It is a staple of his “Police Blotter” website about Muslims: his assertions that mainstream Muslim organizations such as the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) and the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) are “Hamas-linked.” He frequently links his posts with these assertions. It is based on federal prosecutors naming these two organizations, along with 244 other Muslim individuals and groups, as “unindicted co-conspirators” in a case against the Holy Land Foundation, a Muslim charity, in 2007. HLF was later convicted of supporting the terrorist group Hamas.
Federal prosecutors did this despite having no proof that these Muslim organizations had anything to do with the activities of HLF. Moreover, neither ISNA nor CAIR has ever been charged with any wrongdoing or criminal activity. Yet, Spencer continually calls CAIR and ISNA “Hamas-linked” in order to discredit anything mainstream Muslim organizations do and say, smearing them with the association with the terrorist group Hamas and terrorism in general.
He must stop doing so, because the assertion is incorrect.
In an opinion disclosed on October 20, an Appeals Court disclosed the ruling of a Federal District Court judge who ruled that that the Government should not have listed ISNA and CAIR as “unindicted co-conspirators” in the case against the HLF. When the ruling was initially made by the District Court judge, he sealed the ruling. This was appealed to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, and this Court ordered the ruling to be unsealed.
The Appeals Court judge wrote:
The Court held that the Government did not argue or establish any legitimate government interest that warranted publicly identifying NAIT and 245 other individuals and entities as unindicted coconspirators or joint venturers, and that the Government had less injurious means than those employed, such as anonymously designating the unindicted co-conspirators as ‘other persons,’ asking the court to file the document under seal, or disclosing the information to the defendants pursuant to a protective order.
The ruling came in a case brought by the North American Islamic Trust (NAIT), another “unindicted co-conspirator.” In fact, the District Court ruled that the Government violated NAIT’s Fifth Amendment rights by naming it as an “unindicted co-conspirator.” The Fifth Amendment, remember, guarantees due process of law. It states, in part:
No person shall…be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law…
In addition, a footnote in the ruling states:
NAIT’s motion was filed in conjunction with the Islamic Society of North America (“ISNA”), which is not a party to this appeal. Another entity, the Council on American Islamic Relations (“CAIR”) moved the district court for leave to file an amicus brief requesting that its name and all other unindicted coconspirators be stricken from Attachment A. CAIR’s motion was addressed in the order addressing NAIT’s motion, but CAIR is not a party to this appeal.
If I understand this correctly, this may mean that the District Court judge also found that the Government violated ISNA’s and CAIR’s Fifth Amendment rights by naming them as “unindicted co-conspirators,” but since they were not parties to the appeal, that part of the ruling will not be unsealed. In any case, it has been established that the Government was wrong and had no basis to name ISNA and CAIR as “unindicted co-conspirators,” and this totally pulls the rug out from underneath Spencer’s and other Islamophobes’ attempts to paint all maintream Muslim organizations as “extremist.” So, will Spencer stop saying CAIR and ISNA are “Hamas-linked”? We will see. I’m not holding my breath, though, for it’s been shown that facts don’t matter to the “Scholar” Robert Spencer.
You know, it is interesting…this news came out on October 20, but there was barely a peep in the media. A Google news search came up with only 3 links. Spencer didn’t mention it at all on his “Police Blotter.” But, that doesn’t surprise me. Maybe he thinks that no one will notice. Rest assured, we here at SW will notice, believe you me!