ISNA Seeks Changes To Patriot Act


The Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) has issued an Action Alert seeking support for amendments to the Patriot Act. According to the alert:

The Islamic Society of North America supports efforts to revise provisions of the Patriot Act to protect the civil rights and liberties, and call on all Americans, particularly members of the Muslim community, to respond to a call for action put out recently by the Muslim Advocates. Congress is currently debating reauthorizing the USA PATRIOT Act. As you know, the PATRIOT Act has made it difficult for Muslims to give zakat and increased FBI surveillance of our communities and mosques.Muslim Advocates needs your help to fix this bad law.

Troubling provisions of the PATRIOT Act permit-

-prosecutions of those who work with or give humanitarian aid to those in conflict areas: under the “material support” provision, the government can prosecute a charity or individual if they provide so much as a glass of water or medical assistance to someone in need in a conflict area

-the government to obtain information about an individual’s phone calls, emails, finances, travels, the types of books read or websites visited, without evidence of criminal activity.

Congressmen Conyers, Nadler and Scott have introduced the USA PATRIOT Amendments Act of 2009 (H.R. 3845) to help fix this law by:

Ensuring the government only obtains financial, telephone, internet and credit reports of suspected terrorists or spies.Requiring the FBI to give notice of a search of one’s home within seven days.

This is a good start. But this bill is not perfect. More must be done to fix the PATRIOT Act.

H.R. 3845 should be expanded to include a fix for:

-Protecting humanitarian assistance to those in need: We’re asking Congress to allow other humanitarian aid such as food, water, and medical services to be provided without fear of prosecution.

-Ensuring that the FBI only obtains records and information of suspected terrorists and spies, not law-abiding Americans.

A report by the Hudson Institute has identified ISNA as a major part of the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood. The organization has a long history of fundamentalism, anti-semitism, and support for terrorism and during the recent Holy Land Foundation terrorism financing trial, ISNA was named as an unindicted co-conspirator. Although recently ISNA has issued condemnations of terrorism which for the first time identify Hamas and Hezbollah by name, there is no indication that the organization has ever addressed or acknowledged its history. ISNA has made ongoing attempts to form a coalition with elements of the U.S. Jewish community.

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