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2001-12-17

Justice Not Served for the Muslim Community

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As holiday shoppers assembled in New York’s Rockefeller Center yesterday, an alliance of New Yorkers from the NewYork Coalition for Peace and Justice gathered for a holiday rally calling for an end to war.

Guest:

  • Suzana Delhi, activist with Al Awda, the Right of Return Coalition, and the Committee to Indict ArielSharon.

Abdullah Al-Arian, a student at Duke University, is the nephew of Mazen Al-Najjar, who was detained and placed underfederal deportation order in the post-Sept 11 detention sweep. Al-Najjar was released last December after beingimprisoned for three years on secret evidence. But three weeks ago, INS officials greeted Al-Najjar as he left thehouse and have held him in detention ever since. They are threatening to deport him based on visa expiration charges.

Abdullah Al-Arian is also the son of American Muslim activist Sami Al-Arian, a Middle Eastern professor of computerscience at University of South Florida. His Palestinian nationalist views have long been controversial in Tampa wherehe lives and works. But after he appeared on the Fox news show The O’Reilly Factor, where host Bill O’Reilly drewconnections between him and terrorist groups, the university was barraged by hundreds of threatening letters andemails and the university put Al-Arian on paid leave.

Abdullah Al-Arian appeared on Democracy Now last July after he had just begun an internship with Representative DavidBonier. He was approached by a White House security guard and asked to leave the premises with no reason given forhis removal. Muslim leaders walked out of a White House meeting in protest at the exclusion of one of the attendees.

Al-Arian wrote in a piece in the Duke University paper the Chronicle, which begins: "Unwarrantedimprisonments show that civil liberties still need to be protected."

Guest:

  • Abdullah Al-Arian, senior at Duke University and nephew of Mazen Al-Najjar, detained and placed underfederal deportation order in the post-Sept 11 sweep.

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