Sunday, January 18, 2009

Waiter, There’s an Hamas In My Soup!

The Herald Tribune is reporting that Ingrid Mattson, president of the Hartford based Islamic Society of North America and one of many religious leaders chosen to speak at Washington's National Cathedral as a part of President-elect Barrack Obama’s inauguration, has an Hamas connection through the Holy Land Foundation, a group that has contributed money to Hamas:
“Mattson has been the guest of honor at State Department dinners and has met with senior Pentagon officials during the Bush administration. She also spoke at a prayer service at the Democratic National Convention in Denver.

“But in 2007 and as recently as last July, federal prosecutors in Dallas filed court documents linking the Hartford, Conn.-based Islamic society to the group Hamas, which the U.S. considers a terrorist organization.

"Neither Mattson nor her organization has been charged. But prosecutors wrote in July that they had "a wide array of testimonial and documentary evidence expressly linking" the group to Hamas and other radical groups."

On the other hand, attorneys for Mattson's group said in court documents they are not a subject or target of the Holy Land investigation. In e-mails filed in the court case, one prosecutor, Assistant U.S. Attorney James T. Jacks, said, "I am sorry for the problems for your clients. I hope to get something to you or file something with the court as soon as possible."

Connecticut papers have been diligent in reporting various objections registered by some groups to Obama’s choices of religious speakers connected with his inauguration.

But this one, not so much.

Although there is a local angle to the story -- the Islamic Society of North America is located in Hartford -- Mattson’s name is mention only in passing in an Associated Press story that ran in the Courant here. And in a second AP story that ran in the Courant, objections by gay rights activists to an invitation extended by Obama to Rev. Rick Warren are mentioned. The story also mentions that conservatives were “wringing their hands” at an invitation extended to gay Bishop V. Gene Robinson. Mattson is mention only in the following graph:

“A prayer will be offered at the National Cathedral by Ingrid Mattson, the first woman president of the Islamic Society of North America, according to an official who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to release the information. The Islamic Society, based in Indiana, is the nation's largest Muslim group.”

The Tribune reports that “Linda Douglass, a spokeswoman for Obama's inaugural committee, would not discuss the case or say whether the committee knew about it.”

Why all the muffled mouths? And how is it Dick Blumenthal does not have his oar in this water?
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