CAIR condemns GOP call to probe finances of student protesters

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The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) is calling out House Republicans over their request for the Treasury Department to investigate the finances of the pro-Palestinian student protesters who have set up encampments at scores of U.S. colleges in recent weeks.

On Tuesday, Committee on Education and the Workforce Chair Virginia Foxx (R-N.C.) and Oversight and Accountability Committee Chair James Comer (R-Ky.) asked the department for suspicious activity reports on 20 groups they believe have been financing and supporting the campus protests.

“Your request lacks any legitimate congressional purpose and echoes the witch hunts of the McCarthy era. It also represents the latest political stunt in a consistently dishonest and increasingly desperate effort to protect a foreign government from criticism by smearing American students exercising their constitutional right to criticize that foreign government,” said Robert McCaw, government affairs department director of CAIR, in a letter to the Republican lawmakers Thursday.

McCaw condemned the slew of recent congressional hearings focused on antisemitism at schools, saying the committees have ignored anti-Palestinian discrimination and conflated criticisms of Israel with antisemitism.

“Abusing congressional authority to launch witch hunts against Americans you disagree with tarnishes the democratic process. So does using your power to smear and silence the college students who independently organized the diverse and organic student encampment movement,” he said.

The Education Committee has another hearing set for next week to interrogate the schools that reached deals to end pro-Palestinian encampments without police force. In the deals, schools agreed to lesser punishments for those who broke rules, and they will allow students to propose divestment from Israel strategies to university boards.

“It’s no coincidence that the day after the October 7 Hamas terrorist attack, antisemitic mobs began springing up at college campuses across the country. These protests have been coordinated and well organized, indicating that outside groups or influences may be at play. American education is under attack. It’s critical that Congress investigates how these groups — who are tearing apart our institutions — are being funded and advised before it’s too late,” said Foxx.

McCaw countered: “Since you cannot convince young people to support genocide, you are trying to smear and silence those young people. Please know that your efforts will ultimately fail, God willing, just like the supporters of apartheid and segregation did before you.”

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