CAIR is Facing a “MeToo” Moment

The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) has long “enjoyed an unearned reputation as a civil-rights organization,” A.J. Caschetta writes, “in spite of its ties to Hamas, . . . the Holy Land Foundation charity [which was convicted in a federal court of supporting terrorism], and the Muslim Brotherhood.” In the past, critics of CAIR were often dismissed as anti-Muslim bigots. Recently, however, former CAIR board members, employees, and supporters have launched a coordinated effort to expose a different set of problems within the organization.

In 2008, when the FBI agents Lara Burns and Robert Miranda testified at the Holy Land Foundation trial that CAIR is a Hamas front, many anticipated an investigation that would result in criminal charges. Those charges never came. But times have changed, and men were getting away with behavior in 2008 that they wouldn’t get away with today.

Ever since January 2021, when Hasan Shibly, leader of CAIR’s Florida operations, resigned amid a scandal of spousal-abuse, polygamy, and sexual-harassment allegations, CAIR members and former members have been coming forward with accusations of gender bias and sexual harassment, and the group that bills itself as “a Muslim civil-rights and advocacy organization” is beginning to look like just another hostile workplace where the men in charge bully and harass the women who work for them with impunity.

Leila Fadal of NPR found an angle that couldn’t be dismissed as “Islamophobia” when she wrote about the sex scandal on April 15, 2021. . . . One of the women profiled in the NPR piece, Jinan Shbat, operates an Instagram account called cairvictimsforum, featuring testimonials from accusers. Another new social-media phenomenon exposing CAIR’s secrets is a group called WeCAIR. WeCAIR is a serious organization calling for reform, asking reporters to “be unafraid to investigate CAIR as you would any other major organization,” and helping CAIR’s victims air their stories.

Read more at National Review

More about: American Muslims, CAIR, Hamas

How to Save the Universities

To Peter Berkowitz, the rot in American institutions of higher learning exposed by Tuesday’s hearings resembles a disease that in its early stages was easy to cure but difficult to diagnose, and now is so advanced that it is easy to diagnose but difficult to cure. Recent analyses of these problems have now at last made it to the pages of the New York Times but are, he writes, “tardy by several decades,” and their suggested remedies woefully inadequate:

They fail to identify the chief problem. They ignore the principal obstacles to reform. They propose reforms that provide the equivalent of band-aids for gaping wounds and shattered limbs. And they overlook the mainstream media’s complicity in largely ignoring, downplaying, or dismissing repeated warnings extending back a quarter century and more—largely, but not exclusively, from conservatives—that our universities undermine the public interest by attacking free speech, eviscerating due process, and hollowing out and politicizing the curriculum.

The remedy, Berkowitz argues, would be turning universities into places that cultivate, encourage, and teach freedom of thought and speech. But doing so seems unlikely:

Having undermined respect for others and the art of listening by presiding over—or silently acquiescing in—the curtailment of dissenting speech for more than a generation, the current crop of administrators and professors seems ill-suited to fashion and implement free-speech training. Moreover, free speech is best learned not by didactic lectures and seminars but by practicing it in the reasoned consideration of competing ideas with those capable of challenging one’s assumptions and arguments. But where are the professors who can lead such conversations? Which faculty members remain capable of understanding their side of the argument because they understand the other side?

Read more at RealClearPolitics

More about: Academia, Anti-Semitism, Freedom of Speech, Israel on campus