Monday, April 17, 2006


Federal authorities have decided to deport Palestinian activist and professor Sami Al-Arian after failing to convict him on charges he helped lead the Palestinian militant group Islamic Jihad. (Democracy Now).

This case has been interesting to watch across the various networks. Earlier today I was at a sushi bar with a friend and I watched this story unfold on CNN. Well, I was half-heartedly watching it at least. The first impression was that federal authorities had made their case and convicted Professor Al-Arian. That's the little blurb that ran across the screen, too. "Federal Authorities convict…"

What was left out of the small segment I saw was that federal authorities had failed to convict Professor Al-Arian on any charges! Back in December he had been acquitted of 7 of the charges and the jury deadlocked on the remaining 8. Think about that for a moment. The prosecutors threw 15 charges at this man and not one of them stuck. Not a single one. Instead:

Federal authorities have decided to deport a former Florida professor after failing to convict him on charges he helped lead a Palestinian militant group.

But this isn't just some random Arab Muslim professor. According to John Sugg:

It is not clear where the government would deport Al-Arian who is a Palestinian born in Kuwait and raised mostly in Egypt. He has lived in the United States for 30 years and holds permanent residency status. His five children were born in the US and are all American citizens. His own bid to become a U.S. citizen was denied in 1996.

Until his arrest, Al-Arian was one of the most prominent Palestinian academics and activists in the United States. He was invited to the White House during both the President Clinton and Bush administrations and he campaigned for President Bush during the 2000 election. (my emphasis)

He's about as American as you can get. He has no country to return to; we're just kicking him out after thirty years, even though all his kids were born here. Say goodbye to daddy, kids.

But then just as I was beginning to feel sad for the professor, I read that last line. He campaigned for President Bush in 2000? Deport him! In fact, let's deport everybody that worked on the 2000 and 2004 campaigns. Let's deport anybody with a Bush/Cheyney bumpersticker. It may sound mean, but Professor Al-Arian reaped what he sowed. That's karma, baby!
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Published in: on April 19, 2006 at 11:10 pm  Leave a Comment  

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