Why doesn't CAIR do the right thing?
Almost four months ago, on November 10, 2021, the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) issued a statement that suggested they "welcomed a vote by Virginia's Washington County Board of supervisors to remove several Confederate monuments from outside a local courthouse." A CAIR spokesperson stated, "People who betrayed this nation in order to preserve white supremacy and slavery do not deserve to be honored, especially not on public land." On the surface, it appears CAIR is taking a stand for racial equality (by being against white supremacy) and against slavery. Islam is a religion that promotes racial equality (except Jewish), and they seem to stumble when it comes to slavery.
CAIR was founded in 1994 as a lobbying organization located in Washington, D.C. It was founded in response to the movie True Lies, starring Arnold Schwarzenegger and Jamie Lee Curtis, in which Arab and Muslim groups were typecast as villains. CAIR is a national 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization funded with zakat money. Zakat is a mandatory 2.5 percent wealth tax that Muslims give to Islamic causes and charities, of which CAIR is one. To better understand zakat, see my blog entitled "How much do you owe?"
Coming out against slavery is good. But if you're an organization with slavery in your DNA, and you try to hide that fact, coming out against slavery is deceitful. There are three instances where the people at CAIR should search their souls and do what's right. It would add so much to their legitimacy if they did, and people notice when organizations falsely hide their true intent.
First, their Islamic brethren in Nigeria have kidnapped Christian schoolgirls for war brides. In February of 2021, some 200 schoolgirls were abducted by Islamic gunmen. If the schoolgirls are Christian, it's alright to kidnap them. If the schoolgirls were Muslim, they would have been released as some of them were. Notice there was no condemnation by CAIR in this case.
The second instance refers to slavery many centuries ago. Most Westerners are aware of slavery in the Western hemisphere. The Portuguese were the first to kidnap people from the west coast of Africa and take them back to Europe. Soon after, the Spanish and the British took the enslaved people to their colonies in the new world. The Spanish brought their first African captives to the Americas from Europe as early as 1503. By 1518, the first captives arrived in the Caribbean from Africa. In 1619, an English pirate captured slaves from a Spanish slave trader headed to Mexico and brought them to Jamestown, Virginia.
Historians still debate the number of Africans forcibly transported across the Atlantic between 1500 and 1866. An extensive research effort started in the 1960s places the total at more than 12 million people. Of that amount, less than 9.6 million made it through the so-called "middle passage" over the Atlantic because of the inhuman conditions they encountered while transported and the brutal suppression of any onboard resistance. One website, www.slavevoyages.org, has cataloged 34,000 individual trans-Atlantic voyages made during this period. These enslaved people were the ones in place that CAIR refers to when referring to people who betrayed this nation.
However, there is one thing that CAIR forgot to include. While there was a vibrant slave trade from Africa's west coast to the Americas, there was also a lively slave trade from Africa's east coast to the Islamic Arab states such as Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, and Yemen. The total number of Africans taken from the continent's east coast and transported to the Arab community would be between 9.4 million and 14 million, as many if not more than were taken to the Americas.
To be fair, slavery existed before Islam. Still, after the Prophet Muhammad made it haram that Muslims should not be taken into slavery by other Muslims, the institution of slavery expanded into non-Islamic locations. People, who did not worship the one true God, were seen primarily as sources of enslaved people. Since they possessed no religion worth mentioning, they were natural recruits for Islam. Muslim missionaries were restricted from proselytizing because of its effect in reducing the potential reservoir of slaves. Did CAIR acknowledge that Islam had a history of slave trading? I think not.
The third fact that CAIR has conveniently overlooked is Islam's founder has a well-documented history of being a slave owner and dealer. He had both male and female slaves for work and sex. There are numerous authoritative reports in which Muhammad was personally involved in possessing, buying, selling, and giving away slaves in general. Many of these stories I cover in my forthcoming book, Muslim Mechanics.
The general point I make is that CAIR wants so bad for non-Muslims to believe that Islam is so pure and ethical. The religion maybe, but the people that run the operation are not. If they were to acknowledge their failings, faults, and intent to reform, then CAIR could become a legitimate representative of Islam, which people would listen to and care about. However, people know Islam's history. By trying to cover it up or failing to acknowledge their faults, CAIR becomes a deceitful and hypocritical organization that will generate as much bad publicity as it does goodwill. It's all about the confession of past evil deeds and future efforts to reform.
A few weeks ago, I wrote about the Ahmadi Muslims and their platform of racial and women's equality and their refutation of jihad of the sword. Most Sunni Muslims despise the Ahmadis and declare them non-Muslims. Because the Ahmadis are not afraid to endorse upfront a platform of peace and social justice, in my opinion, the Ahmadis have a better chance of making it to paradise than the Sunnis ever will, unless they reform.