CAIR is just another lobby

by Kara Richard

In the Oct. 28 issue of The Minnesota Daily, a letter to the editor expressed concern over the state of the CAIR institute and its relationship to various members of Congress. The pervasive use of fear-inducing language regarding Islam in the letter set off an alarm in my brain, and as such, I would like to clarify a few things for the author and his compatriots. First, CAIR is a lobby, which means âÄúinfiltratingâÄù the government is its purpose. Second, to suggest only âÄúradical IslamâÄù has these lobbies promoting an agenda âÄúdangerousâÄù to Americans is to ignore the high-profile presence and actions of other pro-religion lobbyist groups, like Jewish lobbies in favor of Israel, who have managed to shut down debate regarding the treatment of Palestinians in the occupied territories. Christian lobbies control many Republican representatives by threatening to pull endorsements unless they adhere to Christian orthodoxy, which dubiously includes support of the constitutionally questionable Patriot Act and the denial of rights for homosexuals. Unless the letterâÄôs author also believes we should be investigating the impact all these organizations have on Congress, a course of action I fully support, he should realize the hypocrisy of indicting a specific religious institution that does not have the power to enact the scope of legislation that other pro-religion groups already have. Those who fear âÄúradical IslamâÄù must be willing to thoroughly examine the effect âÄúradicalâÄù Christianity, Judaism or any other religion has upon the civic and religious rights of all people before casting judgment upon the most convenient scapegoat to be found. Kara Richard University undergraduate student