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[LISTEN] The America Report: CAIR Warns Human Rights Activists to Avoid Travel to, or Transit through, the UAE

Jul 28, 2022

Umm Muhammed Umar

Radio Islam spoke to the Council on American Islamic Relations’ Brother Ibrahim Hooper, on the America Report. Brother Ibrahim is the National Communications Director for the Council.

Starting off with New Jersey, anti-boycott laws are proving an affront to free speech, and they also don’t address anti – semitism. This started from Ben and Jerry’s having pulled their ice cream stores in occupied Palestine, which resulted in a backlash against the parent company, Unilever. Brother Ibrahim said that the anti-boycott laws have been introduced in a number of states around the US. He said, “the bottom line is unless you pledge allegiance to a foreign government, you don’t get certain benefits in that state. It’s really ridiculous. It’s a violation of free speech rights, it’s a violation of international norms, it’s a violation of everything, but because it’s pushed by right wing legislatures around the country, and the pro-apartheid lobby for Israel, they go through and then we have to fight them in each case in the courts and in the court of public opinion.” He added, “It’s just a struggle, it’s going on as the pro-apartheid lobby gets more desperate. It’s really using every method that it can to push back against the rise in recognition of the humanity of the Palestinians.”

The intent of these anti-boycott laws, as claimed by the proponents, is to stop anti – semitism. It is in fact contrary to this. Brother Ibrahim said that some of the loudest opponents of these laws were from the Jewish community, such as Jewish Voice for Peace, and other groups. He said, “They say it’s weaponizing anti semitism to go after free speech, which it is.” Brother Ibrahim added, “it makes any criticism of the policies of the government of Israel somehow anti-semitic, which is, of course, ridiculous.”

Separately, CAIR has warned human rights activists to avoid travel or to transit through the UAE. This is after the detention of US civil rights attorney, Asim Ghafoor. Ghafoor has been advocating human rights in the Middle East. He has served on a number of forums demanding accountability from governments in the UAE, having taken on a number of cases, and taking them to the international court. He gained prominence in recent years regarding the case of Jamal Khashoggi, where he took it upon himself to ensure that the path of justice be pursued for Khashoggi. It seems that the UAE, (doing the bidding of big brother, Saudi Arabia) arrested him on trumped up charges of tax evasion, which the US, apparently, was not even aware of. Brother Ibrahim said, “if you’re defending civil rights, if you’re defending human rights, or freedom, or democracy, you’re endangered if you travel through or to the United Arab Emirates.” He said, “it’s just risky for anyone who is pro-democracy, pro human rights, to go there, because that’s what they’re against, as we see with the unjust detention of Asim Ghafoor. Asim has been hospitalized with COVID, and has yet to meet with, or speak to, his attorney or a family member.

Meanwhile, in Indiana, in the US, a real estate agent has been encouraged to meet with Muslim leaders after she posted on social media that Muslims had to kill disbelievers in order to gain Paradise. Glenda Gasperine of the Southern Indiana Realtors Association claimed she had cut and pasted it from another post. Brother Ibrahim suggested that she meet with actual Muslims and Muslim community leaders to find out what the reality of Islam was.

 

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