Sunday, July 25, 2004

Difference between CAIR and MPAC

 William's note:  This is from Daniel Pipe's weblog--Like Robert Spencer's jihadwatch, it should be daily reading for anyone wanting to understand the insurgency we face.


The Difference between CAIR and MPAC I am sometimes asked to characterize the difference between the two leading American Islamist organizations, the Council on American-Islamic Relations and the Muslim Public Affairs Council. While they agree on many issues – impeding counterterrorism efforts and forwarding an Islamist vision of America in particular – they also differ in some ways.

General outlook: MPAC portrays itself as "moderate," a self-definition that presumably has never crossed CAIR's collective mind;
Aggressiveness: CAIR is the attack-dog, MPAC follows.

Funding: CAIR takes large amounts of money from at least one foreign state, something that MPAC disavows in its boilerplate fundraising appeal ("As a matter of policy, MPAC DOES NOT accept any funding from foreign governments").

Geography: CAIR, being headquartered on New Jersey Avenue in Washington, D.C., is more relentlessly political than MPAC, headquartered on Wilshire Boulevard in Los Angeles.
But the current crisis in Darfur brings out what is perhaps the key difference. Unlike the many cases around the world of Muslim violence against non-Muslims – what Samuel Huntington has so evocatively dubbed "the bloody borders of Islam" – this one involves Muslims only (or, to complete Huntington's quote, "and so are its innards"). That is to say, both the aggressor (the "Janjaweed" militia sponsored by the government of Sudan) and the victims (the Fur, Masalit, and Zaghawa of Darfur) adhere to the Islamic religion.

MPAC responded yesterday by issuing a press release, "Humanitarian Crisis in the Sudan," that decries that "the perpetrator of this crime is indirectly the Sudanese government" and calls on the Arab League and the Organization of the Islamic Conference "publicly and loudly" to condemn the violence in Darfur and call for a war-crimes tribunal. It also asks Americans "to write to the Embassy of Sudan, expressing concern about this terrible humanitarian catastrophe."
In contrast, CAIR has stayed mum about the whole Darfur matter. When buttonholed by a reporter, its spokesman, Ibrahim Hooper, tersely replied "We don't have enough knowledge of the situation to make judgments."

In brief, MPAC takes a public stance of wishing to protect ordinary Muslims from the Islamist furies; CAIR does not. As ever, CAIR is consistently more radical

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