Two members of Congress, Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) and Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) will be speaking at separate events for the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR). CAIR has been criticized for its ties to Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood.
Wait...what is CAIR?
The Council on American-Islamic Relations is a U.S.-based advocacy group with a stated mission to "enhance understanding of Islam, protect civil rights, promote justice, and empower American Muslims."
While their mission is commendable, the group has been accused of working closely with the Muslim Brotherhood, refusing to denounce Hamas and Hezbollah, and even being connected to Hamas.
According to National Review, seven board members and staff from CAIR "have been arrested, denied entry to the U.S., or were indicted on or pled guilty to (or were convicted of) terrorist charges."
In 2008, a federal judge said that there was "ample evidence to establish the association" between CAIR and Hamas.
CAIR has dismissed these allegations, accusing its detractors of being "anti-Muslim bigots" intent on spreading a "misinformation campaign."
What happened now?
Tlaib is scheduled to speak at CAIR-Michigan's 19th Annual Banquet on March 17 in Livonia, Michigan. Tlaib also spoke at other CAIR events in 2014 and 2018. Tlaib will be speaking alongside Imam Omar Suleiman who, according to Conservative Review, believes homosexuality is punishable by death and warned in 2012 that women should wear hijabs at home to avoid the risk of an incestuous relationship.
Omar is scheduled to speak at a fundraising event for CAIR on March 23 in Los Angeles titled, "Advancing Justice, empowering Valley Muslims."
Despite her ready promotion of CAIR, Omar criticized the alleged monetary influence of the U.S. Jewish advocacy group, AIPAC, in a series of tweets that were widely condemned as being anti-Semitic including by members of her own party. Omar later apologized for her statements, but said that she still opposed the influence that she believed lobbying groups had over pro-Israel U.S. politicians.
According to the Open Secrets, the PAC for the Council on American-Islamic Relations donated $5,000 to Omar's last campaign.