Where Does Hamas-Sympathizing CAIR’s Funding Come From? Well…

The controversial Council on American-Islamic Relations — CAIR — was back in the headlines recently following the Biden administration’s decision to cut ties with the group after its executive director, Nihad Awad, said he was “happy” to see Hamas massacre 1,200 Israelis in its October 7 slaughter. 

CAIR, described by NGO Monitor as “an anti-Israel organization that supports BDS (boycotts, divestment, and sanctions) against Israel as a response to ‘one of the greatest forms of injustice in our time – Apartheid,'” has a long history of sympathizing with Hamas terrorists and attempting to make justification for their indiscriminate attacks against Israeli civilians. 

From its founding — by leaders from the anti-Israel Islamic Association for Palestine (IAP), known to the United States as a “propaganda apparatus” of Hamas — CAIR has had alarming ties to the Iran-backed terrorist organization chartered to eliminate Israel and kill Jews. Awad, before taking his post with CAIR, was IAP’s director of public relations. Some of the messaging Awad oversaw at IAP included a call to “liberate Palestine” via “the path of Jihad” and the distribution of Hamas propaganda. 

It’s no surprise, then, that CAIR was “linked to the Holy Land Foundation (HLF), a Texas-based charity that was convicted in 2009 for providing material support to Hamas.” 

More from the Capital Research Center:

“From its founding by Muslim Brotherhood leaders, CAIR conspired with other affiliates of the Muslim Brotherhood to support terrorists . . . the conspirators agreed to use deception to conceal from the American public their connections to terrorists,” stated federal prosecutors in a 2007 court filing.
The Justice Department listed CAIR as an unindicted co-conspirator during the trial of the Holy Land Foundation for financing Hamas. CAIR was explicitly identified as an “entity” of the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood. Specifically, CAIR was formed as part of the Brotherhood’s secret “Palestine Committee,” which was set up to covertly assist Hamas.

A closer look at CAIR’s benefactors reveals many of the usual suspects in the left’s dark money operation that funnels cash to organizations aligned with its radical agenda. Now, a new report from Capital Research Center Investigative Researcher Ryan Mauro is shedding new light on some of these CAIR funders who are apparently unconcerned with the organization’s allies and agenda. 

Reviewing nonprofit tax forms from 2010 to 2022, Capital Research Center and Focus on Western Islamism “found that most of CAIR’s top grantors are left-leaning organizations.” In addition, the investigation “found that a large majority of these funds went to two of CAIR’s most incendiary chapters: its California and San Francisco Bay Area chapters,” the latter of which is run by Zahra Billoo who “has a long record of anti-Semitic and pro-terrorist rhetoric.”

In addition to Awad’s recent happiness over the Hamas slaughter of Jews, Billoo has tweeted that blaming Hamas for launching rockets at Israel “is like blaming a woman for punching her rapist” and stated that she is “not going to support [Israel’s] right to exist.” 

Here’s what the Mauro’s review of CAIR funding turned up:

CAIR receives a significant amount of “dark money” through donor-advised funds through which grantors and donors can make tax-deductible contributions to an organization, which then passes the funds on to the intended recipient. The maneuver enables supporters to make donations without attribution.

The top 20 grantors to CAIR and its chapters are:

  1. American Online Giving Foundation, $1,637,087
  2. Silicon Valley Community Foundation, $1,499,447
  3. Fidelity Investments Charitable Gift Fund,$1,474,868
  4. California Endowment, $785,604
  5. Schwab Charitable Fund, $782,178
  6. California Community Foundation, $781,065
  7. Sierra Health Foundation, $637,558
  8. Tides Foundation, $631,300
  9. Weingart Foundation, $602,950
  10. K. Kellogg Foundation, $500,000
  11. San Francisco Foundation, $494,000
  12. Network for Good, $489,800
  13. MarJac Foundation (a Muslim Brotherhood–linked group), $450,000
  14. Charities Aid Foundation, $406,000
  15. California Wellness Foundation, $350,000
  16. All Hands on Deck Network (now named Movement Voter Project), $348,240
  17. Columbus Foundation, $336,250
  18. American Endowment Foundation, $315,600
  19. Levi Strauss Foundation, $310,000
  20. Orange County Community Federation, $301,255

The full list of grants to CAIR since 2010 is dominated by left-leaning organizations and some Islamist organizations. An additional transaction that sticks out is a grant of $40,000 to CAIR’s Arizona chapter from the New Venture Fund, one of the nonprofits established and overseen by Arabella Advisors, a left-wing “dark money” powerhouse.

Saying now “should be a time of reckoning for left-wing philanthropy,” Mauro said “the crisis of anti-Semitism should compel a reconsideration of funding to any entity that foments Jew-hatred or advocates for terrorist organizations and their causes.”

“It is fair to assume that an overwhelming majority of organizations and donors funding CAIR and similar groups are unaware of the recipients’ unsavory actions,” added Mauro. “A noble intent to help the Muslim American community, however, does not absolve them of a responsibility to sufficiently scrutinize the recipients of their money. Leftists’ stated values of tolerance and human rights would seem to demand such due diligence.”

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