When you hear these men trying to portray Al-Arian as a martyr, just remember — as Joel Mowbray put it:
As a result of the trial, al-Arian has been forced to admit that he did, in fact, have an intimate working relationship with Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ). Why? Because he was caught on tape coordinating with them, again and again and again.
Al-Arian also admitted that he wrote a letter””which he allegedly attempted to send, but could not do so successfully””to a Kuwaiti legislator urging him to support the families of suicide bombers in order to provide “support of the jihad effort in Palestine so that [suicide] operations such as these can continue.” He wrote the letter just weeks after President Clinton had signed an executive order banning financial and material support of PIJ….
Throughout the 90″s, the body of evidence against al-Arian grew. An organization he founded, the Islamic Conference of Palestine (ICP) hosted an annual conference that played host to what the Tampa Tribune dubbed a “militant all-star team”: Islamic Jihad founder Abdel Aziz-Odeh, Sheik Omar Abdel Rahman (spiritual leader of the 1993 World Trade Center bombers), leading Hamas official Mohammed Sakr, and high-ranking Sudanese terrorist Hassan Turabi. The paper also reported that ICP publications had “articles [that] solicited contributions for the Islamic Jihad and Hamas.”
At the 1990 ICP conference, Al-Arian addressed the crowd of 200 people in St. Louis called for “true armed jihad against the enemy in Israel.” At an ICP conference the next year in Chicago, the supposedly mild-mannered professor riled the crowd with a fiery rallying cry: “Advance, advance until Jerusalem! Victory is to Islam!”
But al-Arian didn’t want to stop at Jerusalem. At a Cleveland ICP conference in 1991, he exhorted the audience to accept nothing less than a “Palestine” that spans from “from the river to the sea–”meaning from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea, or all of the West Bank, Gaza, and Israel. And his bloodthirst was not confined to Jews in the Middle East. His sights were also set on his adopted home country. In that same speech, he said, “Let us damn America. Let us damn Israel. Let us damn their allies until death.”
None of this has been denied. It can’t be. Al-Arian was on candid camera at each of these conferences…
This is the man they are speaking out for.
From the Tampa Tribune, with thanks to David:
TAMPA – For the first time, some of the nation’s most prominent Muslim leaders will visit Tampa en masse to jump into the Sami Al-Arian fray.
They’ll gather today at the federal courthouse downtown to express their frustration over Al-Arian’s treatment and rally for a resolution.
Despite support for Al-Arian, many shied away from the routine protests surrounding the case. Now, the “demonizing and criminalization” of Muslims has united organizations, said Mahdi Bray, executive director of the Muslim American Society’s Freedom Foundation in Washington. The Muslim religion is decentralized, with no top leader or worldwide council….
Ahmed Younis, national director of the Muslim Public Affairs Council and speaker at today’s rally and media conference, said his organization does not get involved in cases that are pending but is interested in policy and broader issues.
“That’s been our stance,” Younis said. “We don’t defend individuals and get into the nitty-gritty. Here, the government presented its case, and there was an acquittal by a jury of his peers. This is more of a seminal case about the Patriot Act and diplomacy issues.”
Nihad Awad, who founded the Council on American-Islamic Relations 11 years ago, said Thursday the jury’s verdict should be a clear statement to the government, but prejudice may be in the way of releasing Al-Arian.
“The government should just let it go,” he said. “We all waited to see what would happen. He was innocent until proven guilty. The verdicts were made, and there is no reason to hold him.”