by Joe Kaufman
The clean-up effort is still underway in the northeast, where Hurricane Sandy unleashed its imprint of death and destruction. A number of highly-rated charitable organizations have sent out relief workers to the area to help with things like food, clothing, shelter and medical treatment. Yet another group, ICNA Relief, is in town claiming to assist in the effort and asking for donations. Their donations have reached terror-related groups in the past, so their motives concerning Sandy need to be questioned.
ICNA Relief is a function of the Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA). The organization has two separate headquarters, one based in the United States and one based in Canada, respectively ICNA Relief USA and ICNA Relief Canada.
During that time period, in August 2006, AKF hand delivered six million rupees, the equivalent of 99 thousand U.S. dollars, to the Damascus, Syria residence of the global head of Hamas, Khaled Mashaal. Today, Mashaal is located in Qatar. Mashaal thanked the members of the delegation and assured them that Hamas would continue to “wage jihad” against Israelis.
The money ICNA Relief gave to AKF was not a random act. ICNA was founded in the early 1970’s as an American arm of Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) and still retains close relations with its parent organization. Indeed, the ICNA Relief name and logo is currently found at the bottom of the homepage of AKF’s official website (“Our Global Partners”).
Now, ICNA Relief is asking for donations on its website in the name of the victims of Hurricane Sandy, stating, “Help Hurricane Sandy Survivors. Donate Now.”
To do this, they’ve enlisted the help of Siraj Wahhaj. Wahhaj is infamously known for having been named an “unindicted co-conspirator” for a federal trial dealing with the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center. Wahhaj had been linked to the bomb maker of the attack, Clement Rodney Hampton-El, and during the trial, he was a character witness for the spiritual leader of the bombing, “the Blind Sheikh” Omar Abdel Rahman, whom Wahhaj has openly praised.
This harkens back to a time when the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) asked people, via its website, to donate money to the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development (HLF), a charity that was shut down by the United States government in December 2001 for raising millions of dollars for Hamas.
On the homepage of CAIR’s official site, the group provided a link to the donate page of HLF and disguised it by making it seem as though people who clicked on the link would be donating money to those affected by the September 11, 2001 attacks. The link stated, “Donate to NY/DC Emergency Relief Fund.”
And just as ICNA Relief has a tangible association with Jamaat-e-Islami in Pakistan, CAIR has a tangible association with Hamas in Gaza. The group was founded by Hamas operatives as a part of the umbrella organization established by then-global head of Hamas, Mousa Abu Marzook. Today, Marzook is second in command of Hamas, behind Khaled Mashaal.
It is sinister that groups associated with terrorist activity would be asking for donations in the name of victims of tragedies, such as the 9/11 attacks or Hurricane Sandy, both of which have left tremendous scars that will forever be felt by Americans, especially those living in the New York Metropolitan area.
On the Hurricane Sandy donate page of ICNA Relief’s website, one finds the word “Preference” prior to a dropdown containing the words “Disaster Relief Sandy.” Question: What if that preference is not met? What if the funds don’t go to help the victims of Sandy?
Those who donate their money to ICNA Relief should think about the possibility that their donation could wind up elsewhere, including towards something they abhor.
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