Iran is expected to to reciprocate

 

 

NEW YORK — US Federal prosecutors Thursday took steps to seize four U.S. mosques and a Fifth Avenue skyscraper owned by a non-profit Muslim organization long suspected of being secretly controlled by the Iranian government.  In what could prove to be one of the biggest counterterrorism seizures in U.S. history, prosecutors filed a civil complaint in federal court seeking the forfeiture of more than $500 million in assets of the Alavi Foundation and an alleged front company. The assets include Islamic centres in New York City, Maryland, California and Houston, more than 100 acres in Virginia, and a 36-storey office tower in New York.  Seizing the properties would be a sharp blow against Iran, which has been accused by the U.S. government of bankrolling terrorism and seeking a nuclear bomb.

It is extremely rare for U.S. law enforcement authorities to seize a house of worship, a step fraught with questions about the First Amendment right to freedom of religion.

The action  is sure to inflame relations between the U.S. government and American Muslims, many of whom are fearful of a backlash after last week’s Fort Hood shooting rampage, blamed on a Muslim American soldier.

What will happen to them if the government ultimately prevails is unclear. But the government typically sells properties it has seized through forfeiture, and the proceeds are sometimes distributed to crime victims.

Prosecutors said the Alavi Foundation, through a front company known as Assa Corp., illegally funneled millions in rental income back to Iran’s state-owned Bank Melli. Bank Melli has been accused by a U.S. Treasury official of providing support for Iran’s nuclear program, and it is illegal in the United States to do business with the bank.  Government officials have long suspected the foundation was an arm of the Iranian government; a 97-page complaint details involvement of several top officials in foundation business, including the country’s deputy prime minister and ambassadors to the United Nations.  “For two decades, the Alavi Foundation’s affairs have been directed by various Iranian officials, including Iranian ambassadors to the United Nations, in violation of a series of American laws,” U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said in a statement.

If federal prosecutors seize the skyscraper, the Alavi Foundation would have almost no way to continue supporting the Islamic centres, which house schools and mosques.

Legal scholars who specialize in religious liberty issues said they know of only a few cases in U.S. history in which law enforcement authorities have seized a house of worship.  such cases are “extremely rare.”

In 2007, the United States accused Bank Melli of providing services to Iran’s nuclear and ballistic missile programs and put the bank on its list of companies whose assets must be frozen.

The United States has imposed sanctions against various other Iranian banks and other businesses yet.

Iran is expected to to reciprocate against other religious groups, Christians included  not too. And other religious groups could face more US governmental seizures now too.
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Teens wounded in brawl Toronto & GTA News

 
GUNS KILL3
 
What started as reports of an afternoon baseball bat brawl between two groups of teens ended with two boys in hospital — one shot, the other stabbed — yesterday afternoon.  A fight involving eight to 15 teens broke out near George S. Henry Academy on Graydon Hall Dr., near Don Mills and York Mills Rds., at about 3:30 p.m., Toronto Police Const. Tony Vella said.  During the brawl, one teen was stabbed in the back and another was shot in the back.  The injured teens, believed to be about 16, were from opposing sides, Vella said.  After the groups scattered, emergency crews found the stabbing victim nearby with a “minor” wound and the shooting victim on a park bench down the street, where he had collapsed with what was thought to be a life-threatening injury, Vella said.  He was rushed to hospital, where he was listed in “stable” condition last night, Vella said.  Though the incident happened a half hour after classes ended at the nearby high school, it was unknown whether the teens were students there.  “We have a responsibility to educate today’s teens that violence is not the answer,” Vella said. “It does not help the situation. It just fuels the situation.  “You have someone shot and stabbed, then that person just wants to get (revenge),” he said. “Eventually, someone is killed.”  Three separate scenes were taped off by police along Graydon Hall, which is dotted with five highrise apartment buildings.  “I’m used to it,” a 12-year-old girl said of violence in the area since her family moved onto the street five years ago. “I hate when this happens.”  “We are very afraid, very surprised,” said a Pakistani man who moved to the area five months ago.  “We thought this city was very peaceful,” his wife added.  “It’s been happening everywhere,” one woman said of the violence, with her one-year-old daughter in tow. “It is what it is … It is unfortunate.”  http://www.torontosun.com/news/torontoandgta/2009/11/12/11717641-sun.html

ETHNIC, RELIGIOUS GANG FIGHTS AFTER SCHOOL IS NOTHING NEW IN CANADA, I SAW THE SAME THING IN MONTREAL DURING MY PUBLIC SCHOOL DAYS TOO. But I do have to say parents and the recession, economy  firstly have set the tone, the environment for the fights. Both Working parents have no time to look after the kids, and both parents often fighting amongst each other over acquiring more money, paying the bills does not help much.. and it does affect the children’s school grades negatively now too.. but blaming the fights on the schools or the lack of policing is a false cop out.

 
 
 

Saskatchewan school locked down after firearm stolen from car outside building Wed Nov 11, 7:41 PM  CANDO, Sask. – Police are investigating the theft of a rifle from a veteran’s vehicle that resulted in a school lockdown in rural Saskatchewan.

 

 

do see also https://postedat.wordpress.com/2009/11/10/albertan-hate-crimes-awareness-day/