Monday, August 31, 2009

Garter Snakes are Deadly

Thanks Luree,, watta a story,,,

Garter Snakes Are Deadly

Garden Grass Snakes, also known as Garter Snakes (Thamnophissirtalis) can
Be dangerous and even deadly. Yes, grass snakes, not rattlesnakes. Here's

A couple, up on the Sweetwater, had a lot of potted plants. During a
Recent cold spell, the wife was bringing a lot of them indoors to protect
Them from a possible freeze.

It turned out that a little green garden grass snake was hidden in one of
The plants and when it had warmed up, it slithered out and the wife saw it
Go under the sofa. She let out a very loud scream.

The husband (who was taking a shower) ran naked out into the living room to
See what the problem was. His wife told him there was a snake under the
Sofa. He got down on the floor on his hands and knees to look for it.
About that time the family dog came and cold-nosed him on the behind. He
thought the snake had bitten him, so he screamed and fell over on the

His wife thought he had a heart attack, so she covered him up, told him to
Lie still and called an ambulance

The attendants rushed in, wouldn't listen to his protests and loaded him
On the stretcher and started carrying him out. About that time the snake
Came out from under the sofa and the Emergency Medical Technician saw it
And dropped his end of the stretcher. That's when the man broke his leg in four places,
For which he was eventually taken to the hospital.

The wife still had the problem of the snake in the house, so she called on
A neighbor man. He volunteered to capture the snake. He armed himself with
A rolled-up newspaper and began poking under the couch. Soon he decided it
Was gone and told the woman, who sat down on the sofa in relief. But while
Relaxing, her hand dangled in between the cushions, where she felt the
Snake wriggling around. She screamed and fainted, the snake rushed back
Under the sofa.

The neighbor man, seeing her lying there passed out, tried to use CPR to
Revive her. The neighbor's wife, who had just returned from shopping at
The grocery store, saw her husband's mouth on the woman's mouth and
Slammed her husband in the back of the head with a bag of canned goods,
Knocking him out and cutting his scalp to a point where it needed more than a dozen stitches.

The noise woke the woman from her dead faint and she saw her neighbor
Lying on the floor with his wife bending over him, so she assumed that he
Had been bitten by the snake. She went to the kitchen and got a small
Bottle of whiskey and began pouring it down the man's throat.

By now the police had arrived.

They saw the unconscious man, smelled the whiskey, and assumed that a
Drunken fight had occurred. They were in the process of arresting them all,
When the women tried to explain how it all happened over a little green snake and
The little snake again crawled out from under the sofa. One of the
Policemen drew his gun and fired at it. He missed the snake and hit the
Leg of the end table. The table fell over and the lamp on it shattered and
As the bulb broke, it started a fire in the drapes.

The other policeman tried to beat out the flames, and fell through the
Window into the yard on top of the family dog who, startled, jumped out
And raced into the street, where an oncoming car swerved to avoid it and
Smashed into the parked police car.

Meanwhile, the burning drapes were seen by the neighbors who called the
Fire department. The firemen had started raising the fire truck ladder
When they were halfway down the street.

The rising ladder tore out the overhead wires and put out the electricity
And disconnected the telephones in a ten-square city block area (but they
Did get the house fire out).

Time passed... Both men were discharged from the hospital, the house was
Repaired, insurance replaced the couch and curtains, the dog came home,
the police acquired a new car, and all was right with their world.

A while later they were watching TV and the weatherman announced a cold
Snap for that night. The wife asked her husband if he thought they should
Bring in their plants for the night.

That's when he shot her.

Sarvey Wildlife Sanctuary needs your Help

Jeff and Freedom from the Sarvey Center,, are my most favourite person/eagle in the world!

Please if you can,, contribute some money,, to help this great sanctuary for our wylde brothers and sisters!!



Hi Everyone,

Here is the 'hot off the presses' September Newsletter.

Included are new features and some new writers. We know you'll like it.

Included on the front page of the website is call for work parties to help us get the fence line cleared so our new chain link fence can be installed. We have quite a few carnivores and need meat and money.

The meat we have to buy, so if you'd like to check your freezers and see what you can part with that would be great!! Otherwise we have to purchase it.

If you like to help purchase meat for us that would be extremely helpful. If you're bringing some up please call first as it is very busy here.

Please call Leslie at the clinic for details about what to buy.

This year has been exceptional for expenses. We have never had a year such as this before. I know you have seen the pictures of the winter damage, read about the septic system needing an overhaul, the need to purchase a new industrial washer and dryer, the list goes on.

We also are need a new van for our education programs. We did it all with your help and generosity.

Please if you can, we need to reinvigorate the back account.

Much more needs to be done and your financial support is critical to our success.

Every donation helps!!!

For the Wild Ones

Sarvey Wildlife Care Center

FSM Security Update: 08-31-09 *Glenn Beck: Questions to Ask Your President and Your Congressional Reps*

August 31st
President Obama's Eulogy to Ted Kennedy. Back to the vocabulary list? Is ‘Obamacare' a cover for officially sanctioned thievery? Obama's karmic freight train. New Aesop fable - roosting chicken meets lame duck! Trusting ‘Fedzilla' is asking for trouble.


Make sure to scroll all the way down because our Monday Security Update is loaded with information!

Glenn Beck: Questions to Ask Your President and Your Congressional Representatives

The Editors

This is a president who promised unparalleled transparency in all his dealings; let's see if he was telling us the truth.

Exclusive: Is Obama Set To Give Tomb of Jesus and Temple Mount to Forces of Allah?

Paul Williams, PhD

It appears the Crusades are now being conducted in reverse.

An Open Letter to Judge Daniel Dawson Regarding the Rifqa Bary Case

Herbert London

Should you rule that family unification trumps religious freedom, there is the possibility Rifqa will be returned to her country of origin to face her imminent demise.

Obama's Unconstitutional ‘Czars'

Alan Caruba

Here's a question that has been nagging me for months. Are Obama's ever-growing number of "czars" constitutional?

Exclusive: A Page from Barack Obama's Diary - Al Gore May have Invented the Internet, but I'm Gonna Own It!

Pam Meister

There's a new Internet project I'm working on. I wanted to call it "I'm Taking Over the Internet Whether You Like It or Not," but my advisors thought that was a little too revealing.

Today's Blog Topics

Video: Cheney Calls Democrats ‘Soft on National Security'
Video: Glenn Beck: Are you "In or Out"?
Video: Dem Rep: Quotes Rush and then states ObamaCare Opponents Want to Destroy ‘First President Who Looks Like Me'
Video: Cavuto Covers The Nation Wide Tea Party Beginning Today
Dick Cheney was .........and IS...........right!
Video: Crowd Boos Union Leader at NY Town Hall Over Residency Admission
'Kennedy' once meant 'tax-cutter'
Bush's Guard Service
Obamacare won't cover illegal immigrants? Yes it will, says Congressional Research Service
ROTC student suspended for telling Muslim to respect flag, remove hijab
Welcome to the Unionized States of America
Video: Sen. Mike Enzi (R-WY) explains why 'ObamaCare' is fatally flawed.
Open Letter: Health Care Reform and Town Halls?

ObamaCare Gets Religion

Nathan Tabor

In an effort to get more people on board the socialized medicine train, Engineer Obama went where normal liberals fear to tread - invoking religion.

America's International Standing Flounders Under Obama

Christopher Adamo

A dose of reality is needed to assess the real effect that Obama is having on America's standing among the nations of the world. The truth is far less glowing than the liberal media would have us believe.

Town Hall Meetings, Octogenarians and Goons

Steve Bowers, Esq.

Today's Hot Topics: 8-31

We choose, you peruse.

  1. Lockerbie bomber 'set free for oil'
  2. Cheney digs in
  3. Cheney: Enhanced Interrogations 'Essential' in Saving American Lives
  4. Misplaced Outrage Over 'Torture'
  5. UAE Seizes North Korean Weapons Shipment to Iran
  6. Speaker Of Lies: CIA documents contradicting Nancy Pelosi's claims
  7. Sorting Fact From Fiction on Health Care
  8. 57% Would Like to Replace Entire Congress
  9. Israel, Iran and Obama
  10. U.S. Says Pakistan Made Changes to Missiles Sold for Defense
  11. Lack of translators hurts U.S. war on terror
  12. The Obama administration is using its brass knuckles to support Latin American thugs.
  13. USS Missouri to get new look
  14. Weapons Seizure Turns Spotlight Onto Two Rogue States
  15. Federal Government Will Borrow 40 Percent of the Money It Spends Next Year
  16. The KGB, Kennedy, and Carter
  17. Al Qaeda Claims Responsibility for Attack That Injured Saudi Prince
  18. Iran media: Officials to probe secret burial claim
  19. The U.S. has abandoned plans to install a missile defense system in Europe
  20. Killer's release demands answers Did U.S. get to weigh in on his fate? Most of the dead were American.
  21. Khalid Sheik Mohammed cooperated after waterboarding.
  22. Transit $ecurity Cut Back
  23. Aw, the Poor CIA by Michael Ledeen
  24. Obama officials allow UK to go scot-free as well.
  25. Cruel September by Jed Babbin

Obama's Afghan Test

Salena Zito

The Afghan war belongs to President Obama. The question for the president, politically and strategically, is whether we need to fight this war for our own nation's security.

Lockerbie: Compassion for Petrodollars?

Dr. Walid Phares

How does the release of the Lockerbie bomber relate to the present crumbling of Western strategic behavior?

Hizballah's Possible Back Door into the UN

W. Thomas Smith, Jr.

One of the world's most dangerous terrorist organizations is worming its way toward a seat at the UN Security Council

Exclusive: National Lampoon's Obama Vacation

Satire by Shawn Goodwin

In an attempt to escape his plummeting poll numbers, the president and his family are retreating to Tax-achusetts. And what does the most powerful man in the world want more than anything?

Conspiracy Theories, Terror Support Found in ISNA Convention Literature

Steve Emerson

In public, ISNA presents an open and progressive face of Islam. Literature available at ISNA's annual convention last month in Washington, however, offers a far different vision.

Caption Contest August 26 - September 1

Will your caption come in at number one?

NEW FSM POLL!Obama's Green Jobs Czar

The background of President Obama's unelected, unvetted and unaccountable "green jobs czar", Van Jones [not his real name], reveals he was a self-avowed Communist and black nationalist with an arrest history.

What do you think of someone like this serving as an advisor to a US president?

HAAA, The Campfire Girls are Going to Save us Infidels (dhimmi idiocy)

LOL,, love this cartoon,,

yeah,, that's the ticket,, the Campfire Girls will save DAR AL HARB!!!!


Link: No war on terror

August 31, 2009 War on Women News - Responsible for Equality And Libert

(Afghanistan) Women Were Unable to Vote in Some Parts of Afghanistan
-- Many Afghan women stayed away from polls

Bangladesh: Muslims threaten Catholic women of Dewtola village
-- Asia News reports: "Catholic women of the village of Dewtola can no longer go to mass because of continual threats from local Muslims. For the past several weeks tensions have been mounting around the parish of St. Francis Xavier in Golla, Nawabgonj district."

Responsible for Equality And Liberty organization (R.E.A.L.)
-- website:
-- contact:

Additional Reports on War on Women can be found at:

For other newslinks, also see:

[ news] August 30-31, 2009 News -

August 30-31, 2009 News -

(Pakistan) US accuses Pakistan of illegally modifying weapons for use against India\08\31\story_31-8-2009_pg7_5

(Pakistan) Taliban militants torch NATO supplies

(Pakistan) 16 police recruits killed in Mingora suicide attack\08\31\story_31-8-2009_pg1_1

(Pakistan) Thirty dead-bodies of alleged militants recovered from Pakistani valley

Pakistan Daily Times: "Al Qaeda fails to unite Pakistani Taliban"\08\31\story_31-8-2009_pg7_3

(India) Talks with Pakistan meaningless unless Pak acts against terror: India

(India J&K) 2 jawans killed in terror attack near J&K assembly

(Afghanistan) 2 U.S. troops killed in Afghanistan

(Afghanistan) Coalition strategy in Afghanistan failing, admits US

(Afghanistan) US general calls for new strategy against Taliban
-- McChrystal is expected to ask for more troops in a couple of weeks
-- "McChrystal said the supply of fighters in the Afghan insurgency is 'essentially endless,' the reason violence continues to rise"
--- "In an example of the extreme threats that voters faced, an Afghan man said Monday that Taliban militants cut off his nose and both ears as he tried to vote."
--- "'I was on my way to a polling station when Taliban stopped me and searched me. They found my voter registration card,' Lal Mohammad said from a hospital bed in Kabul. He said they cut off his nose and ears before beating him unconscious with a weapon."
--- "'I regret that I went to vote,' Mohammad said, crying and trying to hide his disfigured face. 'What is the benefit of voting to me?'"
-- "The shock of the attack has left Mohammad reeling"

(Afghanistan) Two British soldiers from The Black Watch killed in Afghanistan

Iraq al Qaeda militant says Syria trained him
-- "They taught us lessons in Islamic law and trained us to fight. The camp was well known to Syrian intelligence."

(Iran) Ahmadinejad and Parliament clash once again, this time over new executive

(Iran) Germany, France reinforce Iran sanctions threat

Iranians Say Prison Rape Is Not New

(U.N.) "The UN, which runs most Gazan schools, recently asked local groups whether the Holocaust should be taught."

Hamas Leader Calls Jewish Holocaust a 'Lie'
-- "Hamas spiritual leader Younis al-Astal lashed out after hearing that the U.N. Relief and Works Agency, the main U.N. body aiding Palestinian refugees, planned to introduce lessons about the Holocaust to Gaza students."
-- "Adding the Holocaust to the curriculum would amount to 'marketing a lie and spreading it,' al-Astal wrote in a statement.:
-- "'I do not exaggerate when I say this issue is a war crime, because of how it serves the Zionist colonizers and deals with their hypocrisy and lies,' he wrote."
-- "Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri also objected to including what he referred to as the 'so-called Holocaust' in the lesson plan. 'We think it's more important to teach Palestinians the crimes of the Israeli occupation,' he said.",2933,544760,00.html
-- Hamas' Holocaust Denial Reaches Classrooms
-- Hamas slams UN over "Holocaust classes" in Gaza
-- Hamas leader denies Nazi genocide of Jews

(Gaza) 2 bombs explode in Gaza compound, outside mosque
-- "The two explosions appear to be revenge attacks against Gaza's Islamic Hamas rulers."

(Israel) Palestinians warned not to declare de facto state

Israel: Islamist 'militant' accused of murder plot
-- "An Israeli Arab man has been indicted for allegedly serving as an agent of the Islamist Lebanese militant group Hezbollah with plans to assassinate the head of the Israel's defence forces. The suspect, identified as 23-year-old Tira resident Rawi Sultani, had allegedly been dispatched by Hezbollah to assassinate Israel Defense Forces chief of staff Gabi Ashkenazi."

Israel accepts German-mediated Shalit swap deal: Report

(Israel) Troops shoot, seriously wound Palestinian hurling Molotov cocktails

(U.S.) Ohio: One former Muslim from Columbus area already under death fatwa - Ergun Mehmet Caner

(UK) Lockerbie letters to be released
-- Lockerbie bomber 'set free for oil'
-- Secret letters reveal Labour's Libyan deal
-- Lord Mandelson accused of secretly lobbying for Libya during Lockerbie bomber talks
-- Ex-Libya ambassador Sir Oliver Miles raises Lockerbie suspicions

(UK) Two arrested in Asian attack on police in Luton
-- Police attacked by Bury Park mob

(Saudi Arabia) Al Qaida names bomber who tried to kill Saudi royal: SITE -- Abdullah Hassan Taleh al-Asiri

(Saudi Arabia) "Door stays open to militants after al Qaeda attack on prince"

Somalia: PM Travels to Libya for AU Summit On Conflicts

Russia: Medvedev meets with North Caucus leaders on fighting radicalism
--- August 25, 2009: Russian Prime Minster Putin Supports Chechen Islamic Supremacist Kadyrov Who Defends "Honor Killings"

Russia: NYT report ignores Kadyrov's support for Islamic supremacism

Russia kills al Qaeda agent in North Caucasus

(Tajikistan) Four Tajiks jailed in first al Qaeda trial

(Indonesia) 'Bigger' Jakarta bombings planned
-- "Indonesian investigators have evidence Islamist militants were plotting a 'bigger' attack than July's deadly hotel bombings in the capital Jakarta, the national police chief says.",27574,26009676-23109,00.html

Indonesia: Govt wants terrorism law amended

(Thailand) Yala police on full alert of car bomb attack

Sri Lankan journalist found guilty of terrorism

New from the MEMRI Jihad & Terrorism Threat Monitor: Reports on Uighur Jihad

(Australia) Put aside prejudice, terrorism jury told
-- "The jury in the trial of five men accused of terrorist conspiracy should put out of their minds reports of terrorism elsewhere in the world, Justice Anthony Whealy said in the Supreme Court at Parramatta yesterday."
-- "The jury had to be satisfied if it were to make a finding of guilt that the acquisition of material to make explosives or the acquisition of firearms or ammunition, or both, was to carry out 'violent jihad'."

Islamic Supremacist War on Women:

(Afghanistan) Women Were Unable to Vote in Some Parts of Afghanistan
-- Many Afghan women stayed away from polls

Bangladesh: Muslims threaten Catholic women of Dewtola village
-- Asia News reports: "Catholic women of the village of Dewtola can no longer go to mass because of continual threats from local Muslims. For the past several weeks tensions have been mounting around the parish of St. Francis Xavier in Golla, Nawabgonj district."

Other News:

(UK) Algerian Christian Family Deported to Algeria

"Forgotten - Christians in Palestine"

(Sweden) Bildt: No plan to condemn anti-Semitism
-- "Swedish FM denies report that 'Aftonbladet' article will be tackled at EU foreign ministers meeting."

Denmark: Saudi lawyer demands Mohammed cartoon apology

(U.S.) NJ: Elizabeth mosque organizes national prayer event in D.C. - Dar-ul-Islam
-- September 25, 2009: "A Day of Islamic Unity"

(Bahrain) Firm launches pioneering Sharia insurance product

Amanda Bowman "The U.S. and U.K. Both 'Go Wobbly' on Terrorism"

Against Totalitarian News:

Communist Chinese Regime Blacklists 247 Dissidents
-- NDTV reports:
-- "Zan Aizong is a well-known Chinese blogger who's sometimes critical of the Communist Party. In 2006, he was arrested and fired from his job as the Zhejiang bureau chief of the Chinese Ocean News for writing an article that exposed the forced demolition of a Christian church building."
-- "Well now the regime has labeled him a dissident—adding him to a secret media blacklist and shutting down his blog."
-- "The blacklist was created by China’s Propaganda Ministry. It contains the names of 247 so-called dissidents that Chinese media are now forbidden to interview or write about."
-- "Chinese news service reports that the media have been ordered to copy the blacklist by hand—making sure there's no electronic record."

Communist China: "Organ trafficking flourishes. The government tries to regulate it."
-- Asia News reports:
-- "The issue of organ transplants in China has two major problems. First of all organs transplanted are mostly taken from people condemned to death, often without their consent or without that of family members. Secondly, very often the transplants are carried out to supply foreigners who can pay handsomely for the organ and the operation, but penalizing the local people in need of a transplant. Until two years ago, the cost for a kidney transplant was 62 thousand dollars, for the heart it was 140 thousand U.S. dollars."

Against Nazi News:

Poland hopes for apology from Russia for wartime pact with Nazis

Against Racial Supremacism News:

California: Donor's Views on Race Spark Outcry Over Parkland -- WIlliam Shockley


If reposting elsewhere, please credit source of this research as


U.S. Caught in Crosshars of Iranian Nuclear Threat

and now,, a HARLEY break,, yeeeehaaaa!!!

Thanks for my friend Jim Rock,, for this very fun video,, boy,, twistys are funnn!!!!

Goin Up the Hill!!!

August Chapter Leader of the Month

wish we had a chapter of the month up here in the great white north, eyy?????

homelearnactlocal chaptersContact Congress



By Kelly Cook, National Field Director

It is my pleasure to announce ACT! for America’s newest “Chapter Leader of the Month”! This feature highlights the activities of our various chapters operating all over the U.S. We regularly receive updates from our hard working volunteer chapter leaders and will be sharing with you “the inside scoop” on their many successes.

Our August Chapter Leader of the Month: (Drum roll…………………………..)

Michael Hayutin of the San Diego, California Chapter!

Michael has recently experienced an amazing challenge and subsequent victory. Here are the details:

  1. The San Diego Public Library has been allowing CAIR (Council for American-Islamic Relations) to present a series of unchallenged “presentations” to the public.

  2. Michael found out about this and immediately started to politely ask the library for equal time. He wanted to be able to rebut the half-truths and deceptions being fostered by these Islamist speakers.

  3. When CAIR discovered that Michael wanted equal time at their meetings, they were adamant in refusing Michael’s request.

  4. The library, to their great credit, instead granted Michael his own meeting space and time for an official ACT! for America event for the San Diego Chapter!

  5. Very predictably, CAIR then asked the library for “equal time” at our event! This blatant hypocrisy underscores a systemic attitude of supremacy very typical of Islamists. They tend to want, even demand special treatment.

  6. To the San Diego Public Library’s great credit, they held their ground! CAIR’s demands were ignored, even in the face of a blistering national campaign that asked all their members and offices to call and email the library demanding a reversal of the library’s decision.

  7. On August 15, Michael Hayutin hosted a very successful chapter meeting at the San Diego Public Library!

I’ll let Michael relay the high points in his own words:

“My presentation went better than I could have ever expected. Thanks to CAIR's hissy fit, I had a standing room only crowd of more than 200! I'd estimate about 10-15 % were in opposition and the balance of the crowd were very enthusiastic in their support. Everyone was civil. Mr. Hopida (local CAIR “Outreach Director”), after all his accusations, failed to appear. I wanted to thank him for giving me so much visibility.

“I felt like the crowd had been gathered by central casting. A professor from UCSD asked a question which turned out to be the poster child for my comments on how our kids are being mis-educated on the subject of the radical Islamic threat. There were lots of Veterans and even a sprinkling of Moslem support.

“We made a very important impression on the library officials. Just before I spoke, they were still reminding me not to incite or insult or offend. When it ended, they were full of smiles and seem to have gained respect (if not agreement!) for a different point of view. Remember, CAIR has had a continuing relationship with the library who had frankly expected the worst from us. The fact that Hopida didn't show and that I reminded the audience of my disappointment regarding this fact, made a positive impression on the library staff.

“I could never have been as confident without Brigitte's inspirational example and all the other Act! for America members from the area who came to support me, as well as those who could not come, but sent me positive messages.”


What a substantial victory for ACT! for America! I would ask you to ponder several points to glean from this experience:

  1. Michael simply observed an injustice and corrected it. He didn’t have to be “superhuman” to pull this off. Our chapter leaders are regular folks who are simply different from the apathetic majority in at least one respect: They will do whatever it takes to make a difference to protect their families and their nation.

  2. Michael and his wonderful chapter members could have been doing something else. There are a lot of options on a beautiful Saturday afternoon in San Diego. Yet they carved out a couple of hours to make a difference for all of us to benefit from.

  3. We grow large by growing small. We become an influential national force only after joining together hundreds of influential local chapters.

  4. Michael and his supporters have put San Diego CAIR on the defensive. In fact, we are accomplishing this nationwide, but it only happens when each area pulls its share of the load. In short, Michael’s efforts serve as an example that when we all do a little, together we accomplish a lot!

  5. What about you? Consider starting or helping a chapter today. Realize that combined with a small monthly Patriot Partner pledge of at least $20 to ACT! for America, this is the single most important thing you can do to stop radical Islam cold. You are needed!

Please join Michael Hayutin and hundreds of other chapter leaders by clicking here to sign up today!


Kelly Cook

National Field Director


ACT for America

P.O. Box 12765

Pensacola, FL 32591

ACT for America is an issues advocacy organization dedicated to effectively organizing and mobilizing the most powerful grassroots citizen action network in America, a grassroots network committed to informed and coordinated civic action that will lead to public policies that promote America’s national security and the defense of American democratic values against the assault of radical Islam. We are only as strong as our supporters, and your volunteer and financial support is essential to our success. Thank you for helping us make America safer and more secure.

Send a personalized version of this message to your friends.

Click here to give an online donation.

Raymond Ibrahim's Muslim charity debate (with video)

Middle East Forum

August 31, 2009

Raymond Ibrahim's Muslim charity debate

Al-Jazeera English

August 25, 2009

(includes a video recording of the program)

Send RSS

Panel: Jennifer Turner, Laila al-Marayati, Raymond Ibrahim

Riz Khan

"Hello and welcome. Can a Muslim donate money without raising suspicion? It's a question that the 7 million or so Muslims living in the USA are asking now as the holy month of Ramadan gets underway. It's a particularly auspicious time in the Islamic calendar, and one where traditionally Muslims focus on charitable giving, known as zakat, one of the 5 pillars of the religion.

"In the aftermath of 9/11 ands as part of the so-called global war on terror, the US Treasury Department stepped up its efforts to stop the flow of money to groups that it considers to be terrorist. Unfortunately, with then blanket suspicion of anything Islamic following the attacks of 9/11, it meant the charities with any sort of connection to Muslims were scrutinized. Has it gone too far? Well, at least 76 Muslim charities in America have had their assets frozen after the past 8 years, and many Muslim Americans are being questioned for donating to those charities and other causes abroad. This has created a chilling effect where Muslim Americans are wary of donating to anything.

"President Barack Obama acknowledged the problem in his speech to the Muslim world in June in Cairo:

'Freedom of religion is central to the ability of peoples to live together. We must always examine the ways in which we protect it. For instance, in the United States, rules on charitable giving have made it harder for Muslims to fulfill their religious obligation. That is why I am committed to working with American Muslims to ensure that they can fulfill zakat.'

"So today we ask, 'Is the crackdown on charities run by American Muslims a violation of their human rights or is it justified that there's extra scrutiny of these organizations in the post-9/11 world?' Remember you can join our conversation with questions and comments. Log on to and we'll also take your phone calls on the show.

"Joining me today from New York is Jennifer Turner, a human rights researcher at the American Civil Liberties Union, who is the lead author of a report this past June on the dilemma facing Muslim charities in America. The report, 'Blocking Faith, Freezing Charity,' argues that US terrorism financing policies are seriously undermining American Muslims' constitutional liberties and violating their fundamental human rights to freedom of religion and freedom from discrimination.

"In Los Angeles, we have Dr. Laila al-Marayati, the chairwoman of the US-based charity KinderUSA, whose primary focus at this time is on addressing the health and educational needs of Palestinian children living in the West Bank and Gaza. Dr. al-Marayati served as a presidential appointee to the US Commission on International Religious Freedom from 1999 to May 2001.

"We also have Raymond Ibrahim, the associate director of the Middle East Forum, a think tank based in Philadelphia from where he joins us. Mr. Ibrahim is the editor of The Al Qaeda Reader, a collection of texts and documents that trace the origin, history and evolution of the ideas of the leaders of Al Qaeda.

"I welcome you all to the show. And Jennifer Turner, if I could start with you there 9in New York and ask, 'How serious is the crackdown on Islamic charities. Looking at it, how widespread, how tough?"

Jennifer Turner

"Well the crackdown on Muslim charities has affected the 7 charities that have been closed by the Treasury Department, but the repercussions are much broader. In fact in talking with Muslims across America I found that there is a widespread impact on Muslims who feel that they can't give in charity, can't fulfill their obligation to give their zakat because of this crackdown."


"And then from what you know, has there historically been anything similar to this? Has any other organization, any other group or similar sort of range of organizations been targeted like this?"


"Well historically Irish charities have come under scrutiny for their donations, and Irish Americans have come under scrutiny. But since 9/11 Muslim charities have borne the brunt of the Treasury Department's scrutiny of American charities."


"Well Dr, Laila al-Marayati, if I can get you into the conversation here from Los Angeles. Welcome to the show as well. What impact is this targeting of charities having do you think on the desperately needed resources that some of these charities are seeking?"

Laila Marayati

"Well I think that ids the main question, that the focus on these Muslim charities has been on the neediest people in places of conflict and disaster. And by closing them and cutting off the ability of American Muslims to donate, it really affects the ability of people to survive those types of situations. The one that we deal with of course is what's happening particularly in the Gaza Strip right now. So I think this inhibits people from starting new charities, from taking on new projects, and makes people really doubt whether they should be giving at all. And I think it has had a huge impact. That really the bottom line is that – not that it's had any impact in the diminishing of terrorism because it hasn't been proven in the majority of cases – but rather it has had the effect on diminishing our ability as American Muslims to help the people we care about around the world."


"Now Dr. al-Marayati, since we're doing this at a time that's quite significant in the Muslim calendar, we're doing it during Ramadan when charity is high on the agenda, I guess the impact is even greater or at least the concern is even greater right now."


"It is greater. But I will say as a tribute to my fellow Muslim Americans that people really come forward to help the people they care about, and that it's our job as charities and as other organizations to really reassure them that we are conducting the proper due diligence to make sure their money gets to where it needs to be. Because our obligation is to our donors and to our beneficiaries, and that's the bottom line."


"Raymond Ibrahim, let me bring you in here. Glad you can join us too. Considering the harm that it is doing to bona fide charities and those that are in need, how do you regard this sort of blanket targeting or at least very widespread suspicion of Islamic charities?"

Raymond Ibrahim

"First I feel that both on a theoretical level and a practical level it has been proven over and over again that zakat or charity has been sent to aid and assist what is considered terrorism, especially abroad. And so while I sympathize with the fact that Muslims do want to contribute zakat and to give it to the poor and needy, the conundrum is how does one bypass or how do we figure out that the money is not being in fact sent to terrorists. And just to bring it right back to what I was saying, on a theoretical and a practical level. By theoretical, what I mean by that is it's well known that zakat can be given to x amount of recipients. But one of them, which is very well extremely codified is the people who are engaged in 'fi sabeel Allah', or 'in the path of Allah', which according to Islamic law and all the jurists specifically means those who are engaged in jihad or in military activities. This for example is found in Koran 9:60, Surah At-Tauba, aya 60. And it's also in all the legal texts and legal Islamic manuals. And in fact in the Koran when you read it, jihad or sabeel Allah – fighting on behalf of Allah – when you look at the primary verses it is often that fighting with one's wealth, ands in this case we can look at zakat, is prioritized as opposed to fighting with one's self. So it comes down to on a theoretical basis it is well known that zakat can go and contribute to sabeel Allah, fighting on behalf of Allah, and jihad.

"On the other hand now is everyday real life as we've seen it has been proven that this has been the case. For instance, what comes to my mind immediately are two instances as Al-Haramain Foundation – which I believe was also indicted for contributing to jihad or those engaged in military operations I believe in Chechnya – and of course the most famous anecdote would be the Holy Land Foundation, which it turned out lots of charity was going and funding Hamas, which is a recognized terrorist organization. So that's the problem, how does one bypass that and still see to it that Muslims can give charity to those who are needy?"


"OK, I'll look at some of the issues you raised in just a moment. We have Lee on the line in Virginia. We try to get our viewers' questions in as much as possible. To Lee, thanks for joining us. What would you like to ask?"

Caller (Lee from Virginia):

"Thank you, I actually have a quick comment. Jihad sabeel Allah does not really mean what the gentleman explained. It actually means literally perseverance for the name or the cause of God. It does not literally mean fighting or picking up arms. My question really is, there is a Zionist influence behind the Treasury Department's effort to shut down all Muslim charities. Could there be something as simple of a solution as essentially starting new organizations that start up and shut down faster than the Treasury Department can actually identify them? And if that's the case, how can the general public find out about these, especially with the advent of the Internet and etc.? Thank you."


"Actually Jennifer, if I can put this to you. Isn't one of the key things that basically if people really want to target money to suspect groups they could. I want to get to Raymond on this in a minute, but I want to ask you, surely motive, engaging and getting the right motives established that people are giving money for positive reasons would be a better focus for the government."

Jennifer Turner

"Well sure. One problem is that these laws were expanded under the Bush administration and they currently give the Treasury Department virtually unchecked power to close charities. So currently under the law the Treasury Department can close a charity without notice, without showing the evidence, without a hearing, without providing the charity an opportunity to respond. In fact, after 7 charities have been closed by the government, independent government review by both the 9/11 Commission and other government agencies and court review have shown that the evidence used to close these charities has often been deeply flawed and even points to a lack of evidence showing that these charities have supported terrorism. While the Treasury Department has closed 7 charities, only one has been convicted of any material support for terrorism.

"Another problem is that the laws will punish support without any kind of regard for the intent behind the support. So if a donor is to give to a charity fully intending to support humanitarian aid, giving in good faith and in opposition to any kind of violent aims of any group, that person can still be prosecuted, which raises serious concerns with what is our real goal. Our goal should be to make ourselves safer, and in fact these laws are failing to do that and are in fact counterproductive. We're finding that these policies are alienating American Muslims who are key allies in the war on terror, are undermining America's reputation overseas especially in Muslim countries, and are also chilling legitimate humanitarian aid. American good will is the best foreign policy we have in fighting extremism."

Caller (Ahmed from Somalia):

"Have any Islamic groups, charity groups, ever been taken to court in the States and actually proved…"


"Yes, Ahmed I think it was discussed a little earlier that there were a couple of cases."

Short break


"Welcome back. We're discussing the dilemma of Muslim charities and donors in America in light of the policies and practices of the US Treasury Department as it pursues the so-called war on terror. I am joined by Jennifer Turner, a human rights researcher at the American Civil Liberties Union, who is with us from the ACLU offices in New York. Also Dr. Laila Al-Marayati, who chairs KinderUSA. Dr. Marayati joins us from Los Angeles. And Raymond Ibrahim, the associate director from the Middle East Forum, a think tank that is based in Philadelphia from where he joins us.

"If I could get to Dr. Laila Al-Marayati in Los Angeles there. Looking at the situation that was being discussed a little earlier of how charities can be shut down on short notice, can be scrutinized and perhaps given no real reason, tell me what you know or what you're familiar with when it comes to the case of the KindHearts charity."


"I'm only somewhat familiar with the circumstances of that case. And they recently had a favorable ruling saying that the investigation and the freezing of the assets by the government has been determined unconstitutional. And this is the crux of the issue that all of us are dealing with, that while we understand there needs to be a protection of American safety, we have our due process rights to be respected as well. And one of them is to be able to say that we have the right to defend ourselves and be able to be sure that – the problem is that they can close a charity or freeze its assets while an investigation is ongoing before they actually present any evidence of wrongdoing. And I think this is a key area that has been dealt with with the KindHearts organization"


"Let me get across to Raymond Ibrahim here and ask, if you've had 7 charities shut down since 9/11 and only one has faced conviction, the odds don't look that good. Does it bother you then that President Obama has actually said that he wants to engage more effectively with Muslims as we heard in that sound bite earlier that he was saying he wanted to make sure that American Muslims could pay their zakat?"

Raymond Ibrahim

"It doesn't bother me; it's just that I am very curious to understand what that means and what he has in mind by that. Does that mean he is going to lessen scrutiny or what he is going to do. It is very unclear. Again, my position is basically that whatever is in the limits of the law should be executed. And I don't know the details of how that works, I don't know if that would grossly retard charity from going to where it should be going and all that. But to eliminate it just because of that doesn't seem right to me based on earlier precedent that in fact we have found cases where this has been happening. Like I said, it's not some sort of aberration because it is actually one of the aspects of zakat, is to contribute to this. So it can't be that it's completely out of every contributing Muslim's mind. I'm not saying it's the majority or I am not giving any numbers, but so long as there is some who are contributing then I believe there should be certain safeguards included."

Caller (Ahmed from the UK)

"First of all you must understand who the terrorist is. To most of the neocons and Zionists, every single Muslim, unless they abide by their own rules, are terrorists. But one must understand the other side of the coin. The Israelis, the Americans, the British, what they are doing in the world, that is tantamount to terrorism in the eyes of the Muslims. What the Israelis are doing in Palestine and what they do everywhere else through the agency is nothing less than terrorism. Why do we ignore that?"

Raymond Ibrahim

"May I respond to that?"

Khan: "Go ahead please, Raymond."

Raymond Ibrahim

"Basically, I completely understand his position. Of course, it's in the eye of the beholder who is the terrorist and who isn't. But what we're talking about here, at least I believe, is American Muslims contributing to this. So if American Muslims want to contribute to Hamas, well you're contributing to someone that the US government has designated as a terrorist and that is combating. So you can believe that they have a just cause, but at the same time to be living in the United States and contributing charity to an organization that is deemed by the US government as a terrorist organization seems problematic."


"Jennifer, from an ACLU perspective to what degree has the culture changed in America to a case of guilty until proven innocent rather than the traditional edict of innocent until proven guilty?"

Jennifer Turner

"Well certainly among the American Muslims who I interviewed around America, they told me that their perception at least is that they would be considered guilty until proven innocent. And it's all about perception. The government's practices of prosecuting donors or threatening or refusing to reassure donors and closing charities has created a climate of fear such that when observant Muslims want to fulfill their obligation to give charity they hesitate, and in many cases in fact don't give in compliance with their religion. And that's a huge problem."


"Dr. Al-Marayati, let's look at the work your organization, KinderUSA, is focused on right now. To what degree are you facing problems because of what's going on now? To what degree are you finding that people are a little wary of donating so that the work you do is being hampered?"


"As I said, I think that the American Muslim community really has stepped up, especially in view of the tragedy that has affected Gaza over the last 6 months with the siege and with the bombings that occurred back in January. So they seem to have overcome that fear. I would also say, with respect to the comments made by one of the other guests, that the cases we are talking about have been dealt with in the courts date back now 7, 8 years. And if we look at present day Muslim Americans and what they're interested in doing and who they're interested in helping - in addition to Muslims who are suffering around the world, they want to help their fellow Americans as well in times of need. So I can't say for sure that the climate has persisted in terms of inhibiting people from giving, but people do want to know. They simply want to know like any other person donating to any charity wants to know that their money is getting to the intended beneficiaries. And that's the job of our community, to be able to reassure them. And I can tell you that my experience with Muslim Americans is they're not interested in financing jihad; they are interested in financing and supporting children who are hungry, who need to be educated, women who have been hurt ands harmed, and people who are homeless. That's really their primary focus."


"Raymond Ibrahim, you wrote in a recent article of yours, 'The Dark Side of Zakat', that zakat should not be equated with charity. Presumably that's because of the reasons you had mentioned - the fact that it can be directed in light of jihad and so on. I wonder how you regard the idea of engaging a little more thoroughly to make sure that at least the community, the Muslim community in America, doesn't feel it's being targeted so much and that perhaps the motivation to be a little more positive might be triggered at least here."

Raymond Ibrahim

"Well, going back to your first point, what I originally tried to demonstrate is that certain Islamic terms are often translated into certain English words – so zakat is immediately translated as charity. And by and large there is of course that element involved in it. But what I had written about originally in my article - and I used zakat as an example, one of several – is to show that what we think of zakat from a Western perspective, to call it charity is a little stretching in a certain sense. Why? For example a lot of people would be surprised to find that, again according to Islamic law, a Muslim is forbidden from bestowing zakat on a non-Muslim, even though the term charity itself would connote some sort of universal beneficence. And so that was the first aspect that I wanted to point out, that in these terms we take them and attribute a Western coloring to them, and in fact there are other elements involved to it that we don't know. And that's what we should become more cognizant of. And so going back to that is the aspect that zakat of course can be and has been used to fund jihadi operations across the world. And I'm sorry, I didn't quite follow your last part."


"Yeah, isn't there more benefit to be had by engaging the American Muslim community so that they're sort of on board as opposed to feeling even more targeted as seems to have happened?"

Raymond Ibrahim

"I completely agree with that. And to that end I wonder to myself – I don't know the logistics involved in getting law enforcement to scrutinize Islamic charities – but I also think to myself, if you have nothing to hide and you are fully transparent I would hope that the process would go by smoothly. Let me give you an example. If you look at me, I am this large, bearded man whose last name is Ibrahim. When I go into airports, I get a couple of stares and I am often – I spend a little more time at the gates. But I comply because I understand the logic behind it, and more importantly I know I don't have anything to hide. So long as they are respectful and efficient about it, I just go about my business and it doesn't bother me. And so I am thinking, Islamic charity organizations I would hope would have the same spirit and that they can be transparent, they have nothing to hide and just try to make this go by smoothly because the fact is some are engaged in this. To just say there shouldn't be scrutiny – sure, maybe the vast majority of zakat is not going to fund terrorism, but to say that no scrutiny, then that small amount will be going. And so we need a balance."


"There unfortunately we've run out of time. It's a shame. There's so much more to discuss. I want to thank all three of you for taking part in the debate. Thank you."

Related Topics: Islam

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