Marzook and other Brotherhood figures established the Occupied Land Fund, eventually renamed the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development (HLF), to be Hamas’s American fundraising arm. The HLF was headquartered in ISNA’s Indiana office. As the Justice Department explained in a memorandum submitted in the HLF case:
During the early years of HLF’s operation, HLF raised money and supported Hamas through a bank account it held with ISNA. . . . Indeed, HLF (under its former name, OLF) operated from within ISNA, in Plainfield, Illinois. . . . ISNA checks deposited into the ISNA/[North American Islamic Trust] account for the HLF were often made payable to “the Palestinian Mujahideen,” the original name for the Hamas military wing. . . . From the ISNA/NAIT account, the HLF sent hundreds of thousands of dollars to Hamas leader Mousa Abu Marzook . . . and a number of other individuals associated with Hamas.
Ultimately, the HLF raised over $36 million for Hamas. At the height of the intifada, this was not about the social-welfare activities Hamas touts to camouflage its barbarism. As the journalist Stephen Schwartz of the Center for Islamic Pluralism has observed, “Ordinary Americans should be shocked and outraged to learn that Hamas was running its terror campaign from a sanctuary in the U.S.” In addition, prosecutors showed that ISNA was central to a 1993 meeting of top Brotherhood operatives, who were wiretapped “discussing using ISNA as an official cover for their activities.”
Meantime, in 1992, the IIIT contributed $50,000 to underwrite an al-Arian venture, the World & Islam Studies Enterprise (WISE), a front for Palestinian Islamic Jihad that ostensibly employed several members of the PIJ governing board. IIIT has been under federal investigation since 2002 — and after his terrorism conviction, al-Arian went into contempt of court rather than honor a grand-jury subpoena in the probe.
In 1991, the Muslim Brotherhood’s American leadership prepared an internal memorandum for the organization’s global leadership in Egypt. It was written principally by Mohamed Akram, a close associate of Sheikh Qaradawi. As Akram put it, the Brotherhood
must understand that their work in America is a kind of grand jihad in eliminating and destroying the Western civilization from within and “sabotaging” its miserable house by their hands and the hands of the believers so that it is eliminated and God’s religion is made victorious over all other religions.
The memorandum included a list described by Akram as “our organizations and the organizations of our friends,” working together to implement this sabotage strategy. Prominently included in that list were ISNA and IIIT.
The Ground Zero project to erect a monument to sharia overlooking the crater where the World Trade Center once stood, and where thousands were slaughtered, is not a test of America’s commitment to religious liberty. America already has thousands of mosques and Islamic centers, including scores in the New York area — though Islam does not allow non-Muslims even to enter its crown-jewel cities of Mecca and Medina, much less to build churches or synagogues.
The Ground Zero project is a test of America’s resolve to face down a civilizational jihad that aims, in the words of its leaders, to destroy us from within.
— Andrew C. McCarthy, a senior fellow at the National Review Institute, is the author, most recently, of The Grand Jihad: How Islam and the Left Sabotage America.