A Jailed Jihadist's Unhappy Anniversary

Monday marked the fifth anniversary of the imprisonment of Sami Al-Arian, the notorious Palestinian Islamic Jihad leader who operated for years out of the University of South Florida, where he taught computer science. The Leftist LinkTV (“Television Without Borders”) celebrated the day with the premiere of USA vs AL-ARIAN, a hagiographical documentary about the jailed jihadist, who is currently on a hunger strike after refusing to testify to a grand jury about the activities of Islamic charities and other organizations in Virginia.

LinkTV works hard to portray Al-Arian as a martyr, saying: “Al-Arian, who is diabetic, is on a hunger strike in protest of his continued imprisonment beyond his scheduled release date, despite being acquitted in a jury trial. His health is deteriorating rapidly, as his food and water strike nears the one-month mark.”

Acquitted in a jury trial? Then why is he in prison? Because Al-Arian, LinkTV later reports, “…pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy in aiding Palestinian Islamic Jihad associates in nonviolent ways in return for receiving the minimum prison sentence, including time served, and to be deported from the country upon his release.” And even that is hiding what Al-Arian did.

In reality, Al-Arian pleaded guilty to a charge of “conspiracy to make or receive contributions of funds to or for the benefit of Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ), a Specially Designated Terrorist” organization. If PIJ is a terrorist group, then “non-violent” aid to it is comparable to contributions to Nazi charitable organizations (and yes, they did have them). Al-Arian was aiding a jihad terrorist group, period. And his plea agreement leaves no room for doubt: “Defendant is pleading guilty because defendant is in fact guilty. The defendant certifies that the defendant does hereby admit that the facts set forth [in the plea agreement] are true, and were this case to go to trial, the United States would be able to prove those specific facts and others beyond a reasonable doubt.” What’s more, Al-Arian acknowledged that he was “pleading guilty freely and voluntarily…and without threats, force, intimidation, or coercion of any kind.”

As far as LinkTV is concerned, the hounding of this good man is all part of the persecution of Muslims in the post-9/11 Amerikkkan police state, you see: “USA vs AL-ARIAN is the personal story of the Al-Arian family, who like many Muslims in the U.S. today, are navigating the new laws and political climate of post-9/11 America.”

But it was Al-Arian who worked hard to create a climate of intimidation and violence. He stood by approvingly at one Islamic conference while former Cleveland Imam Fawaz Damra (himself now also deported) tried to raise money for Islamic Jihad by saying: “Donate to the Islamic Jihad. Nidal Zalooum from the Islamic Jihad held a dagger and stabbed four of the Jews in the courtyard of Al-Haram Al-Qudsi….One of them would leave his house with a knife to stab the Jews — twelve Jews — after the events of the Gulf War. Brothers, the Intifadah calls you. Five hundred dollars! Who would add to five hundred dollars?”

Al-Arian and Damra operated for years within the United States while enjoying reputations as moderates. Damra was one of the signers of the 2005 fatwa condemning terrorism issued by the Fiqh Council of North America under the auspices of the Council on American Islamic Relations and the Muslim Public Affairs Council. Damra’s name among the signatories lends credence to the view that this fatwa, despite the enthusiastic praise it has received from the mainstream media, is in fact another exercise in the deception that Damra and Al-Arian so skillfully practiced in America for so long, while continuing behind closed doors to support jihad terror.

Another video that was shown publicly for the first time at his trial depicts Al-Arian, the mild-mannered computer science professor, exhorting his Muslim audience to “adopt the choice of jihad.” And of course, most notoriously, Al-Arian has said: “Let us damn America, let us damn Israel, let us damn them and their allies until death.”

Al-Arian’s guilty plea and future deportation thus constitute a significant setback for the subversive, stealth jihad that the mujahedin have been waging in the West, largely (but not solely) by financing jihad activities elsewhere in the world under religious and academic cover.

That LinkTV would mark the fifth anniversary of his imprisonment by trying to portray him as a Muslim Gandhi, railroaded by a racist U.S. government avid for terror convictions, is unconscionable. LinkTV plays into the hands of those friends of Sami Al-Arian who would destroy LinkTV along with the rest of the embattled civilizational outposts of the confused and squabbling West.