The state’s largest Muslim civil rights group hosted an advocacy day at the Kansas Capitol March 13. The chairman of Council on American-Islamic Relations in Kansas (CAIR),Moussa Elbayoumy, opened the House session with an invocation and recognized CAIR members seated in the gallery.
The Topeka Capital-Journal reported which members of the Kansas House clapped when the Imam was introduced. A quick Google search yields no results of the paper reporting whether Senate and House members clapped for other guests in the past.
Council on American-Islamic Relations
CAIR-Kansas’ mission, according to the website, is to “enhance understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.” The Kansas chapter is one of 20 state chapters nationwide.
In Topeka, CAIR members advocated for hate-crime legislation. The group passed out flyers referring to political mailers sent by the Kansas GOP. The 2016 mailers read, “ISIS is not going away anytime soon,” and featured a man in a keffiyeh holding a gun. The postcards were related to the possibility of prisoners at Guantanemo Bay, Cuba, being moved to Leavenworth.
In 2007, the FBI named the national CAIR organization an unindicted co-conspirator in a Holy Land Foundation prosecution related to financing Hamas. CAIR petitioned to have its name removed from the co-conspirator list in 2009, a request that was denied. However, the judge in the case said the federal prosecutors mishandled naming more than 300 unindicted co-conspirators in the original case.
The office of Speaker of the House clears religious figures who offer prayers before the Kansas Legislature.