The American Muslims for Palestine, a national education and advocacy organization, has never and would never offer advice on how to skirt American laws concerning donating to organizations designated as Foreign Terrorist Organizations by the US Department of Treasury.
AMP is an American organization, working in America for Americans. Our work to educate the public and forward the Palestinian narrative into the national discourse is focused solely in the United States. AMP refutes the specious insinuations in a Daily Beast article by Shane Harris, “Pro-Palestinian group lectured on skirting terror laws,” and we offer the video of Mr. Ahmad’s comments as proof Mr. Harris was intent on using Islampobic tactics of smearing the speaker and conference organizers in attempts to silence advocacy for Palestinian human rights.
In his remarks Friday morning during a session titled, “Do occupied people have the right to resist their occupation?” AMP Vice Chairman Munjed Ahmad advised the audience how to lawfully advocate for Palestinian human rights in the United States.
It is no secret that Palestine solidarity activism has been criminalized in the past few years, especially when taking into account the number of Title VI complaints Zionist organizations file against universities for allowing such activism; the federal raid on the homes of 23 activists four years ago and the recent political conviction of 67-year-old Palestinian American Rasmea Odeh. Furthermore the US Supreme Court’s 2010 decision against the Humanitarian Law Project, left vagueness and confusion in its wake about whether constitutionally protect free speech could ever be construed as material support for terrorism under the revised Patriot Act enacted after Sept. 11, 2001. Mr. Ahmad attempted to teach the audience how to work for Palestinian rights in this country without inadvertently breaking the law for activities, which a few years ago, would never have been questioned.
The insinuations in Mr. Harris’ article are spurious and steeped in typical Islamophobic rhetoric that seek to smear anyone, particularly Muslims, advocating for Palestinian human rights as supporters of terrorism.
Media were invited to AMP’s 7th annual Conference for Palestine in the US: Gaza Teaches Life! as long as they applied for credentials beforehand, a common industry practice found everywhere from covering school board meetings to covering NFL events. Media guidelines requiring credentialing were clearly outlined on the conference website.
Furthermore, signage at the conference clearly prohibited filming and photography.
AMP and the cause of Palestine have the facts on our side and have nothing to hide. AMP accommodated media requests for guest speaker interviews and we will make public videotapes from each main session. AMP would have provided this same access to the Daily Beast. However, Mr. Harris did not apply for media credentials for himself or the Daily Beast. And his reporter recorded the session despite the clear signage that these actions were prohibited. This calls into question Mr. Harris’ motives and raises the possibility he was intent on writing a hit piece on AMP, rather than request to cover the conference legitimately as other media outlets did.