Radical Muslim Group Invited To Participate In White House Faith Based Program Conference

By William A. Mayer & Beila Rabinowitz - PipeLineNews

March 1, 2005 - Washington DC - PipeLineNews - Demonstrating the administration's sometimes spotty ability to coordinate America's war on terror - on a government-wide basis - the White House Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives has invited a representative [Director of Communications, Mohamed El Sanousi ] from the radical Islamist organization ISNA - Islamic Society of North America - to participate in a 'White House Leadership conference' scheduled for March 1st 2005.

The conference is a follow-up to one held the previous year to which ISNA was also invited. At that conference ISNA was encouraged to submit proposals and names of groups which "would benefit from the conference and the funding for faith based initiatives."

ISNA should not be an unknown quantity in official Washington, as it appears as one of 25 Islamist organizations whose corporate tax returns were requested by Senator Grassley's Finance Committee in Dec of 2003 as part of a bi-partisan initiative. Also listed among those organizations is the Holy Land Foundation which has already been shut down by the Department of Justice because of its direct funding of terrorism.

ISNA's radical bent is well documented.

Past president of ISNA, Muzamil Siddiqi has made statements threatening the United States because of its support for Israel. He has also publicly supported Hamas and Hezbollah

The former VP of ISNA is Siraj Wahhaj.

On February 2, 1995 Wahhaj was referred to - by U.S. Attorney Mary Jo White - as one of the "unindicted persons who may be alleged as co-conspirators" in the 1993 plot to bomb New York City landmarks, a plot hatched by Omar Abdel Rahman, the 'Blind Sheik' who was convicted and sentenced to life in prison in 1995.

ISNA operates hundreds of US Mosques through an "arms length distance" relationship with the North American Islamic Trust [NAIT] and as such seems instrumental in channeling Saudi Wahhabist money into the country.

Non-Wahhabi American Muslims estimate that fully 80% of US Mosques have fallen under the dominion of the Wahhabi sect, mainly because of Saudi "Da'wa" or faith spreading.

ISNA should be considered an umbrella organization, a clearinghouse of sorts, which facilitates relationships between Islamists. ISNA is also closely allied with the Muslim Student Association, another of the groups listed on the Senate Finance Committee's IRS request.

Denoting possibly either a circling of the wagons mentality over this embarrassing breach in security or a complete lack of concern, numerous calls to both the majority and minority sides of the Senate Finance Committee as well as Jim Towey's WH Office of Faith Based Programs have been unreturned.


Sen. John Kyl (R) AZ, a member of both the Senate Finance Committee as well as the Chair of the Senate Terrorism, Technology & Homeland Security Subcomittee, conducted hearings in June of 2003 before his subcommittee, during which the following testimony was given:

"Rather, Wahhabi control over mosques means control of property, buildings, appointment of imams, training of imams, content of preaching - including faxing of Friday sermons from Riyadh, Saudi Arabia - and of literature distributed in mosques and mosque bookstores, notices on bulletin boards, and organizational solicitation. Similar influence extends to prison and military chaplaincies, Islamic elementary and secondary schools (academies), college campus activity, endowment of academic chairs and programs in Middle East studies, and most notoriously, charities ostensibly helping Muslims abroad, many of which have been linked to or designated as sponsors of terrorism.

The main organizations that have carried out this campaign are the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), which originated in the Muslim Students' Association of the U.S. and Canada (MSA), and CAIR. Support activities have been provided by the American Muslim Council (AMC), the American Muslim Alliance (AMA), the Muslim American Society (MAS), the Graduate School of Islamic and Social Sciences, its sister body the International Institute of Islamic Thought, and a number of related groups that I have called "the Wahhabi lobby." ISNA operates at least 324 mosques in the U.S. through the North American Islamic Trust (NAIT). These groups operate as an interlocking directorate." - June 26, 2003 - Stephen Schwartz, Foundation for the Defense of Democracies

Below is the text of the Senate Finance Committee's request:

December 22, 2003

The Honorable Mark Everson
Internal Revenue Service
1111 Constitution Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20224

Via mail and telefax (202) 622-4733

Dear Commissioner Everson:

The purpose of this letter is to inquire about and conduct oversight on the issue of organizations, particularly tax-exempt organizations such as charities and foundations, which finance terrorism and perpetuate violence.

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 security. 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, foundations and other groups that do good works in the United States.

Government officials, investigations by federal agencies and the Congress, and other reports have identified the crucial role that charities and foundations play in terror financing. While much attention has been paid to where their money ends up, the source of their funds is equally important. Often these groups are nothing more than shell companies for the same small group of people, moving funds from one charity to the next charity to hide the trail. These groups also receive donations from foreign sources, including countries the government has identified as having a significant problem with terrorism. The federal government and the Congress have identified several countries -- some of which, ostensibly, are our allies -- particularly in the Middle East, as a primary source of funds for charities and foundations that are under investigation or have fallen under suspicion for terrorist financing.

The Senate Finance Committee retains exclusive jurisdiction over tax matters in the Senate. We have a responsibility to carry out oversight to ensure charities, foundations and other groups are abiding by the laws and regulations, to examine their source of funds, and to ensure government agencies, including the IRS, are policing them and enforcing the law efficiently and effectively.

We ask that you provide copies of all IRS materials -- including information protected by Section 6103 of the Internal Revenue Code -- for the attached list of charities, foundations, other tax exempt organizations, and other groups. The material should include Form 990s and Form 990 PFs, including the donors list for both types; Form 1023s, the charities' applications for tax exempt status, and any and all materials from examinations, audits and other investigations, including criminal investigations. Pursuant to Internal Revenue Code section 6103(f)(4), Chairman Grassley hereby authorizes the following Finance Committee staff -- Dean Zerbe, John Drake, Pat Heck and Matt Stokes -- to review this information.

We would appreciate receiving this material no later than Friday, February 20, 2004. Please have IRS officials contact our staff to arrange the details of delivery. We thank you in advance for your cooperation.


Charles E. Grassley

Max Baucus
Ranking Member

Attachment: Charities, Foundations, Other Tax-Exempt Organizations, and Other Groups

All charities, foundations and tax-exempt organizations, groups or entities who have been designated or listed by the Treasury Department's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) from September 11, 2001 to today.

The SAAR Foundation and all members and related entities
Global Relief Foundation (GRF)
Benevolence International Foundation (BIF)
Muslim Arab Youth Association (MAYA)
Muslim Student Association
Islamic Association for Palestine
Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development (HLF)
Muslim World League
International Islamic Relief Organization (IIRO) or Internal Relief
Al Haramain Foundation
Alavi Foundation
Institute of Islamic and Arabic Science in America (IIASA)
Islamic Assembly of North American
Help the Needy
Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA)
Islamic Foundation of America
United Association for Studies and Research (USAR)
Solidarity International and/or Solidarity USA
Kind Hearts
Islamic American Relief Agency and/or Islamic African Relief Agency
Islamic Society of North America

International Islamic Relief Organization
World Assembly of Muslim Youth
Rabita Trust
Human Appeal International

Some of the charities, foundations, other tax-exempt organizations or groups listed above may be included in the first category of entities listed or designated by OFAC. You do not need to provide duplicate records for these entities.

1999-2005 William A. Mayer & Beila Rabinowitz, all rights reserved