A Muslim scholar taking part in an inaugural prayer service on Wednesday heads a group that federal prosecutors have tied to the terrorist organization Hamas.
According to this Associated Press story, federal prosecutors in Dallas have filed court documents linking the Islamic society to Hamas.
The filings came in connection with the successful prosecution of the Holy Land Foundation. The Richardson-based foundation and five of its former organizers were found guilty in November of illegally funneling more than $12 million to Hamas.
But if you read the story closely, along with this one from Politico, the accusations against the Islamic society seem flimsy -- and the insinuations involving Mattson even flimsier.
Lawyers for the Islamic Society of North America, who deny any association with terrorists, say the government's evidence connecting the group to Hamas is from 1991 or earlier.
Mattson, a professor of Islamic studies at Hartford Seminary in Hartford, Conn., didn't become president of the society until 2006.
The Islamic society has worked with government to train Muslim prison chaplains and to help the FBI get to better know the American Muslim community. Mattson helped write a report last fall on how the United States can fight extremism in the Muslim world.
She's been honored at State Department dinners and met with senior Pentagon officials during the Bush administration. She also spoke at a prayer service at the Democratic National Convention in Denver."
Karen Hughes, one of President Bush's most trusted advisers, has called Mattson "a wonderful leader and role model for many, many people."