Rapists, muggers, thieves and murderers all have their rights protected under American law. This right, however, does not extend to Muslims who show any sympathy for their suffering brothers and sisters in other parts of the world. This is especially true of those who show any empathy with the Palestinians suffering the Zionist occupation forces in Palestine. Mohammad Salah, a Chicago-area car salesman, an American citizen of Palestinian origin, knows this firsthand. Having spent five years in an Israeli jail for no crime at all, until he was released last November, he has now been confronted by American justice. On June 9, the US federal bureau of investigation (FBI) seized his asset - US$1.4 million in cash and other property - as well as assets of the Islamic Qur’anic Literary Institute. The FBI alleges that its probe found that ‘Salah financed Hamas terrorist activities in the Middle East, including the purchase of weapons that were used in attacks against Israel and to murder Israeli soldiers.’ Preposterous as these allegations are, the FBI statement clearly admits that Salah has neither committed a crime on US soil, nor indeed against America. But given the total domination of the present US administration under Bill Clinton by the Zionist cabal, even killing Israeli occupation troops is considered a crime in America. Israeli soldiers, of course, can kill innocent civilians including children in Palestine and Lebanon without any reprobation. The Zionists can do no harm but Muslims must not even think of collecting funds to support the victims of Zionist terrorism. Salah has been arrested under a new law that went into effect last year. On October 8, 1997, the Office of the Coordinator for Counterterrorism, US department of State, issued a list of 30 foreign organisations which it accused of indulging in terrorism. The list includes Hamas as well as a number of other Islamic group. The FBI has not proved that Salah is a member of Hamas or that he has actually done anything wrong at all. Consider the following though. The US list also includes the Mujahideen-e Khalq Organisation (MKO), the Iranian opposition group popularly known as the Munafiqeen. The MKO operates offices in Washington DC only a few hundred yards from the White House. A number of US lawmakers also support them. While the State department says that it is a terrorist organisation, US congressmen and women openly embrace them.
No FBI raids have been carried out on their premises and not one member of the MKO has been hauled before a court of law, much less had his assets confiscated for terrorist crimes in Iran, the latest of which was perpetrated only last month when three civilians were killed in a bomb explosion inside a court building. The MKO admitted responsibility for the bombing. The FBI’s wrath is reserved for Muslim strugglers, especially those in Palestine.
Salah’s travails began in December 1993 when he was seized by the zionists from a Jerusalem hotel. He was accused of carrying a large amount of US dollars. It is not a crime under Israeli law. This money had been collected in the US from people sympathetic to the Palestinian cause and to provide support for hospitals and schools. US consular officials were denied access to Salah when the Israelis lied that he had been arrested in a West Bank town. He was arrested with two other Palestinians, one of whom was released. Salah was tortured for several days and forced to sign a ‘confession’ in Hebrew, which he does not understand. This was then used as ‘evidence’ in an Israeli military court which sentenced him to five years in jail.
Pro-Israeli Jewish groups are ecstatic and have welcomed forfeiture of Salah’s assets and property. Scott Lassar, a Jewish lawyer, said the assets seizure marked ‘the first use of civil forfeiture laws to stop the flow of money through American financial institutions in support of terrorist activity abroad.’ This outrageous allegation comes from people who have funnelled billions of dollars over the years to support zionist terrorist activities in Palestine.
The State department list also includes Kach and Kahane Chai, both Zionist terrorist organisations outlawed in Israel as well as in the US. Under US law, they are barred from raising funds in America. Yet a group devoted to raising funds for the yeshiva (school) run by Kahane Chai activists is registered as a non-profit organization with the US Internal Revenue Service. Contributions to it are tax-deductible.
The yeshiva, located in the Kfar Tapuah settlement 18 miles east of Tel Aviv, is run by Benjamin Kahane, son of Meir Kahane, the terrorist rabbi, who was killed in New York in 1990. Kach spawned such other monsters as Baruch Goldstein who shot dead 48 Palestinians while they were praying in the Ibrahimi Mosque in Al-Khalil (Hebron) on February 25, 1994. FBI agents have neither raided nor seized funds of the Kahane Chai supporters. But seven bank accounts and two safe deposit boxes belonging to Salah, his wife Azita and the Qur’anic Literacy Institute as well as Salah’s $200,000 house have been seized. Salah is an employee of the Institute but the FBI alleges the organization was likely a front for his activities in Hamas. It has offered no proof.
Under the climate of hysteria that now exists in the US, Muslims must prove their innocence; the State does not have to prove their guilt. Civil liberties organisations that spring into action the moment someone’s cat is shouted at, have so far maintained a defeaning silence. Muslims do not merit the same consideration as do animals in the US.
Should the US government get away with such an outrageous attack on the rights of Muslims, nobody would be safe. It would also be interesting to see whether the Council on Islamic-American Relations (CAIR) that has been active in combating racism, will come to Salah’s defence. Supporting someone’s right to wear the hijab is commendable but that will not save Muslims from persecution if they cannot hold political views not to the liking of the Zionist cabal.
Which mosque in the US will now be safe if FBI agents barge in and allege that its members have collected money for widows and orphan in Palestine or Lebanon? Will organisations like ISNA and ICNA, that claim to speak on behalf of the six-million Muslims in America, have the courage to speak on behalf of just one?
Muslimedia: July 1-15, 1998