And he is being allowed to begin his prison term on August 28, after his observance of Ramadan.
Can you imagine postponing a jail sentence for a Christian until Lent was over, and reducing his sentence because of his efforts to defuse cultural ignorance toward Christians and educate local residents about the practice of Christianity?
“Business owner sentenced for sending funds to Iraq,” by Brennan David for the Columbia Daily Tribune, May 17 (thanks to Janet):
JEFFERSON CITY “” A well-known Columbia businessman and cultural leader was sentenced yesterday to three years in federal prison for illegally siphoning more than $200,000 to family, friends and charities in Iraq during sanctions between 1991 and 2003.
A large group gathered to witness the sentencing issued by District Judge Nanette Laughrey in the Western District Court of Missouri in light of Shakir Hamoodi’s December 2009 guilty plea to violating federal sanctions against Iraq.
“I made a mistake, and I am deeply sorry,” Hamoodi told Laughrey before he was sentenced yesterday. “All money sent was used by friends and family.”
Hamoodi, an Iraqi-American former nuclear scientist with the University of Missouri and World Harvest store owner, could have faced up to 71 months in prison. Laughrey said Hamoodi’s efforts to diffuse [sic] cultural ignorance toward Muslims and educate local residents about the practice of Islam over the past 20 years weighed heavily in her decision. Hamoodi, through attorney J.R. Hobbs of Kansas City, had requested probation.
Although others have received lesser penalties, Laughrey noted that those defendants sent less money and committed fewer transactions. Hamoodi’s efforts evolved into a nine-year conspiracy, she said.
Garrett Heenan, a trial attorney with the Department of Justice’s National Security Division, recommended a 48-month sentence. Hamoodi is scheduled to report to federal prison Aug. 28 after his observance of Ramadan.
“While we are disappointed in the degree of the penalty, we are pleased the judge departed downward on many factors,” Hobbs said….
Predictably, Hamoodi is claiming victim status:
Since his home was searched, Hamoodi said, other students have called his children terrorists, his neighbors keep a distance from him and his business has suffered. More than 20 supporters gathered after the sentencing to express their support for the Hamoodi family as their children continue their education and expenses pile up during his absence….