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Tuesday, 02 April 2019 23:22

From Staff Reports

The chief spokesman for a major national Muslim civil rights and advocacy group, headquartered on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., emailed the Asheville Daily Planet on March 6, slamming the newspaper’s decision to cover and run a story about Chris Gaubatz, who wrote the 2009 book “Muslim Mafia: Inside the Secret Underworld That’s Conspiring to Islamize America.”

The email included the title line (without a question mark), “Did you do ANY research on Gaubatz’s Islamophobia.” It was sent by Ibrahim Hooper, national communications director and spokesman for the Council of American Islamic Relations (better known as CAIR), to John North, editor and publisher of the Daily Planet.

The Daily Planet contacted Hooper at the CAIR headquarters on March 26 for a 15-minute telephone interview during which Hooper explained — in detail — his email jab at the newspaper as follows:

“It always depends on how these things are covered... If it’s on one of the (world’s) leading Islamaphobes,” a category in which he feels Gaubatz clearly belongs, then the newspaper, in his view, was irresponsible in publicizing the views of someone who despises an entire religious faith, such as Islam.

“If a KKK (Ku Klux Klan) speaker came (to Asheville), how would you deal with it?” Hooper asked. “If a neo-Nazi came in, how would you deal with it? I don’t think you would cover it.”

North, who interviewed Hooper, responded that he would expect any good newspaper, when in doubt, to always err on the side of freedom of speech and of the press and, without fear of favor, to cover “hot” speakers, rather than censoring those deemed too politically incorrect, presuming the Daily Planet’s readers are independent critical-thinkers who can make their own assessments.

Addressing the Asheville Tea Party, Gaubatz had shared his concerns about what he sees as the national security threat posed by Muslim extremists in the United States. A story on his Feb. 12 speech at the Skyland Fire Department appeared in March’s Daily Planet.

In introducing Gaubatz prior to his Skyland speech, ATP Chair Jane Bilello said  he had worked as an undercover for the U.S. State Department, posing as a Muslim convert to get a job as an intern at CAIR’s Washington office. 

(The State Department had trained Gaubatz, a former special agent for the U.S. Air Force Office of Special Investigations, as an Arabic linguist.)

In winding up her introduction, Bilello praised Gaubatz for serving as “lead in one of the most dangerous undercover investigtions” ever,  in which he “revealed clear patterns of fraud, sedition and terrorism.”

Meanwhile, in the March 26 interview with the Daily Planet, CAIR’s Hooper said he is totally convinced that Gaubatz is an “Islamaphobe,” noting that “it’s pretty clear the target of his bigotry” — Islam.

He added, “This (Gaubatz’s viewpoint) is just raw bigotry — and you gave him a platform.”

Upon further questioning, Hooper defined “Islamaphobia” as an “irrational fear of the entire faith of Islam, based on misinformation or falsehoods.”

(Similarly, defined “Islamophobia” as an “irrational fear of, aversion to, or discrimination against Islam or people who practice Islam.”)

Continuing, Hooper said, “It’s all about context. We’re (CAIR) big defenders of the First Amendment, but we’ve seen too many cases” where people who hate the religion of Islam and its Muslim practioners are given a platform that, he said, they do not deserve. 

“Any faith can be distorted,” he asserted. “When you decide” — as he said is the case with Gaubatz — “an entire faith should be wiped off the face of the earth,” the message is not worthy of news coverage.

In another jab at the Daily Planet, Hooper said, “If all you did was regurgitate (exactly) what he said, you’re not doing a good job.” Instead of straight reporting of what was said, the CAIR spokesman said the story (if one was published) — to be fair — demanded a lot of context to counterbalance Gaubatz’s message.

For instance, he said rarely is it reported that 10 percent of Egypt, a predominately Muslim country. is Christian. Or that, “for hundreds of years, there were thriving Jewish communities in the Muslim world.”

What’s more, Hooper asked, rhetorically, “If he (Gaubatz) says Islam is the problem — how does he propose to solve the problem? If they say Islam is evil, what do they propose” to fix the issue?

He then added that, “I don’t think they’re (Gaubatz and others he accuses of Islamaphobia) too eager to come forward” with a solution. Hooper said it concerns him greatly that the solution to Islam for Islamaphobes, which, he said, they are reluctant to admit publicly, is the killing — en massse — of the world’s Muslims.

“What happens when he (Gaubatz) extends his logic?” Hooper asked. 

“What is ‘the solution?’” to the so-called Muslim threat? (Hooper’s mention of “the solution” appeared to connect his view on the Islamaphobes’ goals with the so-called ‘Final Solution to the Jewish Question,’ which was a Nazi plan for the genocide of Jews during World War II.)

In his March 6 email with the critical title line to the Daily Planet included the following story postings:

“CAIR Calls on GOP to Drop,

Repudiate Islamophobic Speaker

at Feb. 19 North Carolina Event

Who Tweeted ‘#IslamIsTheProblem”

“(WASHINGTON, D.C., 2/14/19) – The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, today called on the Republican Party to drop a notorious anti-Muslim conspiracy theorist as a speaker at an upcoming event in North Carolina and to repudiate his hate-filled Islamophobic tweets and rhetoric.

“Islamophobe Chris Gaubatz has been invited by the Haywood County Republican Party as a guest speaker Tuesday, Feb. 19, at the Haywood GOP headquarters in Waynesville, N.C.

 “Gaubatz has tweeted, ‘When you understand the threat, you understand that there is no such thing as “radical islam” [sic], just islam. [sic],’ using the hashtag ‘#IslamIsTheProblem.

“In the past, Gaubatz joined his former employer and fellow anti-Muslim conspiracy theorist John Guandolo in smearing American mosques and claiming the Black Lives Matter movement is funded by ‘enemies’ of America.

 “Gaubatz falsely claimed that there are Muslim ‘no-go zones’ in Minnesota and that two Muslim members of Congress, Reps. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.) and André Carson (D-Ind.), had ties to the Muslim Brotherhood. He has also been linked to other online Islamophobes. 

“‘We urge Republican Party leaders in North Carolina and nationwide to disassociate the GOP from all forms of bigotry, including the kind of Islamophobia spewed by Mr. Gaubatz,’” said CAIR Government Affairs Director Robert McCaw. 

 “McCaw noted that last year, CAIR welcomed a decision by Virginia’s Amherst County Sheriff’s Office to tell the Amherst County Republican Committee that an event featuring Gaubatz must be moved to another venue. CAIR had urged the sheriff’s office and the Amherst County Republican Committee to drop the event.

 “CAIR is America’s largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance understanding of Islam, protect civil rights, promote justice, and empower American Muslims.”

\Also on March 6, the Daily Planet received an email titled, “Welcome to CAIR,” which later states, “Thanks for joining us! Stay tuned for news and updates delivered straight to your inbox.” 

While the newspaper had not “joined” CAIR or requested its news updates, the Daily Planet nevertheless now receives constant email updates about CAIR and its positions on issues, which the paper’s staff now monitors in an effort to stay informed from all directions.

Meanwhile, Gaubatz, who was contacted by the Daily Planet for a response to the comments and accusations by Hooper, provided the following email message as his answer:

“CAIR was set-up to be a support node for Hamas in the United States. Evidence in the US v Holy Land Foundation trial identified CAIR as a Hamas organization. 

“Due to evidence in the HLF trial, the FBI severed all outreach to CAIR in 2009. 

“CAIR purports itself to be a civil rights organization, when in actuality their sole purpose is to support Hamas. Hamas is a U.S. state department-designated terrorist organization whose stated purpose is the destruction of the state of Israel. 

“Just this past weekend, CAIR hosted anti-semitic Congresswoman Ilhan Omar at one of their fundraisers.”


In addition, Bilello, the chair of the Asheville Tea Party, offfered the following response to Hooper and CAIR:

“False accusations and character assassination of Mr. Chris Gaubatz and those who seek the truth, will not change what CAIR is. 

“Let’s not forget that in 2007-2008 CAIR was named an unindicted co-conspirator in the terror financing trial of the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development. 

“That case, in turn, led the FBI to discontinue its work with the organization. In 2009, a federal judge ruled that the government ‘produced ample evidence to establish’ the ties of CAIR with Hamas, the Palestinian terror organization. The United Arab Emirates labeled CAIR a terrorist organization in 2014 (a decision that the Obama administration opposed).

“Mr. Chris Gaubatz, a national security consultant, speaker and conservative political activist, trains law enforcement on the severity and dangers of the jihadi network in the U.S., detailing the strategies and modus operandi of the jihadis while providing specific investigative guidance by showing them how to locate and prosecute terrorists, and working with citizens, legislators and leaders at the state and local level to create strategies to expose and dismantle these networks. 

“Gaubatz has testified before the United States Senate on issues relating to the consequences of agency efforts to de-emphasize radical Islam in combating terrorism. Transcripts from his Congressional testimony can be found at:

“As the lead undercover researcher in one of the most successful post-9/11 undercover operations in the United States, Gaubatz posed as a Muslim convert and gained access to Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas-backed organization leadership meetings. 

“While undercover, he preserved more than 12,000 pages of evidence and 300 hours of covert audio/video recordings from the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) headquarters, revealing clear patterns of fraud, sedition, and terrorism.

“The only ‘phobes’ in the room are those who want to change the facts and silence free speech to fit their narrative. 

“Mr. Gaubatz put his life on the line to preserve the liberties this country was founded upon and many have fought and died for. Americans will not be silenced or cowed by an organization dedicated to destroying those liberties.”


 Also, a source who requested anonymity told the Daily Planet that Gaubatz likely will be invited back to the Asheville area in the near future to speak — this time — mainly about his undercover experiences with CAIR and Hamas



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