White House condemns CAIR leader for saying he was ‘happy’ about Hamas terror attack

Can it be that Democrats are coming around to the idea that the Council on American–Islamic Relations (CAIR) not only traffics in antisemitism but has a troubling past linking back to the Palestinian terrorist group Hamas?

Nihad Awad, the founder and executive director of the Council on American–Islamic Relations (CAIR), drew a sharp rebuke from the Biden White House for “shocking, antisemitic” remarks during a speech last month at the American Muslims for Palestine (AMP) convention in Chicago.

Awad said he was “happy to see people breaking the siege and throwing down the shackles of their own land, and walk free into their land, which they were not allowed to walk in.”

The comment was regarding the barbaric October 7 attack on Israel by Hamas, an assault widely seen as the worst attack on the Jewish people since the Holocaust with at least 1,200 people massacred and more than 200 others taken hostage.

“And yes, the people of Gaza have the right to self-defense, have the right to defend themselves, and yes, Israel, as an occupying power, does not have that right to self-defense,” the CAIR founder added.

Awad also accused the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) of controlling the U.S. government.

“AIPAC and its affiliates have been controlling the United States government and the United States Congress,” he said. “And if someone says, ‘Oh, Nihad Awad said this about the Congress,’ I tell you, ‘Yes, I say it today, and I will say it tomorrow — unless we free Congress, we will not be able to free Palestine.’”

White House spokesperson Andrew Bates condemned the remarks in a statement.

“The horrific, brutal terrorist attacks committed by Hamas on October 7th were, as President Biden said, ‘abhorrent’ and represent ‘unadulterated evil.’ October 7th was the deadliest day for the Jewish people since the Holocaust,” Bates said. “The atrocities of that day shock the conscience, which is why we can never forget the pain Hamas has caused for so many innocent people. There are families who are in agony mourning loves ones, and there are also families in agony as they do everything in their power to free loved ones being held hostage.”

“Every leader has a responsibility to call out antisemitism wherever it rears its ugly head,” he added.

The White House also scrubbed CAIR from its antisemitism and Islamophobia fact sheet issued earlier this year, according to The New York Times — the liberal newspaper went the extra mile to run cover for the Biden administration while reporting on the development, noting that the relationship was not “extensive.”

“The White House did not have an extensive relationship with the council, which goes by the acronym CAIR, but included an officer of the group in a ‘listening session on Islamophobia’ in May with Doug Emhoff, the husband of Vice President Kamala Harris,” the Times reported. “Later that month, the White House listed the council among several independent organizations in a document discussing commitments to fight antisemitism. The White House removed CAIR’s name from that online document on Thursday after Mr. Awad’s remarks to make clear it was distancing itself from the organization.”

Tom Tillison

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