Washington, Sept.11 : Some terror experts say that Muslim groups that sound moderate often have a hidden, radical agenda.
But it says that those groups that are confirmed as moderate must be encouraged and supported by U.S. officials.
According to Fox News, the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), which bills itself as the largest Muslim civil rights organization in the U.S., has won both praise and criticism.
It says that CAIR has long maintained that it is a moderate force that soundly rejects terrorism.
“CAIR’s position on terrorism is very clear: We have condemned it persistently and consistently wherever they do it, whenever they do it,” said Corey Saylor, governmental affairs director at CAIR.
Yet some critics note that former CAIR associates have been convicted on terrorism-related charges and express alarm that the group was named an unindicted co-conspirator in a terror-related trial.
CAIR officials were linked to the Holyland Foundation, a major Islamic charity that allegedly funneled money to Hamas.
When asked to specifically condemn Hamas and Hezbollah – two groups that have been identified by the State Department as terror organizations – CAIR refused to directly condemn them.
CAIR have termed the accusations against it “guilt by association,” and said they were not accurate depictions of the group’s activity.
“Who are the moderates?” said Mansour, an Egyptian-born scholar. “You probably never heard of them, and that, they say, is part of the problem. The message of peace does not make the news,” he added.
Yet more voices of Muslim moderation are emerging in the U.S. In the aftermath of 9/11.
Iraqi refugee Zainab Al-Suwaij created the American Islamic Congress, a non-profit organization that promotes tolerance and interfaith dialogue.
“We have a campaign, for example, called ‘No Buts,’” she said. “We do not accept any excuses for radicalism and extremism and terrorism.”
The Free Muslim Coalition offers another moderate voice in Islam struggling to be heard.
“We believe the true Muslim perspective was not being represented, the people who so called represented us, represented a very small ideology in the Muslim community,” said Kamal Nawash, the group’s president and founder.