Wednesday, March 16, 2011

CAIR Officials Misrepresent Court Ruling

by IPT

CAIR officials have misrepresented a ruling made by a U.S. court as they tried to discredit Thursday's hearings on the radicalization of the Muslim community. In its written "testimony" submitted to the House Homeland Security Committee, CAIR failed to mention that a court ruling, unsealed in November 2010, ordered that CAIR's name should remain on a list of un-indicted co-conspirators in a Hamas financing case.

In a written statement, CAIR correctly noted the ruling concluded that the U.S. government violated the rights of Muslim Americans when it made its list of un-indicted co-conspirators public. The list, in addition to containing CAIR's name, also included the Islamist Society of North America (ISNA) and the North American Islamic Trust (NAIT).

However, CAIR failed to mention that the court declined "to strike CAIR, ISNA and NAIT's names from those documents." "Maintaining the names of the entities on the List is appropriate in light of the evidence proffered by the Government," ruled U.S. District Court Judge Jorge Solis.

Solis affirmed that "the government has produced ample evidence to establish the associations of CAIR, ISNA, NAIT, with NAIT, the Islamic Association for Palestine, and with Hamas."

As an example of evidence that established these ties, the ruling cited a 1994 Palestine Committee memo naming CAIR and other groups as "working organizations for the Palestine Committee." According to internal documents submitted as evidence in the 2008 terror financing trial of the Holy Land Foundation, the Muslim Brotherhood created the Palestine Committee with a "designed purpose to support HAMAS" politically and financially.

NAIT, unsatisfied with Solis' ruling, appealed its case. The group asked the court to strike any reference to its organization and Hamas.

In its written statement submitted to the committee for Thursday's hearing, CAIR cites from the resulting 5th Circuit Court of Appeals' decision, rather than Solis' original ruling.

According to CAIR, "The court also ruled that inclusion on the list was the result of 'simply an untested allegation of the Government, made in anticipation of a possible evidentiary dispute that never came to pass.'" This section of the appeal opinion was referring only to issues surrounding the constitutionality of the list being unsealed so that it could be viewed by the public.

CAIR quotes the court document up until it mentions that the allegations against the groups were "offered in furtherance of a legitimate purpose, a purpose that could have been equally well-served by filing" the document under seal or in an attachment.

The court granted NAIT's request in part only. It ordered that the lower court's opinion and order be unsealed, but declined to "expunge the mention of NAIT in the newly sealed attachment." As the 5th Circuit described it, the government made only a "procedural error" for failing to file the list under seal, but it did not err in "its decision to try to characterize the scope of the charged conspiracy."

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