January 16, 2008, - 3:09 pm

What Happened to My Former Boss Mark Siljander?: Indicted for Helping Islamic Charity That Funded Al-Qaeda, Taliban

By Debbie Schlussel

*** UPDATE, 07/09/10: My Former Boss, Mark Siljander, Pleads Guilty in Islamic Terrorism Case ***

In general, nothing shocks me about Islamic terrorists and which American politicians are aiding and abetting him.
But today, I am truly shocked beyond belief as I read that my former boss, former U.S. Congressman Mark D. Siljander, was indicted in an apparent scheme to help an Islamic charity fund Al-Qaeda and the Taliban against Americans, to the tune of $130,000:

A former congressman and delegate to the United Nations was indicted Wednesday as part of a terrorist fundraising ring that allegedly sent more than $130,000 to an al-Qaida and Taliban supporter who has threatened U.S. and international troops in Afghanistan.


My Congressional Staff ID From When I Worked For Indictee Mark Siljander

The former Republican congressman from Michigan, Mark Deli Siljander, was charged with money laundering, conspiracy and obstructing justice for allegedly lying about lobbying senators on behalf of an Islamic charity that authorities said was secretly sending funds to terrorists.

Read the shocking Justice Department press release here.
Mark Siljander, who represented a Congressional district in Western Michigan, is the last guy I’d think would do this. I hope the allegations are not true, but it sounds like he is involved in a very bad scheme to help fund Islamic terrorists and their schemes to murder Americans. It’s so shocking. What happened to my former boss in the years since he was the most pro-Israel, the most anti-Islamist Congressman on Capitol Hill?
I don’t know. But here’s why I’m so shocked. When I worked for Mark Siljander, in the summer after my junior year of high school, and again when I was headed to college, I was just 16, but more than an intern. I wrote speeches for him, I helped tutor him in Hebrew, which he learned to speak and write, and I accompanied him to many events.
What makes the allegations in the indictment so shocking, is that Siljander is a Born-Again Evangelical Christian. We had fast days in his office. There were prayer circles. So deeply religious and so deeply against the Islamic threat, Siljander was known, at the time, as the most pro-Israel Congressman on Capitol Hill, with many Jewish and pro-Israel Evangelical contributors from all over the world. My father was one of those contributors. His Chief of Staff, Robin Luketina, even served in the Israeli Defense Forces.
Mark enlisted me to help him write a tough bill espousing sanctions against the Soviet Union because of its persecution of Soviet Jews. And he enlisted my help in pro-Israel and anti-PLO legislation.
That’s why it’s so hard for me to read that he may have played for the opposite team–for the enemy.
I’m truly shocked. And I hope it’s not true. But–while I have a lot of distrust in the Department of Justice–on this one, I think there must be something there. It’s crushing.
I don’t know if he knew the ultimate destination of the money. It’s not apparent, since the Islamic charity “secretly” sent the money to Al-Qaeda. But what was he even doing lobbying for an Islamic charity? And he apparently lied about it to the FBI. That’s not the Mark Siljander I knew and worked for over two summers and several spring breaks.
It boggles my mind. It must have been the money, as I know that, after he lost his re-election bid (he was replaced by liberal Republican and pan-Islamist Fred Upton), he was engaged in a million different business endeavors trying to make a success of one.
If Mark Siljander was helping Islamic terrorists against America, then no-one is immune from succumbing to these forces of evil. If true, it’s extremely disappointing and demoralizing to me.
It tells me you never really know anyone for sure. Like I said, Mark Siljander is the last person I’d ever think would do this.
**** UPDATE: Siljander was representing the Al-Qaeda front charity Islamic American Relief Agency, which was shut down by the FBI and is represented by sleazy lawyer-for-terrorists Shereef Akeel, who lives in the Detroit area and filed a phony grievance against me with the Michigan Attorney Grievance Commission.
That my former boss, Mark Siljander would take money from this group–and it’s a fact that he did–is outrageous and shocking to me. That he apparently lied, twice, to the FBI about it, is even more so. That he lied about writing a book about “bridging the gap” between Islam and Christianity is even worse.
This is the Congressman–who when I worked for him–was decades ahead of his time in understanding the Islamist threat worldwide and to America. That he’d reverse course sickens and saddens me.
I think this was about money. Since he lost his Congressional seat, he was hard up for money and was involved in many failed business ventures, including an AIDS-Test-By-Mail. (He also ran, unsuccessfully, for Congress from Virginia.)
Desperation and money do bad things.

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56 Responses

I too have read the book A DEADLY MISUNDERSTANDING which is the one referred to in the quote: “…he lied about writing a book about “bridging the gap” between Islam and Christianity…”

I think it would be good if everyone (especially those involved with the outcome of this case) would take the time to read with an open mind Mark Siljander’s book about bridging the Muslim-Christian gap. I would also like to encourage Ms. Debbie Schlussel to also read his book and then call up Fox News and offer them another interview.

After reading *that* book, I was deeply touched that such a politician/diplomat/Jesus follower in the 21st Century would not only believe the Bible, but go so far as try and LIVE the teachings of Jesus and trust in the power of the gospel that Jesus proclaimed, “…love your enemies and pray for those who despitefully use you.”

When you see the anger and fear of those in power in Jerusalem in the 1st Century, and the ultimate outcome of Jesus, it does not surprise me that these “same powers” are still working to discredit anyone who dares to be a Jesus follower in practicality today. I believe most of the comments in this article bear this out.

Our heart and prayers go out to Mark and his family.

Charlie Fellership on July 22, 2010 at 2:50 pm

Hey there! This post could not be written any better!

Reading this post reminds me of my good old room mate!

He always kept chatting about this. I will forward
this write-up to him. Fairly certain he
will have a good read. Thank you for sharing!

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