Ibrahim, would you like some cheese?

The Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) says it is suffering from a decline in membership and fundraising and blames the Justice Department for listing it as an unindicted co-conspirator in a case involving a charity accused of terrorist ties.

CAIR is asking a federal judge to strike it as one of the more than 300 Muslim groups listed as unindicted co-conspirators in the government’s case against the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development, which is currently on trial in Dallas.

“The public naming of CAIR as an unindicted co-conspirator has impeded its ability to collect donations as possible donors either do not want to give to them because they think they are a ‘terrorist’ organization or are too scared to give to them because of the possible legal ramifications of donating money to a ‘terrorist” organization,” CAIR said in an amicus curiae brief filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas.

New metaphor: That’s not a bug you’re looking at, pal, it’s a feature. If CAIR didn’t have so many links to so many known terror charities, perhaps it wouldn’t get dubbed an unindicted co-conspirator. And it’s a good thing that being labeled an unindicted terror financing co-conspirator makes the donations fall off.

Then there’s the issue of membership.

The Washington Times reported in a June 11 online exclusive that IRS documents showed CAIR’s membership declined more than 90 percent from 2001 through 2006, from 29,000 to fewer than 1,700. CAIR called that article “false and misleading” and a “hit piece” in an “action alert” message that urged recipients to “show The Washington Times what you think of its biased reporting … by becoming a member” of the group.

“Our membership is increasing steadily, as is our donor base, annual budget, and attendance at CAIR events around the country promoting interfaith understanding and respect for civil liberties,” Nihad Awad, CAIR executive director said in a June 12 statement.

The Times’ reporting has ferretted out that particular statement — that CAIR’s membership is “increasing steadily” — as less than accurate.

CAIR’s motion was filed electronically last week, said the group’s attorney William Moffitt, who said the court could rule on his motion without a hearing.

Mr. Moffitt said he could not provide any numbers on CAIR’s membership, but said “there has been a decline in membership.” Asked if the numbers continued to decline after the June 12 article, Mr. Moffitt said “yes.”

Basically, CAIR is trying to get the Justice Department and media outlets to just stop telling the truth, fercryingoutloud, because it’s hurting business.

Tags: Texas