Ohio State Student Group Hosts Hamas Fundraiser

Last March, extreme left-wing UK politician George Galloway traveled to Gaza and handed over a pile of cash to the head of Hamas. The photo-op was broadcast live on al-Jazeera TV. At that event (video and transcript of Galloway’s speech available from the Middle East Media Research Institute), he promised Hamas that he would soon bring more money for the terrorist group “from his friends."

Weeks later, Galloway conducted a fundraising swing through the U.S. after having been banned from Canada on “national security grounds." A judge later upheld the ban on his entry.

One of Galloway’s fundraising stops was for the Muslim Student Union at the University of California-Irvine. The Jerusalem Post reported last week that the student group is now under investigation by the university for having knowingly raised funds for Hamas at the event -- a federal felony. Amazingly, several university officials were present at the fundraiser. One Jewish group has requested that U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder also open an investigation after submitting a report and videos of the event to the Justice Department.

The Muslim student group at UC-Irvine was not alone in its fundraising for Galloway’s efforts to support Hamas, Pajamas Media has learned.

The Muslim Students Association at the Ohio State University -- a sister organization to the UC-Irvine group -- also held a luncheon fundraiser on April 4 featuring Galloway, just three weeks after his televised appearance in Gaza with Hamas leaders. A flier for the event states that “all proceeds go to Gaza." According to the flier, the event was co-sponsored by a prominent mosque in the Columbus area, the Noor Islamic Cultural Center, which has recently been in the news concerning its terrorist ties and its connection to the Rifqa Bary case.

As I’ve written elsewhere, the OSU Muslim Students Association has a very troubled history. Before the 9/11 attacks, the group operated the MSANews email distribution service that served as the primary English-language outlet for virtually every Islamic terrorist group in the world, including al-Qaeda. As the Associated Press reported in December 2001, the OSUMSA was under investigation by federal authorities for openly promoting terrorist videos and extremist Islamic groups in the U.S.

More recently, in February 2006, the OSUMSA hosted a conference sponsored by the Muslim charity Kindhearts on the same day that federal agents raided the Kindhearts offices and the Treasury Department closed the group down and froze its assets for financing Hamas.

The president of the OSUMSA at the time it held its fundraiser for Galloway was Mohamed Sultan -- the son of prominent terrorist-supporting sheikh Salah Sultan. Last January, I reported here at Pajamas Media about an appearance of Salah Sultan on Egyptian TV, where he threatened the U.S. with destruction and invoked a notorious Islamic hadith about the eventual extermination of the Jews at the hands of the Muslims. Sultan has also been photographed at events with several Hamas leaders.

Last Friday, the Investigative Project on Terrorism published an article and a 32-page report on George Galloway’s organization, Viva Palestina, that he uses to conduct his fundraising.  Among IPT’s findings:

  • Viva Palestina USA is not incorporated anywhere. It uses an existing charity, the Interreligious Foundation for Community Organizations/Pastors for Peace (IFCO) to collect donations.

  • During fundraisers and rallies, Viva Palestina members often invoke Hamas. In addition, a Hamas website promoted a pending trip by "European political figures" that quoted a Viva Palestina organizer.

  • Viva Palestina USA has struck alliances with a number of extremist groups, including La Voz de Aztlan, an organization that advocates the revolutionary overthrow of U.S. territory that it deems to have been stolen from Mexico; the al-Awda Palestine Right of Return Coalition; and Code Pink.

British investigators have already opened up an inquiry into Viva Palestina’s fundraising and financial support of Hamas. The money and supplies raised during Galloway’s U.S. tour this spring were delivered to Hamas officials in July. When he handed off the bag of cash to Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh in March, Galloway shouted:

Revolution until victory! Revolution until victory! Revolution until victory! Viva, viva! There's more money coming in from my friends. Viva viva, Palestine!

We will see if the Justice Department will take a serious look into George Galloway’s “friends” in the U.S., including the Muslim student groups at UC-Irvine and OSU, who are providing him with money, and the potential crimes they have committed by assisting Galloway in his material support for terrorists.