U.S. Census Bureau partners with controversial Muslim group - report

The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) announced the partnership on Wednesday.

Student watches the Republican presidential debate at the CAIR office (REUTERS/Jason Redmond) (photo credit: REUTERS/JASON REDMOND)
Student watches the Republican presidential debate at the CAIR office (REUTERS/Jason Redmond)
A controversial US Muslim organization is going to cooperate with the US Census Bureau, according to a report by the Investigative Project on Terrorism.
The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) announced the partnership on Wednesday, highlighting that it is aimed to "ensure American Muslims are fairly and accurately counted in the 2020 Census."
According to the report, the Census Bureau did not respond to a request for a comment, and it was not clear what the partnership would exactly entail.
Established in 1994, the CAIR describes itself as "a grassroots civil rights and advocacy group" and "the largest Muslim civil liberties organization."
However, CAIR founders Omar Ahmad and Nihad Awad have a history of supporting extremist organizations, the IPT pointed out.
Both Ahmad and Awad were involved in a Hamas-support network in America created by the Muslim Brotherhood.
In 1998, Awad insinuated that Jewish advisers negatively influenced the Clinton administration's foreign politics.
"Look at their names. Look at their ethnic, their ethnic or religious or racial background. You will see that these are the same groups that belong to the same interest groups in the (Clinton) Administration... they are the same people who are opposing the peace agreement (with Iraq)," he said.
In 2009, a senior FBI official quoted by the IPT, said that "[u]ntil we can resolve whether there continues to be a connection between CAIR or its executives and HAMAS, the FBI does not view CAIR as an appropriate liaison partner." The FBI has not yet reversed the policy.
Moreover, in August 2014, Awad called Israel "the biggest threat to world peace and security" in a tweet.
The American Islamic Forum for Democracy's (AIFD), an organization that describes itself as "the most prominent American Muslim organization directly confronting the ideology of political Islam", whose mission is "to advocate for the preservation of the founding principles of the United States Constitution, liberty and freedom, through the separation of mosque and state" criticized the partnership between the CAIR and the Census Bureau.
According to AIFD President Zuhdi Jasser, the notion promoted by the CAIR feeds into the stereotype that American Muslims are not fully engaged in the general society.
"The notion that Muslims need to be encouraged to participate in the national census treats an entire population as 'naïve immigrants,'" Jasser said. "They claim we're well integrated. If that claim is true, why is this project necessary?"
The United States has promoted a census every ten years since 1790. The 2020 census will begin on April 1. The results collected once a decade, help determine how federal funding is distributed to states and communities.
"CAIR wants to ensure that not only are American Muslim communities being fairly counted – but that their neighborhoods are getting a fair share in federal and state funding," the organization stated.
According to the ITP, the CAIR in the past has inflated the number of people of Muslim faith in the US: in 2001, they issued a report claiming that 6 million Muslims lived in the country, while a Pew Research Center report in 2007 estimated the number at 2,35 million.