(WASHINGTON D.C., 9/2/08) – The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) today welcomed the release of Dr. Sami Al-Arian, a former Florida professor who has been in federal custody for more than five years. A judge ordered him freed on bail to await trial for refusing to testify before a federal grand jury.
“We welcome Dr. Al-Arian’s release and hope that it is an indication that justice may ultimately be served in this disturbing case,” said CAIR Executive Director Nihad Awad. “After so many years of anguish, the Al-Arian children will finally be able to spend Ramadan with their father.”
In 2005, a Florida jury rejected federal charges that Al-Arian operated a cell for the Palestinian Islamic Jihad. Al-Arian later pleaded guilty to a lesser charge and was scheduled for release and deportation.
SEE: No Guilty Verdicts in Al-Arian Trial (Tampa Tribune)
SEE ALSO: Life Once in Shambles, Former USF Instructor Al-Najjar Builds New One (St. Petersburg Times)
A documentary film, “USA vs. Al-Arian,” offers a family portrait that documents the Al-Arian family’s desperate attempt to fight terrorism charges leveled by the U.S. government.
CAIR, America’s largest Islamic civil liberties group, has 35 offices and chapters nationwide and in Canada. Its mission is to enhance the understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.
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CONTACT: CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-488-8787 or 202-744-7726, E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; CAIR Communications Coordinator Amina Rubin, 202-488-8787, E-Mail: email@example.com