ISLAMIC CHARITY TO CHALLENGE ITS DESIGNATION AS "SPECIALLY DESIGNATED GLOBAL TERRORIST"
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE July 9, 2008
Islamic Charity to challenge to its designation as "Specially Designated Global Terrorist"
Contact: Ashlee Albies, firstname.lastname@example.org, 503.221.1792
Tom Nelson, email@example.com, 503.709.6397
At 9 a.m. on Thursday, July 10, 2008, at the Federal Courthouse at 1000 SW Third Ave in Portland, attorneys for a Muslim Charity will appear in federal court before Judge Garr King to argue that the government's designation of it as a "specially designated global terrorist" violated its constitutional rights. Al-Haramain Islamic Foundation, Inc.(AHIF) is a southern Oregon charity designated in 2004 as a "specially designated global terrorist organization" by the Bush Administration. The result of the designation was to essentially shut down the organization, which was engaged in distributing Korans and other Islamic literature and supporting refugees. The designation was based largely on classified and secret evidence that the charity has not been allowed to see or refute, along with press releases and newspaper articles. AHIF filed suit in federal court, alleging that the designation procedure used by the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), a division of the Department of Treasury, violates AHIF's constitutional rights and is arbitrary as a matter of law.
AHIF was forced to speculate as to allegations and evidence that it could not see, and its repeated objections to OFAC that the designation process was violating its basic constitutional rights to due process were ignored. It was not until after AHIF filed a lawsuit in federal court challenging its 4 year old designation that OFAC "redesignated" AHIF and belatedly provided specific factual allegations to support the designation. However, these new allegations were only asserted after
the redesignation, and OFAC again failed to give AHIF any kind of meaningful opportunity to defend itself prior to the actual designation or redesignation.
David Cole, attorney for AHIF, stated that "AHIF has been shut down for more than four years, but the government did not even tell AHIF its reasons for doing so until six months after we filed this lawsuit - and they are still relying heavily on secret evidence."
AHIF challenges its designation on due process, First, Fourth, and Fifth Amendment grounds, as well as being arbitrary and capricious under the Administrative Procedures Act. The Multicultural Association of Southern Oregon (MCASO), an organization dedicated to promoting diversity and understanding across cultures, joins AHIF as plaintiffs in the suit. MCASO had, prior to the designation, often worked with AHIF doing outreach and education about Islam and the Muslim Community. After AHIF's designation, MCASO is prevented from associating with AHIF in any way, including speaking out against the designation or advocating on behalf of AHIF, for fear they may be seen as providing "material support" to a
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