Every session in the California State Senate opens with a prayer by the Senate Chaplain, followed by the Pledge of Allegiance.
Tuesday May 28, instead of Sister Michelle Gorman offering the daily prayer, the prayer was given by Basim Elkarra, Executive Director of the Sacramento Valley CAIR, the Council on American-Islamic Relations. “Elkarra appears regularly in the media as a commentator on issues of civil rights, the Muslim community, and foreign affairs,” his bio says.
Today, our ED gave the invocation for the California Senate! 👏✊🙂 pic.twitter.com/mCwDbBrQhD
— CAIR-Sacramento Valley/Central California (@CAIRSacramento) May 28, 2019
CAIR was founded by the Muslim Brotherhood’s Palestinian franchise, Hamas, officially designated as a terrorist organization since 1994. In a 2014 article, National Review asked “Is CAIR a Terrorist Organization?” NR reported: “the United Arab Emirates’ ministerial cabinet had listed the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) as one of 83 proscribed terrorist organizations, up there with the Taliban, al-Qaeda, and ISIS.”
“An FBI chart has surfaced depicting connections between the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) and the Palestinian terrorist group Hamas,” Breitbart reported in 2015. “Obtained by the Investigative Project on Terrorism (IPT) via a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request, the chart shows CAIR falling under the umbrella of the jihadi outfit.”
“The group, which fashions itself as a civil rights voice for American Muslims, was founded by members of the Palestine Committee (PALCOM), an organization ‘established to support Hamas,’ according to the chart.”
Senate Republicans were not informed about Elkarra’s invitation prior to Tuesday’s session. However, when it became known, many expressed indignation. Others shook their heads expressing disbelief.
The Senate President appoints the chaplain. Elkarra was referred to as the “Guest Chaplain” on the Senate Chaplain website.
Notably, last week, Democrat Rep. Rashida Tlaib (Michigan), Democrat Rep. Ilhan Omar (Minnesota) and others hosted an invitation-only iftar , the meal eaten by Muslims after sunset during Ramadan.
“The iftar was organized by the nonprofit Muslim Advocates in coordination with the offices of Tlaib, Omar and the third Muslim in Congress, long-serving Democratic Rep. André Carson of Indiana,” NPR reported. “Several prominent Democrats attended, including Sen. Dick Durbin of Illinois and Rep. Steny Hoyer of Maryland, respectively the number-two ranking Democrats in the Senate and House, and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York.”