“Edible Arrangements” – Sponsoring Radical Islam?
The CEO of the well-known company “Edible Arrangements” has come under fire for his alleged support of radical Islamist organizations and his financial backing of these questionable organizations. In an article written in 2012, Debbie Schlussel (http://www.debbieschlussel.com/) accused Tariq Farid of supporting various Islamist organizations both vocally and financially: “Tariq Farid is the CEO of Edible Arrangements, which he started with his brother, Kamran Farid. Not only are they devout Pakistani Muslims, but they are major donors and fundraisers for American mosques, Islamic schools, and similar enterprises in Pakistan.” In response to this wave of criticism, Farid penned an article in response, in which he stated: “Sadly, two of these contributions have been the focus of the hate-mongers who have used them to attack, me, my family and, as a result, everyone at Edible Arrangements.”
The two contributions in question, are the “Inner City Muslim Action Network,” and the “Islamic Circle of North America.” Farid defends his contributions to ICNA by saying: “In 2011, the Farid Foundation made a contribution to ICNA Relief USA, a New York City-based subset of the Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA), for the purpose of building housing for battered women. ICNA Relief, which has also partnered with such important organizations as FEMA, the Red Cross and Catholic Charities, provides a wide range of services designed to help those in need. I am proud that we were able to join many other businesses and organizations in providing a refuge for these women.”
Farid also defended his contributions to IMAN by saying: “In 2012, we again joined many other well-known businesses and organizations in supporting a street festival organized by Inner City Muslim Action Network. Among other purposes, the event was designed to encourage healthy eating habits among youth. During a franchisee meeting in Chicago I had the opportunity to visit their clinic and halfway houses for people making the transition from prison back into society. I was moved by the work they are doing in this area. The organization’s clinic and food distribution network are nationally recognized. Our support is small, compared to that provided by the U.S. Department of State and other major corporations, but I am very supportive of the programs this organization provides in its community and proud to be among its supporters.”
The issue at hand is whether Farid and his company “Edible Arrangements” actively support terrorist organizations and other organizations which submit to Islamic radicalism in general. Looking into a few of the organizations mentioned, they have all openly denounced radical Islam and terrorism, but of course words do not always translate into action. According to a group known as “The Investigate Project on Terrorism,” a few of these organizations have actively been investigated and prosecuted for financing terrorist organizations, but were of course defended by the ACLU: “In its latest filing before the federal district court in Dallas on behalf of the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) and its affiliate organization, the North American Islamic Trust (NAIT) in the Hamas-terrorism financing case, the ACLU has made a noteworthy admission.
Rather than deny that there is copious evidence tying ISNA and NAIT to Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood, the brief argues that such evidence is merely dated. In a curious footnote on page 7, the reply states:
‘Assuming the authenticity of documents’ dates, the most recent documents to mention either ISNA or NAIT are dated 1991, Gov. Exhs. 3-3 and 3-85, but the majority of the documents are older. Almost all of the numerous exhibits that purport to show financial transactions and that contain any mention of ISNA or NAIT are dated 1988 and 1989 (there are two dated 1990), almost a decade before the majority of the overt acts the government alleges in support of its conspiracy charges against the HLF defendants.’”
Mr. Farid has certainly built up a company using the effective tools and ideologies provided for within what we refer to as “The American Dream,” and he himself has stated his appreciation for America in the same article in which he refuted the claims of many regarding his charitable contributions. Within the same article, Mr. Farid included a full list of contributions made in the past few years by the “Farid Foundation,” in which he also donated to organizations aligned with the Catholic Church, soup kitchens, the American legion; As well as several Islamic groups, foundations, organizations, and mosques. Whether or not Mr. Farid aligns with radical Islamist thought is not currently known, at least not available on the surface of the heaps of information available through the web. I have attached the links in which I found some useful information, including the various articles discussed in this story.