Friday, May 22, 2015


Thank goodness a CAIR rep lost in an election for public office:
[1]Basim Elkarra, executive director of the Sacramento chapter of the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR), and a former member of the California Democratic Party’s executive board, has been defeated in his first run for public office [2]. An anonymous flier stirred some controversy during the race, but key background on Elkarra failed to emerge.

In late 2006, California Senator Barbara Boxer gave Basim Elkarra a certificate of appreciation “in recognition of his efforts to protect civil liberties and to build bridges among diverse communities in California.” The senator quickly revoked the award, explaining that her California office had not vetted CAIR sufficiently. In “Senators for Terror,” [3] Joe Kauffman charted CAIR’s connections to Islamic extremism, and cited evidence that, “Elkarra himself is a radical, apart from his connection to CAIR.” Elkarra had defended Lodi, California, imam Shabbir Ahmed, [4] who urged Pakistanis to wage jihad against Americans. Another local imam, Mohammed Adil Khan, was building a madrassa to recruit children for violent acts against the United States. Elkarra described Khan, who was later deported, as “a pioneer in interfaith work.”

In 2007, Basim Elkarra refused to condemn Hamas and Hezbollah as terrorist groups. He has also suggested that “Islamophobes” be prosecuted like Holocaust deniers. In April of 2000, as a member of the Muslim Students Association (MSA) at UC Berkeley, Elkarra moderated an event featuring Hamas operative Mohammad Salah, labeled a terrorist by President Clinton. Even so, Elkarra had his defenders in northern California.

“I know Elkarra,” wrote Ginger Rutland, then associate editor of the Sacramento Bee. “I don’t believe he supports terrorism.” [5] Rutland described Elkarra as a “personable young University of California, Berkeley, graduate” who had “assumed the helm of the local CAIR chapter at a perilous time for Muslims in this country.” Senator Boxer “must understand what her casual withdrawal of a casually awarded tribute means to a Muslim American at this moment in American history. Shame on her.” But Boxer defended her actions [6].

“I’m just doing what I think is right,” the California Senator told reporters. Elkarra charged that Boxer had “succumbed to pressure from those who would marginalize American Muslims using smears and guilt by association.” He also claimed he received death threats after the award’s withdrawal but the FBI told Boxer’s staff that the threat was “not credible” and Elkarra maintained a high profile with CAIR. In 2010 the Muslim organization gave a $250 campaign contribution to Ami Bera, a local Democrat running for Congress against Dan Lungren. When local Republicans questioned whether the money came from a terrorist, Bera duly returned the contribution [7] to Basim Elkarra because of questions about CAIR’s affiliations.
And thank goodness Boxer withdrew the award she initially gave to Elkarra too. The reporter who tried to attack her for that is the one who should be ashamed.

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