Who is Suleyman al-Faris, you ask? Why, he is Hamza Walker Lindh, aka John Walker Lindh, the notorious Marin County Mujahid, the American Taliban. Like Muhammad Dawood, aka David Hicks (whose slap-on-the-wrist has inspired him to seek a reduction of his sentence), the mainstream media persists in calling him by a name he has abandoned. They would never do that for Muhammad Ali or Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. Now, why is that?
“American Taliban seeks reduced sentence,” by Paul Elias for Associated Press, :
SAN FRANCISCO – The lawyer and parents of American-born Taliban soldier John Walker Lindh asked President Bush to commute his 20-year prison term, citing the case of an Australian man who was sentenced to less than a year for aiding terrorism.
Lindh, 26, was captured in Afghanistan in November 2001 by American forces sent to topple the Taliban after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. He was charged with conspiring to kill Americans and support terrorists but pleaded guilty to lesser offenses, including carrying explosives for the now-defunct Taliban government.
Lindh’s lawyer and father said the lighter sentence given to Australian David Hicks should be reflected in Lindh’s case.
“It is a question of proportionality. It is a question of fairness, and it is a question of the religious experience John Walker Lindh had,” attorney James Brosnahan said. “And it was not in any way directed at the United States.”
Lindh converted to Islam and went to Afghanistan to fight for the Taliban against the Northern Alliance, which received U.S. backing.
Come on. If that is true, why was he in a position to be captured by American troops, as he ultimately was? “Religious experience”? Sure. But it is time for American authorities to start taking into account the fact that the religion in question has a political, supremacist, and not infrequently violent dimension.