A Muslim advocacy group, the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), called on law enforcement in the United States to protect American followers of Islam who have been threatened with death by the Islamic State terror organization. Among those threatened are Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN), Hillary Clinton aide Huma Abedin and CAIR National Executive Director Nihad Awad. The terrorist organization has designated them as "politically active apostates." According to CAIR, the Islamic State’s online Dabiq magazine has listed Muslim activists living in the U.S., Canada, United Kingdom, and Australia.
Ellison is the only Muslim member of Congress. ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi says that if these "apostates" are "caught before they repent, then there is no amnesty for them and there shall be a painful — and fatal — punishment." ISIS routinely chops off the heads of Christians and apostate Muslims. It also recently took credit for the deadly bombings in Brussels that killed four Americans among dozens of others. The Minnesota congressman and former Catholic is perhaps better known for introducing legislation in the House of Representatives legislation that would provide free diapers to lucky welfare recipients.
According to a statement by CAIR, it is believed that Awad may be targeted because of CAIR’s “repeated condemnation of the terror group and because he coordinated the release of a 2014 open letter signed by more than 120 international scholars of Islam and Muslim leaders refuting ISIS's ideology.”
Regarding the ISIS threat, Awad said in a statement:
"Our life and death are in the hands of God. I believe this threat is a reflection of the outstanding work CAIR does in opposing the anti-Islamic message and brutal actions of ISIS and other terror groups.” Awad said that threats from “ISIS or by Islamophobes who seek to demonize Islam based on that group's brutality,” must be resisted.
"It is incumbent on state and federal law enforcement authorities to provide protection to American Muslim leaders who seek to counter ISIS's message of hate."
CAIR stated that, along with American Muslim organizations, has repeatedly condemned terrorism committed by ISIS and other organizations.
CAIR has long been controversial, due to accusations that it has ties to the Muslim Brotherhood. In 2014, the United Arab Emirates designated the group as a terrorist organization. In 2015, Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) introduced legislation to designate the Muslim Brotherhood as a Foreign Terrorist Organization. The legislation identifies CAIR as an affiliate of the Muslim Brotherhood, while including evidence linking CAIR to a network that supports the Hamas terror organization.
After hearing of the threat from the Islamic State, Rep. Ellison released a statement. He wrote, "As millions of faithful Muslims flee Daesh’s imposed nightmare they call a ‘caliphate’, Daesh takes the time to threaten Muslim public servants in the West, like myself and my friend Huma Abedin. Daesh is a collection of liars, murderers, torturers, and rapists. No Muslim I know recognizes what they preach as Al-Islam. The fact that I’m on Daesh’s bad side means I am fighting for things like justice, tolerance, and a more inclusive world."
The term 'daesh' that Ellison used can be roughly translated as "bigot" or "barbarian." It is used frequently by Muslims critical of the Islamic State, and even national leaders such as French President Francois Hollande. While Secretary of State John Kerry has been heard to use the term, President Barack Obama has not.
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