Politics: It took a week, but the LATIMES finally got around to the story made by Newsweek.
|Sen. Barbara Boxer has rescinded an award her office gave to a Sacramento Islamic activist after criticism that the group he represents — the Council on American-Islamic Relations — holds extremist views and has ties to international terrorist organizations.
"I'm saying the four words that every elected official hates to say: 'I made a mistake,' " the California Democrat said in a telephone interview Friday. "I hope they won't believe that I did this to hurt the Muslim community…. We just have to be more careful when we reach out." |
Of course CAIR blames talking about Israel.
|Boxer, who said she was unaware of the initial decision by her office to honor Elkarra, said independent research by her office later revealed troubling information about the organization.
"It's the volume of things, not any one thing," she said. "There's a long list."
That list includes several individual council members who have been indicted on terrorism-related charges, as well as harsh criticism of the organization by some of Boxer's congressional colleagues. In 2003, Sen. Richard J. Durbin (D-Ill.) said the council was "unusual in its extreme rhetoric and its associations with groups that are suspect."
In recent years the council has drawn a carefully calibrated line on terrorism — strongly criticizing individual attacks and suicide bombings but refusing to label Hamas or Hezbollah as terrorist organizations.
It's also quick to condemn Israeli attacks in Lebanon and the occupied territories and label them as terrorism against civilians.
That criticism of Israel, council officials say, is what's really fueling the campaign against their group. Nothing short of endorsing Israeli policy, they say, will spare them from allegations of extremism.
"The minute we criticize Israel, then we become a nonmoderate group," Ayloush said. "You become public enemy No. 1."
The group also has a complicated relationship with federal law enforcement agencies. Former FBI counterterrorism chief Steven Pomerantz once said the council's activities "effectively give aid to international terrorist groups."|
They don't get it and never will in the long run.