Since “anti-Muslim bias” all too often means “having a realistic and informed awareness of the elements of the Qur’an and Sunnah that jihadists use to justify their actions,” this is an attempt to stack the jury with witless naifs who will be more likely to buy the assertion that these men were just acting upon their sincerely held religious beliefs, and what could possibly be wrong with that, since we all know that religious beliefs are always and in every case benign, except when they are held by Christian fundamentalists?
“Jurors to be screened for anti-Muslim bias,” by Evan S. Benn in the Miami Herald (thanks to Ruth King):
Potential jurors in the upcoming trial of a Boca Raton doctor and three other men accused of conspiring to help terrorists will be screened for anti-Muslim biases.
A federal judge in New York ruled Tuesday that attorneys for Dr. Rafiq A. Sabir, Tarik Shah, Abdulrahman Farhane and Mahmud Faruq Brent can ask possible jurors to fill out questionnaires before jury selection begins.
The questions cannot ask potential jurors about their religious beliefs, U.S. District Judge Loretta Preska said.
The men, all U.S. citizens who are Muslim, are scheduled to stand trial April 24. They have pleaded not guilty.
Sabir, 52, was arrested at his Palm Beach County home in May 2005, days after investigators claim he recited an oath of loyalty to al Qaeda in front of an undercover FBI agent.
Prosecutors say Sabir agreed to use his medical training to treat injured terrorists in Saudi Arabia. But his attorney, Ed Wilford, has said Sabir never stated or implied a desire to harm Americans.
Shah, a New York musician and martial arts expert, is accused of taking the same oath as Sabir and agreeing to train terrorists in hand-to-hand combat.
Farhane, a Brooklyn bookstore owner, allegedly discussed a plan with Shah in December 2001 to send money to terrorist fighters in Afghanistan so they could hurt U.S. troops.
Brent, a Washington, D.C., cab driver, is accused of conspiring to support Lashkar-e-Taiba, a Pakistani-based terror group.