Monday, August 3, 2009

Blocking Faith, Freezing Charity.

Following the tragedies of Sept. 11, 2001, it was discovered that a number of Muslims charities had been funneling monies to Islamic terrorist organizations.
On September 24, 2001, President Bush announced that, in “a strike on the financial foundation of the global terror network,” he had taken executive action, to expand the Treasury Department’s authority to freeze the assets of organizations it considered to be terrorist organizations.

As this article shows [Leader of a Georgia Mosque Pleads Guilty to Aiding Hamas ] the crime of using Muslim charities to fund terrorist groups was even happening here in sleepy Rome, GA.

Now, a report written by the ACLU documents "the consequence of U.S. government actions on American Muslims' exercise of their right to profess and practice their religion through charitable giving."

According to the report;
"The terrorism financing laws provide executive branch officials with practically unfettered discretion in targeting groups for designation as terrorist organizations, and the federal government’s enforcement of terrorism financing laws has disproportionately affected Muslim charities. Of nine U.S.-based charities whose assets have been seized by the Department of Treasury, seven are Muslim charities, and two are Tamil charities that provided humanitarian aid in Sri Lanka. In the majority of these cases, the government has not brought charges; only three designated U.S.-based Muslim charities have faced criminal prosecution, and only one has been convicted."

Also, this;
"The government’s actions have chilled American Muslims’ free and full exercise of their religion through charitable giving, or Zakat. Zakat is one of the core “five pillars” of Islam and a religious obligation for all observant Muslims. In interviews with American Muslim donors, the ACLU documented a pervasive fear that they may be arrested,prosecuted, targeted for law enforcement interviews,subpoenaed, deported, or denied citizenship or a green card because of charitable donations made in fulfillment of their sacred duty to give Zakat (charity or alms). Many American Muslims reported that the climate of fear has made it impossible for them to fulfill their religious obligation to give Zakat in accordance with their faith and to associate with fellow Muslims. The United States has long been regarded as a beacon of religious freedom, and yet U.S. terrorism financing laws and policies developed under the Bush administration are inhibiting American Muslims’ ability to freely and fully practice their religion."

I'm sure many reading this will have little sympathy for Muslims or Muslim charities. However, I see in this a potential for the Obama administration to harass and intimidate pro-life charities in the US. If the Treasury Dept. can designate charitable organizations as terrorist without allegations of criminal wrongdoing, how long will it be before the government sees a "connection" between pro-life charities and acts of "terror" such as the killing of abortionist George Tiller?

Link: Blocking Faith Freezing Charity - Summary.

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