CAIR’s Humanitarian Mission to Iran

By Mahmoud El-Yousseph

May 5, 2009

The current relations between the U.S. and Iran are not a pretty picture; in fact it is like a roller-coaster ride. This is a bad news for Muslims in America and abroad.

Iran is bitter over its billions of dollars in frozen assets still in U.S. banks for the last three decades, following the takeover of our embassy in Tehran. Secondly, the U.S. government maintains a hostile attitude and insistence to quash Iran’s ambitions to build a peaceful nuclear program. There are nine other nations on this planet earth who have a nuclear program, but no one gives a hoot!

Iran also has faults of its own. Its human rights records are not flattering, especially when it comes to U.S. citizens living in Iran. That by itself does not help reduce tensions between the two nations, either.

The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) is not sitting on the sideline as spectator, but rather wants to do some thing to narrow the gap. CAIR, which is a leading Muslim-American civil liberties group has assembled a delegation to fly to Iran on short notice to resolve some of the outstanding issues. The group as of this writing is awaiting visas and entry permits.

Among the items the group will discuss with Iranian officials are: the status of Roxana Saberi, Esha Momeni, and Robert Levinson.

Roxana Saberi: a journalist who was sentenced recently to eight years in jail on espionage charges. The Fargo, North Dakota native was born to an Iranian father and Japanese mother. She was elected as Miss North Dakota in 1997. Iran claimed first that she was working without press credentials, then she purchased a bottle of wine. She just celebrated her 33rd birthday in jail.

Esha Momeni: a graduate student at California State University. Like Miss Saberi, she is also a U.S.-born citizen. Her parents are Iranians and she is a dual national. Miss Momeni was arrested in Iran in October 2008 after she allegedly passed another car illegally. She was released later, but her research materials were confiscated and she was banned from leaving Iran to continue her study.

Robert Levinson is a former FBI agent who was mysteriously disappeared two years ago on the Iranian island of Kish. The CAIR delegation is carrying a letter from Mr. Levinson’s family to be delivered to Iranian officials, with the hope that the letter might crack the case. The Swiss government, who acts on behalf of U.S. interests in Iran, did not have much luck solving this case.

Contrary to its critics, CAIR does care about America and wants America to be a better and a safer place not only for Muslims, but for all of us.

CAIR’s mission is an attempt to use cultural and religious similarities with Iran in order to open a door that otherwise would have been closed. So credit is where credit is due Here are examples of CAIR’s actions during the last nine years:

* Took out a full page ad in The New York Times to condemn the 9/11 attacks, in which it urged all American Muslims to contribute money, donate blood and help with the medical relief operation. [ The N.Y. Times 16 September, 2001]

* Came to the defense of a Jewish reporter who worked for a Kansas City newspaper, who was fired from her job one day after she married a Palestinian. [April 9, 2003 U.S. News Wire]

* When four members of the Christian Peacemaker Team were taken hostage in Iraq in 2005, CAIR demanded their immediate and unconditional release, stating that harming them would not advance the cause of innocent Iraqi prisoners held by U.S. forces.

* After American journalist Jill Carrol was taken hostage in Iraq in 2006, CAIR risked the life of its own members by sending a delegation to Iraq to plea for her release. Eventually she won her freedom.

CAIR, who has a solid patriotic record, should be commended for its humanitarian mission. This was also done in compliance of the Islamic teaching which calls on Muslims to “forgive those who oppressed you, give to whomever deprived you, and reach out to the one who ignored you.”

Make no mistake, when CAIR was preparing for this “mission of mercy”, the group was speaking for seven million American Muslims who want nothing more than normal and better relations between their country and the Islamic Republic of Iran.

Mahmoud El-Yousseph

Retired USAF Veteran

Readers Feedback:



  1. #1 by Xanadu on 05/06/2009 - 9:34

    Nice to hear from you again, Mahmoud. I always enjoy reading your articles. They are clearly written, well-researched and sincere. I do hope that Ms Bernstein will have something positive and complimentary to say to you on this occasion. If she is rude and nasty, Mahmoud, please ignore her.

  2. #2 by Ruth Bernstein on 05/07/2009 - 9:34

    I have no intention of being rude and nasty to Mr El-Yousseph, you silly cow! His essay has not offended me in the least.

    As a young woman of considerable intellectual abilities, I am in a position to recognize talent when I see it. Mr El-Yousseph has talent. My only regret is that he has chosen to misuse his talent.

    He is an evil propagandist who advances the Devil’s agenda. He sings from Satan’s hymn sheet. But still…he sings beautifully!

  3. #3 by Ruth Bernstein on 05/07/2009 - 9:34

    Mr El-Yousseph should stop attacking my people. He should be more respectful to me personally. He should also admit that it is quite wrong to say nice, flattering things about the Iranians.

    We need to bomb the Iranians, not be nice to them! We need to kill them, not be kind to them! Mr El-Yousseph has got all his priorities wrong.

    However, that does not mean he hasn’t written a good essay. He has. It is brilliant. But it is brilliant in a very evil way.

  4. #4 by Montecristo on 05/07/2009 - 9:34

    As a young woman of considerable intellectual abilities, I am in a position to recognize talent when I see it. Mr El-Yousseph has talent. My only regret is that he has chosen to misuse his talent.

    1. “Considerable intellectual abilities”? You? Who you kidding?

    2. Mahmoud is making good use of his talents, as his article demonstrates. Stop abusing people and grow up!

  5. #5 by Mahmoud El-Yousseph on 05/08/2009 - 9:34

    “We need to bomb the Iranians, not be nice to them! We need to kill them, not be kind to them! Mr. El-Yousseph has got all his priorities wrong.” [Ruth Frankenstein, May 7, 2009]
    My cousin Ruth is truly evil by advocating to bomb Iran and kill all Iranian. That is scary! Iran is a peaceful country. It is a 5000 year old civilization, with a long history and rich culture. Iran did not invade any of its neighbor for over 500 years.
    Ruth screams anti-Semitism at any one who dare to criticize Israeli atrocious policies. She then personally attack any one expresses views that differs from hers. Most notably
    our own Mark Glenn. Yet he tolerates her abuse, even though a Saint would not put up with her. Her loyalty is misplaced and her views are twisted. She never cease to amaze me! If she is banned or to be vanish, I would truly miss her.
    There is something intriguing about her, I am not sure what it is. I was going to show her up and spit her out, but decide to respect the advice of Xanadu. After all Ruth need to get her ears wet.
    Currently, the U.S. Forces in Iraq are holding 5 Iranian diplomats prisoners. They were invited by the Iraqi government. The government of Iraq has repeatedly demanded their release.
    The three American citizens that I wrote about could be released tomorrow, if our government release the 5 Iranians. Sound to me a prisoner exchange is in order.
    I have written a column several years ago about what Miss Ruth just called for. I wish to share it with her and rest of the group with Mark’s permission. Just FYI Ruth, this was also published as a guest column in Marion Star [mainstream newspaper]. For your pleasure reading, here you go.
    Don’t Bomb Iran !
    By Mahmoud El-Yousseph
    Al-Jazeerah, September 13, 2006
    A long time ago there lived an elephant named Edward on the savanna. He made a daily trip to the pond for a bath and a drink of water. One day he passed his neighbor Brenda, the bird. Edward told her that he did not like her singing at all, beside it interrupted his beauty nap. Edward decided to get even with Brenda, so he crushed her eggs in her nest. Devastated by her loss, Brenda flew to her flock to seek their help.
    One bird told her, “Edward is the biggest and strongest animal and we are no match for him.” Another bird had a brilliant idea: “why not fly over Edward’s head and poke out both his eyes.” So the next day all the birds hovered over Edward and poked out his eyes. Blind, Edward was unable to find food or water and became sick and died.
    The story I recounted was from a book called Kalila wa Dimna, written centuries ago in Persia (modern-day Iran) and translated into many foreign languages. It is one of many beautifully written stories about animals that still hold true in our everyday lives.
    Everytime I hear or read about President Bush threatening to bomb Iran because of its nuclear program, the story of Edward the elephant pops into my head.
    To begin with, Iran is no threat to America by any stretch of the imagination. It is Israel, not Iran, that was the first country in the Middle East to possess nuclear weapons. Israel wanted it as a deterrent. Why isn’t Iran entitled to do the same?
    What gives President Bush the right to decide which country can or cannot pursue a nuclear program? And why does he want to quash Iran’s ambitions?
    President Bush said recently in Annapolis, Maryland that it is to protect Israel. But he does not want America to know that Israel has hundreds of nuclear, chemical and biological warheads, refuses to sign the nuclear non-proliferation treaty and bars international inspectors from its sites! So why bomb Iran?
    A few years ago, India and Pakistan threatened to nuke each other. The president sent our Secretary of State to settle the dispute. Why create international tension with Iran?
    When North Korea refused to abandon its nuclear program, the use of force was not an option. The president tried to bribe them with food.
    A few weeks ago, Brazil expressed interest in pursuing a nuclear program. President Bush did not bother to change the color of the alert level.
    A surgical strike against Iran by either Israel or the U.S. will have a devastating effect.
    Iran is not going to sit idle and raise the white flag. The most likely scenario, Iran will hit the oil fields in the Gulf, strike Israel and overrun our 140,000 troops in Iraq. U.S. citizens abroad will not be safe. The president ought to know America comes first, not Israel. Americans are getting tired of having their sons and daughters killed in foreign lands waging senseless wars. The president can claim courage and bravery if he wants to. But where was he when he was called upon to serve? Besides, when asked if he had ever encouraged his twin daughters to join the service, he took the fifth and refused to answer the question.
    If a patriotic American, an Arab/Muslim American veteran with 20 years of service, and a father of a U.S. soldier may advise the president: Don’t bomb Iran.
    Finally, I know the president is a God-fearing Christian. He should read the Holy Bible before he issues his order to strike Iran. I quote Jesus Christ (PBUH) from Matthew 5:44 “But I say unto you, love your enemy, bless them that curse you, do good for them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you and persecute you.”
    Mahmoud El-Yousseph TSGT USAF, retired veteran Westerville OH, USA

  6. #6 by Ruth Bernstein on 05/08/2009 - 9:34

    Mahmoud, I respect what you say. And you say it beautifully. But also try and understand that I am possessed by many demons and cannot help what I am. I am in the grip of evil forces beyond my control.

    I must go now and take some more pills. All my tears will not wash my sins away.

    More later…

  7. #7 by Man on 05/08/2009 - 9:34

    Mr El-Youssef,

    Does Ruth know well enough her own religion and his history?
    Doesn’t she know that:
    1- Iranians (Persian at the time) delivered jews from slavery in Bebylon?

    2- Big parts of The old testament were written by two Rabbi coming from Persia (Ezra and Jeremie) and that they entered into the judaism a lot of the spirit of old Iranian religion, the Zoroastrism (among others, the notion of life after the death, Paradise and Hell,…)?

    3- four books in the TANAK (the jews’s 24 books) is written only about Iran and their jews, 500 years BC (Ester, Daniel,…) without any word or even a mention of Moses?

    4- the oldest jewish diaspora of the world (2500years ago) is in Iran. Even now in 2009, 30 years after the islamic revolution (that we Iranian democrat and secular combat), still 30.000 Jews are in Iran, while there are no more or very few in the arabe world.

    Ms. Ruth, your identity is not your religion. It sould be your nationality. You are american and not Israeli. The Israelis should decide for themselves and not you and AIPAC with the money of the american taxpayers. It is a shame that US congress (with the help of the jewish lobbies) voted unlimited money and financing ($50 Billions per month or $600 Billion a year)to go to war with Irak and they were reluctent to give just 15 Bn$ to GM in order to save millions of american jobs.

    The biggest military victory of Israel is not in Palestine, it is the US congress.

    Does the real americans know it?????

  8. #8 by Mahmoud El-Yousseph on 05/09/2009 - 9:34

    Dear Ms. Bernstein.

    I read you last post with a heartache. I meant about your confession that you are possessed by many demons and that you are also in the grip of evil forces beyond your

    control. Wow! If that is true, I do feel your pain. Hope no one on this list has spilled a curse on you.

    Let me tell you, I do have one daughter who is your age. Out of respect to her, I am taking back all unkind things I said about you. In fact, the list of 10 items I said was originally send to Ann Coutler, the right wing syndicated columnist. Reason was; she suggested that the U.S. should invade all Arab countries, kill their men and convert their woman to Christianity. Since we live in America, everyone is entitled for their bigoted views.

    At any rate, hope the bills you are taking would help get rid of all the demons and evil forces that are tormenting you.

    It is OK with me if you don’t like or agree with my writing. It was not written specifically for you. I believe many of the information is new to many people. It is a lot of work to research information for an essay or column. My intent is raise awareness, encourage meaningful dialog, and offer a solution. I don’t advocate violence, nor do I ever attack or put down other religions, such as Christianity or Judaism. That goes against the Islamic teaching.And if you ever find one. I will eat crow, and change my name.

    In order to make you feel better, I would say one nice thing about you that I truly mean, and would like to encourage other commentors on this list to do the same thing, just lift up your spirit. After all you have entertained me as well as the other for several months. For that I am grateful.

    You are very combative. Even though no one on this list agree with you on anything. If it was me, I would have bail out. So, I have to give you credit for courage. Thank you everyone.

  9. #9 by Vindix on 05/09/2009 - 9:34

    Thank you Mr El Youssef for your and CAIR’s efforts on behalf of peace.
    Iran, or, Persia, hasn’t attacked or invaded other nations for several centuries, to my knowlege, so why that nation is all of a sudden a “threat” is a mystery and makes no sense, unless one considers who is behind all of the demonizing and propagandistic slander. If there is going to be a shutdown of nuclear reactors then lets do it around the world, starting with Israel, the US and the UK, first. Set a good example, first, then suggest a similar course of action.

  10. #10 by Montecristo on 05/12/2009 - 9:34

    “We need to bomb the Iranians, not be nice to them! We need to kill them, not be kind to them!”

    [Ruth Bernstein, May 7, 2009]

    Here are two little Iranian children, a brother and sister. Evil Jewess Ruth Bernstein would like to bomb them and kill them for love of Israel.

    i love you

    And here’s a 5-year-old Iranian girl, playing the flute. Isn’t she beautiful? Jewish supremacist and potential serial killer Ruth Bernstein would like to murder her too.

    little player

  11. #11 by Montecristo on 05/12/2009 - 9:34

    Heartless cunt, don’t come near me!

  12. #12 by Montecristo on 05/12/2009 - 9:34

    Mahmoud, you are too kind to her! What’s wrong with you? Are you a saint or something, like Mark Glenn?

    You need to tell her what you think of her, Mahmoud.

    She wants to kill all your people, all 1.5 billion of them. She would gladly dance on the Quran. This woman is SATAN’S WHORE!

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