(WASHINGTON, D.C., 6/18/08) – A prominent national Islamic civil rights and advocacy group today welcomed the filing of an ACLU legal challenge to the government’s labeling of two mainstream Muslim organizations as “unindicted co-conspirators” in a terror-related case.
SEE: ACLU Challenges Government’s Stigmatizing of Mainstream Muslim Groups in Holy Land Case
To view the entire ACLU filing, click here.
The Washington-based Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) said the government overstepped its constitutional authority when it designated the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) and the North American Islamic Trust (NAIT) as co-conspirators in the trial of officials of the now-defunct Holy Land Foundation (HLF) in Texas.
Last year, CAIR filed a brief asking the court to remove its name, and that of several hundred other Muslim individuals and institutions, from the list of so-called “unindicted co-conspirators.”
CAIR’s brief alleged that the listing of the organizations and individuals violated Justice Department guidelines and violated the uncharged parties’ First and Fifth Amendment rights.
To read the entire brief, click here.
The National Association of Muslim Lawyers and the National Association of Criminal Defense Attorneys also sent a letter to then-Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales objecting to the list and saying it could lead to increased discrimination against American Muslims.
SEE: Muslim Groups Oppose a List of ‘Co-Conspirators’ (NY Times)
A Newsweek article published at that time stated:
“According to one senior law-enforcement official…the listing of ISNA, CAIR and other groups as ‘unindicted co-conspirators’ was largely a tactical move by the government. By listing the groups, the official said, it makes it easier for prosecutors to introduce documents, tapes and other evidence mentioning them…”
SEE: An Unwelcome Guest (Newsweek)
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
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CONTACT: CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-488-8787 or 202-744-7726, E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; CAIR Communications Coordinator Amina Rubin, 202-488-8787, E-Mail: email@example.com