From Sherrie Gossett in Accuracy in Media, with thanks to Daniel Pipes:
While the major media have portrayed the president’s faith based initiative as a pay-off to conservative Christians, a controversial Muslim group accused of having an association with an extreme form of Islam has also been getting federal funds. The group, the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), considers itself moderate and mainstream but has sponsored conferences in the past that included speakers known for violent anti-Jewish rhetoric.
At the beginning of this month President Bush made headlines across the country when he addressed religious leaders who gathered at the Omni Shoreham Hotel in Washington for the White House-sponsored Faith-Based and Community Initiatives Leadership Conference. Bush announced that his administration had awarded a whopping $2 billion in grants last year to social programs operated by churches, synagogues and mosques. A White House official said this was probably the most money the federal government had given in one year to religious charities.
The major media failed to report, however, that ISNA, which was represented at the conference, is under Senate scrutiny. Members of the Senate Finance Committee called on the Internal Revenue Service to turn over private tax and fund-raising records for major Muslim charities, including ISNA, as part of an investigation into possible links between the charities and terrorist groups.
The Senators cited no evidence of such ties in their December 22, 2003 letter to the IRS. But the committee’s Republican chairman, Senator Charles E. Grassley of Iowa, and its ranking Democrat, Senator Max Baucus of Montana, said in part: “Many of these groups not only enjoy tax-exempt status, but their reputations as charities and foundations often allows them to escape scrutiny, making it easier to hide and move their funds to other groups and individuals who threaten our national society. This support for the machinery of terrorism not only violates the law and tax regulations, but it violates the trust that citizens have in the large majority of charities.”…
Mary Jacoby and Graham Brink, writing in the St. Petersburg Times, describe ISNA as “subsidized by the Saudi government” and the “main clearinghouse for Wahhabism in the U.S.” The New York Times has described ISNA as the umbrella organization for 300 Muslim groups and about one-third of the mosques in the United States….
Read it all.