Petition to the US government to reverse its action against Palestinian Charity

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We, the undersigned, urge the United States government to reverse its decision to freeze the assets of the Holy Land Foundation for Relief & Development (HLF), a highly respected charity that has been helping thousands of needy families around the world, especially in Palestine.

We are very alarmed by the actions that the US government has taken against HLF, which negate the declared statements by top US officials, including President George W. Bush, that the war on terrorism is not a war on the Arab and Muslim community.

We believe that targeting such a respected charity is an action that touches every Arab and Muslim in this country, in fact every American who cares about human rights, justice and the welfare of the needy.

Since the September 11th attack on the Twin Towers and the Pentagon, the US government has pursued a policy where it has targeted Islamic, Arab and Palestinian organizations and individuals, in a manner that often lacks legal legitimacy. We demand from the United States government to stop this discriminatory and prejudiced policy.

The Holy Land Foundation has an impeccable reputation in aiding refugees not only in Palestine, but worldwide. There is no evidence to link the Holy Land Foundation to any "terrorist" actions or groups, and this accusation remains unsubstantiated.

We add our voice to the voices of major American Muslim organizations including the American Muslim Alliance (AMA), American Muslim Council (AMC), Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA), Muslim American Society (MAS), Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC), and Muslim Student Association of USA and Canada who stated in an earlier statement:

"No relief group anywhere in the world should be asked to question hungry orphans about their parent's religious beliefs, political affiliations or legal status. Those questions are not asked of recipients of public assistance whose parents are imprisoned or executed in the United States, and they should not be a litmus test for relief in Palestine.

"Charity is a duty for people of all faiths. In fact, it is one of the five 'pillars' of Islam. Islamic charities in this country help American Muslims fulfill their religious obligation to help orphans and the needy. The frozen assets therefore belonged not to HLF, but to the entire Muslim community. This action is particularly disturbing, coming as it does during the Islamic holy month of Ramadan, a time when Muslims make many of their annual charitable donations.

"We ask that President Bush reconsider what we believe is an unjust and counterproductive move that can only damage America's credibility with Muslims in this country and around the world and could create the impression that there has been a shift from a war on terrorism to an attack on Islam."

The September 11th attack should not be used as pretext to attack organizations or individuals who support the Palestinian cause, nor to take arbitrary actions against them without the due process of the law.