[ View the story "Civil rights group: US religious freedom rep funded by anti-Islam groups" on Storify] Civil rights group: US religious freedom rep funded by anti-Islam groups Organization argues that representative's funding prevents him from advocating for religious freedom.
AJAMStream· Mon, Feb 17 2014 15:49:36
In a letter to the chair of the USCIRF, Corey Saylor of CAIR's Department to Monitor and Combat Islamophobia cited links between Jasser's group, the American Islamic Forum for Democracy, and groups CAIR labeled as anti-Islam:
"Tax filings for the New York-based Abstraction Fund reveal that between 2010 and 2012, Jasser's organization accepted $45,000 in grants and contributions. In 2012, 82 percent of the Fund's total $1,982,930 contributions and grants went to groups known for their active role in spreading anti-Islam prejudice."cair.com
Among those groups are
Center for Security Policy and Jihad Watch, which is
by the Southern Poverty Law Center as an active anti-Islam group. Jasser, who self-identifies as Muslim, responded by
CAIR "Islamist bullies" who are "trying to silence the opposition."
Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) nominated Jasser to the USCIRF in 2012. Many
him to be a controversial pick at the time of his appointment, and
McConnell in protest of his decision. The source of Jasser's funding has long made him the subject of
, with one critic calling him "the mere sock puppet for Islam haters and an enabler of Islamophobia.”
The renewed controversy was sparked by Jasser's appearance on Fox and Friends to discuss the Pentagon's
to religious apparel worn in the military. In January, the department announced that beards, religious body art, turbans and other outward symbols of dress and grooming that demonstrated religious practices would be allowed.
In the segment below, Jasser says the change in stance is "bending over backwards for political correctness," and would "weaken mission readiness and ultimately tee up the football for litigation jihad."
Dr. Zuhdi Jasser joins Fox and Friends to discuss the DoD's new rules on religious wear 01.23.2014aifdtv
In the weeks since the segment aired, Jasser's remarks became the subject of
. The blowback on social media continued to grow with CAIR's campaign.
@clarionproject1 @DrZuhdiJasser Jasser doesn't belong in group for religious freedom when career based on fearmongering against a religionrabia chaudry
“@HussamA: What do you call someone who is funded & praised by anti-Muslim bigots & calls for discrimination against Muslims?” Zuhdi JasserDawud Walid
Others on Twitter have expressed support for Jasser.
@MissDiagnosis @DrZuhdiJasser You have our full support. Many of the silent majority support you. Unfortunately, they're silent!Mike Kassab
You can count on it. Lets discuss how I can help. So offended by this accusation Stay your ground. Many #Muslims behind you @DrZuhdiJasserQanta Ahmed
What do you think about CAIR's request for an investigation? Leave your thoughts below.