(CNSNews.com) – The controversial Council on American-Islamic Relations is accusing outspoken U.S. critics of global jihad of promoting the kind of “Islamophobia” which it claims led to last Friday’s massacre in Norway.
Anders Behring Breivik, 32, is accused of bombing a government building in the Norwegian capital, Oslo, killing eight people, and shooting dead 68 more at a summer camp, most of them youths. No reports have said whether Muslims are among the victims.
CAIR national communications director Ibrahim Hooper noted that Robert Spencer – an expert on Islam and anti-global jihad activist – and others who are critics of Islamic extremism and of groups like CAIR were referenced in Breivik’s lengthy manifesto posted online.
“Robert Spencer is one of the leading Islamophobes in America,” Hooper told CNSNews.com by telephone on Tuesday.
“All you have to do is go to [Spencer’s] site and read the comments on any article on his site and they will reflect the views of the guy who carried out the terrorist attacks in Norway,” Hooper said.
In a press release Monday CAIR cited a quote from a New York Times report published Monday: “The man accused of the killing spree in Norway was deeply influenced by a small group of American bloggers and writers who have warned for years about the threat from Islam, lacing his 1,500-page manifesto with quotations from them.”
CAIR national executive director Nihad Awad stated that the attacks in Norway “have exposed more than every before the ideological underpinnings of anti-Muslim extremism in Europe and the United States.”
“It is shocking that some of the individuals cited by the terrorist to justify his crimes have trained American security personnel. Perhaps those who ignored or downplayed this issue in the past will address it now by instituting measures to prevent the use of Islamophobic trainers by government agencies."
CAIR noted that Spencer and Walid Shoebat, a Christian convert from Islam and outspoken critic of Islamic extremism, “have both been solicited in the past to train government and security officials, including FBI agents, on the topics of Islam and terrorism.”
It said CAIR had urged the federal government “to provide oversight for apparently widespread anti-Muslim bias in the training of law enforcement, security and military personnel nationwide.”
“It’s really unconscionable and it needs to be addressed,” Hooper said.
Attempts to contact Spencer were unsuccessful Tuesday and Wednesday. But in a Human Events commentary Tuesday, he defended his position of opposing radical Islam and its influence in the Western world as part of a global jihad.
“Just as Leftists for years have positioned every statist and socialist measure they’ve come up with as ‘for the children,’ now they’re using a massacre of youths in Norway to try to end all resistance to the global jihad,” Spencer wrote.
“Their pawn in this case is the mass murderer Anders Behring Breivik who went on a spree of carnage at a Norwegian youth camp Friday, and couldn’t be better positioned to advance the Leftist agenda if he had come from central casting.
“Sixteen years (and thousands of Islamic jihad terror attacks) after Tim McVeigh detonated a truck bomb in front of a government building in Oklahoma City, the Left and the mainstream media finally have another white, non-Muslim terrorist upon whom they can hang their moral equivalency arguments that, as Rosie O’Donnell put it a few years back, ‘Radical Christianity is just as dangerous as radical Islam.’ Breivik is blonde, Nordic, and widely reported to be a ‘Christian fundamentalist,’ although he himself stated in a lengthy manifesto, ‘I’m not going to pretend I’m a very religious person as that would be a lie.’
“The implication is clear: If you resist the increasingly aggressive expansion of Islam in Europe, more children will be murdered,” Spencer wrote.
He concluded by saying CAIR and likeminded groups want to use the tragedy to promote their agenda of Islamic supremacy.
“It is ironic that the Left is so energetically pursuing this campaign, given that as soon as they get the chance, the Islamic supremacists for whom Leftists are carrying water will extinguish the freedom of speech, the freedom of conscience, equality of rights for women, and numerous other rights and freedoms that enlightened multiculturalists take for granted now,” Spencer wrote. “But by then it will be too late, as they will have silenced the only people who were sounding a warning.”
CAIR, which calls itself “America's largest Islamic civil liberties group,” was named by federal prosecutors in 2007 among “unindicted co-conspirators” in a case against the Holy Land Foundation in Texas. Five former Holy Land organizers were convicted the following year of providing support to the Palestinian terrorist group, Hamas.