Brief Background of the Case
Statement to Supporters
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USA vs Al-Arian
National Liberty Fund (NLF)

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Claim vs. Fact

Fact Sheet: The Case of Dr. Al-Arian, et al

The case of Dr. Sami Al-Arian and his co-defendants, Sameeh Hammoudeh, Hatim Fariz, and Ghassan Ballut has far-reaching implications for political rights and for the Muslim community as a whole. Unfortunately, many ordinary citizens have been intimidated from speaking out or contributing money to help defend this case as a result of the Justice Department's media hype and inflammatory rhetoric. In its indictment of these men, however, the government has resurrected old allegations that have already been debunked and added to them new sensationalized charges. The following overview, prepared by National Liberty Fund legal experts, is intended to clarify some of the government's claims against Dr. Al-Arian and his co-defendants, which are based on innuendoes, guilt-by-association, and misidentification of key individuals. Some of the many false accusations and erroneous factual allegations are addressed below. In the coming months, much of these allegations in the indictment would be refuted and exposed.

CLAIM: The World and Islam Studies Enterprise (WISE) was a "racketeering enterprise" because Dr. Al-Arian was listed on the WISE bank account along with Ramadan Abdullah Shallah, who several years later became the leader of Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ).

FACT: The government has been making this same guilt-by-association argument for years, but to no avail. In fact, in Oct. 2000, a federal immigration judge ruled: "Although there were allegations that (WISE and a related group, the Islamic Committee for Palestine) were 'fronts' for Palestinian political causes, there is no evidence before the Court that demonstrates that either organization was a front for the PIJ. To the contrary, there is evidence in the record to support the conclusion that WISE was a reputable and scholarly research center and the ICP was highly regarded." WISE had never sent a penny outside the US. All its funds during its existence between 1990 and 1995 were spent on its publications, seminars and intelectual activities. The government cannot produce any evidence to the contrary.

CLAIM: In Dec. 1988, Dr. Sami Al-Arian attended an ICP conference in St. Louis where "funds were solicited and raised for the PIJ" and Dr. Al-Arian "attempted to recruit one or more individuals to join the PIJ."

FACT: Another old claim rejected by a federal judge in 2000: "The Court finds it remarkable that out of five-hundred videotapes that were seized, from which a thirteen-minute composite tape was created, not one excerpt of the composite depicted Respondent engaging in fundraising for any organization … Even if the Court found that the evidence demonstrated that the ICP raised money for the PIJ at this event, it was not illegal to do so until 1997… However, in this case, there is still no evidence that the Respondent raised funds for the PIJ or sent funds to the PIJ. In conclusion, the Court finds that the evidence does not demonstrate that Respondent engaged in fundraising for the PIJ through the ICP."


CLAIM: The Feb. 20, 2003 indictment stated that in Nov. 2002, co-defendant Hatim Fariz had a telephone conversation with PIJ leader Abd Al-Aziz Awda, who is a specially designated terrorist, in which they "discussed a variety of issues about fund-raising and distributing money."

FACT: The man on the phone is identified only as "Abu Ahmad." However, the government artificially substitutes the name of "Abu Ahmad," an appellation that could easily apply to thousands of men in the Gaza Strip, with that of Abd Al-Aziz Awda, who goes by the alias "Abu Ahmad." According to a sworn affidavit, the real "Abu Ahmad" with whom Mr. Fariz spoke was a Gaza school principal and the two men were discussing contributions to his school. "Abu Ahmad". In addition, the government and its chief FBI agent, admitted that Mr. Awda left the PIJ in 1997. Despite that knowledge by the US government since the late 90's, they continue to make that claim.


CLAIM: The indictment stated that in April 1991, at a conference in Cleveland, Dr. Al-Arian was introduced by "Unindicted Co-Conspirator One" as the head of the Islamic Committee for Palestine "which was described as the active arm of the Islamic Jihad Movement in Palestine [PIJ], in North America."

FACT: Again, the very same allegations had been made in the past, also to no avail. In 2000, immigration Judge Kevin McHugh ruled that there was "no evidence" that any of the money raised during the Cleveland event ever went to the PIJ. Additionally, and most notably, "Unindicted Co-Conspirator One" was subsequently naturalized as a U.S. citizen during the time of all the electronic interceptions. That fact alone, according to Judge McHugh, undermined the government's claim that the fundraising that occurred was in any way connected to "terrorist activity."


CLAIM: In April 1992, defendants possessed the wills of three Palestinian suicide bombers, along with the PIJ Manifesto and other PIJ organizational documents in the WISE office.

FACT: It is hardly remarkable that a think tank dedicated to the study of the Middle East and focusing particularly on Palestinian issues, would possess documents related to the activities of Palestinian individuals and groups most directly involved in the conflict. The mere possession of literature does not automatically imply an endorsement of, much less participation, in such activities. Otherwise, most every library and research institute in the country might be similarly implicated in one form of "terrorism" or another. Government investigators either falsified the date or ignored the fact that part of the wills were entered in the computer (in April) 2 months after the incident (in February) and their publications overseas as part of a potential article in a journal publication.


CLAIM: The 2003 indictment states that in June 1993, Dr. Al-Arian "caused four separate wire transfers of $2,000 each to his account at Bank Leumi in Tel Aviv, Israel."

FACT: Dr. Al-Arian has never had a bank account at Bank Leumi or any other bank in Israel. Meanwhile, according to Bank Leumi, an individual would have to present a valid passport and appear in person in Tel Aviv before he could open such an account. Dr. Al-Arian has never been to Tel Aviv. In fact, as a stateless Palestinian, he does not even have a passport. It's indisputable that Dr. Al-Arian had not wired or sent any money outside the US since 1993, long before any designation.


CLAIM: The indictment states that in Nov. 1992, "Unindicted Co-Conspirator Five" sent a letter referring to Dr. Al-Arian, co-defendant Bashir Nafi, Khalil Shiqaqi, "Unindicted Co-Conspirator Twelve," along with Shallah and Awda, as "part of and an extension of his group and promised to send the remainder of the money pledged previously."

FACT: Based on its own innuendoes and guilt-by-association, the government has inadvertently implicated itself in whatever nefarious activities it is attempting to imply. "Co-Conspirator Five" is a distinguished Muslim scholar who has served as an advisor to the U.S. government and was invited by Administration officials to participate in government-funded events as late as Nov. 2002. Similarly, Dr. Khalil Shiqaqi is the director of the Center for Palestine Research and Studies (CPRS), a prominent Palestinian think tank in the West Bank city of Nablus that is partly funded by the U.S. Congress through the National Endowment for Democracy. He has been a frequent visitor to the US and recently taught as a visiting professor at Brandeis University.


CLAIM: "This indictment is the most recent of the Department's efforts to choke off terrorist resources and financing."

FACT: Not only has it not proven its allegations against Dr. Al-Arian, the government has never proved allegations of "terrorist financing" against Muslim charities. In the case of Benevolence International Foundation, the government was forced to drop "terrorism financing" charges against its director Enaam Arnaout in October 2002. Similarly, in the case of Ghassan Elashi, former head of the Holy Land Foundation, a federal judge ordered him released on his without bond just days after the Attorney General referred to him as a "thug." Former Global Relief Foundation chairman Rabih Haddad was never even charged with crime, and even after being forced to open his deportation hearings to the public, the government has yet to offer any evidence linking him to terrorism.


CLAIM: Dr. Sami Al-Arian is a threat to the community.

FACT: Dr. Al-Arian has been a lawful permanent resident since 1989 and had never been charged with a crime since arriving in the United States in 1975. Countless individuals from his local community and from around the country have attested to his character as a dedicated father, husband, college professor, and community leader. As an advocate for voter education, civic participation, and inter-faith dialogue, Dr. Al-Arian has been an active proponent of and participant in our nation's democracy. Yet the government wants us to believe Dr. Al-Arian, who has met both Presidents Clinton and Bush, attended briefings at the White House and Justice Department, and befriended many members of Congress over the years, is now a threat to the community.


CLAIM: Defendants are "innocent until proven guilty."

FACT: Though none has been convicted of a crime, Dr. Al-Arian and his co-defendant are subjected to atrocious conditions of confinement that are worse than those of many convicted criminals. Since April 3, 2003 they have been held in 23-hour isolation in the "special housing unit" of a maximum-security federal prison 75 miles from their attorneys and families. They are allowed only one phone call per month, during which their hands are manacled behind their back. Dr. Al-Arian, who is diabetic and has been on a hunger strike since his February 20 arrest, is continually denied medical attention. Moreover, he is repeatedly denied access to his attorney. On the few occasions Dr. Al-Arian has been allowed to meet with his attorney, he was barred from bringing paper or pens or receiving any material whatsoever, including those related to his case.

(Fact Sheet: May 2003)

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Documents & Releases

Statement of Chairs of American Muslim Task-Force on Civil Rights and Elections  (AMT) and  Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR)

Howard Zinn Statement on Professor Al-Arian

SITE SEARCH

SPOTLIGHT

March 2000

December 2005alarian.jpg

January 2009

To be patriotic is to be able to question government policy in times of crisis.
To be patriotic is to stand up for the Bill of Rights and the Constitution in times of uncertainty and insecurity.
To be patriotic is to  speak up against the powerful in defense of the weak and the voiceless.
To be patriotic is to be willing to pay the price to preserve our freedoms, dignity, and rights.
To be patriotic is to
challenge the abuses of the PATRIOT Act.
From a speech by Dr. Al-Arian
9/1/2002

Biography---

UFF Summary: Al-Arian and USF

Poetry

Announcement of Book: The Al-Arian Reader

A new compilation of all relevant articles to be released soon by the National Liberty Fund

Selected Poems
by Sami Al-Arian

We Shall Rise

To Maya Angelou
Like the dream of the slave
You rise
And with the scream of the brave
I shall rise
In honoring the memory of your ancestors
You rise
With my stateless brothers and sisters
I shall rise
Like dust in the sunlight
You rise
And as ashes in a fiery night
I shall rise
You offend
Because of your existence
And I
For my resistance
You upset them
Recalling their past
And I
By holding steadfast
They may trod you in dirt
May cause me all the hurt
Inflict upon you excruciating pain
While they shut me up and detain
But they won't see you broken
Neither would my faith be forsaken
As you've never bowed your head
And never lowered your eyes
I'll continue to raise my fist
And hide my mother's cries
They may shoot you with their words
Cut me up with their swords
They may insult you with their eyes
Denigrate me with their lies
Trying to kill you with their hate
Bury me alive to seal my fate
But they'd certainly
Be shamed and fail
As the free chant and sing
On their march to prevail
So keep your head held high
As I follow you and try
And keep your beautiful smile
As I walk my first mile
They'll pressure and blame
Throw us in prison to control and tame
They'll exile and defame
Lynch us all or shoot and maim
Burn crosses with no shame
Target our children in a dirty game
But why is that a surprise?
Despite their evil and terror
Their falsehood and lies
You shall rise
And I shall rise
You're the black ocean
Leaping and wide
I'm the Mediterranean
With a stormy tide
Staying together
Side by side
It's no surprise
We shall rise
Surely shall rise
We together shall rise
No Longer Afraid
For us to feel "secure"
What price is being paid?
If living in freedom
Why are we afraid?
Fear is everywhere
All around
Perhaps irrational
But without any bound
You can see it on our faces
Sense it in our eyes
You can hear it in our whispers
Feel it in our cries
More>>No Longer Afraid
The Bird and The Vulture
The bird was chirping
In a house on a tree
But the vulture was angry
Because it was free
When the bird is singing
The vulture ain't safe
More>>The Bird and The Vulture
The Smile of Freedom
He looked like
A body-builder
Tall, tough, and full
All muscles and no fat
His mind was simple
Suited to follow orders
No questions asked
Acting mean and mechanical
Like any bureaucrat
More>>The Smile ...
In the Name of Freedom
In the name of freedom
We shall rule the world
To spread democracy
And set you free
In the name of freedom
We’ll descend on you
To make you civilized
Modern and orderly
More>>In the Name ...
The Accused: Franz Kafka Meets George Orwell in 21st Century America
Act I: The Mother of all Evidence
Act II- Weapons of Mass Deception
Act III: Silencing of the Lambs
Act IV: Attacks of the Wolves
Act V: Occupied Territory
Act VI: Police State
Act VII: Official Obituary
Act VIII: A Close Encounter of the Scariest Kind
Act IX: The Inquisition
Act X- Conspiracy Theory
Act XI- Secret Trials
Act XII- Silent Pain and Teary Eyes
Act XIII- True Patriot Acts
Do Not Sign
Rights are not for sale
History is not kind
On those who sell their people out,
Betray their cause,
Surrender their land
To tow the line
Do not sign
More>>Do Not Sign
Rachel Corrie: Daughter of Palestine
The most gentle
Amongst all honorable
Women
Had a spirit
As dazzling as
The garden of
Eden
More>>Daughter of Palestine
Ole Jerusalem
O Ole Jerusalem
I feel your pain
I hear your cries
The light thunder
In the darkness
And the heavy rain
I see the steady bleeding
Of your wound
With its mark and stain
More>>Ole Jerusalem
Patrick Henry
A revolutionary
At heart
A patriot
From the start
Loved by his country
To the core
Defended freedom
Even more
Hated arrogance
In shape and tone
Fought tyranny
With every bone
He was the conscience
Of his people
Striking fear in the enemy
And made it feeble
More>> Patrick Henry
Injustice
An overwhelming feeling
Of bitterness
Emptiness
Hopelessness
Helplessness
Sadness
Madness
Of hatred and rage
Trapped in a cage
Disappointment and anger
Continuing to linger
Wounding of dignity
Violating your virginity
More>> Injustice
Political Riddles
He sees the world as black and white
His solution to every quandary is fight with might
The economy will not stimulate
Because he can’t articulate
While jobs are gone
He says, “bring ‘em on.”
Who is he?
He likes to be called the General
The head of an agency that’s federal
If you spit on the sidewalk
He’ll send the Incredible Hulk
He hates to cite truth or fact
Because he’s busy promoting his unpatriotic act
He frequents TV cameras with a smash
The first part of his last name sounds like trash
Who is he?
He is the ideal dutiful poodle they say
From an empire where the sun did not set one day
He adores his cowboy friend and considers him a fan
And insists: I’m nobody’s yes-man
When the cowboy says no, I say no
Who is he?
More>>Political Riddles