Report: Blocking Faith, Freezing Charity

June 16, 2009

This report documents the effect of U.S. government actions on American Muslims' exercise of their right to profess and practice their religion through charitable giving. The ACLU's research shows that U.S. terrorism financing policies and practices are seriously undermining American Muslims' protected constitutional liberties and violating their fundamental human rights to freedom of religion, freedom of association, and freedom from discrimination.

The ACLU found that these policies and practices are neither fair nor effective, and are undermining American values of due process and fairness. This report outlines clear measures the Obama administration and Congress should take to ensure American Muslims can exercise their religion while protecting charities from mistaken targeting and abuse, and simultaneously promoting national security and humanitarian aid.

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(Executive Summary (PDF))

Table of Contents

I EXECUTIVE SUMMARY AND INTRODUCTION 7
II METHODOLOGY 25
III LEGAL FRAMEWORK 27
IV LACK OF DUE PROCESS TO PROTECT AGAINST MISTAKE AND ABUSE 39
V DISCRIMINATORY ENFORCEMENT OF COUNTERTERRORISM LAWS AGAINST AMERICAN MUSLIM CHARITIES 59
VI INTIMIDATION OF MUSLIM DONORS BY LAW ENFORCEMENT 69
VII CHARITABLE GIVING IN ISLAM 83
VIII CHILLING EFFECT ON MUSLIM CHARITABLE GIVING AND IMPACT ON RELIGIOUS FREEDOM 89
IX CHILLING EFFECT ON ASSOCIATION WITH MUSLIM COMMUNITY AND RELIGIOUS ORGANIZATIONS 111
X COLLATERAL CONSEQUENCES UNDERMINE COUNTERTERRORISM EFFORTS 117
XI INTERNATIONAL HUMAN RIGHTS AND CONSTITUTIONAL LEGAL STANDARDS 131
XII ACKNOWLEDGMENTS 139
XIII ENDNOTES 141

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