Muslim Public Affairs Council [MPAC] Lies About Al-Arian, Attempts To Dismiss His Guilty Plea As "Non-Terrorism Related"

By WILLIAM MAYER and BEILA RABINOWITZ

September 5, 2008 - San Francisco, CA - PipeLineNews.org - MPAC, the Muslim Public Affairs Council is engaging in what has become standard fare for Islamist organizations; when the facts are inconvenient, simply lie about them and rely on the MSM not to be overly inquisitive.

In a September 2 PR statement dealing with the release of Dr. Sami Al-Arian, MPAC claimed:

The Muslim Public Affairs Council today welcomed the release of former professor Sami Al-Arian from federal custody...Since his arrest five years ago, Al-Arian's case has become an example of what many American Muslims perceived to be numerous post-9/11 political persecutions of individuals using tactics that amount to little more than guilt by association…In April 2006, Dr. Al-Arian pleaded guilty to a single non-terrorism related count of conspiracy and agreed to be deported." [source, MPAC website, http://www.mpac.org/article.php?id=686]

However, the facts of the Al-Arian case bear no resemblance to MPAC's version of the story.

On April 17, 2006, the Department of Justice issued a statement regarding Al-Arian's plea bargain, it read in part:

"...Former University of South Florida professor Sami Al-Arian has pleaded guilty to a charge of conspiring to provide services to the Palestinian Islamic Jihad [PIJ], a specially designated terrorist organization, in violation of U.S. law, the Department of Justice announced today...Al-Arian pleaded guilty to Count Four of the indictment against him - a charge of conspiracy to make or receive contributions of funds, goods or services to or for the benefit of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad...Al-Arian's agreement with the government calls for a recommended prison sentence of 46 to 57 months in prison, based on a five-year maximum statutory sentence. Al-Arian, 48, who has been in custody since his arrest on Feb. 20, 2003, has agreed to stipulate to deportation to another country by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement once his prison sentence has ended..." [source, US DOJ website, http://www.usdoj.gov/opa/pr/2006/April/06_crm_221.html]

Sami Al-Arian’s pleading guilty, “to a charge of conspiring to provide services to the Palestinian Islamic Jihad [PIJ], a specially designated terrorist organization, in violation of U.S. law" means that he is an admitted terrorist, a fact reflected by the government’s intent to immediately deport him as soon as he has served his 5 year prison sentence.

The MPAC statement also includes entirely misleading language in defense of Al-Arian, asserting that, “Since his arrest five years ago, Al-Arian's case has become an example of what many American Muslims perceived to be numerous post-9/11 political persecutions of individuals using tactics that amount to little more than guilt by association."

This is also standard fare with Islamist organizations, attempting to spread the canard the American Muslims are under attack and suffering from religious discrimination, however Muslims who cite the Al-Arian case as an example of “political persecution" or Islamophobia are either dissembling or are not conversant with the facts of his case.

Below is the operative language from Al-Arian’s plea bargain, which clearly shows that he is fully cognizant of his guilt and that he actively, and with full knowledge, worked to secure the political aims of the PIJ including funding their operatives.

“The defendant acknowledges that defendant is entering into this agreement and is pleading guilty free and voluntarily without reliance upon any discussion between the attorney for the government and the defendant and defendant’s attorney and without promise of benefit of any kind (other than the concession contained herein), and without threats, force, intimidation, or coercion of any kind.

Defendant is pleading guilty because defendant is in fact guilty. The defendant certifies that defendant does hereby admit that the facts set forth below are true, and were this case to go to trial, the Unites States would be able to prove those specific facts and others beyond a reasonable doubt

By January 24, 1995, the United States had designated the Palestinian Islamic Jihad, Sheik Abd Al Aziz Awda and Fathi Shiqaqi as Specially Designated Terrorists….Defendant Al-Arian performed services for the PIJ in 1995 and thereafter. Such services included filing for Immigration benefits for individuals associated with PIJ, and providing assistance for an individual associated with the PIJ in a United States Court proceeding….On or about February 6, 1995, defendant Al-Arian had a telephone conversation with a co-conspirator and discussed the recent Presidential Executive Order against terrorists…Defendant Al-Arian was aware that the PIJ achieved its objectives by, among other means, acts of violence..." [source, plea bargain document made available via Steven Emerson’s, Investigative Project on Terrorism, http://www.investigativeproject.org/documents/case_docs/70.pdf]

When viewing the document, please note that Sami Al-Arian’s initials - SA - appear at the bottom of each page of the agreement, indicating that he understands and agrees with the content.

A full search of this plea bargain also makes clear that it contains no language exempting him from testifying in federal grand jury proceedings. The absence of such a prohibition means that the assertion by Al-Arian's attorneys, reflexively conveyed by MPAC and other similarly motivated groups, that he can't be compelled to testify has no merit.

© 1999-2008 PipeLineNews.org LLC, William Mayer, Beila Rabinowitz. All rights reserved.