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, and for more information about Reclaiming Oklahoma for Christ, visit | 341-2121, ext. 108

Text Only
Local News
  • psc 1.jpg City likely to borrow less for PSC due to sky-high tax revenue

    During his State of the City Address Edmond Mayor Charles Lamb made a political announcement — he’s planning on running again for the office.
    Lamb made the comments in the question-and-answer session of his presentation during an Edmond Area Chamber of Commerce luncheon at Rose Creek Golf Course, 17031 N. May Ave.
    Mayor pro tem from 2005-2011, Lamb was elected mayor last year. His long record of service in Edmond includes serving on the City Council from 1993 to 2011.
    The question about if he will run again came from the audience. Lamb alluded to his desire to be around when the Public Safety Center is finished, which will be in the fall of 2015; the next mayoral election will be in the spring of 2015.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • New study counters pot legalization argument

    A new study raises a strong challenge to the idea that casual marijuana use isn’t associated with bad consequences, a researcher says.
    Researchers say the findings suggest recreational marijuana use may lead to previously unidentified brain changes and highlight the importance of research aimed at understanding the long-term effects of low to moderate marijuana use on the brain.

    April 15, 2014

  • Allergic asthma sufferers should take some precautions when exercising

    Spring has sprung, and in addition to welcoming the beauty and warmth of the season, many folks welcome — though maybe not with eager anticipation — seasonal allergies.
    And for some, allergies and asthma go hand in hand. More than 50 percent of the 20 million Americans with asthma have allergic asthma, according to the Allergy and Asthma Foundation of America. Over 2.5 million children under age 18 suffer from allergic asthma.

    April 15, 2014

  • Dr. Fielding’s variance denied by close vote

    Reverse-angle parking will continue at the 13 N. University Drive office of Dr. Brad Fielding. The Edmond City Council rejected a variance request by the local optometrist to end the city’s pilot project in front of his medical facility.
    Councilman Nick Massey and Councilwoman Victoria Caldwell supported Fielding’s variance request that was dismissed in a 3-2 vote.
    Four parking lines were striped late last year at Fielding’s business after the city opened new bicycle lanes along University. The city cites the safety for bicyclists and motorists who traditionally depart while backing into traffic as the main reasons for introducing reverse-angle parking.

    April 15, 2014

  • brisket2.jpg Food Network show visits Guthrie for ’89er Days

    Guthrie’s annual ’89er Days Celebration provides a variety of activities for people to enjoy including a carnival, rodeo, parade and lots of food vendors.
    This year, visitors at the 84th annual event, which runs Tuesday through Saturday, will notice an added bonus when a film crew from the new television series “Carnival Eats” will be in town filming for its inaugural episode.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • OCSP-Family and Treasurer-04-15-2014.jpg Treasurer Miller awards ‘Tax Day Baby’ with college savings plan

    April 15 is commonly known as the day many will spend in line at the post office or finishing final preparations for tax returns. This year, one Oklahoma family spent April 15, tax day, welcoming their new son, born at 2:07 a.m. and was recognized as the first Tax Day Baby at Mercy Hospital Oklahoma City. 
    As the first Tax Day Baby, State Treasurer Ken Miller, R-Edmond, awarded, Quan Ta, with an Oklahoma 529 College Savings Plan worth $1,529. Miller, who serves as board chairman for the OCSP, reminds parents and grandparents that any contribution made to an OCSP account by April 15 qualified for a 2013 Oklahoma income tax deduction.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • Anita Hill.jpg Anita Hill reflects on her fateful testimony, 23 years later

    Back in 1993, I rounded a corner of a Laguna Beach, Calif., grocery store and walked straight into Anita Hill.
    We both stopped in our tracks. She looked slightly panicked, like someone had turned on a light in a room, and all she wanted was the door.
    It took a moment to register that this was the woman who, just two years before, calmly testified before a Senate committee about the sexual harassment she endured while working for U.S. Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas  at the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, of all places.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • jc_TOUCH THE CLOUDS.jpg OSBI grounds voted locale for new sculpture

    City staff is working toward an agreement with the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation Lab to place the “Touch the Clouds” bronze sculpture on the OSBI grounds on Second Street. The City of Edmond would retain ownership of the artwork.
    The Edmond City Council voted 4-1 this week to allow city staff to negotiate the agreement as soon as possible. Mayor Charles Lamb voted against pursuing the agreement.
    City Councilwoman Victoria Caldwell said she was initially interested in placing the sculpture near the Smith House because of it’s proximity to state Highway 66.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • UCO debates Oklahoma Justice Commission

    A 1-percent chance that an innocent person could be executed for murder is justification to end capital punishment, said Greg Munday, who favors the abolition of the capital punishment.
    The American Democracy Project of the University of Central Oklahoma on Saturday hosted a debate on the best strategy to end the death penalty.

    April 14, 2014

  • Storm scavengers could face felony charges

    It wasn’t long after a devastating tornado hit Moore last year that scavengers were circling the wreckage. Already reeling, Moore residents had a new concern — fending off looters.
    “(It’s) pretty low to have your belongings stolen,” said Rep. Mark McBride, R-Moore, who said he was upset when he heard about opportunists who followed the tornado last May, as well as one that hit El Reno less than two weeks later.

    April 14, 2014

Featured Ads
NDN Video
8-year-old Boy Gets His Wish: Fly Like Iron Man Toddler climbs into vending machine Much-Anticipated 'Gone Girl' Trailer Finally Debuts! (VIDEO) Dog and Toddler Wear Matching Outfits in Adorable Photo Series VP Biden: "World witnesses ordinary citizens doing extraordinary things" It's Official! Michael Strahan Joins "GMA" Blood Moon Time-lapse Actress Lake Bell Goes Topless The Five Weirdest Local Taxes in America Applicants Vying for 'World's Toughest Job' Get Heartwarming Surprise Awkward: Crist catches Lt. Gov. insulting him on camera NASA Showcases Lunar Eclipse US Airways Tweets Graphic Photo of Nude Woman Behind the scenes of the Marathon anniversary photo shoot American Airlines Responds After Girl Tweets Alleged Terror Threat 'Joke' Charlie White's "Dancing" Mistake Olympic Great & Baltimore Native Michael Phelps Ends Retirement; Eyes Rio 2014 NFL Draft: Potential Booms And Busts William and Kate Squash Baby No. 2 Rumors With a Wine-Tasting Trip Who Showed Up at Coachella?

Do you agree with a state budget proposal that takes some funds away from road and bridge projects to ramp up education funding by $29.85 million per year until schools are receiving $600 million more a year than they are now? In years in which 1 percent revenue growth does not occur in the general fund, the transfer would not take place.

     View Results