Karachi, 16 Feb. (AKI) – (by Syed Saleem Shahzad) – The director of a US-based Islamic charity, Al-Haramain Islamic Foundation, Inc., Soliman al-Buthi, has for the first time spoken publicly from Riyadh, Saudi Arabia denouncing the book “My Year Inside Radical Islam”, written by ex-Al-Haramain employee, Daveed Gartenstein-Ross, as a “pack of lies”. In a statement to Adnkronos International (AKI), al-Buthi, once on the FBIâ€™s al-Qaeda suspect list, explained that he spoke to other directors to verify the bookâ€™s allegations against al-Haramain’s branch in Ashland, Oregon.
In the statement to AKI, al-Buthi said that he and ther other directors of the charity said that they “all concur that this book is full of falsehoods.”
The Saudi al-Haramain charity, linked to the Islamic Affairs Ministry, was for years a leading proponent of the fundamentalist Wahhabi brand of Islam. Most of its worldwide operations have now been wound up.
Reports say that Al-Haramain’s Ashland chapter was closed after al-Buthi and chapter founder Pete Seda were indicted on federal tax charges in 2005.
Gartenstein-Ross, who is reportedly Jewish but converted to Islam before he became a practicing Christian, has said that he wrote the book to try to demonstrate how someone can accept a radical interpretation of Islam. He reportedly said that his book is based on public records based on the federal indictments against the two al-Buthis, Seda and the Ashland chapter of the charity.
Interesting piece from the Italian news agency AKI on the Al-Haramain Foundation’s defense against allegations made against it both by governments and a new book. This press release from the US Dept. of the Treasury states the USG’s case. And this 2002 release from the US State Dept. talks about the joint US-Saudi designation of Al-Haramain branches in Afghanistan, Albania, Bangladesh, Ethiopia and the Netherlands; in Bosnia, Somalia, Indonesia, Tanzania, Kenya, Pakistan and the United States.