Whopper of the week: Council on American-Islamic Relations.

Whopper of the week: Council on American-Islamic Relations.

Whopper of the week: Council on American-Islamic Relations.

Gossip, speculation, and scuttlebutt about politics.
Nov. 30 2001 12:20 PM

Whopper of the Week: Council on American-Islamic Relations

Since when is the Free Congress Foundation a "Jewish group"?

"Today's Washington Post carries an article that says 'Jewish groups and some conservatives have been lobbying the president to stop courting certain Muslim leaders.'

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"The Post article quoted the leader of one of these groups[italics Chatterbox's] as saying: 'There is no such thing as peaceful Islam … Islamics cannot fit into an America in which the first loyalty is to the American Constitution. They should be encouraged to leave. They are a fifth column in this country.' "

—Nov. 18 press release from the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR).

"Jewish groups and some conservatives have been lobbying the president to stop courting certain Muslim leaders who, they say, have equivocated on terrorism by condemning the Sept. 11 attacks but praising Hamas and Hezbollah. Those two groups, which are fighting Israel, are on the State Department's list of terrorist organizations. …

"The pressure on the administration is not coming just from Jewish groups. A split is emerging between two wings of the Republican Party—libertarians who consider Muslims the party's greatest immigrant asset and conservatives who conceive of the war exactly the way Bush tries to avoid, as a cosmic one between Islam and the West.

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"The emerging spokesmen for the latter group are Paul Weyrich and William S. Lind of the Free Congress Foundation.

" 'There is no such thing as peaceful Islam,' Lind said[italics Chatterbox's]. 'Islamics cannot fit into an America in which the first loyalty is to the American Constitution. They should be encouraged to leave. They are a fifth column in this country.' "

—Hanna Rosin and Thomas B. Edsall, " Bush's Courting of Some Muslims Criticized," Washington Post.

Discussion: CAIR might choose to argue that "these groups" refers either to Jewish groups or to conservative groups. The undeniably bigoted remark that the Post attributes to William S. Lind might thus conceivably be attributed to the Free Congress Foundation, or to its Center For Cultural Conservatism, of which Lind is director. But the Postnever referred to "conservative groups"! It referred to "Jewish groups and some conservatives." By referring to Lind as "the leader of one of these groups," CAIR encouraged the false impression that Lind is the leader of a Jewish group.

(Thanks to reader Ethan Corey.)

Got a whopper? Send it to chatterbox@slate.com. To be considered, an entry must be an unambiguously false statement paired with an unambiguous refutation, and both must be derived from some appropriately reliable public source. Preference will be given to newspapers and other documents that Chatterbox can link to online.

Whopper Archive:

Nov. 23, 2001: Bud Selig

Nov. 16, 2001: Sara Jane Olson

Nov. 9, 2001: Donald Rumsfeld (item includes retraction)

Nov. 2, 2001: Dick Armey  

Oct. 26, 2001:  Gale Norton

Oct. 19, 2001: State Department Deputy Spokesman Philip Reeker

Oct. 12, 2001: Clarence Thomas

Oct. 5, 2001: Abdul Salam Zaeef

Sept. 27, 2001: Karl Rove, Ari Fleischer, and Dick Cheney

Sept. 20, 2001: Larry C. Johnson

Sept. 13, 2001: Yasser Arafat

Sept. 7, 2001: Tommy Thompson

Aug. 30, 2001: HHS spokesman Bill Pierce

Aug. 23, 2001: Variety Editor Peter Bart

Aug. 17, 2001: Tom Daschle

Aug 10, 2001: Robert Mueller

Aug. 3, 2001: Barbara Olson

July 27, 2001: Jeffrey Archer

July 20, 2001: George W. Bush

July 13, 2001: George W. Bush

July 6, 2001: Sumner Redstone

June 29, 2001: David Brock

June 22, 2001: Edmund Morris

June 15, 2001: George W. Bush

June 8, 2001: Nepali Prince Regent (subsequently, King) Gyanendra

June 1, 2001: Mary McGrory

May 25, 2001: Ari Fleischer

May 18, 2001: York, Pa., Mayor Charles Robertson

May 11, 2001: Ted Olson

May 4, 2001: Rear Adm. Craig Quigley

April 27, 2001: Ben Affleck

April 20, 2001: South Carolina state legislator Chip Limehouse

April 13, 2001: Gray Davis

April 6, 2001: Sumner Redstone

March 30, 2001: Spencer Abraham

March 23, 2001: George W. Bush, Rep. Jennifer Dunn, and/or the Treasury Department

March 16, 2001: George W. Bush

March 9, 2001: Russ Freyman, spokesman, National Association of Manufacturers

March 2, 2001: Paul O'Neill

Feb. 23, 2001: Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton

Feb. 16, 2001: Oscar spokesman John Pavlik

Feb. 9, 2001: Lynne Cheney

Feb. 2, 2001: Bobby Thomson

Jan. 26, 2001: Denise Rich