Muslim activists face no-win decision in labor fight
Critics of the Council on American-Islamic Relations long have said the organization is more about political activism than religious matters.
It files lawsuits, closely monitors political developments and intervenes in issues such as the government’s counter-terrorism training, insisting any communications that tie Islam to terrorism be purged.
But CAIR has met its Waterloo at the hands of the National Labor Relations Board.
The federal agency has determined that CAIR is a non-profit civil rights and advocacy organization, not “a religious institution exempt from the board’s jurisdiction,” as CAIR had claimed.
Consequently, the NLRB has ordered CAIR to allow employees to vote on whether they will be represented by the Service Employees International Union.
The Washington Examiner noted that while CAIR is “well-known for its aggressive efforts to target anti-Muslim bias, NLRB regional director Charles Posner said that the organization was not sufficiently religious to make it exempt from the labor act.”
“He described it as ‘more akin to a secular civil rights group,’ and therefore, its workers are covered by the act.”
Posner said the evidence “establishes that the employer is not an organization that exists to propagate a religious faith, but rather is engaged in a commercial-type activity.”
The Examiner pointed out the new headache for CAIR: “The situation places the leadership of CAIR in an awkward position. It generally has allied itself with other liberal groups, but appealing Friday’s decision would open it up to charges of being anti-union. Not challenging it means accepting that it is not covered by some federal religious exemption laws.”
The NLRB pointed out that CAIR’s communications “do not refer to religious practices.”
The federal agency’s decision also quoted a CAIR attorney explaining, “The role of religious practice in [his] work, strictly speaking, is zero,” and how Jennifer Wicks, a former chief of the civil rights department, questioned at one point whether a particular project was “consistent with [CAIR’s] mission as a Muslim civil rights organization and not a Muslim religious organization.”
Further, the CAIR communications director, Ibrahim Hooper, “stated in an article that “CAIR is not a fatwa-issuing body. It is a human rights organization and we work with everyone in the U.S. regardless of their faith or sect.'”
The ruling, which scheduled a vote of employees on April 24, said CAIR “presented insufficient evidence to establish that it holds itself out as a religious organization.”
It also said CAIR’s “purpose and function is secular,” and it is not run by “any mosque.”
“I conclude that the actual business of the employer is civil rights advocacy and promoting understanding of the Islamic faith to deter discrimination and encourage accommodations for individuals of this religion, and of others.”
WND reported a recent attacks by CAIR on a counter-terrorism instructor for the Air Force.
CAIR has been at the forefront of the move to purge the military and federal government of “anti-Muslim” subject-matter experts and materials.
CAIR’s Florida branch charged in a letter to U.S. Air Force Special Operations Commander Lt. Gen. Marshall B. Webb that Patrick Dunleavy is associated with an “anti-Muslim propaganda mouthpiece, and has made a number of false statements betraying a personal prejudice against Islam and Muslims.”
Dunleavy, a former deputy inspector general for the New York State Department of Corrections, is an instructor for a course in the United States Air Force Special Operations School called “The Dynamics of International Terrorism.”
The author of the book “The Fertile Soil of Jihad: Terrorism’s Prison Connection,” Dunleavy has testified as an expert witness before the House Committee on Homeland Security concerning the threat of Islamic radicalization in the U.S. prison system. He has served as a consultant for the FBI and the International Association of Chiefs of Police on the National Data Exchange Program. He also has been a featured speaker at the Army’s Counter Terrorism Conference.
But CAIR – regarded by the FBI as a Hamas front in the U.S., by the Justice Department as an unindicted co-conspirator in a terror-funding plot and by the United Arab Emirates as a terrorist organization – is demanding that the Air Force drop Dunleavy, citing his status as a senior fellow with Steven Emerson’s Investigative Project on Terrorism and statements he has made about Islam that CAIR considers false.
Dunleavy told WND in an email he has never had complaints from students.
“I was somewhat perplexed by the CAIR accusation,” he said. “Having taught a class on ‘Prison Radicalization’ in the USAF Special Operations School’s Dynamics in International Terrorism for over five years to a group of students which included members of every branch of the U.S. military, FBI special agents, and other federal law enforcement agencies, there has never been any negative reviews of my class presentation, nor were any offensive statements or material found in my lesson plan after review by the USAF at Hurlburt Field.”
CAIR also has sued the authors of a WND Books exposé, “Muslim Mafia: Inside the Secret Underworld That’s Conspiring to Islamize America,” which documented the group’s radical ties. A trial in the case is expected to commence this fall.
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