Muslim With Ties to Hamas to Address Inaugural Prayer Service

January 18th, 2009 1:14 PM

A Muslim religious leader with alleged ties to the terrorist group Hamas is scheduled to address President Barack Obama's inaugural prayer service on Wednesday.

Given the recent hostilities in Israel surrounding Hamas, irrespective of a just-announced ceasefire, one has to wonder how much attention this matter will get from Obama-loving media which are also largely pro-Palestinian.

Although Politico is getting credit for breaking this story, the American Thinker appears to have been the first to unveil the truth behind Ingrid Mattson Saturday (photo courtesy AP via Politico):

Ingrid Mattson, president of the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), will deliver a prayer at the National Cathedral during the National Prayer Service on January 21st. The event is part of the festivities for the inauguration of Barack Obama, which occurs January 20. A convert to Islam, Mattson directs the Macdonald Center for the Study of Islam and Christian-Muslim Relations at Hartford Seminary.

ISNA has close ties with the Muslim Brotherhood, a radical Islamist group, and was named an un-indicted co-conspirator in U.S. v Holy Land Foundation, a case that uncovered covert financing of the terrorist group Hamas.

Politico's Josh Gerstein reported the following a bit later in the day Saturday:

Mattson’s 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. [...]
The court has not ruled on the groups’ motion, but in a brief filed last July, federal prosecutor James Jacks said there was ample evidence of the Islamic groups’ ties to the Holy Land Foundation.

“During last year's trial, numerous exhibits were entered into evidence establishing both ISNA's and NAIT's 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.'"

Through 1PM EST Sunday, a Google News search identified the Associated Press as the lone major American news outlet besides Politico to print this story, although others have noted Mattson's scheduled appearance at the prayer service without addressing her Hamas connections.

I wonder why.

By contrast, AT's Richard Moran pointed out Sunday that Fox News has reported the full story about Mattson. 

Color me unsurprised.

In the end, it will be very interesting to see what coverage this matter gets in the coming days if any.

Stay tuned.