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May 27, 2009

Two Founders of Muslim Holy Land Charity Sentenced to 65 Years in Prison for Funnelling Money to Terrorist Group Hamas

"And where," Sonia Sotomayor asks, "is the empathy?"

Blame Bush:

Two founding members of what was once the nationís largest Muslim charity were each sentenced to 65 years in prison Wednesday for funneling millions of dollars to the Palestinian militant group Hamas.

Shukri Abu Baker, 50, and Ghassan Elashi, 55, were among the five members of the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development sentenced to prison Wednesday.

The men and Holy Land were convicted in November on 108 charges, following a mistrial in which the government in 2007 failed to sway jurors that the charity sent more than $12 million to Hamas.

Mufid Abdulqader, 49, was sentenced to 20 years on three conspiracy counts. Mohammad El-Mezain, 55, got 15 years for one count of conspiracy to support a terrorist organization. Abdulrahman Odeh got 15 years for three conspiracy counts.

The judge corrected one of the defendants:

Later, Abdulqader told the court that he was merely a volunteer fundraiser and a singer in a Palestinian folk band that worked with the charity.

"I never imagined Iíd be put in jail for taking people out of their jail of poverty and starvation," he said.

But Solis, while agreeing Abdulquaderís lesser role contributed to his lighter sentence, disagreed with what that role was. "You werenít convicted of freedom of expression," the judge said. "You were convicted of supporting Hamas."

A daughter of one of the sentenced founders offered...

"Iíve been with my dad 100 percent of the way... I saw the work he did. He devoted his life to helping needy children. But after 9/11, I guess, thereís hysteria. They pick and choose people, and unfortunately itís us."

Yup. They pick and choose people.

Thanks to WilliamA.



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posted by Ace at 06:00 PM

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