(WASHINGTON, D.C., 11/25/08) – The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) today said the government’s reworked case against the Holy Land Foundation (HLF) was based on fear-mongering.
A jury in Texas yesterday convicted five former HLF leaders on 108 criminal counts related to humanitarian aid given to Palestinians living under Israeli occupation. The defendants said they were engaged in legitimate relief work, while the government claimed that work benefited terrorists.
An earlier prosecution effort ended in a mistrial last October after 19 days of jury deliberations.
The jurors in the earlier trial leaned toward acquittal on most counts.
SEE: Islamic Charity, Leaders Guilty in U.S. Terror Case (Reuters)
In a statement reacting to yesterday’s verdict, CAIR said:
“We believe this case was based more on fear-mongering than on the facts. It is particularly troubling that the government chose to use testimony from an anonymous witness, which deprives the defendants of their full right to confront their accusers. We expect the defendants to appeal this verdict and believe that it will eventually be overturned.”
CAIR, America’s largest Islamic civil liberties group, has 35 offices and chapters nationwide and in Canada. Its mission is to enhance the understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.