January 16, 2014.
Contrary to President Obama's promise to make it easier for American Muslims to fulfill their religious obligation to give one-fifth of their surplus income to charity, federal prosecutors continue to target Islamic charities and their donors, as illustrated by the recent prosecution of a Portland, Oregon, couple.
In his speech at Cairo University in June 2009, President Barack Obama pledged to change regulations that had made it harder for American Muslims to fulfill their religious obligation to give one-fifth of their surplus income to charity.Read the rest here.
But for Iranian-American doctor Hossein Lahiji and his wife, Najmeh Vahid, who had donated $1.8 million to an Islamic charity for needy children in Iran, that Obama pledge has turned to be a bitter joke. They were convicted last year in Portland, Oregon, of conspiracy to defraud the United States and violating the US economic embargo against Iran. Now the US government is using the threat of prosecution on Medicare fraud charges to pressure them to give up his citizenship and her ten-year application for citizenship - and return to Iran under a plea bargain.
Along with the closely related prosecution of the Child Foundation (CF) and its founder, the prosecution of the couple was part of a long trail of cases in which the US government has sought to suppress US-based Islamic charities that work in the Middle East by charging them with material support to terrorism or with violating US economic embargos on Iraq or Iran.
Evidence introduced at the trial showed that Lahiji, a McAllen, Texas, urologist, is a devout Shi'a Muslim who believed that his faith required that he give one-fifth of his income after expenses to charity - a practice called khums in Shi'a Islam. Nevertheless the US government sought to portray the couple as motivated by "greed" and the donations to the Child Foundation as a device for illegally claiming deductions for business investments in Iran.
But the US attorney's office in Portland also pursued a cynical strategy in its case against the Child Foundation and the Lahiji-Vahid couple of linking them to "terrorism." The US attorney's office made a prominent Iranian cleric with whom the foundation had been in contact a vehicle for dragging Lebanese Hezbollah into the case.
*****Comment: Does anyone really believe anything that comes out of the mouth of President Tom?
The US and the West are at war with Muslims and Islam. It is the 'new' racist frontier of white identity and white ideology or what Postcolonial theorists and others call "whiteness".
Demonizing Muslims is all the rage now even while comprodor and complicit regimes like Saudi Arabia join the fray: after all Uncle Toms are an integral part of white racism and you don't have to look past Obama to know that.
Even here in the delusional rainbow the attack on Islam and Muslims by some whites is relentless. See this user generated hate-piece that was published on News24 and then read the racist white vitriol that appears in the comments section: "Islam in South Africa" (January 16).
What amazes me about the duplicity of most whites and whiteness is that they conveniently forget their brutal colonial history and move-on almost seamlessly to portray themselves as imagined victims and the voice of reason.
Why would whites in South Africa be so anti-Islam? The answer lies somewhere in the machination of white identity and its impulse to dominate no matter what.
I am incensed at the audacity of whites like those in the comments section to demonize Muslims and to collapse fully one-sixth or more of the world's population into an ahistorical racist straightjacket.
This they do without paying too much attention to the fact that the most horrific crimes against humanity the world has seen in its short history since nationalism stem from the colonial impulse and greed of their ancestry.