Legislators Celebrate Ramadan

Katy Grimes: Senate President pro Tem Darrell Steinberg, D-Sacramento, and Assemblywoman Mariko Yamada, D-Davis, are hosting the annual Ramadan Iftar dinner at the state Capitol next week, together with 36 Assembly members and Senators, and the governor.

The event invitation states that this is the seventh annual event hosted by capitol legislators, with the invitation signed by Basim Elkarra, Executive Director of CAIR Sacramento Valley, and Masoud Nassimi, Chairman, CAIR California. However, some capitol insiders say that by hosting the event, legislators are in essence, not only condoning, but partnering with a group which the FBI considers a front for Islamic radicals.

CAIR was listed as an unindicted co-conspirator in a terror financing trial against the Holy Land Foundation (the largest Islamic charity in the US.) and its former officials. Assistant U.S. Attorney general Ronald Weish sent a letter last February to several Capitol Hill lawmakers, and included trial transcripts and exhibits “which demonstrated a relationship among CAIR, individual CAIR founders, and the Palestine Committee, and HAMAS, which was designated as a terrorist organization in 1995.”

Interestingly, back in 2007, U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer rescinded an award she had given to CAIR-Sacramento Director Basim Elkarra, after being informed of CAIR’s support of terrorists.

“We made a bad mistake not researching the organization,” Boxer told the Sacramento Bee. “If individuals are doing great work, I commend them personally, but not in the context of the organization,” quickly divesting herself from controversy.

At a June rally held at the state Capitol boycotting Arizona’s recent immigration law, Elkarra not only spoke in support of the boycott, he singled out the recently-resigned chairman of the Tea Party Express, Mark Williams, who was attending the rally, and accused him of “peddling hate,” and called the Tea Party a “racist movement.”

CAIR Watch” reports on its website that on April 20, 2000, while a member of the Muslim Students Association (MSA) at the University of California at Berkeley, Elkarra moderated a pro-terror, anti-Israel program, entitled ‘Continued Resistance in Palestine.’ One of the program’s speakers, Mohammad Salah, had been imprisoned for five years in Israel for being a Hamas operative and had been labeled by President Clinton, via executive order, a “Specially Designated Terrorist.”

In 2007, Assemblyman Joel Anderson, R-El Cajon, sponsored AB 221, which required the California Public Employees’ Retirement System and the California State Teachers’ Retirement System to divest from companies doing business in Iran. Since Iran is the top exporter of terrorism throughout the world according to Anderson (and federal law enforcement), his bill called for the divestment of more than $24 billion dollars of the PERS and STRS public pensions from the Islamic Republic of Iran. Anderson’s bill gained traction nationally, and led 28 other states and Congress to introduce similar laws. Anderson was unavailable for comment about the Ramadan dinner.

As for the California legislators hanging out with CAIR  members at an event celebrating Iftar (the end of an Islamic fast), since this is the seventh year of the event, they don’t seem to be worried. However, the entire co-host list is made up of state Democrats, with one exception – Republican Assemblyman Anthony Adams. Last year, Steinberg was a no-show, as was the governor.

Maybe it’s okay to host the event, as long as certain lawmakers aren’t seen arriving on the red carpet.

In light of the controversial ground zero mosque proposal in New York City, I am not sure what this event means other than yet another political statement of correctness by state Democrats.

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  1. stevefromsacto
    stevefromsacto 17 August, 2010, 18:02

    Jump on them Muslims, Katy. Join the crowd. The Constitution is just an inconvenience when there are political points to score.

    I thought Libertarians were great believers in freedom, including religious freedom. But I guess some religions are just more equal than others.

    Reply this comment
  2. CalWatchdog
    CalWatchdog Author 18 August, 2010, 05:29

    Steve – I’d be just as critical if legislators were sponsoring a dinner with Fred Phelps and members of the Westboro Baptist Church.


    Reply this comment
  3. Ken Hunter
    Ken Hunter 18 August, 2010, 09:13

    All I needed to know about Islam…I learned on 9/11. While our Republic is noble in respecting freedom of religion, we must not rise this nobility above self preservation. Islam is being rejected by the American people because they are smarter than the average bear and have a built in instinct against the enemies of their freedom and liberty. Sharia Law is not freedom, it is bondage and oppression.

    Barbeque The Taliban.

    Reply this comment
  4. Tylerle13
    Tylerle13 20 August, 2010, 08:43

    I’m actually very shocked that StevefromSacto is aware of the existance of our Constitution, let alone argues that it should be upheld. He’s normally on the pro-government intrusion and pro-abusive union side, not the pro-constitution and pro-individual freedom side.

    Reply this comment
  5. hillyjean
    hillyjean 24 August, 2010, 16:18

    I can’t wait to attend Ramadan dinner this evening. I would encourage many of you to do a little bit more reading and a little less time judging. Muslim does not equal terrorist. Grow up and think for yourself.

    Reply this comment
  6. Itzaak
    Itzaak 25 August, 2010, 11:09

    You misquote the federal prosecutor’s letter in a significant way. What the letter actually says is, “Enclosed are four copies of the trial transcript on CD-ROM that contain testimony and other evidence that was introduced at trial which demonstrated a relationship among CAIR, individual CAIR founders and, and the Palestine Committee. Evidence was also introduced that demonstrated a relationship between the Palestine Committee and HAMAS, which was designated as a terrorist organization in 1995.”

    You misquote the letter to say that the government had evidence showing CAIR had a relationship with the Palestine Committee and HAMAS. That’s quite a misrepresentation. The letter does not allege that the government had any evidence of “a relationship” between CAIR and HAMAS. You may not like CAIR, you may not like Muslims in general, but at least you could try not to fabricate the evidence when you accuse people of cavorting with terrorists.

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