- The Washington Times - Wednesday, December 16, 2015

In his outline for protecting America and defeating the Islamic State terrorist group, Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson on Tuesday called on the U.S. government to investigate a prominent Muslim advocacy group which he claimed supported terrorists.

Mr. Carson said the State Department should launch an investigation into the Council on American-Islamic Relations as a “supporter of terrorism,” and suggested that the group was linked to the Muslim Brotherhood. His recommendation about CAIR was nestled within his step-by-step plan, which was released on his website ahead of the Tuesday night’s GOP debate.

“The Department of State should designate the Muslim Brotherhood and other organizations that propagate or support Islamic terrorism as terrorist organizations, and fully investigate the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) as an offshoot of the Muslim Brotherhood and a supporter of terrorism,” Mr. Carson wrote, Mediaite reported.

Mr. Carson and CAIR have had a tumultuous relationship in recent months. The advocacy group called Mr. Carson’s view on Muslims reprehensible after he said in an interview with NBC that a Muslim should not be president.

Other conservatives have criticized CAIR, saying the organization does not do enough to encourage moderate Muslims to speak out against extremism.

In an op-ed published by Time magazine on Wednesday, Nihad Awad, executive director of CAIR said Mr. Carson’s latest remark in his security plan was the “ultimate compliment.”

“Violent extremist groups know we are their natural enemy. We have repeatedly and forcefully condemned their actions,” Mr. Awad said.

“In the end, Carson has paid us the ultimate compliment because he has acknowledged that CAIR’s work is effective. You do not attack ineffective organizations,” he continued.”Our message to Ben Carson, Donald Trump and others is simple: America needs a vision, not a division. Stop being afraid; America is strong.”

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