WASHINGTON (AFP) – An Islamic group said it had sued a US lawmaker from North Carolina over statements in which he blamed the organization for the failure of his marriage and accused them of raising money for militants.
CAIR’s affinity for terrorist causes is well documented in the press. At a 1994 meeting at Barry University, Nihad Awad stated succinctly, “I am a supporter of the Hamas movement.” Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper has defended Saudi Arabia’s financial aid to families of Palestinian suicide bombers.
– A Bad Day for CAIR, By Evan McCormick, FrontPageMagazine.com, September 24, 2003
The Council on American-Islamic Relations said it filed the suit Tuesday in US District Court in Washington over remarks by Representative Cass Ballenger published October 4 on the front page of the Charlotte Observer.
In the article, Ballenger blamed the stress of living near CAIR’s headquarters for the break-up of his 50-year marriage, and accused the group of raising money for Hezbollah militia in Lebanon.
He also told the paper that CAIR’s office was “two and a half blocks from the Capitol, and they could blow it up.”
Ballenger’s spokesman Dan Gurley said his office had yet to receive official notice of the lawsuit.
“We’ve not been officially served. Until we are, we don’t have any comment,” he said.
CAIR said in a statement it was suing for two million dollars, claiming Ballenger made the statement with “with actual malice, wrongful and willful intent to injure” the group’s reputation.