From our old friend Josh Gerstein at the Politico:
Obama prayer speaker comes from group feds say is linked to Hamas
By: Josh Gerstein
January 18, 2009
One of the religious leaders invited to address Barack Obamas inaugural prayer service Wednesday heads an Islamic group named by federal prosecutors as a co-conspirator in a terrorism-fundraising trial in Texas.
Ingrid Mattson, president of the Islamic Society of North America, is scheduled to join Christian ministers and Jewish rabbis offering prayers for the new president and his family during a service at the National Cathedral in Washington, organizers announced Friday.
Mattsons group calls itself the largest Muslim umbrella organization in North America. However, in May 2007, federal prosecutors included ISNA on a list of nearly 300 co-conspirators filed in a criminal case charging that the Holy Land Foundation of Richardson, Texas, funneled more than $12 million to Hamas.
The U.S. government designated Hamas as a terrorist group in 1995.
A trial in Dallas in 2007 for the foundation and five of its leaders ended with acquittals and mistrials. However, Holy Land and the five officials were convicted of all 108 charges in a second trial last year.
A spokeswoman for the inaugural, Linda Douglass, hailed Ms. Mattson as a widely respected faith leader with a stellar reputation.
We are delighted to have her as part of a program that is inclusive, welcomes people of all faiths and is consistent with the president elects message of unity, the spokeswoman told Politico Friday. All of these are people who preach tolerance.
During last years trial, numerous exhibits were entered into evidence establishing both ISNAs and NAITs intimate relationship with the Muslim Brotherhood, the Palestine Committee, and the defendants in this case," Mr. Jacks wrote . "They were intimately connected with the HLF and its assigned task of providing financial support to HAMAS. That ISNA and NAIT appeared in these documents and share a common history with these defendants is a reflection of the evidence, not any attempt to disparage or vilify."
Mattson, who did not respond to messages seeking comment for this article, is the first female president of ISNA and a professor of Islamic Studies and Christian-Muslim Relations at the Hartford Seminary in Connecticut
In a letter to the New York Times last May, Mattson argued that, under Islamic law, Obamas Christian faith does not render him an apostate, or someone who renounced his religion, because he was never a Muslim to begin with
A minor detail buried in the avalanche of the
hoopla over Mr. Obamas
Of course this will never reach the decibel level of the phony controversy over the invitation to Rick Warren.
Never mind that Hamas, like most Muslims, most certainly believes in executing homosexuals.