MONTREAL – Ibrahim Hooper or Douglas Hooper is an American Muslim convert, the National Communications Director and spokesman for the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), a Washington DC-based Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization.
Hooper was born in Canada to a family of European ancestry and migrated to the US after converting to Islam. He holds a bachelor’s degree in history and a master’s of art in journalism and mass communications.
During the late 1980s and early 1990s, Hooper worked as a news producer at WCCO-TV, the CBS affiliate in Minneapolis. In 1994 he joined CAIR, becoming one of its founding members, and later emerged to be its spokesman.
Hooper believes that Islam can be an integral part of the American culture; “I have a strong impression that the government of USA would be Islamic sometime in the future. American Muslims can become a numerical majority in the country,” he expressed for the Minneapolis Star Tribune in a 1993 interview.
The Muslim convert helped in orchestrating some of CAIR’s cooperation with a number of organizations, including the Global Relief Foundation, the International Action Center, the Islamic Association for Palestine, and the Palestine Children’s Relief Fund.
The Muslim leader helped in organizing a number of sit-ins where a dozen leaders of various American Muslim groups demonstrated against discriminatory policies of the government.
As the public voice of CAIR, Hooper has routinely criticized the American authorities in their Islamophobic regulations which discriminate the Muslim community in the North American country.
In defense of the American Muslim community against Islamophobic accusations, Hooper said: “I’ve never heard violence preached [therein]; I’ve never heard anti-Semitism or anti-Americanism preached.”
To counter the negative portrayal of Islam and Muslims in the American media, Hooper and CAIR produced in 2007 a media guide to “disabuse journalists of misinformation” about Islam.
He also always condemned and rejected the pejorative phrases used by the Western media to describe Muslims. Hooper said: “They don’t want Muslims to take part in the political field and they are against the presence of Muslims community leaders.”
He dynamically accused the alleged Islamophobes of failing to explain “how a Muslim can be politically active without implementing his/her principles. After all, Muslims who wish to serve the public good and are merely influenced by their faith have to express that in their productions.”