The Ground Zero mosque controversy has reawakened concerns about some Islamic Centers in the United States and their funding sources. As Claudia Rosett recently noted, we really don’t know where Feisal Abdul Rauf found $100 million to fund his mega-project in lower Manhattan. Congressman Peter King has asked the New York attorney general to investigate the piece of the puzzle as well, and Senator John McCain thinks, “If they move forward, [Rauf’s financing] clearly needs to be investigated.”
The timing of all of this couldn’t be worse for Illinois Senate candidate Alexi Giannoulias who faces questions of his own regarding who is funding his campaign. Take Mohammed Sahloul for example, who contributed $1,000 to the Giannoulias campaign on June 22.
Sahloul is the former president of the Mosque Foundation, a Bridgeview mosque that has numerous links to terrorist organizations. The Mosque Foundation contributed roughly $400,000 to four Islamic charities that were later shut down by the federal government for links to terrorism. According to the Chicago Tribune, the organizations receiving funds were: the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development, the Benevolence International Foundation, the Islamic American Relief Agency, and Global Relief Foundation.
In 2004, the Chicago Tribune wrote of one instance where Sheik Jamal Said, the mosque’s imam, raised $50,000 from his congregants for the legal defense of Sami Al-Arian, a former University of South Florida professor who pled guilty in 2006 to raising money for the Palestinian Islamic Jihad. While soliciting the contributions, Said reportedly called Israel “a foreign, malignant and strange element on the blessed land.”
There’s a lot of talk about radical influences and funding these days. Someone might want to take a closer look at these influences in political campaigns as well.