ACLU Says U.S. Government "Smears" ISNA With Terrorist Associations

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The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has issued a statement accusing the U.S. government of a “smear” by associating the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) with terrorism. According to the statement:

There is absolutely no direct evidence that ISNA has any ties to terrorist organizations, including Hamas, and any implication to the contrary is nothing but guilt by association created by the U.S. government through its illegal and false accusations. In fact, after the government made its original public smear, it admitted to ISNA’s lawyers in private that the government has no evidence of wrongdoing by the organization. “By publicly smearing this organization without providing a forum for ISNA to clear its name, the government has acted with blatant disregard for its constitutional rights – and perpetuates a controversy based on no evidence. The government’s action is particularly deplorable because the charge it makes is so inflammatory that it has caused the organization’s reputation and good name to be dragged through the mud. We will continue to fight to ensure the government fulfills its constitutional obligation to set the record straight.

In fact, investigative research shows that ISNA has a long record of support for Hamas and Islamic JIhad, both designated by the U.S. as terrorist organizations. Such support has included but not limited to:

  • Ideological and financial support to Islamic Jihad by Fiqh Council of North America (FCNA) Chairman Taha J. Alwani. FCNA is a subsdiary of ISNA.
  • Ideological and financial support for the Holy Land Foundation (HLF) and its successor organizations, believed by the U.S. government and civil courts to be engaged in fundraising for Hamas
  • Support for the Islamic Association of Palestine (IAP), part of the Hamas support infrastructure in the U.S.
  • Organizational ties to the ties to the Quranic Literacy Institute (QLI), a Chicago area institution which was found responsible by a Federal court in the death of an American civilian in Israel and to be engaged in raising funds and money laundering for Hamas.

The same investigative research shows that ISNA was created by leaders of the Muslim Student Association (MSA), itself an outgrowth of the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood. Much of the ISNA leadership comes from backgrounds associated either with the Egyptian Brotherhood, Saudi Arabian religious organizations, or the Jamaat -e- Islami (JEI), the large Pakistani Islamic political party founded in 1941 by Islamic ideologue Maulana Abul Ala Maududi. Although it does not disclose the source of its funding, ISNA is known to have received substantial funds from Saudi Arabia and the organizations maintains ties to the major Saudi “Wahhabist” organizations such as the Muslim World League and the World Assembly of Muslim Youth (WAMY), major components of the global Muslim Brotherhood in addition to global Muslim Brotherhood organizations in the U.K. and Germany. ISNA frequently acts in concert with other U.S. Brotherhood organizations and has recently been named in government documents as part of the U.S. Brotherhood.

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