This article originally appeared in the print version of the California Courier.
The Independence Day Holiday is often a time for Americans, of all backgrounds, to relax with family and friends, and celebrate the freedom they enjoy as Americans.
But for Hussam Ayloush, the longstanding executive director of the Council on American Islamic Relations’ Greater Los Angeles Chapter (CAIR-GLA), the holiday weekend was an opportunity to condemn the United States for perceived wrongs. The day after July 4th Ayloush reflected on his Facebook page,
“But how can I celebrate our Independence Day when migrants and their children are abused in our US concentration camps and denied freedom? Or when our tax money funds the denial of freedom to Palestinians and Egyptians? Or when our weapons wage the UAE/Saudi war on Yemeni lives and freedom? My freedom is not complete until everyone else is free.”
On July 7, Ayloush began posting and sharing video live from Turkey. But Ayloush seemed more concerned with Turkey’s beautiful mosques than its reputation for jailing journalists. Ayloush declared the Eyüpsultan masjid as “possibly the most spiritual place to visit in Istanbul.” On July 9, Ayloush paused his Turkish travelogue to continue his whitewashing of Turkey’s crushing of dissidents.
“Appreciating Turkey’s beauty and stability cannot be complete without recognizing the brave citizens who sacrificed their lives to oppose the military coup attempt and protect their country’s freedom and democracy in July of 2016,” Ayloush wrote.
While Ayloush’s expressed concerns for “everyone else” and their chance for freedom, that view did not apparently extend to political prisoners currently detained in an increasingly authoritarian Turkey.
Ayloush’s remarks make no sense if one believes self-description of his employer, CAIR, as the country’s largest “Muslim Civil Rights” organization.
But Ayloush’ full-throated defense of Turkey’s repression makes sense when considering CAIR’s record of affiliating with the Muslim Brotherhood, defending the terrorist organization Hamas, its status as an “unindicted co-conspirator” in the Holy Land Foundation terror fundraising trial, and its designation by the United Arab Emirates as a terrorist organization.
As previously documented in The California Courier, ties between Muslim Brotherhood-linked groups, namely, Muslim American Society’s Greater Los Angeles and the Islamic Society of Orange County (ISOC), and Turkey expanded recently. It is very worrisome that CAIR Los Angeles has also jumped on the Turkey bandwagon.
CAIR’s strength and influence comes from media manipulation. CAIR chapters position themselves as the voice of their Muslim communities so journalists seeking comment go to CAIR to represent the “mainstream” Muslim position, in spite of its history of supporting Islamist regimes and terror groups. Given the organization’s longtime associations with media organizations, Armenian Americans should be especially concerned as CAIR steps up its efforts to advocate for the oppressive Erdogan regime.
As Turkey continues to gain footholds in the Los Angeles Muslim community, spreading lies denying the Armenian Genocide and indoctrinating Muslim children to embrace the authoritarian Erdogan, it will become increasingly important for Armenian-American groups to find allies who understand the growing threat of Turkish supported Islamism in America. There are also many authentically moderate Muslim organizations which Armenian-American organizations would find friendly to their cause. Just as Turkey has united with American Islamists, those of us concerned about Islamism’s spread must also unite if we are to resist the spread their nefarious agenda.