The American Civil Liberties Union of Ohio has filed an important case. On Friday, the group filed a lawsuit on behalf of KindHearts for Charitable Humanitarian Development, Inc. The charity was founded in 2002 after the Administration shutdown other Muslim charities, including the very controversial action taken against the Holyland Foundation. Now, the Administration has frozen this charity “pending investigation.” It appears that any major Muslim charity is presumptively frozen by this Administration in a trend that should be the subject of a congressional hearing.
The action was taken in February 2006 by the Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control, which said that it was decided whether the charity was a “Specially Designated Global Terrorist” organization. If there is evidence of such violations, the Administration should produce it. The result of cases like this and Holyland is that Muslims are nervous about where to send donations, an important part of their religion.
Both Democrats and Republicans voted to allow these actions under the USA PATRIOT Act (50 USC 1701(a)(1)(B)) despite criticism of abuses and vagueness.
For a copy of the complaint, click here.
6 thoughts on “Lawsuit Filed to Unfreeze Assets of Muslim Charity”
No charges have yet been filed, just suspect assets frozen. Are you honestly advocating that criminals should be able to set up new companies to shield assets of other criminal organizations that were about to be frozen during an investigation.
It is never right, absent proof, for the “Feds to suspect that Kind Hearts is nothing more than a front…” or any alleged defendant. Don’t you believe in Innocent until proven Guilty? Just because it is “wartime” does not make abuses by the government allowable. Where in the Constitution does it say that when it is war time we can ignore the Constitution. I know the Bush regime has been very good at ignoring and abusing the Constitution, but it doesn’t make it legal or morally correct.
It is a wartime action and so yes, it is less democratic some other courses would be. Show me actually misuse or malfeasance on the part of the government in the execution of the directives and I’ll side with you against those actions.
As a side – or back to Jonathon’s specific topic – Kind Hearts leaders and fundraisers once held leadership or other positions with Holy Land Foundation and Global Relief Foundation, which attempted to mask their support for terrorism behind the facade of charitable donations. It is reasonable for the Feds to suspect that Kind Hearts is nothing more than a front design to shelter the assets of Holy Land Foundation and Global Relief Foundation.
What bothers me the most is that these organizations prey upon both the charity and religious requirements of Muslims in order to fund activities that are denounced by the Qur’an.
“If there is evidence of such violations, the Administration should produce it.”
What is wrong about this case is that the administration may claim any group or person a terrorist and take action against them, with neither the group nor the person having much recourse to fight back. The same could happen to you. Your assests would be frozen, leaving you without a way to live or if so involved, conduct your business or charity. The power of arrest or the ability to cripple someone/a group financially is one of the greatest powers any govt. possesses. This power now lies within the executive branch, the president being able to initiate actions on his whim. This is undemocratic, dangerous and it does have a chilling effect on any group or person who criticizes this govt. or who is just a group the govt. doesn’t like.
Mespo points out the govt.’s and charity’s responsibilities and I agree with both of you that people should know what their contributions are being used for, but this is a police state action, not a law enforcement/justice action.
It is unquestionably true that charities have been loose with their funding and have been duped into supporting groups with violent aims. It is also true that the laws protecting charities have been used by these same groups to fund their evil designs under the guise of charities. Neither argument supports abolition of the charities nor denial of their rights. I agree with you that we should hold them accountable for their negligent mistakes, and strip the legal protections from those who have other than charitable purposes. Both of these feats are manageable. As for their contributors, once the designs of the “charitable” organizations are widely known, the contributors must face the consequences of their support–both good and bad.
I would suggest then that these “charities” take a bit more care in research the actions of the groups they send money to. Of course that is problematical since both Hezbollah and Hamas are terrorists and also groups favored by Muslims.
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