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Sen. Boxer Recalls Award to Muslim Activist

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liberalpragmatist Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-29-06 08:53 PM
Original message
Sen. Boxer Recalls Award to Muslim Activist
CAIR Play?
Sen. Barbara Boxer recalled an award she recently gave to an Islamic activist because of his ties to a major American Muslim organizationthat critics say has ties to terrorist activities.

Web Exclusive
By Michael Isikoff and Mark Hosenball
Updated: 4:08 p.m. CT Dec 29, 2006

Dec. 29, 2006 - In a highly unusual move, Sen. Barbara Boxer of California has rescinded an award to an Islamic activist in her home state because of the mans connections to a major American Muslim organization that recently has been courted by leading political figures and even the FBI.

Boxers office confirmed to NEWSWEEK that she has withdrawn a certificate of accomplishment to Sacramento activist Basim Elkarra after learning that he serves as an official with the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR). After directing her staff to look into CAIR, Boxer expressed concern about some past statements and actions by the group, as well as assertions by some law enforcement officials that it gives aid to international terrorist groups, according to Natalie Ravitz, the senators press spokeswoman.

CAIR, which has 32 offices around the country and bills itself as the leading Muslim-American civil- rights group, has never been charged with any crimes, nor have any of its top leaders. But a handful of individuals who have had ties to CAIR in the past have been convicted or deported for financial dealings with Hamasanother reason cited by Boxer for her action. The senator directed her staff to withdraw the certificatewhich she routinely gives to community leaders in Californiaand asked that a statement she had previously made endorsing CAIR be stricken from the groups Web site, Ravitz said in an e-mail.


Boxer tells NEWSWEEK she never saw the letter to CAIR signed in her name or was even aware of the award to Elkarra before it was sent out. "I feel terrible about this," she says. "We just made a mistake. I was not in the loop. That was an automatic signature ." But Boxer stands by her decision to withdraw the award and to distance herself from CAIR, saying she was influenced by previous critical statements about CAIR made by her Democratic colleagues Sens. Richard Durbin of Illinois and Charles Schumer of New York. "To praise an organization because they haven't been indicted is like somebody saying, 'I'm not a crook,' Boxer says. I'm going to take a lot of hits for this. But I'm just doing what I think is right."

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Hm. I usually trust Barbara Boxer, but this does not look good. I hope she knows what she's doing here. It's correct, by all means, to keep from associating from terrorist groups, but this looks awfully tenous and Islamophobic.
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Warren DeMontague Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-29-06 08:57 PM
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1. I trust her judgment. Terrorism by religous fundamentalists is never okay.
Edited on Fri Dec-29-06 09:22 PM by impeachdubya
Whether they're Islamic Fundamentalists, or --- in the case of most of the terrorist acts committed in this country in the past 15 years --- Christian Fundamentalists.
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