Josh Gerstein reports on the commencement of the retrial of the principal officers of the Holy Land Foundation. Jury selection is scheduled to begin this morning in federal district court in Dallas. I wrote about the importance of the HLF prosecution during the first trial in “Coming clean about CAIR.” HLF was Hamas’s key American fundraiser.
HLF is also linked to CAIR, which the government has named as an unidicted co-conspirator of HLF. CAIR cranked up its operation in 1994 with the assistance of a $5,000 donation from the Holy Land Foundation. After 9/11, advising “what you can do for the victims of the WTC (World Trade Center) and Pentagon attacks,” CAIR urged visitors to its Web site to donate to charities including HLF.
Evidence introduced at the first trial shed new light on CAIRâ€™s origins. CAIR is understandably concerned that its association with the Holy Land Foundation might give people an idea about the organization. CAIR explained in a brief it filed during the first trial:
[T]he public â€œoutingâ€ of CAIR as an unindicted co-conspirator fundamentally undercuts their [sic] central mission to protect Muslim-Americansâ€™ civil rights and foster an atmosphere of acceptance of Muslims in American society. Any message that CAIR tries to deliver to the American public, will be undercut by the insinuation that they are a criminal terrorist organization. The American public and the media which CAIR uses to deliver its message will no longer believe in the veracity of such message because CAIR will be perceived as a terrorist front organization.
CAIR is of course still in business and up to no good. Unfortunately, the negative consequences of being named an unindicted HLF co-conspirator that it conjured in its brief have not yet begun to materialize.
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