DOJ source implicates Islamic ReliefApril 17, 2011
A high-ranking U.S. Department of Justice official has disclosed that money for Hamas “is going through groups like Islamic Relief.” Islamic Relief USA is the largest Muslim charity in America, and enjoys a four-star charity rating from Charity Navigator… for the time being.
This news comes from a recent Pajamas Media exclusive by Patrick Poole (with much thanks to Shariah Finance Watch for circulating) about the Department of Justice’s decision to squash its investigation into terrorist financing by CAIR and related organizations due to political reasons. There’s a lot to digest in the article, and Money Jihad readers should peruse the whole scandalous thing, but today I’d like to drill down into one angle of the story.
Specifically, the Department of Justice official that served as the source for the article said:
We know that these Muslim leaders and groups are continuing to raise money for Hamas and other terrorist organizations. Ten years ago we shut down the Holy Land Foundation. It was the right thing to do. Then the money started going to KindHearts. We shut them down too. Now the money is going through groups like Islamic Relief and Viva Palestina.
We all know about the Holy Land Foundation, which was the largest Islamic charity in America before it was shut down for financing Hamas. Readers will also recall KindHearts, the new bottle for HLF’s old wine, that the ACLU still goes to great lengths to defend.
We knew about Viva Palestina too, the relatively new but already infamous “charity.”
But Islamic Relief? Although the name “Islamic Relief” could be applied to several organizations, it is unlikely that the official is referring to the Saudi-backed International Islamic Relief Organization, because that is normally just called IIRO. (Besides, IIRO prefers funding Al Qaeda, not Hamas…)
The source could conceivably be referring to Islamic Relief Worldwide, a U.K.-based umbrella group which Money Jihad has reported to have colluded with Union of Good (pro-Hamas) charities before.
But most likely, the DOJ source is referring to Islamic Relief USA, and that is because most U.S. Muslims are giving directly to Islamic Relief USA, not directly to Worldwide Islamic Relief or Islamic Relief UK (although they’re all related). If true, it is newsbreaking that a high-ranking Justice official has “outed” Islamic Relief USA for the first time.
Even if the source is referring to Islamic Relief Worldwide, that is the first time a U.S. official has made such defamatory comments.
Since the Holy Land Foundation closed, Islamic Relief USA has been the largest Muslim charity and zakat collector in America. (See our review of Islamic Relief USA’s finances here.) If officials in the Justice Department are aware of Islamic Relief funds being funneled to Hamas, they have an obligation to move forward with an investigation and prosecution.
Too much money is involved to ignore this seemingly casual reference to Islamic Relief becoming the new channel for filling the coffers of Hamas.