- The Washington Times - Wednesday, January 7, 2015

A Council on American-Islamic Relations spokesman repudiated Wednesday’s terror attack on a Paris satirical newspaper that left 12 dead, saying such incidents don’t represent the Islam faith.

Ibrahim Hooper, communications director for the organization, said in a telephone interview with The Washington Times that CAIR “condemn[s] in the strongest possible terms the brutal and cowardly attack” at the Charlie Hebdo newspaper in Paris that left 12 police officers and publication staffers dead.

The same newspaper was firebombed in 2011 after publishing a cartoon of the prophet Mohammed.

Mr. Hooper conceded that audio of Wednesday’s attack seems to indicate that those committing the terror acts shouted “God is great” in Arabic, but said the attackers don’t speak for the Islam faith at large, and that calling into question the peaceful aspects of a religion that serves 1.6 billion people is unfair.

“What is your alternative? To say the faith of a quarter of the world’s population is evil and should somehow be destroyed? Any faith of more than 1.6 billion people is going to have some of them who falsely justify actions on that faith,” Mr. Hooper said. “There are all kinds of faiths [that] carry out terrorist attacks. We shouldn’t generalize.”

Pressed for examples of Christians carrying out such attacks, Mr. Hooper spoke of the 15-year-old Muslim boy who was killed by an SUV driver outside the Somali Center in Kansas City in December.

The boy was getting into his car when he was struck — and had his legs severed — by a driver whom witnesses described as a Muslim-hater. Police at the scene confirmed the attack seemed purposeful, based on the boy’s religion.

Asked for other examples of how Christians or Christian-tied groups carried out attacks similar to the Paris terror attack, Mr. Hooper said, “You have the Westboro Baptist Church, the killings of abortion doctors based on religious justification, and the racist attacks by white supremacists. … Was Christianity [as a whole] blamed for that?”

He refused to answer the question of why Muslims are seemingly involved in so many terrorist attacks, abruptly ending the conversation and hanging up.

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