Mar 10, 2003, Vol. 8, No. 25 • By DAVID TELL, FOR THE EDITORS
Then, worse perhaps, there are the multiple advocacy outfits that routinely pretend to speak for America's Islamic faithful, and just as routinely wind up slandering them. This time, especially, our Muslim neighbors' self-appointed representatives have done them a political and moral disservice above and beyond the farthest boundaries of decency. For this time, they have sanctified a murderous anti-Semite as prototypically One of Us--and explicitly suggested that the Semites are behind his troubles.
Ibrahim Hooper of the Council on American-Islamic Relations says "nothing has been brought forward to indicate any criminal activity" by Al-Arian. What we're seeing, instead, is the "Israelization of American policy and procedures," a police-state frame-up manufactured top to bottom by the "attack dogs of the pro-Israel lobby." The American Muslim Political Coordination Council thinks it a "disturbing" sign of sectarian bigotry that federal prosecutors have "inserted religious expressions like Jihad and martyrdom" in the indictment of . . . a Palestinian Islamic Jihad leader accused of financing martyrdom attacks. The Arab American Institute calls the charges against Al-Arian "specious." The American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee reports that there is "no evidence" against him whatsoever.
And all of these groups decry the Justice Department for conducting a "terrorists among us" smear campaign against Muslims generally--while simultaneously embracing, as a representative American Muslim, a man who really is a terrorist among us. American Muslims surely deserve better. As do we all.
Even from a jail cell, it seems, Sami Al-Arian's poison spreads.
--David Tell, for the Editors