Posted by | September 3, 2010 19:36 | Filed under: Top Stories

Hisham Elzanaty, one of the backers of the proposed Islamic cultural center in Manhattan, once donated to a charity that was shut down because of alleged links to Hamas. The developer, Sharif El-Gamal, has reasserted his pledge that the monies for the project will not come from controversial sources.  “All of these investors are committed, as I am, not to receive funding from any organization that supports terrorism or is hostile to America.”

El-Gamal has so-far declined to reveal the names of his other financial backers, but has said the eight-member group is diverse and includes Jews and Christians, Polish-Americans, Italian-Americans, and others. El-Gamal, who was born in Brooklyn, and Elzanaty are the only Muslims.

Tax records show that Elzanaty gave $6,050 to the foundation in 1999. At the time, it was the largest Islamic charity in the U.S. It raised millions of dollars from Americans in the 1990s, telling donors the money would fund schools, orphanages and social welfare programs.

Two years after Elzanaty made the donation, the U.S. government froze the foundation’s assets and accused it of acting as a fundraiser for Hamas, which was labeled a terrorist organization by President Clinton in 1995.

Given the number of Americans who participated with the group, the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development, it would be fair the assume that Elzanaty’s lawyer is telling the truth when he says that Elzanaty had no knowledge of questionable activity.  In fact if we’re going to use this as a way to smear anyone who participates in the building of an Islamic cultural center, we have to also indict many others of good faith.

Other people and companies who donated money, equipment or services to the foundation the year Elzanaty gave included NBA star Hakeem Olajuwon, the Microsoft Corp., and a medical equipment company owned by General Electric, according to tax records.

When the foundation’s leaders were indicted, Attorney General John Ashcroft said, the case was not “a reflection on the well-meaning people who may have donated funds to the foundation.”

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Copyright 2010 Liberaland
By: Alan

Alan Colmes is the publisher of Liberaland.