McConnell Senate Challenger Attends Dinner Hosted by Hamas-Linked CAIR


Would Amy McGrath, who hopes to take Mitch McConnell’s Senate seat away from him, attend a dinner hosted by a Nazi group? Of course not. Would she show her face hosted by a group that opposed jihad terror? Not on your life. But in a sign of how topsy-turvy the Left’s moral compass has become, she didn’t hesitate to attend a dinner hosted by the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR). In light of what CAIR stands for and its appalling track record, how is that different from attending a Nazi function?

CAIR is an unindicted co-conspirator in a Hamas terror funding case — so named by the Justice Department. CAIR officials have repeatedly refused to denounce Hamas and Hizballah as terrorist groups. Several former CAIR officials have been convicted of various crimes related to jihad terror. CAIR’s cofounder and longtime Board chairman (Omar Ahmad), as well as its chief spokesman (Ibrahim Hooper), have made Islamic supremacist statements about how Islamic law should be imposed in the U.S. (Ahmad denies this, but the original reporter stands by her story.) CAIR chapters frequently distribute pamphlets telling Muslims not to cooperate with law enforcement. CAIR has opposed virtually every anti-terror measure that has been proposed or implemented and has been declared a terror organization by the United Arab Emirates. CAIR’s Hussam Ayloush in 2017 called for the overthrow of the U.S. government. CAIR’s national outreach manager is an open supporter of Hamas.

If Amy McGrath knows any of that, she shows no sign of caring. According to the Washington Free Beacon, the “Kentucky chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, known best as CAIR, posted multiple pictures of McGrath in attendance at its annual dinner on May 11, 2019. She is currently featured in the main photo of the group’s Facebook page.”

Kentucky Senate candidate Amy McGrath is photographed at a CAIR Kentucky dinner (via CAIR Kentucky Facebook page)

In response to criticism, the McGrath campaign has maintained that the CAIR dinner was an entirely benign “interfaith event.” McGrath’s campaign manager, Mark Nickolas, insisted that “Amy attended an interfaith event joined by a rabbi and a Baptist preacher and sponsored by the University of Kentucky.” Nothing to see here. Move along.

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Not only is there nothing to see there, but there is nothing to see in the fact that one of the donors to McGrath’s failed 2018 campaign for the House of Representatives was none other than the virulently anti-Semitic Congresswoman Ilhan Omar. She gave McGrath $1,000.

Now, imagine for a moment that a Republican candidate for the Senate had received during a previous campaign a $1,000 donation from a member of the House of Representatives who had become notorious for racist and white supremacist statements. Imagine further that this same candidate had attended a dinner hosted by a group that had been identified by the Justice Department as having links to the Ku Klux Klan. Do you think that the establishment media’s reaction would be the resolute indifference with which “journalists” have greeted the news of McGrath’s presence at the CAIR dinner?

Unfortunately, the willful ignorance and moral myopia that would be required of anyone attending a dinner of the Council on American-Islamic Relations is not limited to Amy McGrath. CAIR chapters around the country frequently post photographs of politicians great and small who come to their events hoping to secure Muslim votes. Instead of being ashamed, these politicians generally preen about having been there, and bask in the glow of adulatory press coverage about their commitment to “inclusion” and “diversity.” These include Minnesota Governor Tim Walz, who spoke last March at CAIR-Minnesota’s “Challenging Islamophobia” conference. That was just a few days after Washington state governor and then-presidential hopeful Jay Inslee welcomed CAIR officials to the state capital. In 2018, Illinois Congressman Mike Quigley was a featured speaker at CAIR’s Chicago “Resistance” Banquet.

This is a bipartisan cluelessness. McGrath, Walz, Inslee, and Quigley are Democrats, but there are plenty of Republican useful idiots as well. Foremost among these was former President George W. Bush, who was standing in a mosque with CAIR’s CEO Nihad Awad when he proclaimed Islam a religion of peace six days after 19 Muslims murdered 3,000 Americans in the name of Allah and in accord with the teachings of the Qur’an about waging war against unbelievers.

That any American politician of any political camp would appear at any function of this unsavory group speaks to the confusion of our age, and of how casual U.S. officials have become in their acceptance of hatred for the country they are supposed to be serving.

Robert Spencer is the director of Jihad Watch and a Shillman Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center. He is author of the New York Times bestsellers The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (and the Crusades) and The Truth About Muhammad. His latest book is The History of Jihad From Muhammad to ISIS. Follow him on Twitter here. Like him on Facebook here.

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