Tax-Funded Islamic Terror on Campus
By Debbie Schlussel
The recent 2nd Annual Palestinian Students Divestment Conference at the University of Michigan is over, but the real story is who paid for it.
In addition to University buildings, paid for by taxpayers, and a stipend, paid for by Michigan students’ tuition, the conference of anti-Semitic, anti-American hate speakers, including Islamic Jihad founder Sami Al-Arian, was funded by some frightening sources, including:
Islamic Association for Palestine (IAP)—Funded in part by $490,000 from the personal bank account of Hamas Political Director Moussa Abu Marzouk, IAP is a Hamas front-group, which distributed the Hamas charter, official Hamas intifada communiques issued from Gaza, and Hamas glory records, which are tributes to Hamas’ "violent successes." IAP also produces Hamas training and recruitment videos.
IAP's finances are entwined with those of the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development (HLF), which in December 2001, the U.S. government shut down and froze the assets of, saying that it finances Hamas. In a March 1991 fundraising letter, IAP urged its members to send funds to HLF (then called the Occupied Land Fund) to support efforts to liberate "Palestine" through the Intifada. According to the Dallas Morning News, "Public records, materials from the two groups (IAP and HLF)… show a pattern of personal, financial and philosophical ties between Hamas and the two nonprofit groups."
In December 2001, federal authorities deported IAP leader Ghassan Dahduli on immigration violations. Dahduli's name was found in the address book of Wadih El-Hage, Osama bin Laden's former finance chief and personal secretary, who was convicted in the 1998 bombings of two American embassies in east Africa.
IAP and HLF are co-defendants in a civil lawsuit filed in 2000 by the parents of David Boim, an American teenager murdered by Hamas in Israel in 1996. The suit cites the financial connections between IAP and the Holy Land Foundation, such as shared board members and joint projects.
Muslim Community Association of Ann Arbor (MCA)—This is the mosque of Rabih Haddad, now in jail awaiting trial because the charity he founded, Global Relief Foundation (GRF), funded terrorism and was involved with Al-Quaida. On October 18th, through Executive Order #13224, President Bush designated GRF, the second largest U.S. Islamic charity, as a terrorist entity.
In 1996 and 1997, GRF officials had contact with El-Hage. Mohammed Zouaydi, a key Al-Quaida financier with ties to the Hamburg cell that carried out the 9-11 attacks, gave $211,000 in cash to GRF and funneled $600,000 to Al-Quaida operations around the world.
An Illinois post office box used by GRF, registered in Haddad’s name, sent out Arabic GRF newsletters that urged "martyrdom through Jihad." Soliciting contributions to GRF, the literature sent from Haddad’s P.O. box advocated the violent ouster of former Pakistani leader Benazir Bhutto and "the emergence of a Pakistani Taliban Movement to remedy the situation." It also sought donations "for equipping the raiders, for the purchase of ammunition" for the Jihad. Haddad also distributed messages from Abdallah Azzam, Osama Bin Laden’s and Al-Quaida’s spiritual leader.
Arab Community Center for Economic and Social Services (ACCESS)—ACCESS may be the most frightening funder of the conference because its chief, Ismael Ahmed, is running for University of Michigan Regent in the November elections. And because our tax dollars fund his organization—our tax dollars which he then used to pay for this hateful conference.
According to its latest annual report, in 2001, ACCESS got at least 73.6% of its $10.2 million annual revenue from taxpayers. North America’s largest Arab welfare agency, ACCESS funded commercial driving lessons and attempts to get hazardous materials hauling certificates for Ahmed Hannan and Karim Koubriti, members of Detroit’s recently-indicted Al-Quaida cell. When confronted by the press, ACCESS chief and Michigan Regent candidate Ahmed dismissed their Al-Quaida membership as a mere "political credential." After 9-11, ACCESS organized and publicized in The Detroit News a campaign against universities cooperating with federal agents trying to find foreign students linked to terrorism.
ACCESS, which thinks nothing of funding the anti-Semitic hate conference in Ann Arbor, was paid $1.3 million to provide "sensitivity training" to the Dearborn Police Department, Wayne County Sheriff’s Department, and Dearborn and Detroit Public Schools. Ahmed also opposed the Clinton Counter-terrorism Act of 1996 because it prohibited donations to terrorist groups, including Hezbollah and Hamas.
All taxpayers should be concerned not just with the hate and support for terrorism that went on at The University of Michigan Divestment Conference, but with who is funding it—not only those closely associated with Al-Quaida and Hamas, but unwitting taxpayers themselves. We should keep this in mind as we go to the polls to hold accountable legislators who freely gave our tax money to ACCESS, and an irresponsible U-M Regent candidate, Ahmed—the man who misused our money to foment hate and support terrorism.