Honorable Sister Roula Allouch
CAIR National Board Chair
The Mission of Islamic Republic of Iran, in keeping with its annual tradition, invited Scholars, religious dignitaries and Imams of Mosques from across North America for a “Meet & Greet Session” with His Excellency Dr. Hassan Rouhani, the President of Iran. President Rouhani passionately spoke about the horrific happenings, that were taking place around the globe. He stressed the need for Muslim Unity, an end to Takfiri ideology and an immediate curtailment of the vicious wave of sectarianism and its sickening influence in the Muslim lands. The attendees were, then afforded the opportunity to provide their input. Mr. Nihad Awad, Executive Director of Council of American Islamic Relations (CAIR) was accorded the courtesy as the first speaker.
Having introduced himself, Mr. Awad outlined the core mission of his organization. He claimed that CAIR represents all Muslims, both Shia and Sunni, duty bound to eradicate the menace of sectarianism, ignoring the mere mention of other major Muslim entities such as Shia Public Affairs Committee (ShiaPAC) and the Muslim Advocates, for their immense contributions towards similar causes. He, falsely, touted that CAIR played a critical role in the passage of a Nuclear deal between the Islamic Republic and the World powers. Quite the contrary, CAIR and a few other Muslim groups that are U.S. Based, joined hands with the Saudi & Qatari financed Lobbying groups in Washington, D.C., in an attempt to undo the nascent Nuclear deal. Furthermore, during August 2014, The US Muslim Community was in shock when CAIR became an active part and parcel of a cruel campaign that was launched, by the same Saudi & Qatari Lobbying machine, inciting the Western powers that they bomb Bashar al-Assad’s government in Syria.
Rather than congratulating and complimenting President Rouhani and his team for successfully negotiating the nuclear deal with the World powers, thus averting major tensions, Mr. Awad launched an abhorrent attack at the president of Iran with implied manifestations, that somehow Islamic Republic of Iran was alone responsible for all the bloodshed and destruction in Syria, and that Iran must stop supporting President Bashar al- Assad and implying a hand over of Syria to his friends in Jabhat Al- Nusra, and Al- Qaida. His attempt to single out Iran epitomizes his lifelong animus of Shia Muslims and his seamless support of Salafism. CAIR is an organization whose mission is predicated on fostering harmonious relations between The United States and its Muslim population. It is still unclear why Mr. Awad indulged himself on a matter not within the scope of his organization’s purpose. In light of his comments, are we to believe that Mr. Awad champions the cause of all minorities who are victims of genocide in Afghanistan, Bahrain, Pakistan, Iraq, Yemen and Turkey? Mr. Awad, a closet Wahhabi and a frequent guest of Saudi royal family, is despised by people of his own sect. During the meeting with the President of Iran, Mr. Awad did not lift a single finger of criticism at Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey for manufacturing the Syrian Salafi movement during the so-called Arab spring of March, 2011. Individuals such as himself are in a state of denial, because they refuse to comprehend that a commanding majority of Syrians, that is comprised of Muslims, Christians, Druse and the Kurds is determined to sustain Syria as a secular state, and neither Shia nor Salafi.
Soon after, Imam Abdul Haleem of Al-Islam mosque in Washington, D.C., an African American Sunni and another attendee at the event, minced no words and pulled no punches in castigating Mr. Awad for his dishonest and disrespectful discourse towards the President of the Islamic Republic. He admonished Mr. Awad that it was the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, that was responsible for all the terror and tyranny in the Middle East. Imam Abdul Haleem, was brave as well as bold in narrating the recent history of victimization suffered by the Iranian pilgrims to Mecca, in 1987 and in 2015, by the wicked Wahhabis of Saudi Arabia. He publicly chastised Mr. Awad for lacking truth and research prior to blaming others. President Rouhani in his concluding remarks reminded Mr. Awad that his nefarious notions are not only one sided, they are false and factional.
CAIR, as an Islamic civic organization is within its full rights, if it wants, to be a national entity for Salafi Muslims. If so, then it has no right, to claim the leadership of Muslims, both Sunni and Shia. We trust that you are not unaware of the declaration by a recently organized Sunni Muslim conference in Grozny, Chechnya, categorically excluding the Salafists from the fold of Sunni Islam, and despite protests by Saudi Arabia, the head of Al-Azhar, who presided over that conference, stood his ground, handing the followers of Salafism a major setback. Moreover, Bangladesh and Indonesia, two of the largest Muslim nations, are proactive in discouraging the presence of Salafism from the body politic of their populace. Western intelligentsia is beginning to uncover that Al-Nusra, Al-Shabaab, Boko Haram, ISIS (Daesh) and Taliban are mere mercenaries of the Worldwide Wahhabi establishment, hell bent upon inflicting misery and mayhem on the peace loving people of this universe.
It is due to such vagaries by its Executive Director, that CAIR has been repeatedly seen as a sympathizer of the international Wahhabi/Salafi apparatus by numerous U.S. law enforcement agencies, and U.S Department of Justice had named CAIR in the past as an un indicted co-conspirator in the matter involving Holyland Foundation and the Palestinian Committee. As CAIR Chairperson it is your duty to be candid in clarifying CAIR agenda of fairly representing the interests of all US Muslims. CAIR must be seen to demonstrate that policy by including people hailing from all schools of Islamic thought, and it must free itself from employing those who seem to be in the criminal claws of the Takfiri bosses in Doha and Riyadh. As a first step, in proving itself to be truly serving the interests of all Muslims, it must also terminate the services of its long reigning executive director, Mr. Awad and appoint a person with undisputed and independent credentials and credibility with all Muslims. CAIR’s failure in doing so will continue to greatly undermine not only the trust of rank and file of our endeared Ummah and hamper its work for all Muslims, it would also greatly tarnish the image of Islam and Muslims in the eyes of people belonging to other faiths. Most importantly, our maker, Almighty Allah (swt) will not be happy with us.
Agha Shaukat Jafri
Shia Public Affairs Committee