The Holy Land Foundation funneled millions of dollars to Hamas, but so what? What could go wrong?
"President Obama to American Muslims: I will ease the impact of post-9/11 scrutiny of charities," by Michael Saul for the New York Daily News, June 5 (thanks to Charles Jacobs):
Tucked away in President Obama's historic speech in Cairo Thursday was a promise to American Muslims to ease the impact of post-9/11 scrutiny of their charities.
"Rules on charitable giving have made it harder for Muslims to fulfill their religious obligation. That's why I'm committed to working with American Muslims to ensure that they can fulfill zakat," said Obama, referring to the Muslim obligation to be charitable.
A Treasury Department spokeswoman, Natalie Wyeth, described an increased effort to talk with the groups, to "help them protect against terrorist abuse of charity and to refine the guidance surrounding charitable giving."
Ever since the World Trade Center attacks, fund-raising by American Muslims has come under repeated federal investigations for possible support of terrorism.
Just last week, a federal judge in Dallas sentenced five leaders of the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development to between 15 and 65 years in prison after they were convicted of providing material support to Hamas.
American Muslims complain legitimate philanthropy has been hampered because the rules are ill-defined.
"The perception that giving to charities is financing terrorism has to be debunked," said Salam Al-Marayati, executive director of the Muslim Public Affairs Council. "It hurts America."...
The perception that giving to Islamic charities is financing terrorism doesn't hurt America. The possibility that giving to Islamic charities is financing terrorism hurts America.