Findley Calls Foul as 4 Lawmakers Claim Interns Are Spies
Before settling down in Jacksonville, Paul Findley spent much of his 22 years in Congress campaigning for the rights of people of all religions and for policy changes in the Middle East.
Events this week in Washington have him speaking out again.
Four Republican representatives — John Shadegg of Arizona, Paul Broun of Georgia, Trent Franks of Arizona and Sue Myrick of North Carolina — have formally asked for the investigation of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, a non-profit organization in Washington, citing what they say are terrorist ties.
“As a Republican, I’m ashamed that Republicans made all this fuss,” Findley said Friday. “I don’t find anything in Islam that justifies these calls of terrorism. Half of the American people are misinformed about Islam and I’ve tried to correct those assumptions.”
The House members called a news conference earlier this week and accused the Council on American-Islamic Relations of plotting to plant spies posing as interns. They asked the Justice Department the House sergeant at arms to investigate.
The call came based on the book “Muslim Mafia: Inside the Secret Underworld That’s Conspiring to Islamize America.” The book was published by worldnetdaily.com, a right-wing Web site.
Part of the book is based on an internal memo from CAIR that said part of its public relations and lobbying strategy is to place Muslims in congressional offices and register people to vote.
Ibrahim Hooper, communications director for the Council on American-Islamic Relations, told The Hill, a Capitol Hill publication, that he was appalled his efforts to get Muslims more involved in politics would be conceived as a terror threat.
“If these people weren’t so hate-filled, it would be laughable, but unfortunately they have an audience and given their positions it’s going to get picked up by the hate blogs,” he said.
Hooper later received a death threat accusing him of treason and depicting the image of a gallows with his name on it.
“The CAIR I know is a bunch of patriotic citizens who want to work with the American government to make this country even better,” Findley said Friday. He said the Council on American-Islamic Relations started in a small office and “is now a highly respected group for their work in bringing the concerns of Muslims to Capitol Hill.”
Findley said he fears the representatives’ action will sharpen the passions of those he said are misinformed about Islam.
During his political career, Findley co-founded the Council for the National Interest, a non-profit organization that advocates policy changes in the Middle East. He has also written several books, including “Silent No More: Confronting America’s False Images of Islam” and has just finished writing his sixth book, tentatively titled “Taking the High Road,” in which he condemns what he said is a religious bias in U.S. foreign policy.