CNN has reported on the opposition of two U.S. Muslim Brotherhood organizations to the government’s seizures of assets belonging to a foundation and corporation believed to have links to Iran.According to the report:
A leading Muslim-American group lashed out at the federal government Friday for moving to seize assets — including four mosques — that belong to a foundation and a corporation believed linked to Iran. “The American Muslim and faith communities must not allow houses of worship to become pawns in geopolitical struggles,” said Imam Mahdi Bray, executive director of the Muslim American Society’s Freedom Foundation. “The tension between the United States and Iran must not be played out in the mosques of America.” Federal prosecutors say their actions against assets belonging to the Alavi Foundation and the Assa Corp., which also include a Manhattan skyscraper, are not an effort to target mosques. “There are no allegations of any wrongdoing on the part of any of these tenants or occupants,” said Yusill Scribner, a spokesman for the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York in a written statement Thursday. “The tenants and occupants remain free to use the properties as they have before today’s filing.” A senior Justice Department official told reporters that the government is moving against the Iranian landlords of the buildings, not seizing mosques as religious-oriented facilities. The mosques — in New York, Maryland, California and Texas — just happen to be among the tenants of the buildings in question, the official said. But the Muslim American Society’s Freedom Foundation called the actions an “unprecedented encroachment of religious freedom.” The group said “it is an abiding concern among the American Muslim community that this action is just the beginning of a backlash after last week’s Fort Hood shooting tragedy.” A Muslim-American soldier is accused in a Fort Hood, Texas, shooting spree that left 13 people dead and dozens injured. The Council on American-Islamic Relations [CAIR], another leading Muslim-American group, issued a statement Thursday saying the government’s actions may have First Amendment implications. “Whatever the details of the government’s case against the owners of the mosques, as a civil rights organization we are concerned that the seizure of American houses of worship could have a chilling effect on the religious freedom of citizens of all faiths and may send a negative message to Muslims worldwide,” said Ibrahim Hooper, the national communications director for the council.
The MAS was identified in a recent Hudson Institute report as a part of the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood and closely tied to the Egyptian organization. The same report details CAIR’s origins in the U.S. Hamas infrastructure. Both the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas, in turn, have strong relations with Iran.