Saturday, November 14, 2009

AP Explains Why Seizing Illegal Iranian Property Is a Bad Thing

The Associated Press is wasting no time reporting how the federal seizure of property owned by an Ayatollah-controlled front group is going to harm local Shia children.

Seized assets stifle Iranian group's work

Money to be cut off to mosques, schools in U.S. investigation

Associated Press
New York -- The organization that federal investigators say is a front for the Iranian government has spent millions of dollars over the years on philanthropy: buying property for four U.S. mosques, funding religious schools and language classes, and translating books on Islam.

The move to seize assets held by the New York-based Alavi Foundation will cripple the charity's work and put the government in the awkward position of potentially shutting down the houses of worship, which occupy buildings and land that Alavi owns.

There are no claims of wrongdoing at the mosques. And they will stay open as prosecutors try to take hold of the hundreds of millions of dollars in Alavi money and property. The mosques were not mentioned by name, only listed by street address.

Still, the mosques and schools could be collateral damage in the case. On Friday, the government moved to cut off Alavi's direct access to its money, according to court records.

Sabukta Chowdhury, a parent at the Razi School, a K-12 school that is part of the Imam Ali Mosque in Queens, said her child would be upset if the school closed.

"The school is very good," Chowdhury said outside the building Friday. "My child very sad. They do not want to go to another school."

Abdulaziz Sachedina, a University of Virginia professor and expert on Shiite Islam, predicted the four Islamic centers in New York, Maryland, Texas and California would shut down without Alavi money.

Alavi was one of the few central sources of funding for American Shiite communities, which have far fewer resources than U.S. Sunnis. Often, the Islamic day schools the centers run are among the few available.

"Muslims aren't used to membership fees," said Sachedina, who has spoken several times at the mosque in Maryland. "In Muslim countries, most services are free, provided by rich people. Here, for the first time, Muslims are required to pay donations. It's very hard to collect money from the people."

As Michael Ledeen feels the need to keep reminding us, “Iran has been waging war on us since 1979.”

I haven't seen reports yet telling us if these mosques and schools were being used by Tehran to spread the same anti-American Shia jihadism spread every day by the Ayatollahs in Iran . It's almost impossible to believe they aren't. That aside, the foundation was a front group controlled by a nation that's been at war with us for thirty years. It was set up to avoid paying any taxes on multi-million dollars of annual rental incomes.

But the AP’s message is that we need to be ashamed of one of America's precious few domestic counter-terrorist successes since 9/11. That's because taking away the Ayatollah’s illegal foundation property will unfairly impact New York-area Shias. If the schools aren’t going to be funded by the Islamic Republic of Iran, then who will fund them? Shias in their native lands expect all that for free. “Here, for the first time, Muslims are required to pay donations. It's very hard to collect money from the people."

If you're a Catholic, or a Jew, or a Baptist who takes it for granted that you're going to have to cough up to support your church and your private schools, you're probably too small-minded to get this.

One solution that might redeem the federal government from making Sabukta Chowdhury's child sad, is for the U.S. taxpayers to just fund the Shia mosques ourselves. Or we could just give the Ayatollah and Ahmadinejad their rent receipts back and apologize.


Count the students said...

Don't we have something similar here in Dearborn? I believe we have three 'Arab-centric' academies, which are funded by our tax dollars. What is going on inside those schools?

I am suspicious that pro-American views are not offered there.

Anonymous said...

I agree with you. I suspect anti-American propaganda being taught. I am guessing they also do much more than endorse the Islamic religion. Children are being indoctrinated and proselytized into the Islamic religion, at tax payer expense.