Council on American-Islamic Relations
The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) is an organization whose stated goal is to promote a positive image of Islam in America. It encourages people to view Muslims as mainstream and moderate and to distinguish between Islamic terrorists and Islam itself. CAIR's headquarters is in Washington, D.C. It is a non-profit organization with chapters across America.
CAIR representatives have been included in several public functions hosted by United States President George W. Bush, a few weeks after the 9/11 attacks. CAIR had previously endorsed Bush for president during the 2000 elections  (http://www.amaweb.org/election2000/ampcc_endorses.htm).
The Ohio chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union has given its annual Liberty Flame Award "for contributions to the advancement and protection of civil liberties" to CAIR.  (http://cair-net.org/asp/article.asp?id=32696&page=NB)
CAIR has been critical of the US government's prosecution of suspected terrorists. CAIR was critical of the prosecution of Sheik Omar Abdel-Rahman, whom U.S. authorities deemed the ringleader of the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center, and who was convicted with nine followers in October 1995 of conspiring to blow up the Lincoln Tunnel along with other New York City landmarks. CAIR, however, asserted Abdul-Rahman's lawyers' criticisms of the trial as "far from free and fair" on a 1996 list of "incidents of anti-Muslim bias and violence" in a book called The Price of Ignorance which dealt with the "status of Muslim civil rights in the United States.
Earlier, Awad wrote in the Muslim World Monitor that the World Trade Center trial, which ended in the conviction in 1994 of four Islamic fundamentalist terrorists, was "a travesty of justice". According to Awad—and despite the confessions of the terrorists from the 1993 attack—"there is ample evidence indicating that both the Mossad and the Egyptian Intelligence played a role in the explosion.'"  (http://archive.salon.com/news/feature/2001/09/26/muslims/).
Though CAIR has received public recognition and endorsement by prominent public figures including both Republican President George W. Bush and Democrat Nancy Pelosi, high ranking members of CAIR have taken stances that many say belie its self-description as a moderate organization. CAIR Chairman Omar M. Ahmad told a crowd of California Muslims in July 1998, "Islam isn't in America to be equal to any other faith, but to become dominant. The Koran [...] should be the highest authority in America, and Islam the only accepted religion on earth" San Ramon Valley Herald (http://www.danielpipes.org/394.pdf).
CAIR's founder, Nihad Awad, declared in a 1994 meeting at Barry University that he was "a supporter of the Hamas movement."  (http://www.sullivan-county.com/x/acair.htm). Shortly after the 9/11 attacks, CAIR's website solicited donations for the “NY/DC Emergency Relief Fund." This fund did not exist; instead, the link in question led directly to the website for donations to the HLF, a charity whose assets were later frozen by the US Treasury department because, according to Secretary Paul O'Neill "HLF “masquerade(d) as a charity, while its primary purpose (was) to fund Hamas.” Officials in positions of authority in CAIR are known to work or have worked with the Islamic Association of Palestine and The Global Relief Foundation, both of which are known to work in tandem with Hamas.
CAIR board member Imam Siraj Wahaj, an un-indicted co-conspirator in the first World Trade Center bombing, has called for replacing the American government with an Islamic caliphate, and warned that America will crumble unless it accepts Islam. A number of other CAIR officials have been convicted of crimes related to the support of Islamic terrorism. CAIR's director of community relations, Bassem Khafagi (“Khafagi”), was arrested by the United States due to his ties with a terror-financing front group while he was employed by CAIR. Khafagi pled guilty to charges of visa and bank fraud, and agreed to be deported to Egypt. On December 18, 2002, Ghassan Elashi, founding board member of CAIR-Texas and a founder of the HLF, was arrested by the United States and charged with, among other things, making false statements on export declarations, dealing in the property of a designated terrorist organization, conspiracy and money laundering. On August 2003 an employee from CAIR's Virginia offices, Randall "Ismail" Royer, was arrested on terrorism-related charges. (cf JDL); later in 2003, Senator Charles Schumer stated that “we know [CAIR] has ties to terrorism.”
CAIR's leadership and members are also alleged to have supported organizations such as Hezbollah. Both Hezbollah and Hamas have been classified by the U.S. State Department as terrorist organizations. Among the other charges leveled against it are affiliation with Islamist imams, the instigation of death threats against moderate American Muslims, and the promotion of anti-Semitism. Many other Muslim organizations in the United States have condemned CAIR.
Shaykh Muhammad Hisham Kabbani of the Islamic Supreme Council of America (ISCA) speaks of CAIR and the American Muslim Council (AMC) saying, "There are many Muslim organizations that claim to speak on behalf of the Muslim community but that in reality are not moderate, but extremist." Seif Ashmawy, an Egyptian Muslim and peace activist who published the "Voice of Peace" newsletter about Muslim affairs, says: "It is a known fact that both the AMC and CAIR have defended, apologized for, and rationalized the actions of extremists groups [...] The real challenge for moderates like myself is to prevent my Muslim brethren from [being] deceived by extremist groups that pretend to represent their interests." Steven Pomerantz, former FBI assistant director and chief of the FBI's counterterrorism section, once charged that CAIR's activities "effectively give aid to international terrorist groups". Other American Muslim leaders have raised questions about their possible alliances with radical groups, and many academics are disturbed by the groups' prominence.
In 2004, CAIR initiated a lawsuit against Andrew Whitehead, a prominent critic of CAIR and the maintainer of an Anti-CAIR (http://www.anti-cair-net.org/) website. CAIR is suing Whitehead for $1.35 million  (http://home.hamptonroads.com/stories/print.cfm?story=68531&ran=62422). Whitehead's law firm has counter-sued on his behalf  (http://www.anti-cair-net.org/Response.html).