Following a December 2 mass shooting in San Bernardino, CA, the Los Angeles office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) was attacked by right-wing media figures for holding a press conference condemning the shootings.
CAIR: “We Unequivocally Condemn” The San Bernardino Attack
Council On American-Islamic Relations' Hussam Ayloush: “We Unequivocally Condemn This Horrific Act.” CAIR executive director Hussam Ayloush condemned a mass shooting that left 14 people dead in San Bernardino, CA, on December 2, stating, “We unequivocally condemn the horrific act that occurred today.” CAIR organized their press conference after authorities revealed the suspected shooters were Muslim. [Business Insider, 12/2/15]
CAIR Executive Director Explains Organization's Immediate Response
Hussam Ayloush: “There's A Lot Of Anti-Muslim Sentiment” But We Wanted Fellow Americans To Know “We Stand United In Our Sorrow.” On the December 3 edition of CNN's New Day, Hussam Ayloush explained why CAIR immediately responded to the San Bernardino shootings. Ayloush noted that, “There's a lot of anti-Muslim sentiment, fueled by pundits,” and stated, “We felt there was a need for our fellow Americans to know that all American Muslims share with the rest of the country, our sorrow today, our shock, and our agony for what happened” :
JOHN VAUSE: You're very quick to come out and hold a news conference, even had Syed Farook's brother-in-law there to talk about this. Explain to me why you took that action.
HUSSAM AYLOUSH: Well, because we're living in a very difficult time. There's a lot of Islamophobia there. There's a lot of anti-Muslim sentiment, fueled by pundits here and there. Trying to blame a whole community for the acts of a few. You know, again we are just still mourning as a nation after what happened in Colorado Springs, by someone who is also responsible for his act, not the Christian community, not the American community. Same thing, we felt there was a need for our fellow Americans to know that all American Muslims share with the rest of the country our sorrow today, our shock, and our agony for what happened. It was important for the family. They wanted to make sure that people know how they felt, how devastated they are, and they insisted to being here, although they are going through their sorrow as we speak now. But they drove all the way to be at the office and speak to fellow Americans and say, we are today, we are all victims today. We stand united in our sorrow, and the only way we can come through this is through our solidarity. [CNN, New Day, 12/3/15]
Right-Wing Media Responds By Labelling CAIR “Terrorists,” Similar To “Pedophile Sending NAMBLA Out”
Rush Limbaugh: “CAIR Is The Muslim Brotherhood, It's Who They Are.” On the December 3 edition of Premiere Radio Networks' The Rush Limbaugh Show, Rush Limbaugh claimed that, “CAIR is the Muslim Brotherhood, it's who they are.” Limbaugh then attacked Hussam Ayloush for not using the term “religious extremism, because that would have indicted Islam.” [Premiere Radio Networks, The Rush Limbaugh Show, 12/3/15]
Fox News Guest Bo Dietl: CAIR "Ain't The Best ... I've Never Seen Them Come Out So Fast." On the December 3 edition of Fox News' Fox & Friends, Fox contributor Bo Dietl demanded that “the good Muslims have to come out,” and stated, “Last night, that was a little funny, all of a sudden that Muslim group that ain't the best in the world, CAIR, came out and they were all of a sudden - I've never seen them come out so fast -- they're trying to separate themselves.” [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 12/3/15]
Brad Thor: CAIR Representing American Muslims “Is Like A Pedophile Sending NAMBLA Out To Speak For Them.” On the December 2 edition of Fox News' The Kelly File, Fox guest Brad Thor dismissed CAIR's press conference, claiming “I have never seen CAIR jump into action this fast before,” speculating “this is spin, this is damage control.” Thor continued, stating that CAIR representing American Muslims “is like a pedophile sending NAMBLA out to speak for them” :
BRAD THOR: I have never seen CAIR jump into action this fast before.
MEGYN KELLY (HOST): Neither have I.
THOR: This is spin, this is damage control, and I'll tell you that the American Muslim community does not need a group like CAIR representing them. This is like a pedophile sending NAMBLA out to speak for them. CAIR is a very bad organization, with a lot of bad ties to terrorism. These guys, American Muslims, the first thing they need to do in this country, is cut ties with CAIR.
KELLY: They have been designated as a terrorist organization. [Fox News, The Kelly File, 12/2/15]
Fox Guest: CAIR Was “Conduct[ing] A Media Crisis Management Plan” That “Hamper[ed] The Investigation.” On the December 3 edition of Fox News' Happening Now, guest Chad Jenkins claimed that in condemning the San Bernardino shootings, CAIR “conduct[ed] a media crisis management plan quite quickly” , prompting host Jon Scott to ask if “the crime scene has been sort of tainted.” Jenkins continued, claiming that CAIR had “completely delay[ed] the investigation” :
CHAD JENKINS: I have to bring up too, how quickly CAIR was able to go ahead and meet with thefamily members of these subjects, and go ahead, and promote, not promote, but get them out in front of the public and really conduct a media crisis management plan quite quickly. Those family members --
JON SCOTT (HOST): The Council on Arab-Islamic, American-Islamic Relations?
JENKINS: Correct, that CAIR. And my point in telling you this, is those family members would have been key personnel for those FBI agents, and other law enforcement agencies to interview after the immediate fact, to try to find out what the motives were and why this attack took place. Instead, they're doing public appearances with that organization, which officially the FBI does not associate with CAIR.
SCOTT: You're saying that in effect, in one response, in one respect the crime scene has been sort of tainted by the news conference that CAIR put together in California yesterday?
JENKINS: I'm saying that the history of CAIR has been to legally represent these individuals or family members, prior to law enforcement, when it is critical for law enforcement to conduct those associate and family member interviews. And that completely delays the investigation, especially in exigent circumstances like yesterday was playing out. That hampers the investigation, because we don't know as that investigation is going on, the multitude of that threat at that time. [Fox News, Happening Now, 12/3/15]
Fox's Todd Starnes: CAIR Holding Press Event Is “A Pretty Good Indication” Of Attack Investigation. In a December 2 tweet, Fox News Radio host Todd Starnes tweeted, “The fact that CAIR is holding a presser is a pretty good indication of where this investigation is heading” :
The fact that CAIR is holding a presser is a pretty good indication of where this investigation is heading...
-- toddstarnes (@toddstarnes) December 3, 2015
MRC's Dan Gainor Called CAIR “The Baghdad Bob Of Bogus Nonprofits.” The Media Research Center's Dan Gainor tweeted that CAIR “is the Baghdad bob of bogus nonprofits” :
.@CAIRNational is the Baghdad Bob of bogus nonprofits.
-- Dan Gainor (@dangainor) December 3, 2015
Erick Erickson Asks If CAIR Will Say “Shooters Were Upset Because Their Homemade Clock” Was Mistaken For A Bomb. Before CAIR's public response to the San Bernardino shootings, Fox News contributor and conservative radio host Erick Erickson asked if CAIR was “going to say the shooters were upset because their homemade clock was thought to be a bomb” :
Is CAIR going to say the shooters were upset because their homemade clock was thought to be a bomb?
-- Erick Erickson (@EWErickson) December 3, 2015
Dana Loesch Quotes Brad Thor: “This Is Like A Pedophile Sending NAMBLA Out.” The Blaze's Dana Loesch responded to CAIR's condemnation of the San Bernardino shooting by quoting Brad Thor, who stated, “This is like a pedophile sending NAMBLA out” :
“This is like a pedophile sending NAMBLA out” - @BradThor on CAIR giving a press conference on this.
-- Dana Loesch (@DLoesch) December 3, 2015
Ben Shapiro: CAIR Is “An Organization With Alleged Links To Terror.” Breitbart.com's Ben Shapiro responded to CAIR's statement by tweeting, “If in trying to de-link Islam from terror, you do a presser with an organization with alleged links to terror, you're doing it wrong” :
If in trying to de-link Islam from terror, you do a presser with an organization with alleged links to terror, you're doing it wrong.
-- Ben Shapiro (@benshapiro) December 3, 2015
Daniel Horowitz: “That CAIR Presser Should Creep Out All Concerned Americans.” Daniel Horowitz, senior editor of The Conservative Review, responded to CAIR's statement by tweeting, “That CAIR presser should creep out all concerned Americans. wow.” :
That CAIR presser should creep out all concerned Americans. wow.
-- Daniel Horowitz (@RMConservative) December 3, 2015