American Muslim Taskforce on Civil Rights and Elections Seeking Meeting with Treasury Secretary on Charities

March 1, 2006

Source: Reuters

On March 1, 2006 Reuters reported, "A coalition of U.S. Muslim organizations on Tuesday requested a meeting with Treasury Secretary John Snow to discuss concerns that Muslim charities are targeted in the government's counterterrorism efforts. In a letter to Snow, the American Muslim Taskforce on Civil Rights and Elections (AMT) said government closures of Islamic charities have hindered American Muslims' ability to carry out their religious obligation to help the needy. The coalition of 10 organizations referred to action this month against Kindhearts, a Toledo, Ohio-based Islamic nonprofit group, whose assets were blocked pending an investigation. The Treasury Department said Kindhearts had links to the Palestinian group Hamas, which Washington considers a terrorist organization. Since the Sept. 11 attacks in 2001, the government has designated three major U.S. Muslim charities as suspected sponsors of terrorism and frozen their assets. Muslim charitable giving has been in the spotlight since authorities discovered al Qaeda and other militants had abused charities to fund attacks. In the letter to Snow, AMT said most of KindHearts' frozen assets were earmarked for earthquake relief in Pakistan and for a new division in South Asia... Molly Millerwise, a Treasury spokeswoman declined to comment on future engagements for Snow, but denied that Treasury was targeting Muslim charities."