Al-Arian Walk Watch: the prosecution is trying to convince us that his motives don’t matter, and that what he believes about jihad and related things doesn’t either. Of course, they wouldn’t even attempt this were it not for the PC mantras about the Religion of Peace that still dominate the media and government. From the Tampa Tribune, with thanks to the Constantinopolitan Irredentist:
However, prosecutors on Thursday filed a series of four motions asking U.S. District Judge James Moody to prohibit the defense from asserting political claims or injecting into the trial issues of war and peace in the Middle East. The motions all sought to bar the defense from proceeding under different legal theories that amounted to possible justifications for the violent actions of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad or explanations for the defendants’ motives.
“This trial is not the appropriate forum for conducting a referendum on international law, the legality and morality of the existence and boundaries of Israel, or the plight of ethnic Palestinians,” prosecutors wrote. “To open the doors to a debate about the merits of extraneous political and religious issues would only serve to divert the jury’s attention from the only relevant issue in the case, which is the defendants’ innocence or guilt of the charged offenses.”
The specific charges are providing material support to a foreign terrorist organization, racketeering and conspiracy. Prosecutors, through the motions filed Thursday, are apparently trying to limit the defendants to evidence relating to whether they did what was alleged in the indictment.
“Allowing the defendants to present evidence, and argue to the jury, the merits of their beliefs about the conflict would only serve to inflame and politicize the trial, while directly embroiling the court in a complex, intractable and unnecessary political debate,” the prosecutors wrote.
Among the motions was one asking the judge to bar the defense from arguing that they or the organization were “lawful combatants” in the conflict in the Middle East and, therefore, not subject to criminal convictions.
In that motion, the government asserted that the Palestinian Islamic Jihad is not covered by the protections provided by international treaties, such as the Geneva Convention, partly because it is not a recognized government and its members do not abide by international law governing combat.
The prosecution also argued in its motion that Israeli actions don’t matter in the trial. “It is irrelevant to the determination of lawful combatant status whether the actions of the combatants are philosophically, morally or ethically justified or noble.”
In a direct shot at Al-Arian’s claims to be a peaceful human rights advocate, prosecutors wrote, “Persons who covertly support or manage a violent terrorist organization, while masquerading as scholars and civilians or purporting to direct a humanitarian charity, are not entitled to the special protections afforded to lawful combatants under international law.”