Monday, April 14, 2003

Errors Never Go Away

I have no opinion on CAIR because I really don't know much about them, but this letter to the editor in today's Washington Post jumped out at me as just not sounding right:

An April 7 news story described the Council on American-Islamic Relations' displeasure with Daniel Pipes's nomination to a seat on the U.S. Institute of Peace board of directors. CAIR claimed that the nomination "sends entirely the wrong message."

So it's fair to ask what message CAIR sends to the public. Let's start with the assessment of Steve Pomerantz, a former chief of counterterrorism for the FBI: "CAIR, its leaders, and its activities, effectively give aid to international terrorist groups."

What's more, CAIR called the conviction of the 1993 World Trade Center bombers a "hate crime," and the group includes on its advisory board Siraj Wahaj, whom the U.S. attorney listed as one of the "unindicted persons who may be alleged as co-conspirators" in that case.

CAIR lacks the credibility to criticize scholars such as Mr. Pipes.



So, I went and tracked down the source of this particular charge:

Jake Tapper responds: There's a lot to address in Hooper's letter; let me first apologize for one error in my story. I wrote that CAIR had called the conviction of Sheik Omar Abdul-Rahman, whom U.S. authorities deemed the ringleader of the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center, a "hate crime." In fact, in 1996 CAIR published a book called "The Price of Ignorance" which dealt with the "status of Muslim civil rights in the United States." That book listed "incidents of anti-Muslim bias and violence," on which CAIR included the trial of Abdul-Rahman, which ended with his conviction for conspiring to blow up the Lincoln Tunnel and other New York City landmarks. CAIR listed the trial on that list of "incidents of bias and violence" because Abdul-Rahman's lawyers said that his trial had been "far from free and fair." They did not call it a "hate crime." I regret the error.