On December 4, 2001, Bush's Treasury Department wrongfully declared HLF a terrorist group, froze its assets, and falsely claimed they were used to funnel millions of dollars to Hamas. HLF appealed but was denied.
Until then, it was America's largest Muslim charity. Based in Richardson, TX, it provided aid to needy people in numerous countries, including Palestine, Lebanon, Jordan, Bosnia, Albania, Chechnya, Turkey, and America with an annual budget of about $14 million.
Its major activities included:
-- financial aid to needy and impoverished families;
-- a sponsorship program for orphaned children;
-- various social and educational services;
-- medical and other emergency work; and
-- community development, including help to rebuild Palestinian homes, illegally demolished by Israel.
Nonetheless, they were bogusly convicted of numerous charges, including providing aid to a designated terrorist organization (Hamas), money laundering, conspiracy, and filing false tax returns.
HLF explained its work as follows, saying "We gave:
-- books, not bombs;
-- bread, not bullets;
-- smiles, not scars;
-- toys, not tanks;
-- peace, not terror;
-- liberty, not poverty;