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Thursday, October 30, 2008

Muslim Americans for Obama running illegal get out the vote drives at swingstate mosques this week


UPDATE: For those who has asked about lawful voter registration drives at religious institutions, that is only legal IF the organization is non-partisan. “Muslim Americans for Obama”, the sponsor of these events, is unquestionably a partisan organization, and thus, any participation by these mosques is illegal and violates their tax exempt status. Additionally, since the Muslim Americans for Obama announcement says that these voter registration drives are intended to “get out the vote for Sen. Obama”, they are considered partisan (i.e. intended to benefit a specific candidate) under the law and illegal on that basis as well — in addition to the fact that these events are sponsored by a partisan organization.

UPDATE #2: In just the past few hours, Muslim Americans for Obama has added a “clarification” to their announcement with this howler:

Muslim Americans for Obama has made clear to all its volunteers that all voter registration activity is strictly non-partisan (no advocacy on behalf of any candidate or party, whether written or verbal).
The simple fact that this is “Muslim Americans for Obama” makes this partisan political activity, their “clarification” notwithstanding. No amount of instructions to their Muslim Americans for Obama volunteers can change that fact. 

They also claim that they are only doing activities on “adjoining property”, but that is belied by the fact that event postings on their own Muslim Americans for Obama website indicate that some of the voter registration/get out the vote booths are located inside the mosque. How exactly is that not sponsorship by the mosque? Can't keep their lies straight, it seems. (And, yes, we have saved screen shots of the evidence before they pull it down. Hello, IRS?)

Update #3: A quick aside, I would point out that one of the mosques targeted by Muslim Americans for Obama, Dar al-Hijrah in Falls Church, VA, is the mosque that hosted two of the 9/11 hijackers, Nawaf Al Hazmi and Khalid Al Mihdhar. Their former imam, Anwar al-Aulaqi, is wanted by the FBI for questioning about his role in helping these two terrorists while he was serving mosques in both San Diego and Northern VA. Read this Washington Post article, “Imam from VA mosque now thought to have aided Al-Qaeda” for more background on al-Aulaqi (who now lives in Yemen), and this previous COAT postdiscussing al-Aulaqi’s Central Ohio ties.

Original post: The group, Muslim Americans for Obama, has announced a series of “get out the vote” events at mosques in Michigan, Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey, Virginia, and Ohio this week during Ramadan celebrations. As can be seen in the announcement reprinted below, the organization admits these are “get out the vote” events masquerading as “voter registration”:

Muslim Americans for Obama will be working to get out the vote for Sen. Obama, and they need help registering voters! Volunteers need not be Muslim, though appropriate attire is advised (no sleeveless tops; long pants and ankle-length skirts recommended).
These get out the vote events, of course, flagrantly violate the tax exempt status of these participating mosques, including our own local Noor Islamic Cultural Center, which are strictly prohibited from supporting or endorsing any kind of partisan political activity — even when they claim it is only “voter registration”. In fact, it was these kinds of activities that eventually sunk the Christian Coalition's tax exempt status with the IRS.

Here's the entire announcement posted on Sunday at the Asian-Americans for Obama 08 website (no doubt it will disappear from there shortly), as well as the Muslim Americans for Obama website:

September 28th, 2008

National Muslim Voter Registration Day 2008 on 9/29-10/1
Posted by Eugenia Beh

Muslim Americans for Obama will be working to get out the vote for Sen. Obama, and they need help registering voters! Volunteers need not be Muslim, though appropriate attire is advised (no sleeveless tops; long pants and ankle-length skirts recommended)
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posted by Pastorius at permanent link#

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