The Edmond Sun

Local News

March 19, 2010

Critics: Officials should bypass CAIR

EDMOND — State elected officials should not attend a faith-based group’s annual event this weekend given the FBI’s disassociation with the group, several critics of the group said Friday.

In a related development, a state lawmaker who learned about his purported event attendance, has disassociated himself from the group.

This weekend, the Council on American-Islamic Relations Oklahoma chapter is having its annual banquet Saturday night at the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City.

On Wednesday, CAIR sent an e-mail titled “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner?” The message contained photos of Lt. Gov. Jari Askins, Attorney General Drew Edmondson, Department of Corrections Director Justin Jones, two state senators and seven state representatives.

It also contained pro-CAIR comments from elected officials, and information about volunteering for the group.

Paul Blair, pastor of Edmond’s Fairview Baptist Church, and congressional candidate Kevin Calvey, R-Del City, a former state representative, said given the federal government’s position, it is inappropriate for elected officials to attend the CAIR event.

Calvey, who became interested in the group during his military service in Iraq, cites court action and the FBI statement that CAIR has failed to answer questions about an alleged connection between its executives and Hamas.

Calvey, and others, including Blair, point to CAIR being named as an unindicted co-conspirator in a trial related to fundraising for Hamas, identified by the U.S. Office of the Coordinator for Counterterorrism as a terrorist organization. Calvey has called CAIR a front organization for Hamas.

State Rep. Richard Morrissette, D-Oklahoma City, one of the officials whose photograph was included in the e-mail, told The Sun he was not intending to attend CAIR’s event, and after he learned about the issue Friday afternoon he informed CAIR he was disassociating himself from the group.

Also included in the e-mail was a photograph of Attorney General Drew Edmondson, a candidate for governor. His campaign office said he would not be attending the event this weekend.

Efforts to reach other officials Friday were not successful.

Previously, Calvey has said he would not meet with Razi Hashmi, of Edmond, executive director of CAIR’s Oklahoma chapter, unless he denounced CAIR. Hashmi said he has met in Washington with U.S. Rep. Mary Fallin’s staff, and personally met with U.S. Sen. Tom Coburn, who has an open door policy.

Hashmi said his offer to meet with Calvey still stands and repeated his belief in the importance of dialogue over intolerance.

“Having me denounce CAIR, that’s out of the question,” Hashmi said, noting his organization is about building bridges and defending the civil rights of Muslims. “I’d never do that.”

C.S. Thornton, deputy director of the ACLU’s Oklahoma chapter, said there were no endorsement of religion issues with elected officials supporting CAIR or attending the event.

Thornton said Calvey is promoting hysteria and hatred toward the Islamic community. Calvey said the ACLU, a group that defends ideals such as free speech, is being hypocritical, criticizing him when all he is doing is exercising that constitutional right. Calvey said he would be against any group like CAIR, and he has worked with Muslims.

Blair said Calvey is a patriot, and is justifiably accurate in taking a stand against CAIR. Blair said Christians want to tell others about the ideology and goals of radical Islam, and that he has a desire to share the good news of the gospel with Muslims.

Blair said Jesus, the central figure of Christianity, was intolerant, that he entered the temple area and drove out the money changers. Jesus also showed his love for the world through his sacrificial death on the cross, and declared that the only route to heaven is through obediently trusting Him, Blair said.

Hamas formed in late 1987 as an outgrowth of the Palestinian branch of the Muslim Brotherhood, according to the U.S. State Department. Hamas is loosely structured, with some elements working clandestinely and others working openly through mosques and social service institutions to recruit members, raise money, organize activities and distribute propaganda, the federal government says.

Blair, head of Reclaiming Oklahoma for Christ, cites FBI audio recordings of a 1993 Philadelphia meeting from which the idea for CAIR was born, and the government’s contention that organizers had direct ties to the radical group Muslim Brotherhood. U.S. attorneys have been very candid in saying that CAIR has conspired to support terrorists, Blair said.

“Their stated goal was to create a political and public relations organization in America whose Islamic hue was not very conspicuous,” Blair said of CAIR.

For more information about CAIR, visit www.cair.com, and for more information about Reclaiming Oklahoma for Christ, visit www.reclaimoklahoma.org.

marks@edmondsun.com | 341-2121, ext. 108

1
Text Only
Local News
  • jc_Earp Marlin 2 - photo credit Noel Winters.jpg Shootout of a sale

    An original article of the Wild West will be made available at auction Thursday. The rifle of legendary lawman Wyatt Earp will be part of the J. Levine Auction & Appraisal’s Summer Quarterly Auction in Scottsdale, Ariz.
    Earp was an Arizona deputy sheriff and deputy town marshal in Tombstone, Ariz. He is legendary for playing a key role in the gunfight at the O.K. Corral. He died in 1929 at age 60.
    Wyatt Earp collector Barry Tapp of Edmond will be selling his 1895 Wyatt Earp Marlin rifle at the auction. The rifle has an estimated value between $50,000 and $75,000. It includes authentication documentation from Tombstone Heritage Museum, according to the auction house

    July 28, 2014 2 Photos

  • 11.6.12 Mother and Cub (2).jpg UCO forensic researcher answers key question

    After working a few human recovery cases on a volunteer basis with a variety of police departments, a question kept bugging Kama King.
    “You spend the whole day,” the UCO W. Roger Webb Forensic Science Institute student said, “sometimes days, searching for someone and only find a skull or a few bones and it just ate at me. Are we not finding this or is it not there to be found?”

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • sales tax holiday.jpg Oklahoma sales tax takes a holiday

    Beginning at 12:01 a.m. on Friday, Aug. 1 and ending at midnight Aug. 3, Oklahomans will be able to participate in a sales tax holiday giving shoppers the opportunity to purchase certain clothing and shoes free of sales tax.
    Yes, retailers may not charge tax, including state and local sales taxes on items that are tax-exempt during the sales tax holiday weekend. The sales of clothing and shoes priced at less than $100 are exempted from sales taxes.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • Karan & Rwanda.jpg Peace through Business empowering women entrepreneurs

    Peace Through Business is part of the Institute for Economic Empowerment of Women (IEEW) based in Oklahoma City. It is a program that connects small business entrepreneurs in Afghanistan and Rwanda with business owners in Oklahoma. One such entrepreneur found out about the program from a friend, applied, and was accepted to take part in this year’s session.
    Upon earning a master’s degree in Civil Engineering from the Universite de Sciences et Technique de Lille in Belgium, Lyliose Nduhungirehe began her career working for a construction company in Brussels, but she quickly switched paths to Information Technology.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • MS_new pastor_Page_1.tiff Local church welcomes new pastor

    For one of Edmond’s newest pastors, faith and family intersect on a personal level.
    Sam Powers, pastor at Edmond 1st United Methodist Church, 305 E. Hurd St., and his family arrived in mid-May and his first Sunday in the pulpit was the second one in June. He and his wife Sheryl Heaton Powers, have two children — Kyla will be an eighth-grader at Cheyenne Middle School and David will be a fifth-grader at John Ross Elementary.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • pm_Ramona Paul.jpg Keith, 5 others to receive service awards

    The 2014 Door-Opener Awards Gala dinner and silent auction Sept. 4, benefitting ASTEC Charter Schools, will recognize five outstanding Oklahomans and one Kansan for lifetime contributions made toward helping others in society maximize potential and achieve dreams.
    Those selected to receive a Door-Opener Award at the Skirvin Hilton Hotel event include Dr. Harvey Dean, Pittsburg, Kan.; Toby Keith and Tricia Covel, Norman; Former Gov. George P. Nigh, Edmond; the late Dr. Ramona Paul, Edmond; and Natalie Shirley, Oklahoma City.

    July 28, 2014 2 Photos

  • Anderson Properties continues to grow

    Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Anderson Properties recently announced the acquisition of Tulsa-based Prudential Alliance Realty, an eight-office, 150-agent brokerage operating in Tulsa and Oklahoma City and Edmond.
    The transaction gives Anderson Properties, a full-service real estate agency a total of 38 offices and more than 600 agents.

    July 28, 2014

  • Logan County pays off jail tax early, seeks new one

    Logan County is paying off a sales tax ahead of schedule and needs a new one to be able to afford funding jail operation and maintenance, officials said.
    Citizens vote on the county sales tax which is split for redistribution by state law. The tax is collected by the Oklahoma Tax Commission and redistributed back to the county as specified by voters.
    In 2005, citizens passed a 10-year sales tax, scheduled to end next month, to fund the building, operation and maintenance of the county jail, which operates on a $1.3 million budget. Jail capacity is 188 without anyone in a holding cell or a temporary bunk. Thursday it was holding 130 inmates, said Logan County Chief Deputy Richard Stephens.

    July 26, 2014

  • MS_Andy Billups.jpg Local man relies on experience in July 4 emergency

    Andy Billups just happened to have gained experience as a combat zone firefighter/medic while he was serving as a civilian contractor in Iraq.
    The Edmond businessman just happened to have a friend with a place on Grand Lake where he has been viewing Independence Day fireworks for a number of years, and he just happened to be there July 4.
    And he just happened to be relaxing on a hammock when he heard a some kids making a commotion.
    Located two blocks east of Disney on State Highway 28 in the foothills of the Ozark Mountain Range in northeast Oklahoma, the 59,000-plus surface acre Grand Lake is known for its state parks, marinas, restaurants, motels and fishing.

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • -1.jpg 5-year-old learns valuable lessons

    It is never too soon to learn about giving and receiving. An Edmond 5-year-old recently learned about both.
    Kendall Kingry will be entering kindergarten at Will Rogers Elementary this fall and she is already looking forward to November.
    “I get to go to Disneyland in November,” Kendall said.

    July 26, 2014 2 Photos

Featured Ads
NDN Video
'Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1' Sneak Peek GMA: Dog passes out from excitment to see owner Chapter Two: Designing for Naomi Watts Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted Florida Keys Webcam Captures Turtles Hatching Morgan Freeman Sucks Down Helium on 'Tonight Show' Robin Wright Can Dance! (WATCH) She's Back! See Paris Hilton's New Carl's Jr. Ad Big Weekend For Atlanta Braves In Cooperstown - @TheBuzzeronFox Chapter Two: Becoming a first-time director What's Got Jack Black Freaking Out at Comic-Con? Doctors Remove 232 Teeth From Teen's Mouth Bradley Cooper Explains His Voice in 'Guardians of the Galaxy' Deja vu: Another NYPD officer choke-holding a suspect 'Fifty Shades of Grey': Watch the Super Sexy First Trailer Now! Reports: Ravens RB Ray Rice Suspended For 1st 2 Games Of The Season Air Algerie plane with 119 on board missing over Mali Diamond Stone, Malik Newman, Josh Jackson and others showcase talent Free Arturo - The World's Saddest Polar Bear A Look Back at Batman On Film Through The Years
Poll

If the Republican runoff for the 5th District congressional seat were today, which candidate would you vote for?

Patrice Douglas
Steve Russell
Undecided
     View Results