Al-Arian Case Decision
Muslims Feel Proud to Be Citizens of This Great Nation
Los Angeles: After a five-month trial and
13 days of deliberations, the jury acquitted Al-Arian of eight
charges, including conspiring to maim and murder people overseas.
After serving 33 months in jail awaiting trial and a verdict,
Al-Arian was returned to prison and will remain there until
prosecutors decide whether to retry him on the deadlocked
Two other men, Sameeh Hammoudeh and Ghassan Zayed Ballut,
were found not guilty of all charges. The fourth man, Hatem
Naji Fariz, was acquitted on 25 charges, with the jury unable
to decide on eight others.
"We commend the jury for offering its objective decision
without being swayed by a negative political environment,"
said MPAC’s Executive Director Salam Al-Marayati.. "We
congratulate Mr. Al-Arian and his family for enduring this
The five-month trial included testimony by nearly 80 witnesses
and the presentation of 1,800 faxes, wiretap transcripts,
email and other exhibits. However, prosecutors conceded that
no single piece of evidence directly linked the defendants
to terrorist acts.
AMA: The American Muslim Alliance, a civic education organization
with 101 chapters nationwide, HAS welcomeD the verdict in
Al-Arian case as a victory for first amendment rights in the
“Today is a great day for justice in America,”
said AMA Chairman Dr. Agha Saeed who was the principal character
witness for Prof Sami Al-Arian. “This outcome could
have global impact in winning the hearts and minds of Muslims
by demonstrating to them that in America a witch hunt against
legitimate Muslim leaders, even if launched by a section of
the establishment, cannot go unchallenged.”
Veteran community leader, Dr. Shabbir Safdar said, “This
was basically a trial of free speech and free speech has won.”
The AMA statement reads:
“Today Muslims feel proud to be citizens of this great
nation because this verdict upholds the American Constitution
and demonstrates the independence of judicial system.
“This country is full of good people who love freedom
and support liberty and justice for all. We applaud the academics,
journalists, priests, activists and concerned citizens who
stood with the accused and supported their right to due process
and equal justice.
“This verdict has created a great reservoir of goodwill
for the United States. The current administration could wisely
use this moment to team up with its Muslim citizens in building
bridges with the Muslim world.
“A free Sami Al-Arian would create a far better image
of the United States than thousands of paid-for and planted
stories bundled together.
“We urge the Bush Administration to respect today’s
verdict, let Prof. Al-Arian pursue his legal options to regain
his job, and become a living symbol of America’s open,
pluralistic and rule-governed society.”
AMT: The American Muslim Taskforce for Civil Rights and Elections
(AMT), a coalition of 11 major Muslim organizations, has also
welcomed Tuesday's verdict in the case of Florida professor
Sami Al-Arian and three co-defendants who were found not guilty
on a number of counts related to supporting terrorism, perjury
and immigration violations.
"The verdict in this case could have a global impact
on winning the hearts and minds of Muslims by demonstrating
that America is a nation in which the judiciary can be independent
of political pressures, and citizens serving on juries can
reach a verdict based on the evidence, not on fear or prejudice,"
said AMT Chairman Dr. Agha Saeed, who was a character witness
for Al-Arian. "This is a victory for all those who support
due process and a vindication of America's finest ideals and
The American Muslim Taskforce on Civil Rights and Elections
(AMT) is an umbrella organization represented by: American
Muslim Alliance (AMA), Council on American-Islamic Relations
(CAIR), Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA), Islamic Society
of North America (ISNA), Muslim Alliance of North America
(MANA), Muslim American Society (MAS), Muslim Ummah of North
America (MUNA), Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC), Muslim
Student Association - National (MSA-National), Project Islamic
Hope (PIH), and United Muslims of America (UMA)