In a statement, Durbin said his hearing Tuesday on the state of Muslim civil rights in America comes "in response to a spike in anti-Muslim bigotry in the last year including Quran burnings, restrictions on mosque construction, hate crimes, hate speech, and other forms of discrimination."
While hate crime data for 2010 has not been released yet, FBI reports in the recent past have shown no spike in anti-Muslim attacks. Those statistics show 107 anti-Islamic incidents reported in 2009, compared to 156 anti-Muslim crimes in 2006. In both reports, race related crimes dominated, and religiously-targeted attacks involved Jews as victims about nine times more often than Muslims in 2009 and more than five times more in 2006.
After making critical statements about the organization, the three-term senator has coddled the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), and visited a Chicago-area mosque whose leaders have been cited in federal court records as part of support front groups for Hamas, the U.S.-designated Islamic terrorist group that leads the government in Gaza.
Durbin has grown closer to CAIR and the Mosque Foundation, two Chicago-area groups that federal law enforcement records show have clearly shown Hamas-support histories.
Last week, Durbin wrote a letter that hailed CAIR's Chicago chapter, saying it "advances a greater understanding of the Muslim culture and serves as an essential thread in the multicultural fabric of our nation. Your efforts to advocate for tolerance promote the civil liberties of all communities."
Last April, he wrote a similar letter to coincide with the group's annual fundraising banquet. "CAIR-Chicago's efforts to ensure justice and equality demonstrate that working for greater civil liberties of one community advances the civil liberties of all communities," Durban wrote. "Your organization promotes a greater understanding of the Muslim culture and serves as an essential threat in the multicultural fabric of our nation."
That support marks a striking turnaround for Durbin. In 2003, Durbin expressed serious concerns about CAIR, "which apparently from what I have read is unusual in its extreme rhetoric and its association with groups that are suspect, there are many mainstream groups of Muslim Americans who fully support this war against terrorism and I would hope that they would be invited to speak to their heartfelt beliefs about this effort so that our characterization is fair across the board."
Since then, evidence linking CAIR and its founders to a Hamas-support network has been released through court action. That evidence prompted the FBI to cut off its outreach with the group. Last year, the DOJ said it had seen no new evidence that exonerates CAIR from the allegations that it provides financial support to designated terrorist organizations.
But Durbin continues to be supportive of this shady group.
So what’s Durbin angle on this?
Are some in the government, like Durbin, preparing for the destruction of Israel?
Or is Durbin looking for trouble with Federal authorities?