Skip to main content

tv   [untitled]  CSPAN  June 12, 2009 1:30pm-2:00pm EDT

1:30 pm
from its founding by muslim brotherhood leaders, care conspired with other affiliates of the muslim brotherhood to support terrorists. further, according to senate testimony, care received a -- care denied this was the case. specifically awad's claims to the contrary were an outright lie. our organization did not receive any seed money from the holy land foundion. when confronted with the i.r.s. forum on which the holy land foundation disclosed the contribution, he changed his position in supplemental testimony submitted to the subcommittee saying that, quote, the amount in question was a donation like any other. care ultimately filed an amicus brief seeking removal from the
1:31 pm
list of unindicted co-conspirators in the holy land foundation case. in september of 2007, prosecutors made several arguments in favor of maintaining care's status saying, quote, care has been identified by the government at trial as a participants in an ongoing and ultimately unlawful conspiracy to support a designated terrorist organization, a conspiracy from which care never withdrew. the holy land foundation trial revealed more about care than simply its ties to that particular entity. rather, the trial brought to light were the genesis of the organization. according to an october 14, 2008 "dallas morning news" story, quote, testimony has suggested that care's founder and its current executive director participated in 1993 meeting of purr porpted --
1:32 pm
purported hamas sympathizers, the some holy land people attended this meeting bugged by the f.b.i. a day later the "dallas morning news" reported that f.b.i. special agent laura burns testified during the holy land foundation case that care, quote, was formed in the aftermath of the 1993 meeting by palestinian activists in america who brain stormed ways to spread pro-hamas message here without attracting too much attention. a department of justice press release issued on november 24, 2008, when the holy land foundation verdicts came down, stated similarly, quote, the government's case included testimony that in the early 1990's hamas' parent organization, the muslim brotherhood, planned to establish a network of organizations in the u.s. to spread a militant islamist message and to raise money for hamas. holy land foundation became the chief fundraising arm for the
1:33 pm
palestine committee in the u.s. created by the muslim brotherhood to support hamas. according to a wiretap of a 1993 palestinian committee meeting in philadelphia, former holly land foundation president and c.e.o. spoke about playing down hamas ties in order to keep raising money in the u.s. another wiretapped phone call included abdul rack mad, holly land -- holy land foundation representative, referred to a suicide bombing as a beautiful operation. according to a national review article, in the precare days both awad and ahmad were top officers in the islamic association for palestine. former f.b.i. counterterrorism chief has called awad's former employee the islamic association for palestinian
1:34 pm
quote, a front organization for hamas that engages in propaganda for islamic militants, end of quote. a september 24, 2001, l.a. story described the connection between the islamic association of palestine and the holy land foundation this way, quote, the i.a.p. and the holy land were founded and funded by mazuk, he's also the political leader of the terrorist group, hamas. andrew mccarthy, a former federal prosecutor who led the 1995 prosecution against shake omar abdul rahman, the blind sikh, found guilty of the 1993 world trade center bombing in an article notes there are several persons connected to care who have been convicted of federal felonies, including terrorism, end of quote. mccarthy includes in this group one of the founding members of
1:35 pm
re of the dallas area chapter and also co-founder and former chairman of the holy land foundation. according to july 9, 2007, "dallas morning news," report he was sentenced to, quote, nearly seven years in prison for doing business with a terrorist and violating export laws. in a 1994 forum discussion videotaped, care's mr. awad said, quote, i'm in support of the hamas movement. end of quote. care has subsequently sought to discredit this video on its website by saying that this quote was in response to a specific question and that hamas was only designated a, quote, foreign terrorist organization, end of quote, in january, 1995, and did not commit its first wave of suicide bombings until late 1994. after mr. awad made the comment.
1:36 pm
it is noteworthy that hamas' 1988 convenant described itself as one of the wings of the muslim brotherhood in palestine and says that, quote, the day of judgment will not come about until muslims fight jews and kill them, end of quote. care's defense of mr. awad's quote based simply on chronology is wanting in light of had a ma's founding -- hamas' founding principles. as "the washington post" richard cohen wrote in april of 2009, quote, read the hamas charter, it is not some uplifting cry of a downtrodden people seeking its freedom but a repellent anti-semitic scree, end of quote. care's mission statement focuses on protecting the civil rights of muslims in america and on improving islam's image. but care's action under the umbrella of civil rights raises troubling questions. in november, 2006, the u.s. airways received -- removed six
1:37 pm
imans from a flight following passenger reports of unual behavior. investors business daily piece described the action this way, i quote, at the gate, before boarding the angrily cursed the u.s. and boughed to mecca and prayed very loud chanting allah, allah, allah according to the gate agent and another witness. on the plane they didn't take their assigned seats and instead fanned out to the front, the middle, and the rear of the plan. some back and forth speaking to each other in arabic. addeding to suspicions most asked for a seat belt extension even though they didn't need them or even use them. following the incident, the imans and care filed a lawsuit against u.s. airways, the minneapolis-st. paul airports commission and john dough
1:38 pm
passengers, meaning the passengers on the plane. the new york attorney who represented the imans was a former president for the board of directors care new york. the suit charged that the john dough passengers may have made false reports against plaintiffs solely with the intent to discriminate against them on the basis of of their race, religion, ethnicity and national origin. end of quote. care subsequently called on the department of justice to investigate violations of civil liberties for the six religious leaders taken off the plane. the then president of the beckett fund for religious liberty, a washington, d.c. based public interest law firm protecting the free expression of all religious traditions wrote the following letter to care regarding the suit against the john doe passengers. this is a first for us, quote, we have never opposed someone else's claim for religious discrimination. but this tactic of threatening
1:39 pm
suit against ordinarier citizens is so far beyond the traditions of civil rights litigation in the united states that we must oppose it to defend the good name of religious liberty itself, end of quote. it is noteworthy that the beckett fund has successfully argued cases for muslims, including securing a place for muslim public school students in texas to pray. in march of 2007, the arizona republic called the suit against ordinary citizens, quote, intimidation by lawsuit. on april 9, 2007, the "san francisco chronicle" reported that care's ibrahim hooper had a different take. quote, it is wrong-headed for observers to be suspicious of innocent behavior. praying or asking for a seat belt extension simply because a muslim does it. that muslim is wearing a tie, he can take it off and strangle
1:40 pm
someone. end of quote. the u.s. department of transportation conducted an investigation following the passenger complaints and found that u.s. airways did not discriminate against the six imans when it removed them. in a letter to care's acting legal director, the assistant general counsel for aviation enforcement and proceedings wrote the following. and i quote. we find the decision to remove the imans from the aircraft was based on information available to the captain at the time and was reasonable. it appears that the captain decided to remove the immans because of security concerns as a result of the sum of the immans actual and perceived behavior not their race or ethnicity. the fact that the captain's concerns were not born out in hindsight does not make the action he took discriminatory. end of quote. care's aprovep in this case was not simply an inconvenience, rather it had potential
1:41 pm
security implications as well. airports nationwide implore travelers to report suspicious activities. signs on major highways and bridges and tunnels throughout america do the same. new york's metropolitan transit authority introduced an ad campaign which has been adopted by municipalities around the country as part of their own anti-terrorism campaign. the ad features the following admonition. if you see something, say something. end of quote. but care would have had americans thinking if you see something, think twice before you say something lest you get mired in a lawsuit. a "usa today" editorial in the days following the suit said, quote, this legal tactic seems designed to intimidate passengers willing to do exactly what authorities have requested. say something about suspicious activity, end of quote. the paper went on to report that, quote, the immans want to
1:42 pm
know the names of the elderly couple who turned around to watch and then made cell phone calls, presumably to authorities, end of quote. in a response to the incident at the minneapolis airport, congressman peter king, the ranking member on the house homeland security committee and congressman steve pares -- steve pierce, first moved to provide immunity to public transportation who report suspicious activity through a recommittal motion to the rail and public transportation security act of 2007. which the house overwhelmingly passed on march, 2007, by a vote of 304-121. later in the 110th congress, despite care's public lobby effort, mr. king and senator joe lieberman were successful in adding a section to the 9/11 commission implementation act public law 110-53 which provides legal immunity to individuals who report
1:43 pm
terrorists or suspicious activity which they see on trains or planes to law enforcement. it has become a familiar refrain on fox news march 31, 2007 said, the peter king's legislative efforts were encouraging slamaphobia -- islamaphobia. it encouraged other john does who encounter suspicious activity to report it to authorities. care's fund something also a source of interest. a part of the financial link with holy land foundation, there is much unclear about whether and to what degree care is receiving financial contributions from foreign governments. in march of 2007, interview with the "chicago tribune," care's chicago executive director said, quote, neither care chapters nor the national
1:44 pm
office solicits or accepts money from any foreign government, end of quote. a january, 2007 open letter on care's website says they are, quote, proud to receive support of every individual whether muslim, christian, jewish, or of another faith background who supports the mission of promoting justice and mutual understanding as long as they are not an official of any foreign government and there are no strings attached to the bequest, end of quote. yet in a sensitive but unclassified may 2006 state department cable which was brought to my attention, u.s. embassy staff in abu dhabi cabled the u.s. press was reporting that sikh mack too many, deputy roller of dubai finance of ministry has, endorsed a proposal to build a property in the u.s. to serve as an endowment for care.
1:45 pm
in another sensitive but unclassified june, 2006 state department cable, u.s. embassy staff in saudi arabia report the following after meeting with care, quote, the cable said, one reason for the group's current visit to the k.s.a., kingdom of saudi arabia, was to solicit $50 million in governmental and nongovernmental contributions. end of quote. . according to the 2006 cable, quote, the cordell gation consisted of care board chairman dr. perez nama, communication director kerry ibrahim cooper. on an msnbc talk show with tucker carlson six months after the trip ibrahim cooper claimed, quote, to my knowledge
1:46 pm
we don't take money from the government of saudi arabia, end of quote. i want to make it clear, it's important to understand american muslims are entitled to organize, advocate and engage in a political process. such are the makings of a vibrant democracy. they have taken advantage of the opportunity america provides for every background. they are teachers, doctors, policemen. they are mothers and fathers and neighbors. i am reminded of a young pakistani american who is muslim that i had the privilege of meeting during one of my visits to walter reed hospital. i met him when he was in the midst of his physical therapy, therapy that was necessary because he had both lost legs while in combat in iraq. despite his tremendous sacrifice, he was committed to the hard work of rehabilitation in part because he hoped to go back to iraq. he was a patriot of the cause
1:47 pm
that ought to make us proud. i want to be clear that the concerns i have with care are with the organization and not with the muslim faith. even passing a glance at my record in congress should put the contrary to rest. in sudan, chechnya, china, bosnia and kosovo i have spoken out against the people against the muslim faith. i led the first delegation in darfur where nearly all the victims of the genocide are muslim. i was the only member of congress to visit chechnya during the fighting in 1995. when i returned i condemned the violence against the people, most of whom are muslim, and called for a cease-fire. i was one of the only members to visit muslim men in a serb run prison where i saw a modern day holocaust taking place. and very early on i began
1:48 pm
speaking about the ethnic cleansing and cultural genocide against the bosnian people. i said to lift the arms embargo against bosnia so they can defend itself. i visited kosovo five times and i voted and spoke out on the floor to approve the bombing campaign to stop the serbian atrocities against muslims in kosovo. i was one of the first members to raise concerns about the persecution of muslims in china and continued to speak out when few others do. further, i was the author of the international religious freedom act which created the u.s. commission on international religious freedom as well as the international religious freedom office at the state department. central to the act was the assertion that, quote, freedom of religious beliefs and practices is a universal human rights and fundamental freedom, end of quote. the legislation and ultimately the offices it created strengthens the united states advocacy on behalf of
1:49 pm
individuals persecuted in foreign countries on accounts of religion which includes persecuted muslims. america is an imperfect nation but a great nation, a shining city on the hill described by our founders, a beacon of hope for persecuted and oppressed people. for centuries the huddle masses depicted in the iconic poem at the base of the statue of liberty has aprivate on the shores seeking a better life for themselves and their families. my grandparents emigrated to america from germany. my father served in world war ii. part of the reason he did so was that he felt the need to show that his loyalty was to america even though my grandparents were both native german speakers. when world war i broke out my grandmother decided from that day forward only english will be spoken in their home.
1:50 pm
i share this bit of personal history to illustrate that i am sensitive to the challenges facing new immigrants, especially during times of war. there have been instances in our nation's history, especially when our country has been under attack, where the civil liberties of certain groups of people have been violated because of other people were afraid. this is inexcusable, but this is the exception and not the rule. our experiment in self-governance has been a mark of unwavering commitment to basic freedoms for all people. among them the right to worship according to the dictates of your conscience. many left their world. and these principles are paramount to oppress people of faith is inemencal to the american way. and to ecues someone of
1:51 pm
religious bigotry or intolerance is a sure way to stifle debate. in one paper they spoke to care's bent accusation as a means of muslim debate. they said, for many years they had a campaign to intimidate and silence anyone who raises alarm about the dangers of islamic extremism. care's rational is that the discussions of islamic extremism leads toward animosity to all who practice islam. quote, care's concern is understandable but its response is unreasonable. they went on to say, the group acts properly when it hammers home the point that only a small number of muslims support religiously motivated violence. and the targeted law abiding -- targeting law abiding muslims
1:52 pm
is wrong. where care errs is one who discusses islamic bigot and islamaphob. some of the most attacks have been to aim at other muslims who have differing views. a philadelphia inquiry piece, president of the american islamic forum for democracy, who has been critical of care, quote, was providing others to advance an agenda that is hostile to the american muslim community, end of quote. given care's genesis, its association for known terrorist entities and individuals and its tactics, namely, attempting to discredit anyone who dares to speak out against this organization, there are cries of victimization and accusations of religious bigotry appears disingenuous.
1:53 pm
and given the world we live in today, an attempt to silence honest discourse about the nature of the threats facing our country is intolerable and must be addressed. i stand today with other elected officials who have raised questions about care. senator schumer described care as an organization, quote, which we know has ties to terrorism, end of quote. democratic senator dick durbin has said that care is, quote, unusual in its extreme rhetoric and its association with groups that are suspect, end of quote. democratic senator barbara boxer withdrew an award she gave to an official because she, quote, had concerns about statements bay some care officials and about claims of financial lengths to terrorism, end of quote. and other senators, including republicans jon kyl and tom coburn, have support voice with the f.b.i.'s actions to sever ties with care.
1:54 pm
i stand with the f.b.i.'s former chief of counterterrorism who has stated, quote, care, its leaders and its activities has effectively gave aid to international terrorist groups, end of quote. and perhaps most importantly, i stand with thousands of american muslims for woman care does not speak. in june, 2007, "the washington times" published a report which analyzed care's documents and found that care's membership has declined by 90% since 9/11. jasser of the american islamic forum tore for democracy said, this is the untold story in the myth that care represents the american muslim population. they only represent their membership and donors, end of quote. in 1999, the islamic supreme council of america, isca, sheik cobani spoke at a state
1:55 pm
department open forum on islamic extremism and came under public attack by several organizations, including care. in an open letter isca says the organizations of attacking cobani, among them, care, quote, have not quoted a single statement sheik cobani in full or in context. moreover, the statements were augmented with emotionally charged words like, promote andized and allegation were outrageous statements and islamic phobic. therefore, thwarting his message. the letter goes on to say, quote, in their action alerts, care has a tendency to nexttively >> at that pose islam and americans, end of quote. considering the words that dr. heidi, was quoted in a 1999 isca press release following this same incident. she remarked, quote, the carefully orchestrated and
1:56 pm
calculated plot to intimidate sheik cobani in the retracting his statements only goes to prove the unwillingness to tolerate differences of opinions and belief as well as the extent to which they'll go to silence the voice of opposition. or consider the testimony of burin, a prominent turkish american scholar who is a senior fellow at the hudson institute. in july of 2008, speaking before the senate committee on homeland security and governmental affairs she stated that she believed care, quote, was created but the muslim brotherhood to influence the u.s. government, congress and n.g.o.'s along with academic and media groups, end of quote, and lamented that, quote, despite being founded by leading islamists care has successfully portrayed itself as a mainstream muslim organization over the past 15 years and has been treated as such by many u.s. government officials, end of quote.
1:57 pm
or most recently in april, 2009, an advertisement in "the weekly standard" offered by american muslims applauded the f.b.i. for rejecting care. the sing thattories included representatives of six different organizations, and i submit a copy for the record. the signatories wrote, we observe, quote, that they, care, denounce terrorism in general terms but not the specific actions of islamic groups like hamas or hezbollah. they've denounce violence but not the ideologieses behind them. further, the group which attempt to chill speech by calling critics of radical islam is -- finally, i like to close my speech by recognizing the men and women of the f.b.i. and the hard work they do every day to keep this country safe and to restate the f.b.i.'s own words, quote, until we can
1:58 pm
resolve whether there continues to be a connection between care or its executives and hamas, the f.b.i. does not view care as an appropriate liaison partner, end of quote. i completely agree. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. under the speaker's announced policy of january 6, 2009, the chair recognizes the gentleman from ohio, mr. latourette, for 60 minutes. mr. latourette: i thank you, madam speaker, for the recognition. and, madam speaker, we have been coming to the floor for about four months now in an attempt to get to the bottom of one or two mysteries. and i had hoped to be able to come to the floor today to indicate that one of those mysteries had been solved or we were closer to its resolution.
1:59 pm
the speaker will recall that earlier this year the united states congress passed a stimulus bill that was requested by the new president of the united states about $789 billion. and whether you agreed with that legislation or not, during its path through the legislative process there was great concern and continues to be great concern. i heard one of my colleagues give a special order this afternoon about the bonuses, the millions of dollars of bonuses that are being paid to executives on wall street, executives who work for companies who in some instances have led to the mess we find ourselves in financially. when the stimulus bill was being crafted over in the other body, the united states senate, two senators, one republican two senators, one republican and one democrat, the


info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on