A petition calling for President Barack Obama to use his powers of clemency to secure an early release for terror financiers is circulating online. It gained the support of Imran Siddique, the executive-director of the Arizona chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR).
CAIR is designated as a terrorist organization itself, by the United Arab Emirates, as it is linked to the Muslim Brotherhood.
Siddique tweeted a link to the petition, which gained 136 retweets (at press time). He also described the trial as a “political lynching.”
The trial was the largest terrorism financing trial in American history. Five senior executives of the Holy Land Foundation, at the time the largest Muslim charity in the United States, were convicted of funneling millions of dollars to Hamas in 2008. An earlier trial in 2007 was declared a mistrial, and an appellate court upheld the sentences in 2011.
CAIR itself was listed as an unindicted co-conspirator at the Holy Land Foundation trial, a designation which was upheld by a judge despite a legal appeal launched by CAIR to have it removed. Read more about the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR).
Clarion Project has an archive of the documents from the Holy Land Foundation trial.
So why does this matter?
Simply put, it shows a CAIR official was completely unwilling to acknowledge the reality that the Holy Land Foundation was closed down for involvement in terrorism. Instead he plainly intends to keep fighting and rejecting the sentence. One does not need to support Hamas to support the Palestinian cause, or send money to terrorist organizations to provide humanitarian relief to civilians. There are many organizations that provide support to civilians trapped in combat zones around the world who do not provide money to terrorist groups.
When CAIR tries to present itself as a moderate group that opposes terrorism, remember that one of their leaders called for convicted terror financiers to be pardoned and described the largest terror financing trial in American history as a “politically motivated lynching.”