Harvard University is hosting Nihad Awad – the creator of the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) who has endorsed the U.S.-designated terrorist group Hamas – to give a guest lecture and receive an award during the first weekend of November.
Awad will give a lecture and be honored with the Phillips Brooks House Association’s Robert Coles “Call of Service” Award. Past recipients of the distinction include leaders like former Vice President Al Gore.
“As a national leader in the civil rights movement, Mr. Awad has led multiple campaigns to defend the rights of Muslims and to help Americans of other faiths better understand Islam,” states a Harvard press release.
Awad was allegedly a member of a Muslim Brotherhood-created network of groups functioning in the United States to help Hamas politically and financially.
In March 1994, Awad allegedly stated his support for Hamas, but has since attempted to clarify his position by saying that Hamas didn’t engage in terrorist attacks, like suicide bombings, until October 1994 and that they never endorsed their radical terrorist activity. The U.S. State Department officially designated Hamas as a terrorist organization in October 1997.
Additionally, Hamas front group, the Holy Land Foundation, contributed $5,000 to CAIR, which in turn, exploited the 9/11 attacks to raise money for the group.
The invitation was initiated by Anwar Omeish, the daughter of former Muslim American Society President Esam Omeish, who had to resign from a Virginia immigration commission after a videotape surfaced of him advocating for “the jihad way” for Palestinians in 2000.
In 2010, Awad was in Omeish’s home for a political fundraiser where Minnesota Democratic representative and now-Democratic National Committee vice chair Keith Ellison accused Israel of controlling U.S. foreign policy.
The group has also been investigated and sued by the Federal Bureau of Investigation for alleged criminal activity. “Federal prosecutors in 2007 named CAIR (along with two other Islamic organizations) as ‘unindicted co-conspirators and/or joint venturers’ in a criminal conspiracy to support Hamas financially,” Middle East Forum president Daniel Pipes wrote in National Review. “In 2008, the FBI ended contacts with CAIR because of concern about its continuing terrorist ties.”