Muslim Groups and the White House: Criticism and Controversy

November 18, 2001

Source: The Washington Post

On November 18, 2001, The Washington Post reported, "Bush's Courting of Some Muslims Criticized; White House Cautioned to Avoid Groups, Individuals Who Defend Terrorism." The article noted that "Jewish groups and some conservatives have been lobbying the president to stop courting certain Muslim leaders who, they say, have equivocated on terrorism by condemning the Sept. 11 attacks but praising Hamas and Hezbollah." Among those groups accused of supporting terrorism is the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR). "CAIR leaders released a statement calling for an end to an 'Islamophobic smear campaign.'... 'We do not support terrorism in any way, shape or form,' the release said." The article noted that "White House sources expressed frustration at this 'guilt by association,' where any Muslim leader who worked with someone who once said something objectionable is automatically deemed unsuitable to appear with the president."