Those who saw ICNA’s convention announcement were told to go to icnase.net to register for the event. That was then. Recently, viewers of the site witnessed an entirely different message.
Up until last week, icnase.net was being used as a political campaign site for the 2012 reelection of President-elect Barack Obama. Across the top of the site’s homepage hovered an official Obama campaign banner. Also on the homepage was a video entitled “Obama 2012.” It discussed the accomplishments of the first Obama administration — how Obama made health care more affordable, how he made it easier for Americans “to live the American Dream,” and how he brought soldiers home from the war. This, while Barack Obama hasn’t even begun to serve his first term yet. The video ended with a boy on a bicycle asking the question, “Can we keep this country moving forward, if we reelect President Obama?” and a chorus of children replying, “Yes, we can.”
The registrant of icnase.net is an individual named Zakiyah Omar, an operative for the 2008 Barack Obama for President campaign. Omar is also the registrant for the website of the organization Muslim Americans for Obama ’08, a group which held events at various Islamic extremist functions, including the 32nd Annual ICNA-MAS convention. The web host for this site and all three ICNA-SE sites is the same group, 1 & 1 Internet, Inc.
The Islamic Circle of North America, Inc., is a 501(c)(3) non-profit, tax-exempt organization. According to the IRS, under its “Ban on Political Campaign Intervention,” “For an organization to be tax-exempt under section 501(c)(3) it cannot participate in, or intervene in (including the publishing or distributing of statements) any political campaign on behalf of (or in opposition to) any candidate for public office.”
In addition, according to the IRS, “Violating this ban may result in denial or revocation of the organization’s tax-exempt status.” It is obvious that ICNA has indeed violated this ban.
ICNA has been involved in a number of terror-related issues that should, for all intents and purposes, get the organization closed down. However, it could be the unlikely subject of politics that, in the end, causes ICNA’s downfall.
If ICNA wants to participate with groups that help finance terrorism abroad, it should be held accountable. And if ICNA wants to support political candidates, it should be held accountable as well. Regardless, America’s taxpayers shouldn’t have to foot the bill.