The Silicon Valley Community Foundation Must Stop Funding Islamist Hate Groups
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In 2008-15, the Silicon Valley Community Foundation (SVCF) provided eight donations totaling $330,524 to two extremist organizations. The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) received five donations totaling $132,933. Islamic Relief received three donations totaling $197,591.
We differentiate between Islam and Islamism. American Muslims are an important part of our country; but Islamists pursue an extreme political ideology with no real mandate from ordinary Muslims.
Islamists such as those running CAIR and Islamic Relief encourage hatred against women, Jews, Christians, the LGBTQ community, and Muslims belonging to minority sects. Islamists radicalize Muslims in the United States and fund jihadi violence abroad.
CAIR and Islamic Relief duplicitously employ liberal rhetoric in their pursuit of illiberal ideas, sometimes successfully duping politicians, journalists, academics, and philanthropists.
The Middle East Forum and its allies oppose all funding of Islamist organizations because this money both legitimizes Islamists as the voice of America’s Muslims and betrays those moderate Muslims working to free their faith from the grip of hatred and extremism.
SVCF is the largest community foundation in the United States. With over 8 billion dollars in assets under management, it is the go-to charitable organization for some of America's wealthiest philanthropists. Mark Zuckerberg, founder and CEO of Facebook, made a $500 million dollar donation to the foundation in 2013. America's largest community foundation and its philanthropic partners should not support organizations that promulgate extremism both here and abroad.
We the undersigned call upon the SVCF to immediately stop all funding of extremist groups, including CAIR and Islamic Relief.
Appendix 1: What Are CAIR and Islamic Relief?
CAIR was named as an un-indicted co-conspirator in the 2008 Holy Land Foundation terrorism financing trial. The FBI has banned outreach with CAIR since 2008. In 2014, the United Arab Emirates, a pious Muslim country, designated CAIR a terrorist organization. The Anti-Defamation League accuses CAIR of promoting anti-Jewish sentiment. Six CAIR leaders have been arrested, convicted, or deported for terrorism-related crimes: Randall (“Ismail”) Royer, Ghassan Elashi, Bassem Khafagi, Rabih Haddad, Nabil Sadoun, and Muthanna Al-Hanooti.
Islamic Relief is the largest Islamic charity in America and the Western world, reporting an income of about $110 million in 2014. But it is a designated terrorist entity in Israel and the UAE. Banks such as UBS and HSBC have closed Islamic Relief bank accounts over concerns about terrorism financing.
Appendix 2: Examples of CAIR and Islamic Relief Hate Speakers
Siraj Wahhaj is a former member of CAIR’s advisory board and one of CAIR’s most regular speakers.
- LGTBQ: “I don't believe any of you are homosexual. This is a disease of this society. … you know what the punishment is, if a man is found with another man? The Prophet Mohammad said the one who does it and the one to whom it is done to, kill them both.”
- Infidels: “Woe to the Muslims who pick kafirs [a derogatory Arabic word meaning non-Muslims] for friends. … Take not into your intimacy those outside of your race. They will not fail to corrupt you. Don't you know our children are surrounded by kafirs. I'm telling you, making the hearts of our children corrupt, dirty, foul.”
Hussain Kamani is a Deobandi preacher who has spoken at multiple Islamic Relief events.
- Sex slavery and adultery: Kamani explains that Muslim men may fulfill any sexual desires “with a female slave that belongs to him.” Those who commit adultery or have sex outside of marriage, he asserts, must be “stoned to death.” When Muslim husbands are learning to “train their wives,” beating them is allowed as a “last measure.”
- Non-consensual sex: Detailed notes published by Jangda's students indicate that he defends the use of female sex slaves and justifies marital rape: “The thing to understand is that the husband has his set of divinely given rights one of which is the right to have his physical desires satisfied.”
- Death penalty: He advocates the killing of apostates and adulterers.
- Honor killings: “Sisters ... you know what happens with a really jealous Dad? He kills you and he kills the guy. You are offending Allah ... whenever you make yourself promiscuous or you open yourself up to a relationship.”
- Homosexuality: “When Allah describes homosexuality as a repugnant shameless sin and details his punishment of a people that practiced sodomy, how can anyone who believes in Allah not find it immoral? … If as Muslims we don't take a clear stance on this, we will be forced to conform and watch this disease destroy our children.”
Muzammil Siddiqi is chairman of the Fiqh Council of North America and the religious director at the Islamic Society of Orange County. He works closely with CAIR and often speaks at its events.
- Homosexuality: He publicly supports the death penalty for homosexuals.
Hassan Shibly is a CAIR staffer, the head of its Florida office.
- Homosexuality: He expresses hatred for the LGBT community, as in this tweet where he says homosexuality is a quick way “to earn God’s wrath.”
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