Meet Ingrid Mattson, the first female head of the Islamic Society of North America. She’ll be one of the religious leaders speaking at Obama’s inaugural prayer service. Just to refresh your memory, ISNA was one of the unindicted co-conspirators in the Holy Land Foundation case.
Mattson’s group calls itself “the largest Muslim umbrella organization” in North America. However, in May 2007, federal prosecutors included ISNA on a list of nearly 300 co-conspirators filed in a criminal case charging that the Holy Land Foundation of Richardson, Texas, funneled more than $12 million to Hamas.
The U.S. government designated Hamas as a terrorist group in 1995.
“During last year’s trial, numerous exhibits were entered into evidence establishing both ISNA’s and NAIT’s intimate relationship with the Muslim Brotherhood, the Palestine Committee, and the defendants in this case,” Mr. Jacks wrote . “They were intimately connected with the HLF and its assigned task of providing financial support to HAMAS. … That ISNA and NAIT appeared in these documents and share a common history with these defendants is a reflection of the evidence, not any attempt to ‘disparage’ or ‘vilify.'”
Here’s more background on the ISNA.
According to terrorism expert Steven Emerson, ISNA “is a radical group hiding under a false veneer of moderation”; “convenes annual conferences where Islamist militants have been given a platform to incite violence and promote hatred” (for instance, al Qaeda supporter and PLO official Yusuf Al-Qaradhawi was invited to speak at an ISNA conference); has held fundraisers for terrorists (after Hamas leader Mousa Marzook was arrested and eventually deported in 1997, ISNA raised money for his defense); has condemned the U.S. government’s post-9/11 seizure of Hamas’ and Palestinian Islamic Jihad’s financial assets; and publishes a bi-monthly magazine, Islamic Horizons, that “often champions militant Islamist doctrine.”
Adds Emerson: “I think ISNA has been an umbrella, also a promoter of groups that have been involved in terrorism. I am not going to accuse the ISNA of being directly involved in terrorism. I will say ISNA has sponsored extremists, racists, people who call for Jihad against the United States.”
Emerson further reports that “In September 2002, a full year after the 9/11 attacks, speakers at ISNA’s annual conference still refused to acknowledge Bin Laden’s role in the terrorist attacks.”
In December 2003, U.S. Senators Charles Grassley and Max Baucus of the Senate Committee on Finance listed ISNA as one of 25 American Muslim organizations that “finance terrorism and perpetuate violence.” ISNA is known to have permitted the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development (and a number of other Islamic charities with terror connections) to set up booths at its conventions, and in some cases has helped raise money for them.