The pre-eminent Muslim advocacy group in Washington, DC, has greeted four Republicans' accusations that it is trying to plant "spies" disguised as interns on Capitol Hill with outrage, derision and ridicule.
US House Reps. Paul Broun (R-GA), Trent Franks (R-AZ), Sue Myrick (R-NC) and John Shadegg (R-AZ) announced Wednesday morning that they want the House's sergeant-at-arms to investigate claims made in a new book that the Council on American-Islamic Relations has a plan to infiltrate Congress with interns who would spy for the group.
CAIR says the evidence for the allegations made in the book is nothing more than documents showing the group is engaged in typical lobbying efforts in Congress. It also says the allegations made against them could be fuel for hate groups.
The Republican quartet's claims are based on a book published by the conservative news site WorldNetDaily, entitled Muslim Mafia: Inside the Secret Underworld That's Conspiring to Islamize America. The book was written by Paul Sperry and Dave Gaubatz. According to Politico, Gaubatz, an anti-Muslim activist, wrote last year that "a vote for Hussein Obama is a vote for Sharia law."
CAIR denounced Sperry and Gaubatz's claims as "racist" and "insidious," reports Politico, but the group's communications director, Ibrahim Hooper, took a sarcastic tone when responding to the allegations.
"We would love to help people find jobs on Capitol Hill," he said. "There's a Muslim Staffer Association. Should they be investigated?"
Who's spying now?
As WorldNetDaily described, to make its argument that CAIR is "infiltrating" Congress, the authors planted an infiltrator in CAIR -- specifically, Dave Gaubatz's son, Chris, who posed as "Dave Marshall," a "bearded Muslim convert," to land an internship at CAIR's Washington office.
It was that deception that seemed to raise the most outrage from CAIR's Hooper, who told TalkingPointsMemo's Justin Elliott that Gaubatz had taken numerous documents from the organization's offices.
"We treated him so well," an "angry" Hooper told TPM. "I jokingly offered to help him get married. ... They lied to us about their background. They falsely claimed to be Muslim. They would stand next to us and pray during prayers."
Hooper told TPM that Gaubatz's "evidence" amounts to little more than documents showing that CAIR engaged in standard lobbying efforts. "This guy spied on us for months, and the most they can come up with is that we're doing ordinary lobbying work on Capitol Hill?"
Hooper told The Hill: “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."
“God forbid American Muslims take part in the political process and exercise their rights," he said.