Washington, D.C., Dec. 7, 2005 – The American Muslim Taskforce for Civil Rights and Elections (AMT), a coalition of 11 major Muslim organizations, today 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 principles.”
Saeed thanked the academics, journalists, lawyers, religious leaders, activists and other concerned citizens who stood with Al-Arian and supported his legal rights.
“This verdict has created a reservoir of goodwill for the United States. Our government should use this moment to team up with American Muslims in building bridges with the Islamic world,” said Saeed.
He urged President Bush to respect the verdict and to let Al-Arian become a living symbol of America’s open, pluralistic and justice-based society. Such a gesture will allow America to credibly advocate for the right to free speech in countries around the world that lack such freedoms.
CONTACT: Dr. Agha Saeed, 510-299-9313
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)