Court Challenges re "Material Aid"

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 Christian Peacemaker Teams (CPT) has joined other peace, humanitarian law, and aid organizations in U.S. court actions which challenge an expanding interpretation of what constitutes "material aid" to designated terrorist organizations.

In the first case before the U.S. Supreme Court, at issue was whether providing teaching and advice on nonviolence and international law constituted such material aid. Unfortunately the Court found that such assistance could constitute material aid to designated terrorist organizations as it might give them legitimacy and/or free up resources for other activities.

In the second case, just filed, a lower court has ruled that giving aid to a non-designated organization which is later shown to have links with a designated terrorist organization is illegal even if the donor had no way of knowing about such links. If this ruling stands, it will have a chilling effect on all aid to groups in conflict zones for fear that one of these groups might later be shown to have links with a designated terrorist organization. CPT and groups such as the 1750-member Council of Foundations, The Carter Centre, the American Friends Service Committee, the Rockefeller Brosthers Fund, Islamic Relief USA , etc. are challenging this ruling.  

CPT is sponsored by Mennonite Church Canada and other Christian churches and organizations in Canada, the USA, and elsewhere.