By Paul Miller, Originally published in The New York Observer
In a recent solicitation email to supporters, the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) attacked Jewish philanthropist Nina Rosenwald for donating to “groups that exist to make people fear and hate Islam.”
Referring to Ms. Rosenwald as “a Sears, Roebuck fortune heiress,” the email cites Ms. Rosenwald’s 2013 contributions totaling $1,057,000 to “Islamophobic groups.” The self-described “civil rights and advocacy group” chose Ms. Rosenwald as an example of “the U.S. Islamophobia network [that] has people ready to throw buckets of money around to support anti-Muslim hate.”
Seeking clarification of CAIR’s reference to Ms. Rosenwald in its fundraising email, I posed the following questions to the organization in an email:
“Is Rosenwald the largest fundraiser of ‘groups that exist to make people fear and hate Islam?’ If not, why target her instead of the bigger donors? Does her name or history help fundraise with your supporters?”
While CAIR does some fine things, such as recommending evacuating U.S. civilians from Yemen, the government of the United Arab Emirates recently listed the Council of American-Islamic Relations as a terrorist organization.
Corey Saylor, Director of CAIR’s Department to Monitor and Combat Islamophobia response in its entirety: “Rosenwald is not the largest funder of Islamophobia in the U.S. The email was written as part of our annual update of our information on anti-Islam groups. That review just started, Abstraction Fund is early in the alphabet.”
Ms. Rosenwald told me she regarded CAIR’s attack as “a badge of honor.” In an exclusive interview, she said: