Membership in the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) has declined more than 90 percent since the 2001 terrorist attacks, according to tax documents obtained by The Washington Times.
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.
58k in membership dues? They need to ad AdSense to the official CAIR website or something, get those numbers up.
It would be nice to know who CAIRs fat cat donors are. They’re the only ones keeping CAIR alive.
In 2001, 26 contributors gave more than $1.6 million; in 2002, 26 gave more than $2.6 million; in 2003, 24 gave more than $2 million; in 2004, 20 gave more than $1.4 million; in 2005, 19 contributed $1.3 million.
Without the fat cats, Ibrahim Hooper might have to get a real job, and CAIR would be just another unindicted co-conspirator accused of helping Hamas.
Federal prosecutors have named three prominent Islamic organizations in America as participants in an alleged criminal conspiracy to support a Palestinian Arab terrorist group, Hamas.
Prosecutors applied the label of “unindicted co-conspirator” to the Council on American-Islamic Relations, the Islamic Society of North America, and the North American Islamic Trust in connection with a trial planned in Texas next month for five officials of a defunct charity, the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development.
Related to all this, Jonah Goldberg has the takeaway idea:
I hope the guys at MRC keep track of whether these reports have any effect on CAIR’s media appearances, not just in terms of booking frequency but how they’re introduced.
1700 members does not a spokesman make. Through Hot Air we have more than 1700 members in our conservative video club on YouTube. Maybe we should put “spokesmen for the entire conservative movement” based on that on our business cards and see if the news channels come running.
As for CAIR, ordinarily, when an organization loses 90% of its membership and said organization ends up getting bad press about being an unindicted co-conspirator to crime, the head of the organization either commits a little professional seppuku or gets sent packing. But CAIR honcho Ibrahim Hooper still has his job. And he still has his two dozen or so fat cat donors to keep him and CAIR rich enough to make a lot of noise and help out the flying imams. Eenteresting.
Update (AP): There are two possibilities here, it seems to me. Either CAIR’s losing members because they’ve alienated American Muslims by flirting with radicalism, in which case we should expect to find a modest corresponding surge in the membership rolls of more moderate Muslim groups as they pick up some of CAIR’s disaffected patrons, or CAIR’s losing members because Muslims are wary of being caught up in government scrutiny of Islamic organizations and their fundraising practices after 9/11, in which case we should expect to see declining membership rolls across the board (although perhaps more pronounced at CAIR given its track record). Which is it?
Either way, it’s amazing that an organization devoted to fashioning an American-Islamic grievance consciousness would be losing devotees when there’s so much DHS and foreign policy material for them to demagogue.
Update (bp): And then there’s this:
The Pew Research Center just concluded an exhaustive scientific study of the size of the U.S. Muslim population. It was able to identify only 2.35 million Muslims — less than half the figure commonly cited by Muslim activists…
Foremost among such groups is the Council on American-Islamic Relations, which claims to represent Muslims in Washington. CAIR commissioned its own survey in 2001 and came up with 6 million to 7 million, an estimate it always touts in its press releases and on its Web site.
As a result, most media outlets — as well as Congress, the White House and the State Department — have parroted the figure to describe the size of the nation’s Muslim population.
So CAIR has been taqiyya-ing the number of Muslims in the US, to inflate that number and therefore CAIR’s own importance? Say it ain’t so.
Update (AP): The WashTimes was working off of their own tax forms so I don’t know what CAIR’s got to complain about here.
Comparing CAIR’s 2000 dues figure to that of 2006 is a misleading and mischievous ‘apples and oranges’ exercise because those figures were calculated based on different criteria. They do not include the thousands of people of all faiths who became CAIR members through several free or low-cost membership drives. For example, between 2002 and 2006, more than 25,000 people became active members for $10 or less during those drives.
“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.