Before the America-hating Left makes a hero and martyr out of the Rumpled Academic, it would be nice if they took note of the bolded material in the first paragraph. But I don’t really think that would bother them. An editorial from the Sarasota Herald Tribune:
During a five-month trial that ended this week, the U.S. government demonstrated that former University of South Florida professor Sami Al-Arian is a hate-filled man who thinks suicide bombings are swell. But prosecutors failed to prove that he committed any crimes.
On Tuesday, a federal judge in Tampa announced that a jury had acquitted Al-Arian on eight counts related to terrorist activities and deadlocked on nine other charges.
Some jurors said that prosecutors failed to show that Al-Arian’s rhetoric — protected by the First Amendment — crossed the line into direct participation in terrorism.
The verdict, as one leader in Florida’s Muslim community noted, “sends an important message that in post-9/11 America, Muslims can get a fair trial.”
The trial also sent an unavoidable message about Al-Arian, who remains in jail while prosecutors review whether to retry him on the counts that produced no verdict. There’s speculation he’ll be deported, just as his brother-in-law and former USF colleague Mazen al-Najjar was a few years ago.
Bluntly put, America would lose little if Al-Arian — a vocal supporter of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad terrorist group — leaves the country. Whatever his good qualities may be, they’re obliterated by the ugliness revealed about him during the trial.
Al-Arian’s attorney contended that he merely sent funds to the Palestinian Islamic Jihad for charitable work, but it’s clear from the trial that Al-Arian was long aware of and sympathetic to the group’s decidedly uncharitable activities.
Among the chilling documents presented in the trial was a 1994 fax to PIJ offices following a suicide bombing. Al-Arian wrote that “pride and glory overwhelm us.”
Read it all.