Dispatches from the Creation Wars

Earlier this year a group called ClergyVoice got the tax exempt status of the C Street House removed (mostly) after filing a complaint. Now the group is going after the tax exemption of the group that owns that house, the Fellowship Foundation. This is one of the innumerable non-profit groups controlled by The Family, aka the Fellowship.

And interestingly, part of the reason is because of the group having received money from a Muslim group allegedly tied to terrorism.

The foundation, an Arlington-based religious enterprise associated with a house at 133 C St. SE where several members of the House and Senate have rented rooms, acknowledged Wednesday that it had received two $25,000 checks, in May and June 2004, from the Missouri-based Islamic American Relief Agency.

The charity was included on a Senate Finance Committee list of terrorist financiers in January of that year.

And the money was given to the International Foundation, another non-profit run by the same group, in order to hire former Michigan congressman Mark Siljander to help get the Islamic charity off the list of terrorist funders:

Extensive government wiretaps and data collected in the raid led to multiple federal indictments of the relief agency’s officers. They culminated in a guilty plea four months ago by chief executive Mubarak Hamed in which he acknowledged sending a $25,000 check to the International Foundation in May 2004. Carver said that was one of the names for his group.

Hamed, in his plea, said the purpose was to pay for lobbying by former congressman Mark D. Siljander (R-Mich.), a prominent social conservative who promised to help the agency get off the Senate terrorist financing list. Siljander, in a July courtroom appearance, pleaded guilty to serving as the charity’s unregistered agent in meetings with lawmakers on Capitol Hill, and admitted lying to federal officers about his role.

The Justice Department has said the money involved was stolen from a grant given to the charity by the Agency for International Development in the late 1990s to finance relief work in Mali. Siljander knew at the time that the charity was controlled from Sudan, and he suggested that his payments be routed through foundations, according to his plea.

Carver said that at the time, Siljander – a fundamentalist who has attained prominence for advocating closer relations with Muslims – was an “associate” of the Fellowship Foundation, and that it has long been the foundation’s practice to process donations and payments for all 200 or so associates at its 300 affiliated ministries. Its annual budget is about $16 million, he said.

The money “probably came in at a time when nobody thought there was a reason for Mark to do something” wrong, Carver said. “We never had any reason to expect we would get anything like that.”

Curiouser and curiouser.