By IBT Editorial Board
While the IRS was hassling any nonprofit group with the word "patriot" in its name, it was rubberstamping exemptions for "Islamic" groups, even organizations that violate disclosure laws.
Worse, it was even finding favor with nonprofits tied to terrorism — namely, the Washington-based Council on American-Islamic Relations, which not coincidentally is yoked to the Democratic Party.
Despite being blackballed by the FBI, which still suspects it's fronting for Hamas, and despite failing to file annual tax reports as required by federal law, CAIR apparently has found friends in high places at the nation's powerful taxing authority.
Last year, in the middle of the national election season, the IRS quietly agreed to reinstate CAIR's tax-exempt status, allowing it to resume raising tax-free donations just in time for Ramadan, a key time for Muslim charitable giving.
According to the Religion News Service, the IRS in June 2012 sent CAIR's national office a letter stating the nonprofit had regained its exemption after losing it the previous year. Several GOP lawmakers had asked for an audit of CAIR after a book exposing its internal operations, "Muslim Mafia," reported the Islamist outfit had skipped filing IRS Form 990s for at least three years in a row.
This was concerning since the same book revealed the bulk of CAIR's funding comes from foreign donors, including Islamic states hostile to the U.S.
Why the sudden IRS reversal? Did CAIR make good on its delinquencies? That's still a mystery.
The Religion News article, which was carried by the Washington Post, quoted CAIR spokesman Ibrahim Hooper gloating about the reversal, yet curiously not knowing "the details of what paperwork, including tax returns, had been filed" to resolve the issue.
By law, the nonprofit group must make copies of its tax returns available to the public. Several news outlets, including Politico.com and USA Today, have asked for copies of CAIR's missing 2007-10 returns, and CAIR has been unable to produce them.
Curiouser still, CAIR's latest tax return is only a partial filing — covering the period from Aug. 9, 2011, to Dec. 31, 2011.
You would think the IRS would make an outfit as sketchy as CAIR jump through hoop after hoop, especially in light of the third degree it gave Tea Party groups.
But it turns out CAIR's also found favor in the White House. Administration officials in 2012 met inside the White House with CAIR officials, according to Secret Service visitors logs.
In the months leading up to the IRS decision, in fact, the Obama administration held "hundreds" of closed-door meetings with CAIR — including many in the White House, according to an article in the Daily Caller posted in early June 2012 — the same month the IRS reversed its decision.
The timing certainly is suspicious.
The agency appears to have played favorites by letting Democrat-backed CAIR raise tax-free donations while denying that privilege to Republican groups which, unlike CAIR, posed no known national security threat.
Apparently, the IRS thinks it's fine for taxpayers to subsidize a terrorist front group that hates America — but not OK for them to help patriot groups.
We urge Congress to include this bizarre double-standard in its IRS investigation.