Press conference: Attorneys expose government’s tactics
Hammad refused to lie for 2 year plea bargain deal, lawyer reveals
The following is a full transcript (edited only for clarity) of the CAIR-MD/MAC press conference which took place immediately after the verdict in the Paintball trial on Thursday March 4, 2004 outside the federal courthouse in Alexandria, Virginia. Special thanks goes to a volunteer — Sister Gulnur Okkir — who made a great effort and transcribed the recording in a short amount of time. May Allah reward her.
“Since the 9/11 terror attacks there has been a general perception among the American Muslim community that the law enforcement and the judicial system have unfairly targeted Muslims, Arabs, and South Asians. There have been numerous incidents where our community has received the selective enforcement of laws
and disparate sentencing when the accused happens to be a Muslim or Arab. All Americans must remember that we live in the land where justice is designed to be blind in regard to race, religion, or socioeconomic status. Although we find out that the legal system is based on the theory of the presumption of innocence, the perception of the Muslim community is that Muslims and Arabs are automatically considered guilty until proven innocent. Today as Americans and as Muslims we hope that our judges and law enforcement officials around the country will remember that — regardless of whether our nation is at war or at peace — we as a society must operate under the rule of law and the principles of true justice can never be set aside.”
“Today is a sad day. I can’t voice enough my disappointment in the verdict. I come to you as an American who was raised in this country, who lived in a time when there was no secret evidence, there was no detainment, there was no guilty before proven guilty. I speak to you today on behalf of a community, that its women have been grabbed, its youth detained, its men profiled. I speak to you today on behalf of a community that its masajid have been burned. We are disappointed with the verdict. And I want to tell you that the activists, some of them standing behind me and some of them all over the country will not stop fighting. We, as the Muslim community ask for our rights, we ask to be treated as human beings. And we will continue to work so hopefully tomorrow will be a better day than today.”
“Today is a day when justice was sought and missed in the heat of the US government ruling by paranoia after ruling by fear for a long time it is evident that Muslims will not and should not expect justice under the rule of paranoia in the US. We know that the Bush administration’s Attorney General, John Ashcroft after 9/11 made a statement publicly saying that under Attorney General Robert Kennedy , the government used to prosecute mafia members not for major crimes because they did not have evidence for that but for spitting on the side walk and he said we are planning to be even tougher.
Today he made good on his promise, he is tougher and those innocent people that were rendered guilty today are the victims of his making good on his promise that he is tougher. But I submit to all of you that none of these guys spit on the side walk.
They have not done anything wrong. I have been in the court everyday and I have listened to the evidence the government — not the witnesses — embellished evidence, exaggerated half fact and half truth and falsehood and unfortunately the court believed them. And for the appearance of justice some charges have been dropped and they were found not guilty of. Some were kept; the ones that were kept are the tougher ones. I believe that Muslims are deceived after 9/11 for no fault of their own, it is only the fault of our US law enforcement agencies who left their guard down against the terrorists, and who have let us all down by using fear and paranoia to continue to garner more resources and so-called tools of repression and oppression by the US government. There is nothing sweet that we can say today because this is the day of mourning for those families and for the victims of the injustice of the paranoia of the US government.”
“Good afternoon ladies and gentlemen. My name is Bernard Grimm. I represented Masoud Khan. Mr. Khan is 32 years old, he is married and he has a nine months old son. He has never ever in his entire life been arrested before, he has worked his entire life and went to college. My point in speaking to you is not to argue with judge Brinkema’s verdict. I thought she conducted a very fair and unbiased trial . Judge Brinkema can only base her decision on what is before her and to echo the feelings of those who spoke before me, what was before her was a twisted and contorted recitation of the facts and some instances outright lies. Judge Brinkema, it is not her job to investigate that, it is only her job to listen to it. This proceeding that happened here in the past month is really an outgrowth of what I believe to be 9/11 hysteria. I never personalize a case, but in this case I really have no choice. One of my best friends was in the first tower of that trade center and he had three children and he never ever came home and I was the last person to speak to him. If I thought Mr. Khan had any, role in that or any role in endorsing that and aligning himself with Islamic extremism, I would have never ever represented him and he knows that. I admire the zeal of Ashcroft and the FBI in pursuing this investigation but I frankly wonder out loud where that vigilance and zeal was, prior to 9/11 when my best friend died within 15 seconds of a plane coming right through his office building on 104th floor. So in response to that the government struck out no different than the US government struck out after world war 2 in the bombing of Pearl Harbor and said lets just lock up everyone who is Asian American without regard to whether they did anything wrong, whether they get anything right, lets just lock them up. We have learned nothing from history so in that regard it has nothing to do with the court’s decision, it has to do with John Ashcroft, it has to do with George Bush getting reelected and I am embarrassed today to be an American.”
“My partner Lisa Kemler and I had the privilege of representing Seifullah Chapman, a 31-year old former Marine, or still a Marine — he tells me there are no ex-Marines. He was convicted today on some serious charges that I am convinced he did not commit. Judge Brinkema is a very fine person, a very fine judge and I know she tried to be as fair as she could and was fair. We have not read her 75-page opinion to know how it is she came to the conclusions that she did. We will be looking at that and we will be filing motions based on her reasoning if we think its faulty. And I know that she would consider that if she thinks she made a mistake, so we are still hopeful. To give you an example some of the charges were serious charges that he was convicted of is firing a weapon at a paper target. That charge carries a 30-year minimum mandatory sentence. That is a charging decision that is made by the government; it should never have been made. What you need to know is that the prosecutors in this case, and I am sure they are not alone, believe that 80% of the Muslims, who live in America, are radicals, who were out to destroy this country. They are wrong, I’m unconvinced from my exposure to my client and the other people that we have worked with in this case, but they are wrong, but it is that attitude that has to be corrected; it has to be corrected by attorneys in the courts, trying to educate the judges and the jurors that is not the way American Muslims should be viewed in this country and (are our neighbors), just because they are Muslims, are not to be feared. It is also up to the community of American Muslims and non-American Muslims in this country to reach out to the non-Muslims and to educate them as to what Islam is really about. We believe that this prosecution was based in large part on a misunderstanding of Islam and that when the Americans prosecute hear jihad and jihad training, they think of people committing acts of war that they call holy war. And we as non-Muslims, the attorneys in this case have come to understand and learn that jihad, the greater jihad, is struggle to do good, to resist temptation, and not in any way to commit acts of war. The only type of jihad that can be conducted according to the Koran is that of the defense of yourself, the defense of your family, and this is immediate defense of your community, of your country. You have to follow all the rules and laws within your country and it is important that the people who were in the courtroom, families and friends and the people who were listening, not get angry and voice any type of anger or resentment, but reach out and hand a friendship to your neighbors and let them see through your eyes what is going on or what these prosecutions are all about..”
“I had the privilege of representing Hammad Abdurrahim in this case; a very fine 35 year old young man, with two very small babies at home two year old and one year old child, his wife is from Morocco and his father — retired — has been up here ever since Hammad was released on bond, a fine gentleman. A very fine family. Hammad is a dedicated patriotic American, he served 7 years in the United States army, had a wonderful army record, left the army as a sergeant and with plenty of medals and honors, he was a dedicated and excellent communication technician at Verizon, had a wonderful job, a good employment record. He wanted to play paintball because it sounded like a fun thing to do, he had never heard of paintball before, when he was introduced to paintball by one of the witnesses who testified to the government, he was told that this was a fun game and he enjoyed playing paintball with his friends and for that he has been convicted of three counts of conspiracy. Mr. Abdurrahim did not conspire with anybody to do anything other than to play paintball and have fun.
He has never done a violent thing in his life, he has never shot his rifle except at a target, and after 9/11 he put his rifle in the closet and it never came out again. I respect judge Brinkema, I have known her a long time, I respect her as a jurist. I think she conducted a very fair trial. But the problem sometimes is that the government overcharges and they throw a lot of mud against the wall and sometimes it is hard to see through the mud as it drips down the wall, sometimes a little bit of it stays up there because it is just that mud. The government overcharged this case to a great extent and unfortunately some of the charges that the were facing the judge, especially the conspiracy charges are very difficult because it does not take much evidence to find someone participating in a conspiracy however difficult it is to comprehend. And unfortunately Mr. Abdurrahim was convicted with 3 conspiracy charges which I still cannot find the evidence to support. I am not disrespecting judge Brinkema for her opinion but it’s a sad day in that respect I certainly agree with Mr. Zwerling and Mr. Grimm, we come to learn through our clients much more about a religion that I did not know enough about before I am ashamed to say, as many of us do not know and I respect the Islam religion, I respect my client and his dedication to it; he certainly has no thoughts or concepts at all of violence, he is very much a peace loving Muslim and I respect that very much and I respect the tenants of Islam and as Mr. Zwerling said the government has either misunderstood or attempted to misunderstand Islam and some of the concepts. And certainly the concepts they were advocating and perhaps the journalists are at fault for having promoted of jihad as only a violent concept is so wrong, it is so bizarre and it taints people’s understanding and perception and sometimes when you have that pounded into you time to time, day after day by the news report about violent jihad and how ‘jihadis’ has now become a term of violent fighters, and nothing could be further from the truth. It is sometimes difficult to separate that perception out to reality. Thank you.”
“I represented Caliph Basha Abdurrahim. Caliph was acquitted last friday but he was part of the same charge documented, part of the same, what I would consider to be almost a made up conspiracy involving Muslim American men who did nothing more than play paintball and go to firing ranges. It is a sad day for Caliph, it is a sad day for everybody. Seif Chapman, Masoud Khan, Hammad Abdurrahim are all the kinds of people that I would want to be my neighbors. They are the people that I would come to with problems, with concerns, who would do anything for me as an American or as a friend. It is a tragedy that those men who did nothing other than enjoy each others’ time by playing paintball and go to an NRA sponsored firing range, are now going to spend significant amount of time of their life in jail. It was the governments decision to charge them the way they did, it speaks to the ease with which anybody can be charged for anything, it should make any one of us afraid, that when we are together enjoying each others’ company, speaking among friends, that any of those conversations can later on be turned into a federal indictment charging us with conspiracy. It is a frightening thing that the government can make those charging decisions and that people can be convicted on the basis of that kind of evidence.
Throughout the trial I witnessed as other people did exactly the kind of pressures that can be brought on government witnesses to testify in ways that benefit only themselves but the idea of trading their time for somebody else’s. And that is largely what we saw in this trial through the government witnesses about the alleged conspiracy. It is a sad day. I am going to miss them very much. Caliph is not here today, as you would imagine, he wants no part of this building, he wants no part of the United States’ justice system, or the United States attorney office. It is just a sad day.
The following is a transcript of the questions and answer phase of the press conference.
Reporter: How do respond to the fact that the defendants’ friends testified against them?
Grimm: These weren’t my client’s friends. And if he thought they were friends then they really weren’t friends once we got inside the courtroom. The way it works… these people were brought in and they were threatened with hundreds of years of prosecution of cases that frankly the government knew they couldn’t make against them anyway. These people thought that number one — I’m Muslim — so they already have two strikes against me and — number two — my guess is that they already have some evidence against me, so I’ll probably be convicted if I go to trial. So therefore, I’ll plead guilty to whatever you put on the table so long as — at the end of the day — when I come for sentencing, you’re going to go to bat for me and say I can go home. And unfortunately, that’s the way the system works. The fact that they pled guilty — and I invite everybody to look at these guilty pleas — Judge Brinkema took these guilty pleas based on the good faith efforts of the prosecutors and the defense lawyers, but the guilty pleas were really legal fiction. For example, there was one cooperator who testified that ‘we never had any intention to go and fight inside
Afghanistan against Americans’. There was no intention to go into Kashmir or Afghanistan, and here it is my client gets convicted somehow. Judge Brinkema relied on the evidence. It’s not her job to go behind the scenes to see what happened.
The way it works is people plead guilty just so they can go home. It has nothing to do unfortunately with whether they are guilty or not.
Reporter: How much time are the defendants facing?
Grimm: [Masoud is facing] in excess of 100 years and he has never gotten a parking ticket. It’s interesting, if you could just close your eyes and imagine these were all Irish Catholics who all went to Northern Ireland to fight against British soldiers in that conflict that was going on there, do you think the U.S. attorney’s office of the Eastern District would actually prosecute those people? I doubt it. There would be upheavel from the cardinal all the way to the pope. So, it’s the fact that these people are Muslim and Muslim alone that go them into this situation.
Zwerling: [Seif Chapman] is looking at probably around 60 years. Most everyone who came to court to testify on behalf of the government ever said anything to indicate that my client or the other defendants ever said or did anything to indicate that they wanted to go and take a weapon against any other human being. It’s based on a conspiracy theory, somehow extending ‘material support’ — whatever that means — to a group which they should have known — even though the they were not designated a terrorist group, was going to be designated a terrorist group in the future. Seifullah Chapman was out of the country on 9/11 and when he found out what happened, he did everything he could to get home as quickly as he could to be with his family and his country — both of which were under attack. He came to find out that some of his neighbors in a gated community had scrawled the word ‘pig’ on the door of his home, where his wife and two kids — both of them not even school age yet — lived, and these wonderful neighbors threw garbage and bricks onto their balcony, and pounded on the door in the middle of the night. And he stayed in his house, he had a weapon, but he never opened the door to chase anybody — and I would have — but he had the self-control to sit and let them pound away and then go home. They filed police reports - but they couldn’t do much. So we are very disappointed in the outcome of this case.
Reporter: How much time is Hammad looking at?
Cummings: [The time] is substantial. Far more substantial than he could have arranged if he had taken a plea agreement. My client was given the opportunity, as most of these people were, to take a plea agreement to be charged with something that was lesser. We asked the government to prepare a proposed statement of facts to what he would have to plead guilty to. He looked at that and said ‘there is not a single truthful statement in that statement of facts. I cannot in good conscience stand up in front of the judge and say that is a truthful statement and therefore I cannot plead guilty. And I will take the consequences of what the judge has for me, and I will go to trial.’ And that was his dilemma. It was all a lie. He did not conspire with anybody, he did not help anyone go overseas, he never went overseas. He said ‘I cannot stand in front of that court and take an oath of allegiance to tell the truth and say that those are truthful statements, any one of those statements. And for that he went to trial and I admire him for doing that. I don’t know if I would have the character and the grit to have done that and take that risk. He had a chance to have a very modest and minimum sentence.
Reporter: How much time did the government actually offer him?
Cummings: Two years.
Reporter: What reaction did you have when Brinkema said she did not think the defendants were credible?
Cummings: I thought some of the government witnesses were incredible and unbelievable and untruthful. My client really does not know how to tell a lie. That’s why he could not subscribe to the statement of facts, even though it would have given him only a couple of years of time.
SOURCE: The Muslim Link
Elisabeth Khan / Mother of Masoud Khan
Masoud Khan: (Anger and Forgiveness)
Comment on Sentencing of Hammad Abdurraheem
Shahnaz Baten: Did we forget?
A childhood photo of Masoud
Appeals Court: Govt May Have Lied to Jury and Judge, Orders Case Back to Judge Brinkema
Did We Forget? A Local Sister Visits Imprisoned Youth Masaud Khan
By Shahnaz Baten, Muslim Link Contributing Writer July 2005
The lobby smelled of disinfectant and you could tell that the purple and white checkered floor had been recently mopped. I came to the Warsaw Jail to help drive and be company for Umm Masaud; I wasn't really prepared for what was to follow - to actually see Masaud.
In my mind, it was almost obscene to come from the outside world where the sunlight warms your face, the breeze brushes against your skin, where your car takes you wherever you steer, to talk to a person who is facing a life sentence for something he didn't do; something very unsettling and helpless about it all. What would one talk about? How could anyone possibly understand his perspective and disposition? What would one see if they braved looking into his face! Besides, this was family time after a month gap and I wasn't going to intrude on those precious moments by asking him a bunch of useless questions.
His reddish brown hair was combed back and he held the phone in one hand while drawing lines one the table with the other; his hands were pale and thin. He looked older than his 32 years and he never sat on the chair next to him.
Things happened very fast as there is a time limit on these visits; half an hour is normal but an extension is granted as well. We had the extended one-hour visit. Masaud talked to his wife first, then his mother and then me. Umm Masaud updated him on the family, summer plans, work schedules, Nani's condition in the hospital. Masaud read off titles of books he'd been reading, one book he wanted and one he wanted his mother to read. Ebraheem, Masaud's son, wasn't used to talking to his Baba using the phone system at this facility. So he sat on the counter and played with a bouncy ball with Nani and me while his mother talked. When it was my turn to speak, I was just getting over the shock of seeing him, not ready to speak as well. He gave me his salaam and I gave him mine and offered salaam from all the community. He asked me to have a seat as we went through our polite introductions. Doesn't that just get you; he offers me a seat as if I am a visitor to his home!
After half an hour, the visit was interrupted by two guards who thought the time allotted was 30 minutes instead of the full hour Umm Masaud had arranged with the Captain. They put on his handcuffs and right at that moment, Ebraheem's eyes focused on his father; only the Almighty knows what memory and emotion that picture will evoke as this 2 boy grows up. He father, who is of honorable and intense demeanor, accepted the metal clasps on his wrists. For one second, I saw Masaud's profile, upright and calm, betraying no emotion as he bid his loved ones goodbye. He was already at the door leaving when the matter of the extended visit was cleared up and Masaud returned to the room with his hands free and picked up the receiver to continue his visit. He talked to his family again, his wife and his mother. It was bittersweet for me to watch these two women interact with the one they love so much on the other side of a glass window, not being able to sit next to him, hug him or even breathe the same air. When it was time to leave, we all gave him our salaam and asked for his du'a as he also reciprocated.
We pulled out of the facility and I thought to myself here in this car is a mother who leaves a piece of her heart, a wife who leaves her husband, a son who leaves his Baba and a stranger who wonders "how the heck is all this possible?" Had Masaud killed and kidnapped a 5 year old child and dumped the body on the railroad tracks, then the life sentence would be justified; had he raped and killed a 13 year old girl, the life sentence would be justified; had he beaten an old woman to death, the life sentence would be justified. Had he been Radovan Karadzic, responsible for 8,000 deaths in the Srebrenica Massacre, the life sentence would be justified. He didn't do any of these things and he's in for life for "suspicion of," not any actual committed act! Radovan Karadzic remains at large while Masaud sits in solitary confinement. But this comparison is also faulty isn't it? Karadzic has been indicted for committing genocide; our brother has not harmed anyone.
On our second visit the following week, it was a much more jovial Masuad that was on the other end of the receiver. It pleased us all that he was in such a humorous and easy demeanor. His readings, religious and secular, were keeping him quite enthusiastic, at least it seemed that way. He gave me three titles to read as well, subhana'Allah. I asked him about his daily routine. Masaud said he read when there was enough good material to keep his interest. I asked, "What do you do when your concentration breaks"..(the same routine day in an day out in solitary)?" He laughed a full laugh, , you could see all his teeth and said through the silence "Then it breaks"." This time as he walked away at the conclusion of our visit, he looked back and waved with his hands clasped behind his back. That image is a difficult one to dilute.
Masaud's visitation time is every Tuesday at 2:30pm at the Warsaw Jail Facility in Virginia. It is not a very visitor friendly time slot; nonetheless, he is closer at this location. He is normally a 9-hour drive away. I am embarrassed to admit how few from our community haveactually visited, how few have written letters to give him hope and break the monotony, how few keep our brother in mind sincerely... In the end, what befalls us individually and as an ummah is supposed to happen; it is His decree. And what misses us was not meant for us. As we struggle in our acceptance and understanding, we most certainly have to keep our duties in mind. In this case, the very least of our duties is a visit to a brother for the sake of Allah, the most Compassionate. "A man went to visit a brother of his in another town and Allah deputed an angel to await him on his way, so when he came to him he asked, "Where are you going?" The man replied, "I am going to visit a brother of mine in this town." The angel asked, -Have you done him some favor which you desire to be returned?" The man said, "No, it is just that I love him for Allah, the Mighty and Magnificent." The angel said, "Then I am a messenger sent by Allah to you (to inform you) that Allah loves you as you have loved him for His sake."
Your brother sits alone for 23 hours each day, without breathing fresh air, without conversation, without the opportunity of choice and he does this continuously, day in and day out. Our only solace is that Allah Subhanahu wa ta'ala is Masaud's Protector and may He keep him strong in his zuhd, in His devotion and eeman as he bears with sabr and tasabbur even this because it is from Allah Subhanahu wa ta'ala.
Masaud does what he has to do; and now for a moment let me turn to you and I and ask simply, "Do we do what we must do?" Do we love each other with that devotion that drives us to help one another; do we feel with the depth that makes us wonder how we as parents would bear up a separation from our children; do we imagine what it would be like not to be among our parents, brothers and sisters so unnaturally? I am sure if we would reflect, if we were to find the time to reflect, we would be in major distress and awe; we would be stilled by the sheer weight of the wrongful imprisonment of our brother from our community. Yes, I know we would. It's just a matter of finding the time to reflect as we race through our vacations, attend weddings, visit friends, host BBQ's, etc. We are all very busy with our jobs, families and so many other responsibilities; we mean to remember and help but it slips our minds. This very condition is what is so sad about our community and so many other communities; we don't have time for each other.
Masaud Khan, Seif Chapman and Hammad Abdur Raheem's resentencing hearing will be before Judge Brinkema at 1:30 in the afternoon on July 29th in Alexandria. The best the lawyers are hoping for is a reduction in all of their sentences insha'Allah. If that is done, Masaud's sentence, the heaviest of all of them, will still be too much. Please make du'a, take this opportunity to visit while he is so near, ask your masjid what they are doing to help the families, wives, and children of our brothers. It's not enough that we assume that our local mosques and national organizations are helping all these families. Inquire so that these brothers and their families don't become "out of sight, out of mind" or else we too will become of those that have ostracized these families by succumbing to the fear of what is diffusing all around us. One person doesn't have to shoulder the whole task; some of us can set up committees within our local mosques that visit and write to brothers in the prisons; others can visit the families on a regular basis; some of us can contribute financially; others can write to keep the issues alive and so on and so on. Each one of us is a piece of the whole and if we don't fit and work together, the whole never makes it to fruition. May He truly reward us here and in the hereafter and make us of those who taste the sweetness of eeman through servitude to Him.
A community member reflects on the trial
losers in this case; we disagree that the government is from the victors.
Hammad Abdurraheem in military uniform
Winning and losing should be understood in a way that is consistent with our outlook as Muslims. Muslims
should not be people of the moment. Rather, our belief dictates that we live for higher goals, struggle for
better ends, and focus on the absolute in lieu of the temporal.
This case was about attacking Islam and the rights of Muslims: the right to think like a Muslim; the right to
believe and act on that belief; the right to resist oppression; and the right to self-defense.
Those who traded in their principles, beliefs, bonds of brotherhood, their respect and dignity, handing over
their Islam in exchange for a short period of time in this speck of eternity are the real losers. They sold
everything of value for a miserable gain. Granted, the ‘cooperators’ won’t waste away in prison for the many
years they feared, but instead they must wallow in their burning conscience and the expectation of testifying
for what they said — not in federal court — but in front of the Master of the Day of Judgement.
The government was also a loser in this trial. Those who are favored by Allah to hold the reigns of power,
being bestowed with the ability to mete out justice in the land, but who instead abuse their power and spread
oppression — they are losers.
The government and others who feel secure in their positions should take note of history: the tyrants who rule
with fear and injustice always disappear, remembered only with contempt and scorn.
A segment of the Muslim community was also among the losers in this case. Those who stood by and watched
while oppression took place, refusing to stand in witness, refusing to say a good word of support, illuminated
their position for all to see. They proved themselves to be selfish, inept, and ultimately inconsequential and
So who were the winners? The community members who gathered at the courthouse, who worked behind the
scenes raising funds and organizing support, they witnessed a shimmering flash of community. It was only a
spark, but those who saw it — we hope — will understand that coming together on Islam is the only way to
move ourselves forward. Achieving this realization is a victory. The act of standing up for justice is something
only winners do.
And in the end, the real winners are the brothers who stood up for their way of life, their beliefs, and their
Masoud Khan, Hammad Abdur-Raheem, and Seifullah Chapman stood up against the grand might of the
most powerful nation in the world, with all its resources and capability, with only their eemaan in Allah as
their defense. They kept their eemaan and they won, and nothing can take that victory away from them.
SOURCE: The Muslim Link
Attorney Exposes Government's Tactics
Transcript of Interview with Mrs. Elisabeth Khan Mother of Masoud Khanhttp://old.cageprisoners.com/articles.php?id=1229
The Muslim Link . Posted Friday March 12, 2004
1. Can you tell us a bit about Masoud's personality, his youth, etc :
Masoud is a very loving, responsible and family-orientated son. He has always lived with me and unselfishly given support to all family needs. He is reserved, quiet, and studious, but as a child was very fun-loving .
Masoud grew up in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, where he first attended an Arab school and then proceeded to attend American Elementary and Junior High Schools. His favorite sports included soccer, basketball, swimming and hiking. He had a few select friends and he kept his friendships; he was very faithful to his friends, very loyal. He returned to the United States at the age of 17 and attended Gaithersburg High School. The experience was such a culture shock for him that he dropped out in the last year (12th grade); however, he subsequently took the GED and received his high school diploma .
Masoud always had a yearning to learn more about his religion and to memorize Qur an and he regretted the fact that while he was in Saudi Arabia he had not been able to do that. Following a vacation trip to visit his father who was still in Karachi, he entered college [computer science] and then told me that he was dissatisfied. He said that Americans don't know anything about Islam and he wanted to find a way to bring da'wah to them. He said he wanted to learn Arabic and to learn more about his religion. So, he began taking courses at the American Open University and the Institute of Arabic (and Islamic) Sciences, and at the same time he proceeded to memorize the Qur'an by himself. That took him almost two years. In 1996 he passed the examination at the Institute and received the scholarship to go to Riyadh University which he attended for three and half years and graduated. When he returned home in January of 2000, he expressed the desire to marry .
This is one of the problems I have with this trial because the government is trying to say that in January 2000 he was joining a group of people talking about paintball and making plans for jihad training. In fact, he came back in mid-January was very proud of his Certificate and immediately asked me to begin looking for a wife for him. He only went to one paintball game, never went again; never went with these groups of other people, and never mentioned anything about frustration with America or wars overseas. In March we made plans and found a prospective bride for him and in May he and I traveled to Morocco and he was married in Morocco. So predominantly his time was spent preparing for his marriage and planning to finish his education here .
2. How did the FBI and law enforcement deal with Masoud in this case? What about the media ?
The media has been grossly unfair. Their articles have all been one-sided and biased. Their intent is to create an effect and stir the emotions of the American people, regardless of the real truth. I wanted very badly to tell my story to the press, but Masoud's attorneys always warned that the truth would not be printed and my words would be twisted. I really feel that the media is politically motivated. I don't find any justice in the present system and freedom of the press does not exist anymore .
I wish Masoud had done something wrong so I could justify [what has] happened to him. Masoud was singled out as a scapegoat and I have yet to know the real reason. I do not understand the purpose of the media s [Government] emphasis on calling my son a Pakistani, as though being so is synonymous with suspicion of terrorism. Masoud was born in Washington, D.C. His father was born in the North West Frontier Province and was very proud of his heritage. He was also proud to become a U.S. citizen in the early 1960's. I am a 4th generation American/Washingtonian whose ancestors came from Scotland, Italy and France. Masoud lived in Karachi at the age of 4 and thereafter spent the rest of his life in Jeddah and the U.S. Americans all originate from other countries; that is how this country has been formed, and until now, it was considered a blessing to emigrate and settle here .
The FBI has been a very big disappointment to me. I used to work with the US Embassy in Jeddah (State Department) and the agents I knew appeared to be very professional and nice. But the 32 agents who invaded my house at 6:00 am at gunpoint were purely trained military men except for two of the agents in charge of the activity. One of the agents was an Indian girl, another agent was some other nationality, they didn't treat us nicely at all, they were very rough. It was a chilling experience for me and I still haven't gotten over what it was like having them pound on our door, racing up the stairs shouting; dragging my daughter-in-law out of bed, waking up the baby, it was terrible, terrible. I kept asking what was wrong and what they wanted? But they acted like I was criminal and that I would shoot them if I could get the chance. I will never trust the FBI again that is for sure. I am really disappointed in my country frankly .
3. Masoud's Friends especially those who ended up part of the case :
Masoud had a few select friends, and a limited acquaintance with several of the defendants. Yong Kwan, however, had been a roommate of my younger son, Omer, at Virginia Tech for a semester in 1996 I believe and he visited our home frequently on weekends. I would' t say he was Masoud's friend at all. Attique was also just an acquaintance and a classmate at Virginia Tech. Seif Chapman and Masoud have known each other for a number of years and they enjoyed Saturday outings for jogging, hiking and hunting .
I never heard Yong's testimony in Court because I was to be a witness. I was shocked to hear that Yong had named two of my sons in his testimony, certainly I don't see why he needed to lie to such an extent or why Masoud in particular was portrayed as being so important to the case .
When Yong left Virginia Tech, he asked Omer if he could live with us for a while because he had no job or home. I didn t know at the time that he was estranged from his family, and so, since he was a friend of Omer's, I agreed to help him. We gave him a bedroom in the lower level of the house which also had a separate entrance. Yong spent one full summer with us and thereafter was a frequent guest on week-ends until Omer left for overseas. Upon Masoud's return from Saudi Arabia in 2000, he did not encourage Yong to stay so frequently. So it was really a big shock for me to know that he was the main person accusing Masoud because we gave him nothing but hospitality, lessons on Islam and Arabic and companionship. He was treated like a family member and had my trust. It is a big shock when a fellow Muslim betrays you and only Allah knows what led him to such a state .
4. How did you feel about Masoud's defense and the defense the lawyers put together? The fact that he pled the 5th ?
First of all, I was told that Masoud's lawyer had a reputation as an excellent trial attorney. He is listed as one of the top 75 criminal defense lawyers in the Washington Metropolitan area and had proven to be excellent in cross-examination of witnesses on the stand. I have been told that there was a confrontation between Mr. Grimm and the Judge on the first day of trial. There was a feeling that the Judge did not seem to react to him favorably. He indicated his belief in Masoud's innocence and seemed ready to present a decent argument for Masoud's defense. As the trial progressed, and following my testimony, I saw that Mr. Grimm had placed his co-attorney in the forefront and I was not happy about it .
As far as Masoud taking the fifth, this was unexpected. After observing the testimony of Seif and Abdur Raheem, it was obvious that the government had the upper hand in manipulating their testimony to the point that the truth was not being accepted. Masoud's attorney expressed doubt on putting him on the stand, saying he had no experience with a trial; had never been in court before in his life and also felt that the judge might not favor Masoud because of his physical appearance and personality. For that reason they also had decided not to have a jury trial because -- again -- [the jury would be] looking at a replica of Bin Ladin (laughs). It's the appearance, and Masoud would have gotten emotional and would have gotten upset. [The government] was determined to make Masoud an example. I don t know why he was singled out and I still don t know why but Ashcroft picked him and it could have been partially the look it could very well have been. I had expected Masoud to testify on his own behalf, and present witnesses to vouch for him. I had expected the truth to be told and the Community to hear what he had to say. I was doubly surprised when Mr. Grimm did not do the closing argument and present all of the facts on Masoud's behalf. The truth has not been heard .
TML: Did the lawyers tell Masoud to plead guilty ?
No they did not tell him to plead guilty. His first lawyer, who was a former federal prosecutor, did advise him to plead guilty so as to be released in a few years . But Masoud refused to plead guilty and this lawyer dropped out of the case. Mr. Grimm also asked the government what their terms would be for cooperation, and the terms were that he would name new people (they would give him pictures of different people they have in custody) and indicate whether he had seen them when he went to the Lashkar community. The government seems to feel that Masoud has knowledge which Masoud emphatically denies having. They told him that if he would cooperate they would leave the rest of his family alone. On several occasions they indicated directly to me that they didn t really want to put such a young man in prison who really had not done anything, but that in order to catch the real terrorists, they would put pressure anywhere necessary. Yes, they offered (reduction in time); they said they would go down to the single digits. However, Masoud would still be labeled with a guilty plea and so Mr. Grimm and Masoud refused to cooperate indicating that they would fight this case and go to trial .
Masoud does not want to spend the rest of his life in prison, but there is no way he will speak against another Muslim who might be innocent, nor will he bear false witness. Masoud said he has to say the truth and accept the consequences and there is no way he can cooperate with the government. [Masoud said] the people at the Lashkar community [overseas] were good Muslims and they were good people; innocent people and they are setting up a community for the Muslims .
And of course he asked for fatwas. He was told that he could speak against those who have accused him in the court but he cannot speak about anyone new. He didn't get the opportunity to speak against them because he did not get the chance to [take the witness stand]. I didn't know this till the last moment. I said [to his lawyers] why not? The whole case is based upon the witness and suddenly there he sat pleading the 5th which was a big surprise for me and he couldn't have any witnesses testify on his behalf. That is not what I expected from them. I expected them to get him on the stand to tell his side and they didn't do it .
Message to Muslims:
I want the Muslim Community as a whole to know that Masoud didn't do anything wrong. The Muslim Community needs to be strong and outspoken. They cannot exist in fear, nor can they pretend they don't believe in Jihad as a pillar of Islam. The government will continue to oppress us all; they will attempt to close Islamic schools and send their so-called extremist professors home. My message is be strong and unite and fight this government somehow because without a unified Muslim community everyone is at their mercy. There is no way we can fight it in small groups. We have to show unity. We also need Muslim lawyers and Muslims professionals who have the courage to stand up to oppression .
Yong and others lied to save themselves and Yong [might] not get any jail time at all. But Allah could punish them forever unless they sincerely repent. I told Masoud not to lie. I told him that he is a martyr and he are going to get his reward Insha'Allah even though it is the worst thing for a mother to have to endure. He has to be brave and he has to trust in Allah .
TML: Any comments on the appeal effort ?
No idea on the appeal. We have spent all of our money. Now I think MAC and CAIR are considering such a possibility. I don't know the regulation for appeals in the eastern district in Alexandria. It's going to take a great sacrifice on the part of the community itself to be able to go and pay for an appeal. Certainly one should have the right to appeal -- if even to the Supreme Court, but costs are high. Certainly the case in Germany reached their Supreme Court and the defendant was freed. It used to be that an unjustly accused person would be able to find justice for himself without having to search for hundreds of thousands of dollars. Those days appear to have disappeared. I will fight as best I can to see my son freed .
TML: Any other words for the community ?
Without the help of the Muslim Community and especially MAC who has been coordinating the support, we could not have proceeded to trial. My family was amazed at the outpouring of support and generosity for us and the considerable sacrifices made for so many months. I think initially people were confused about the issues and understandably wary, but once they became informed, they joined in to help in tremendous ways and, at court, showed their support, both sisters and brothers, by filling two courtrooms. I can only express my gratitude to everyone. I ask them to remain strong and supportive to us in the coming trying times. I ask for their continued prayers in this regard .
Masoud's only crime was to dutifully travel to Pakistan at my direction to deliver original estate documents in Court and then while there, to investigate the Lashkar Community in the hope of using his share of the estate to eventually purchase land and live abroad in a peaceful Muslim Community with his family. He never intended any harm to anyone .
TML: Masoud may be transferred to prisons far away. Will you relocate to be close to him ?
I really don't know what is in store for us. I used to do dawah within federal prisons and my experience is that that they move people about once every year or 1.5 years. I used to send Qurans to the prisoners and when the prisoners receive too much religious material then suddenly you find that they are not there anymore and they will move them somewhere else. I have my job here [in D.C.] and I have my elderly mother that I am taking care of and now I have Masoud's wife and child. It's not like I can uproot myself and follow him around the country. We will have to try to visit him periodically. I haven't gotten to the point of figuring out all of that. I am still hoping on the appeal and hoping there is still a chance --certainly if this case has not been in the district of VA then it would not have gone to court in the first place .
SOURCE: The Muslim Link
[August 4, 2015] This afternoon, the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit remanded the appeal of Ali Al-Timimi, the accused head of the so-called “Virginia Jihad” or “Virginia Paintball” case. The remand was based on evidence that was discovered by the defense after the appeal was filed. I am lead defense counsel for Dr. Al-Timimi and serve with co-counsel Thomas Huff and Allison Wood.
We have long argued that the government has withheld evidence in the case.
This case centers on allegations that Dr. Al-Timimi— a computational biologist employed in cancer research and a prominent Muslim scholar—made comments at a dinner shortly after 9-11 that allegedly inspired certain men in attendance to go forward with a plan to travel to a camp in Pakistan run by Lashkar-e-Taiba (LET), a group the United States would later designate as a terrorist organization. Under assorted theories of inchoate liability, Dr. Al-Timimi was charged with and convicted of 10 felonies. In a result that the district court described as “very draconian,” sentencing, he received a mandatory lifetime prison sentence.
I previously secured a remand of this case after media reports disclosed the existence of secret surveillance programs conducted by the Government. From April 25, 2006 until May 21, 2014, Dr. Al-Timimi filed roughly two dozen motions seeking discovery of undisclosed evidence. Virtually all of these motions were denied. To establish such a basis, the defense sought evidence through NARA and other sources using the Freedom of Information Act and other means. After years of such attempts, the defense was able to obtain documents referring to earlier investigations involving Dr. Al-Timimi and other figures, like Anwar Aulaqi.
Due to the ongoing litigation, I must remain circumspect about public comments on this case. Below are the filings leading to today’s remand.
On behalf of Dr. Al-Timimi and the entire defense team, we are deeply appreciative to the Fourth Circuit and look forward to presenting this matter to Judge Brinkema in the United States District Court for Northern Virginia.
The Muslim Link . Posted April 8, 2012
I hope and pray you are doing well and am sorry for this very late reply, and hope you won’t mind it being shared with others so we may all benefit.
I suffer similarly to you in regards to not coping well with anger and find that I am one having little patience with oppression and injustices as well, and with me, it is an ongoing struggle [more] easily remedied in discussion than in practice.
Some passing thoughts on the subject is to give you glad tidings as it is a sign of faith to feel anger for the sake of Allah when injustices occur. The Prophet never got angry except for the sake of Allah which is the first step to achieve. The second step is to find the correct way to vent our anger according to the circumstances, without resorting to an unhealthy accumulation of suppressed anger.
Before venting our anger prematurely, we need to purify it first for the sake of Allah so we can release it properly for the right reasons and in the right way. Generally, anger, when not for the sake of Allah, is from satan, and the Prophet indicated in this instance to seek refuge in Allah from satans prodding’s and suggestions, whose influence can be brought on by our indulgence in sins, which weakens our resolve and defenses against him. In [addressing] this state of anger, our Prophet further advised us to perform ablution, prayer, and sit or lie down to cool the effects brought on by the heat of anger, as well as to cool and calm the circulation of blood traveling through the body, as satan is similarly wont to course through man as mentioned in a narration.
Some other points to realize in addition to this, is that all of mankind make mistakes and Allah in His great Mercy is All-Forgiving. So in emulation of this Divine attribute we should, likewise, seek to control our anger in hope of receiving the same from Him, Whose Mercy supersedes and overcomes His Wrath.
Also injustices in the world occur for a wise reason some of which is to motivate us to rectify the wrongs within ourselves in relation to our Lord, and in our environment, and to appreciate the values of justice which cannot be known and experienced except by the allowance of injustices to first take place. In this sense everyone is destined to taste their fair share of oppression, whether appearing to be brought on justly or unjustly, the confirmation of which is mentioned in a narration, the gist of which is that had mankind not fallen into sin then Allah would have removed them and brought in their place a people who transgressed and thereafter sought forgiveness, so they could come to know that they have a Lord Who Forgives.
Allah also mentions in many verses that much of the oppression and calamities that inflicts us in this world is brought on by our own sins, which is in itself an oppression against our own souls and against others whom we may come in contact with, and is bound to effect them in one way or another.
So the appearance of oppression can be a form of veiled Mercy and a means of purification from sins, and often times spiritual stagnation cannot be risen above except by way of a calamity that kicks into gear the motivation needed for overcoming the steep climb ahead. When we try to understand the apparently hidden wisdom behind the Decrees of our Lord, we will be able to control our emotions and direct them towards their intended purpose and thereby vent them accordingly, rather than being controlled by our emotions with no idea of how to release them from their pent up accumulation. This is not to say that we should submit to oppression fatalistically, but it is to say that we should try to understand it so we can come to understand how best to deal with it.
Anger, when not for the sake of Allah, usually has a negative base of being projected by an extreme unwarranted hate; and even if the anger is warranted due to injustices but was not purified solely for Allah’s sake, then focus can easily be lost in misunderstanding its causes and the wisdom of its occurrences and lead to an anger which is misdirected or unbalanced in being vented in an extreme reactionary fashion.
Some of the ways that can motivate us to purify our anger for Allah’s sake is to know that control over anger signifies the strength of a truly strong individual as the Prophet may have said “the strong person is not the one who is quick to overcome their opponent but is one who has domination over their anger“.
Allah has also promised His Aid and declared war on any who seek to oppress His servants as mentioned in another narration, and this is, perhaps, even truer in instances when a Muslim is in a state of weakness and unable to fend it off themselves. This is also true for Non-Muslims as well, or anyone who is mistreated and oppressed, there being no hindrance whatsoever from Allah in answering the call of one being oppressed as mentioned in a narration.
Similarly in another narration or saying, it says that Allah raises or gives respite to a just people even if they may be unbelievers, and He brings down and levels a people through their injustices even if they be believers. Consequently, Allah has destroyed many nations for their oppression and iniquities as a sign and lesson for us so that we may perceive the values of truth and justice and by it, steer the right course for our own betterment. This is all possible only by witnessing oppression and its outcome and from it a recorded supplication emerges which roughly means:
O’Allah don’t make me a lesson for others (due to their witnessing and taking heed from the outcome of negative behavior) nor make others happier or more grateful for me than I for myself (which can only happen when others are grateful for someone else’s misfortune due to their having learned by it how to avoid the repercussions of wrong doing).As far as when a Muslim has the upper hand, then it was the practice of the companions as mentioned by Ibn Taymiya regarding verses in Sura Shura, that after subduing their oppressive opponents, they would practice forgiveness rather than seek justly deserved revenge when able. Sayid Qutb mentioned that exercising either forgiveness or punishment towards wrongdoing and oppression is dependent on which serves to bring about the best outcome and benefit according to the particular circumstance.
This can all be seen in these verses in Sura Shura:
“And those who, when an oppressive wrong is done to them, take revenge. The recompense for an evil is an evil like thereof; but whoever forgives and makes reconciliation, his reward is with Allah. Verily, He likes not the thalimoon (oppressors). And indeed whosoever takes revenge after he has suffered wrong, for such there is no way (of blame) against them. The way (of blame) is only against those who oppress men and rebel in the earth without justification; for such there will be a painful torment. And verily, whosoever shows patience and forgives, that would truly be from the things recommended by Allah“.This last verse with Allah’s recommendation, was something practiced by not only the companions but by their role models in the example of the Prophets such as Yusuf with his brothers and our Prophet with the Pagans of Mecca when they both gained the upper hand, and it was through this recommendation that led to the guidance of those who were given to much oppression. So in the endeavor to eradicate evil and in the prevention of oppression, sight is never lost that it may be only through long suffering patience that the enlightenment of wrongdoers may lie in the mercy shown to them in that moment when the upper hand is gained over them. This is and should be the ultimate goal, to save as many souls from the perdition of hellfire by patiently seeing them through the phases that will lead to their realization and salvation without any forced coercion, rather than hastening to seal their fate in everlasting doom to the joy of our avowed enemy.
Once we have reached a reasonable level of control by purifying our anger for the sake of Allah, we will then be able to properly vent and relieve it by the ways directed to us by our Prophet, who mentioned that
“If you should happen to see an injustice, then seek to remedy it by your hand, and if unable, then by your speech, and even if still unable, then by your heart, and verily that is the weakest condition of faith”.And in regards to changing the condition of oppression by the action of our hands, the Prophet has said “support your brother whether he is being oppressed or is himself an oppressor“. He was consequently asked, we understand how to support our brother when he is oppressed but how shall we support him if he is the oppressor?, to which the Prophet replied “Take him by his hand so he will refrain from oppressing others“.
So, depending on the situation, these are three ways one can vent their anger for the sake of Allah without it being suppressed unnaturally with no outlet. If we find that we are unable to exercise change by our hands due to the overall state of weakness of faith affecting our particular environment, we should seek to rectify the injustices by the various forms of speech at our disposal and if that becomes detrimental as well then we should resort to pouring out our hearts in earnest prayer and supplication beseeching our Lord to address the rampant injustices inundating the world. In this instance our Prophet said “…and do you receive victory except by the earnest supplications of the weak and helpless“.
Perhaps it is by the occurrences of oppressions and calamities that Allah seeks to return His servants towards Him and draw them closer as He said:
“Evil (sins and disobediences to Allah) has appeared on land and sea because of what the hands of men have earned (by oppression and evil deeds), that He (Allah) may make them taste a part of that which they have done, in order that they may return (by repenting to Allah, and begging His Pardon)”, and He says: “And verily, We will make them taste of the near torment (i.e. the torment in the life of this world, i.e. disasters, calamities) prior to the supreme torment (in the hereafter), in order that they may (repent and) return…”These are only just some of the reasons why oppression takes place and through further contemplation much more will become evident. In the meantime we should supplicate Allah for our well-being from all kinds of misfortunes, seek His forgiveness for our sins that have brought on this state of affairs, and be grateful by comparing ourselves with the conditions of those less fortunate.
Another way to relieve stress and anger may be by physical exertion through exercise which causes many chemical reactions to take place such as the release of dopamine, a known source for initiating feelings of well-being and happiness. it is very important to strive to be both physically and spiritually balanced and we will find that both these states are a reflection of each other in that both exhibit and testify to the balances and imbalances inherent in each of the two.
Finally a criterion that helps in determining the strength of our leverage over our anger can be seen in the following categories one falls in and how much work may be needed to improve. There are four general categories that reactions to anger fall under, namely: The first where one is quick in anger and slow to recover and it is the worst category when it is for other than Allah’s sake. The second is when one is quick in anger and quick to recover. The third is when one is slow to anger and slow to recover, and last but not least, the fourth one which is the most difficult one to achieve, is when one is slow to anger and quick to recover from it.
I hope this may have been helpful in someway to you, and may Allah give us the knowledge and understanding to see the wisdom behind His Decrees and guide us with the correct action that best addresses the situation at hand and Allah knows best.
VA-11: The Verdict: A Test For The Believers
A community member reflects on the trial
By Hanif Abdur-Rahim
They have not sold their souls to have freedom at the cost of another persons’, or at the price of
lieing about something in which they did not do. They have perservered. Through their fight for
justice, they have come to a day when they must put complete trust in Allah that the judge will
listen to their defense attorneys and judge in their favor.
The building reads “Albert V. Bryant United States Courthouse.” The walkways outside are filled with
lawyers and other courthouse employees scurrying to find their way inside. Once inside, there is a
delay. Each person is asked to take out everything inside their pockets for preparation for passing
through the metal detectors. Cell phones are confiscated and will remain with the security
Upon successful passage through the first security checkpoint, we arrived to the 7th floor. On the
7th floor, there is a 2nd security checkpoint. After passing through this area, I was reminded by the
US Marshall at the doorway to the courtroom, “bags are not allowed.” I placed my bag on the rack
and walked inside the courtroom. It was an ominous scene sitting amidst the mahogany walls,
plushly cushioned seats and picturesque scenery depicting the might of the US Justice System.This
might told me that practicing Muslims should avoid this place at all costs. The air reeked of despair
and lies left from the last proceedings.
I can hear the uttering of du’as to my left. Someone is pleading with Allah that the judge be given a
heart that can see justice, that these 3 innocent men be allowed to return to their families. I see
faces from many countries and continents. All of these faces share a common concern for the 3
men involved in this case. I see Masoud’s mother to my left with months of worry etched on her
face, yet there is resolve in her character. I see Seifullah Chapman and Hammad Abdurrahim
looking confident despite the depth of pain and frustration they have endured. Masoud Khan is
escorted out into the courtroom wearing green overalls with the word “PRISONER” written on his
back. He has a sense of calm and solace in his eyes that can’t be
described. He sits, and the court convenes with the phrase, “all rise.” The prosecution are first to
issue their closing remarks. The arrogance and evident animosity they have for Islam is apparent in
every word that falls from their lips, yet they all opened with: “This trial is not about Islam or the
Muslims. It is about some men who broke the law.” For all those present, it was apparent that this
trial has everything to do with Islam and the Muslims. The brothers on trial are only sacrificial lamb
for a system that has waged war on a religion to stifle its rapid growth in America, and across the
world. It’s this revival that these lawyers fear. It is the fear that they have twisted into vile, vicious,
and fictional accounts that Islam is a religion of terror. These prosecutors are unaware that Allah
has said, They want to extinguish Allâh’s Light with their mouths, but Allâh will not allow except
that His Light should be perfected even though the Kâfirûn (disbelievers) hate (it) (Qur’an 9:32).
The 3 men on trial today all have superb records and have never been arrested for any crime.
Today, they face charges they will get them sentences ranging from 50 to in excess of 100 years in
prison. It is a trial
of conspiracy, meaning their thoughts are on trial, not their actions. This trial is a fictional story
with lieing narrators writing a movie that these 3 Muslim men were conspiring to do bad things. The
only problem is that none of them have done anything and the evidence points to this. Analogies
were drawn by the prosecution lawyers between militia groups and the so called “Virginia Jihad
Network.” The prosecution said that militia groups don’t go around screaming “Allahu akbar” while
playing paintball. They are correct. Militia groups don’t give any thought to praising Allah at all.
They instead run around training with real weapons, utilizing live ammunition, with a mission that is
in total opposition to the government and to their creator. Of the 3 men on trial today, 2 have
served their country as members of the US armed forces earning distinction. The other is a law
abiding citizen who has worked hard to take care of his
The defense did a good job of pointing out that this is a smear campaign against Islam and that
these men’s actions have not done anything to put the country in danger, but at the end of the day,
the decision lies in the judges hand. Allah has written what will take place, and in all things for the
believers, there is a test. It is a test for the 3 young men whose freedom is at stake, and it is a test
for those Muslims living in America in 2004. The test is, will we fear America and it’s current
campaign of injustice against the Muslims, or will we continue to worship Allah openly? This
obedience to Allah is not against law, for it keeps us constantly within the law by being Allah’s
witnesses on earth and by speaking out against injustice.
The verdict of guilty was reached for all 3 individuals. Allah answers us as to why these things are
taking place in the Qur’an by saying, “And We indeed tested those who were before them. And Allâh
will certainly make (it) known (the truth of) those who are true, and will certainly make (it) known
(the falsehood of) those who are liars, (although Allâh knows all that before putting them to test).
Will we all reflect and remain steadfast?”
SOURCE: The Muslim Link