CAIR membership falls 90% since 9/11
The number of reported members spiraled down from more than 29,000 in 2000 to fewer than 1,700 in 2006. As a result, the Muslim rights group’s annual income from dues dropped from $732,765 in 2000, when yearly dues cost $25, to $58,750 last year, when the group charged $35.
The organization instead is relying on about two dozen donors a year to contribute the majority of the money for CAIR’s budget, which reached nearly $3 million last year.
The self-described civil liberties organization for Muslims seeks to portray “a positive image of Islam” through public relations and the press, but instead has alienated some by defending questionable accusations of discrimination.
Critics of the organization say they are not surprised that membership is sagging, and that a recent decision by the Justice Department to name CAIR as “unindicted co-conspirators” in a federal case against another foundation charged with providing funds to a terrorist group could discourage new members.
M. Zuhdi Jasser, director of American Islamic Forum for Democracy, says the sharp decline in membership calls into question whether the organization speaks for American Muslims, as the group has claimed.
“Post-9/11, they have marginalized themselves by their tired exploitation of media attention for victimization issues at the expense of representing the priorities of the American Muslim population,” Mr. Jasser said.
Mrs. Boxer “expressed concern” about past statements and actions by the group, as well as assertions by some law-enforcement officials that it “gives aid to international terrorist groups,” the magazine quoted her spokeswoman as saying.
Rep. Joe Sestak, Pennsylvania Democrat, came under fire after delivering a speech at a local CAIR fundraiser in April. Mr. Sestak later said that one of his aides, a former CAIR spokeswoman for the Philadelphia chapter, booked the engagement without his consent.
In response to the arrest of the “Fort Dix Six” involving a plot to attack the New Jersey military base, CAIR “applauded efforts” by federal law-enforcement authorities but “requested that media outlets and public officials refrain from linking this case to the faith of Islam.”