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By NWV News writer Jim Kouri
Posted 1:00 AM Eastern
May 22, 2010

The Connecticut chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-CT) has called on state Republican leaders to repudiate what they termed "intolerant statements" made by Bridgeport Republican Town Committee Chairman Rick Torres.

During a recent debate among candidates seeking the GOP nomination for Connecticut's Fourth Congressional District, Torres is reported to have said: "It turns out, folks, they [Muslims] are here, they're among us. We are at war with Islam. I don't tolerate people who are not tolerant." It was also reported that Torres said that he "wants America's mosques and Imams to openly condemn terrorists' actions."

"Rick Torres is completely out of touch with reality and contradicts statements made by his party's own leaders," said CAIR-CT Executive Director Mongi Dhaoudi. "Presidents Bush and Obama have both said America is not at war with Islam, and local and national media outlets have frequently reported on the strong American Muslim repudiation of terror."

However, many conservatives and Tea Party participants are supporting Torres and applaud his straight-talking style and aversion to the current politically-correct orthodoxy.

The Latino conservative said he prides himself in being a student of the Constitution, and is running to be the kind of a citizen legislator envisioned by this nation's Founders as apposed to the career politicians who've never worked a "real job" or had to meet a payroll.


Rick Torres was born in Bridgeport, Connecticut in 1959. His father, Juan, a Cuban immigrant and a political activist whose radio program had been shut down by the Batista regime, welcomed the Cuban Revolution. In 1961, Juan took his family back to Cuba to help Castro lead his native land out of tyranny -- or so he thought. It took Juan only a couple of months to become disillusioned with the communist dictator, and another 5 years to secure permission to leave Cuba again. In 1967, Rick and his brother were brought back to Bridgeport -- with not much more than the clothes on their backs.

In 2007, the Justice Department labeled CAIR an unindicted co-conspirator in the largest terrorist finance case in U.S. history. That’s when the organization changed its name to the Council on American-Islamic Relations Action Network.

* Searches on the Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs web site for the name "Council on American-Islamic Relations" produce no results

* CAIR" isn't just a convenient shortening of the name. In its suit against popular radio host Michael Savage, its attorneys appeared separately for CAIR and for CAIR Action Network, or (CAIR-AN)

* Under D.C. code, when a nonprofit corporation's articles of incorporation are revoked for failure to comply with certain reporting rules, "then all powers conferred on it are inoperative and it must cease all business activities ... except for those activities necessary for winding up its affairs."

Recently, CAIR had called for an independent investigation of the FBI. On January 13, 2010, Rep. Conyers sent a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder to request that the civil rights division investigate both the October shooting of a radical Imam, and whether the FBI violated the Constitution by using informants in mosques.

"I'm not surprised that Congressman Conyers would side with his big campaign contributors in defending radical killers and terrorists," said former NYPD detective and military intelligence officer Mike Snopes.

"And they have the perfect prosecutor in Attorney General [Eric Holder] who's law firm often defends terrorist thugs," he added.

"We welcome the decision to open a civil rights investigation of the imam's death and thank Representative Conyers for his leadership in ensuring that all the facts in this troubling case come out," said CAIR National Executive Director Nihad Awad.

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The Investigative Project on Terrorism's Steven Emerson has noted in several studies the questionable associations and actions by many of CAIR's leaders that cast serious doubt on its claims of moderation and restraint. Some have committed criminal acts themselves; others have ties to organizations with connections to Islamic extremism.

Those convicted of direct criminal activity include Ghassan Elashi, a founding board member of CAIR-Texas; Randall (Ismail) Royer, once a communications specialist for the national group, and Bassam Khafagi, the organization's one-time director of community relations, according to Emerson.

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However, many conservatives and Tea Party participants are supporting Torres and applaud his straight-talking style and aversion to the current politically-correct orthodoxy.