite early.
reached Senate Dirksen Building right at nine, one hour before the slated
time of ten. The Committee to
take care of the hearings was Senate Health, Education, Labor, and
Pension. The events were Full
Committee Markup of the Patient Safety and Quality Improvement Act of
2003, nomination of one individual for Equal Employment Opportunity
Commission, and also the nominations of Dr. Daniel Pipes and a few other
individuals for the much talked about United States Institute of Peace.
the fourth floor of the Dirksen Office Building, the little line already
snaked to the main entrance of the chamber.
It did not however escape my attention that a Caucasian gentleman
with a bevy of hijab-clad women was chitchatting with them.
He was wearing a full sleeve shirt with a tie on.
At the time, I did not have any clue who the half inch bearded
robust gentleman was. Not
sure about the destination of the flock of people in the line, I drew his
attention by asking, "Excuse me sir, is it the line for Daniel Pipes
gentleman looked at me with a big grin on his face.
He spread his arm to shake my hand saying, "Assalamo alaikum.
I am Ibrahim Hooper." After I heard the name, I could not
believe myself I was face to face with the great Ibrahim Hooper of The
Council on American-Islamic Relations, which was popularly known as CAIR.
Many of my secular activist friends wrote tons of articles about
the dubious role this gentleman and his organization had played to muzzle
anyone who would write or say things criticizing Islam.
The organization CAIR seemed to be the strong advocate of pro-Islamist
cause in America; therefore, they don’t appreciate anyone poking their
nose in matters relating to Islam. After
the first encounter with the lobbyist, something led me to feel a bit of
uneasy. This was not because
I was standing in proximity to the most high profile man in the business.
I was a little bit perturbed realizing he took the easy route of
profiling me even though he publicly critiqued all kinds of profiling in
American society. I was
wondering how could he be so sure I was a Muslim. I could be a Hindu, a Buddhist, a Jain, or even an Ahmadiya
– or I could be anyone from South Asian region. After the jolt of
puzzlement, I introduced myself.
always thought because of my public position in the Internet based media,
I might have gained some notoriety among Islamist activists as well as the
CAIR people. At the time, Mr.
Hooper did not show any sign of recognizing my name.
Another thing amazed me to think that those CAIR activists might
have come to the Senate Building long before nine O’clock.
It could be their desperation to see how their nemesis, Dr. Pipes,
do in the hearing process.
pulled out the day's Washington Post from the bag I was
carrying and moved back a few steps so that I could keep a safe distance
from Hooper's personal space. Yet,
I could not help but listening to the interesting conversation, he was
having with the three apparently devout Muslim women.
The ladies looked they could be from any of the Arab countries.
They could be even Pakistanis.
One of them spoke like a typical American.
I heard the word Pakistan Embassy came a few times.
I also heard Dr. Pipes name was uttered several times.
Mr. Hooper was disclosing his encounter with Dr. Pipes some time
ago. One of the ladies asked
if Dr. Pipes shook his hand. His
answer was positive.
half an hour, the line started to get longer.
By this time, the total headcount could be more than twenty.
I saw three other young ladies, one of whom could be of Middle
Eastern or South Asian origin. All of them seemed to be all American girls.
I started a conversation with them knowing they were going to
attend Pipes nomination hearing. As soon as I started to talk with them, Mr. Hooper turned his
head to see what was going on. Strangely,
I found CAIR activist was acting more like a member of a security team
than the leader of a lobbying group. His posture revealed his extreme inquisitiveness of the
surrounding. It seemed to me
that he could hardly miss a puny fly sitting on the walls of the Dirksen
Building corridor. I used my
cell phone to call at work letting my co-workers know that I might be late
going back to office. Mr.
Hooper again looked at me and trying to fathom out what was the topic of
my discussion over the phone. He
suddenly came closer to me and asked me with a curious look,
"Brother, what led you to this Senate Hearing?"
First, I could not believe such a question could come out of a
westerner who was converted to Islam.
Then I realized he was a part and parcel of Islamic "brother
culture" where brotherly inquisitiveness was deemed a virtue.
I felt like telling him that it was none of his business.
With some efforts, I controlled my tongue.
I said plainly, "I came to know about this hearing from
congressional source." I
was not sure if the CAIR leader was convinced what I said.
My office nametag was kept out of the public eye; yet, the chain
was hanging from neck conspicuously.
Also, a small US flag on the collar of my shirt was quite visible.
I thought the grand pooh-bah of the Muslim voice grew more
suspicious about me. It could
be he might have thought I was some kind of a government agent.
sometime, a young gentleman came to CAIR's circle. He could be an Arab, or even a Pakistani.
This person with a well-trimmed beard with a swanky suit spoke
American English without any trace of foreign accent.
He shook hand with the leader and started friendly talks.
I had no desire to eavesdrop but talks floated in the air and I
overheard that Pipes’ bashing just ensued in earnest.
"Daniel Pipes demean Muslims," "Pipes likes to
profile Muslims," etc., were juicy topics not very unexpected of them
to chitchat about. All the
while, the line was going longer. A
WASPi looking gentleman joined the line this time asking if the line was
for Pipes’s nomination. Then
all on a sudden two white young man came in the picture.
They were carrying large sheets of stickers with the print OPPOSE
PIPES. One of the kids was definitely of European origin; the other
one was probably an Arab or a Pakistani, which I found out later.
They started to distribute the stickers who consented to wear
those. The young ladies
behind me did not show much interest.
To my surprise, the WASPi looking gentleman wore the anti-Pipes
label on his chest with a smile. By
this time another Caucasian lady arrived in the scene.
She was standing in the corner all by herself. I suddenly noticed her.
I took the courage to ask her with a little humor, "Are you
going to wear the OPPOSE PIPES sticker?"
She realized my sarcasm but replied with a smile, "No, I am
not. I am here to attend the
Hearing on Markup".
was trying not to get bored. The
hijab-clad ladies' enthusiastic faces got my boredom off from my system.
Suddenly a new character came into the scene.
Apparently a so-called one hundred percent blue blooded WASP
gentleman. The spectacled
gentleman with blondish beard greeted Mr. Hooper.
He talked about functional aspect of the CAIR leader.
It occurred to me both of them knew each other for sometime.
Gradually it was becoming clear to me, Ibrahim Hooper was not an
unfamiliar face in the US capitol.
struck almost ten. We were
finally allowed to move forward. I
saw suddenly an influx of people crowding the main entrance of the chamber
where the hearings were scheduled. Luckily,
I got a seat at the back row. I
surveyed the mid size hall. The
senators started to come one-by-one.
They were not too far from the audience.
I saw some known faces among Who's Who in US Senate.
Facing the audience sat the Committee Chairman Senator Judd Gregg,
Senators Ted Kennedy, Tom Harkin, Christopher Dodd.
After a few minutes, Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton came with an
aide. She was sitting with
her back to the audience.
first session on Markup of the Patient Safety and Quality Improvement Act
of 2003 was about to start. A
few other hijabi-clad ladies came into the room perhaps from other
entrances. I thought Ibrahim
Hooper might have gone to the other side.
Suddenly I noticed a man with the jacket and a cap on head
sitting in front of me was none other than Mr. Hooper.
When he got into "business attire" could be anybody's
guess. He looked a bit
the Chairman of the session, Senator Clinton and a few other senators
discussed the health care related topic.
With the majority of the vote the bill was passed.
Then came the drama we all were waiting for. It was half past ten, ten thirty six precisely.
After the Chairman spoke, Senator Ted Kennedy started his speech.
I saw the Senator after thirty years.
Senator Ted Kennedy, the great friend of Bangladesh movement came
to visit Dhaka University in 1972, had aged.
I was a university student then.
Ted Kennedy was a strong critic of Nixon Administration, which was
patronizing a brutal right wing army dictatorship in Pakistan.
The year was 1971. The
Nixon Administration in cahoots with global Islamists was supporting the
Pakistani military junta. Senator
Kennedy was against this axis. I
was amazed to see how history took its toll.
In this drama, Senator Kennedy was speaking against the nomination
of a scholar who was nothing less than a nemesis in the eyes of global
Islamists of contemporary time. Should
I say, history does not necessarily repeat itself.
The Democratic Senator started his speech with an event in Boston
where people from multitudes of countries gathered to attend a ceremony.
Then he went on with Dr. Pipes's New York Post article.
The Senator attacked Dr. Pipes for "making derogatory remarks
against Muslim immigrants, brown people, comments about mosques in
America" and he critiqued the Campus Watch Project, which was
espoused by Dr. Pipes. When
Ted Kennedy speech was going on, I saw Senator Clinton was listening to
him with extreme attention.
his speech, Senator Dodd mentioned Dr. Pipes's "disparaging comment
about Muslim immigrants." He
talked about the genesis of the United States Institute of Peace and how
the committee he belonged to gave birth to the institute.
Quoting Dr. Pipes, "Diplomacy rarely ends conflict..."
the Senator was showing his lack of trust in the nominee to be in the
guiding force of diplomacy building.
all these negativities, one Republican Senator came to Dr. Daniel Pipes's
rescue. Supporting the
scholar's position on combating the brutal dictators, the Senator
commented, "Strong nations need to confront the dictators."
If I am not wrong, he was Senator Mike Enzi.
Hearing on Dr. Daniel Pipes's nomination for USIP was going on one-sided.
It was as if the Democrats had their open season.
Senator Tom Harkin was most critical of the nominee.
First, the Senator started how he was involved in building the
Institute. Then he went on
saying, " Mr. Pipes is a highly controversial individual.
He loves being on TV. He
enjoys stirring controversy.” [Please
tell me who does not like to be on the Groove Tube?]
Senator Harkin said, " About Muslim immigrants, Pipes said,
enfranchisement of Muslims would endanger Jews." Regarding an article the Senator said, " Daniel Pipes
wrote, in Denmark four percent of 5.4 million people are Muslims, but the
majority of the rapists are Muslims."
Then the Senator went to the subject of Campus Watch. He quoted one
Mr. Cole who, according to the Senator, was complaining about being victim
of Campus Watch's scrutiny. Senator
Harkin spent a good deal of time about Mr. Cole's predicament.
Then the Senator talked about his immigrant mother's life story and
the good and law abiding Muslims of Iowa.
The Senator got a great applause from most of the CAIR activists.
The lack of decorum annoyed the Chairman of the session who warned the
audience not to repeat such overture of support for a particular position.
Democratic senators spoke nothing new.
Most of the critical comments about the scholar could be found in
CAIR’s website. The chamber
had more than a handful of CAIR and Islamist lobbyists.
I saw some other young activists with cameras roaming around the
room. The session ended
without any voting as there was no quorum.
However, that was a day of rejoice for the Islamist lobby CAIR and
notably Ibrahim Hooper. I saw a happy Ibrahim Hooper exiting the room with his
entourage. He must be very
pleased knowing how two senators had grilled Dr. Pipes. Little did Mr. Hooper know that fundamentalist Islam,
especially the Wahhabi kind, would be put through the wringer in days to