The Council On American Islamic Relations is seeking assistance from House Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers Jr. in order to persuade the Justice Department to remove the organization from a list of unindicted co-conspirators in the Holy Land terrorism financing case. As a noted in a previous post, CAIR recently filed a brief asking the court to remove CAIR and several hundred other Muslim individuals and institutions from the list which also identifies CAIR as part of the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood. According to a newspaper report, CAIR has met with and sent a letter to Conyers asking for his assistance:
CAIR officials recently met with Mr. Conyers, Michigan Democrat, and then wrote a letter asking him to lobby the new attorney general on behalf of the group, and to hold hearings….CAIR officials have requested that Mr. Conyers ask the Justice Department to explain why it publicly identified the 306 co-conspirators in the Holy Land Foundation trial. “Those on the list suffer negatively as a result of the label ‘unindicted co-conspirator’ as it impresses upon the typical member of the American public that those listed are involved in criminal activity,” the group said in a letter to Mr. Conyers. “In reality, those so named have neither been charged with a crime nor offered any recourse for challenging the allegation.” The group said the conspirator designation is being used by counterterrorism advocates to block government funds from being used to conduct outreach programs to Muslim groups. Pending fiscal 2008 legislation would block the Justice Department from using any funds for participation in conferences sponsored by a group or person identified by the government as a criminal unindicted co-conspirator. CAIR’s letter to Mr. Conyers said that “you remember many of these abusive practices from the McCarthy era and the civil rights movement.”
In 2005, Conyers sponsored House Resolution 288 which stated that “it should never be official policy of the United States Government to disparage the Quran, Islam, or any religion in any way, shape, or form.