This morning, Audrey Hudson at the Washington Times reports:
Republican lawmakers are urging the Justice Department not to participate in a convention held by the Islamic Society of North America — a group named as an unindicted co-conspirator in an ongoing terrorism-financing case. In a letter to Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales, Reps. Peter Hoekstra of Michigan, ranking member of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, and Sue Myrick of North Carolina called the Justice Department’s involvement a “grave mistake.” “In light of the threat that our nation … is currently facing from radical jihadists, and because of the president’s commitment to fighting the war on terror on all fronts, we believe it is a grave mistake to provide legitimacy to an organization with extremist origins, leadership and a radical agenda,” the lawmakers said.
Rep. Peter T. King, New York Republican and ranking member of the House Homeland Security Committee, said he agrees that Justice officials should not attend the conference. “It is absolute insanity for the federal government, especially the Department of Justice, to be giving any credibility at all to a group like the ISNA, which has such strong links to Islamic extremism,” Mr. King said.
Rank-and file lawyers within the Justice Department object to participating at the ISNA convention, fearing it will undermine the case against the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development.
According to an e-mail from Susana Lorenzo-Giguere, acting deputy chief of the Voting Rights Division, the plan to “co-sponsor an exhibit booth” will involve sending government lawyers to man it for the Labor Day weekend event in Illinois.
“This is an important outreach opportunity, and a chance to reach a community that is at once very much discriminated against, and very wary of the national government and its willingness to protect them,” Mrs. Lorenzo-Giguere said in an e-mail obtained by The Washington Times.
Citing The Times, which broke the story on Monday, the lawmakers’ letter said: “Establishing a partnership with ISNA is exactly the wrong approach at this critical juncture in history, setting a precedent that radical jihadists should be the conduit between the U.S. government and the American Muslim population, and we urge you to reconsider your decision to establish an official relationship with ISNA.”
Here again (as I reported Monday) is an extract from the ISNA’s Program for the convention (and I thank Michelle Malkin for linking over to that post last night):
Saturday, September 1, 2007
Moderator: Parvez Ahmed
10:45 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. Session 4B: Ending U.S. Sponsored Torture: A Concern for All People of Faith
The threat and reality of U.S. sponsored torture is still an issue today. The extensive news coverage by the U.S. and international media sources makes it all too clear that the grim abuses in Abu Gharib, Guantanamo Bay, and the sending of detainees to secret prisons around the world that are known to torture during interrogations, are not isolated incidents, but rather constitute policy of the U.S. government. ISNA, Christian (including evangelical), Jewish and Sikh organizations have created the National Religious Campaign Against Torture to lead the faith-based efforts to end U.S. sponsored torture. This session will describe the nature of U.S. sponsored torture, the effects of torture on its victims, the efforts of the U.S. religious community, and what you can do to help end U.S. sponsored torture [Ed — pdf reader required].
In her email obtained by The Washington Times, Susana Lorenzo-Giguere, added:
“And Chicago is lovely this time of year.”
I’d imagine Ms. Lorenzo-Giguere is feeling some heat in Washington right about now. Let’s help light a fire under all those at the DoJ that think sponsoring a booth is a good idea for unidicted co-conspirators involved in a terrorist fund raising case.
Michelle Malkin provided the information on her great web site:
The contact info for the DOJ:
Phone: (202) 514-2151 Ask for Rena.
E-mails to the Department of Justice, including the Attorney General, may be sent to AskDOJ@usdoj.gov