As salaam alaykum
* Breaking News
o Strip Searches Reinstated
o HLF Hearing on January 12 (correction)
o MLFA Wants to Talk With You
* Upcoming Events
o At Local Mosques in MI, TX, FL and CA
o Save the Date! 02-20-2010
* Need to Know
o Retain an Attorney Before Talking
* Closing Comments
o We are All Potential Targets
Judge Reverses Strip Search Decision in Unannounced Hearing
On December 21, Judge Richard Berman summoned Dr. Aafia Siddiqui into court and reversed his earlier decision that would have allowed Aafia to attend the trial via video conference to avoid routine strip and cavity searches. Aafia’s family and supporters were not notified of the hearing, which was supposed to be an administrative hearing regarding trial procedure. The hearing was such a surprise that even Aafia’s legal counsel was unable to make it.
The judge decided that Aafia needs to come to court every day of the trial to affirm whether she wants to come to court or not. By doing so, Aafia will be required to undergo strip and cavity searches, which is the reason she wants to avoid court in the first place. Family and supporters are concerned about the emotional and psychological impact these continued strip and cavity searches are having on Aafia.
Please write to Judge Berman and ask him to help stop the unnecessary strip searches, cavity searches and other abusive treatment while Aafia is under his jurisdiction.
Hon. Judge Richard Berman
United States District Court
500 Pearl St.
New York, NY 10007
Letters should be respectful, polite, short and to the point. Condescending, abusive or otherwise offensive letters will only hurt the cause.
Jury selection begins January 13 and a Daubert hearing (a hearing to determine the validity and admissibility of evidence or expert testimony) is planned for either before or after jury selection. The trial is scheduled to begin on January 19 and is expected to last approximately two weeks.
HLF Hearing on January 12
The hearing to determine if Ranjana Natarajan, Director of the National Security Clinic at the University of Texas School of Law, will be allowed to defend the Holy Land Foundation is scheduled for January 12 at 9:00 AM in Dallas.
At the first two trials, HLF as an organization was unrepresented. The government does not want the charity to have legal representation during the appeal process, although prosecutors went after the organization during the trial and sought forfeiture of the organization’s charitable funds.
* What: Hearing to see if judge will allow attorney Ranjana Natarajan to represent the Holy Land Foundation as an entity
* When: January 12, 2009 at 9:00 AM (please arrive early) (corrected)
* Where: Judge Solis' Courtroom at 1100 Commerce Street, Room 1654, Dallas, Texas 75242
Note: This hearing does not involve the five defendants, only HLF as an organizational entity.
MLFA Wants to Talk With You
We need your help with our ongoing efforts to reach out to every local Muslim community in the nation. If you are a contact person or board member for a local Muslim organization, please call Tariq or Mohammed at 866-MLFA-USA or 972-331-9021.
If you are not a contact person or board member, but have a good relationship with someone who is, please call us.
We need and greatly appreciate your help.
At Local Mosques in MI, TX, FL and CA
Friday Jan. 08, 2010
Islamic Center of Michigan
28250 Ryan Rd
Warren, MI 48092
Friday Jan. 08, 2010
8601 Randall Mill Rd
Fort Worth, TX 76120
Friday Jan. 08/2010
Islamic Center Of Michigan
28250 Ryan Rd
Warren, MI 48092
Friday Jan. 15/2010
Masjid Al Noor
11699 SW 147th Ave
Miami, FL 33196
Friday Jan. 22/2010
Impereal Islamic Center
1195 Park Ave
El Centro, CA 92243
Want MLFA to come to your local community? Call 866-MLFA-USA and ask to speak with Tariq or Mohammed.
Save the Date! Saturday, February 20, 2010
Did you have a chance to see Yvonne Ridley during her speaking tour with MLFA? If not, don't worry… you'll have one more chance on February 20 because she's coming back to be the keynote speaker for our annual fundraising dinner.
Yvonne wowed audiences in New York, Chicago, Atlanta, Birmingham, Milwaukee, Houston and Dallas with her amazing account of being captured in Afghanistan and fighting for freedom in the face of incredible odds. Come listen to her story as well as her journey to Islam that followed.
It's time well spent, so mark your calendars!
"With the arrest of five American Muslims in Pakistan and the recent arrest of a Nigerian who alleged attempting to explode a device on a flight heading to Detroit, I’m afraid the FBI is going to start knocking on doors to fish for information to use against innocent Muslims. I want to be help my country be safe, but I don’t feel safe talking with the FBI. What should I do?"
If you have information that will aid law enforcement in keeping America safe and secure, then first contact an attorney before speaking with law enforcement. You need to ensure your rights are not violated as you exercise your civic duty. It is unfortunate that law enforcement agents take unwarranted advantage of innocent Muslims, but it’s a fact. Protect yourself by securing legal counsel before speaking with law enforcement – even if you believe you do not have any information to provide or if you simply want to exercise your right to privacy.
We are All Potential Targets
An excellent article about the plight of Fahad Hashmi explores the government’s attempt to prosecute Fahad, a US citizen who had the misfortune of allowing an old acquaintance sleep over for a couple weeks in his London apartment. Without Fahad’s knowledge, this person was allegedly storing raincoats, ponchos and socks that were later given to a high-ranking member of Al-Qaeda.
Fahad is not being charged with providing material support to terrorists nor is he charged with being a member of Al-Qaeda. Yet, the government is keeping Fahad in solitary confinement, limiting what he can read, controlling who he can speak with and restricting his access to the outside world – including family members. All of this treatment is being carried out in the name of the US War on Terror.
Many of Fahad’s supporters believe he is being targeted because he actively spoke out against the US war in Iraq and Afghanistan. Yet criticism of our government is a hallmark of our democratic ideals and what helps our nation remain just and fair. Free speech is designed to be a check on the government, not the other way around. Fahad was doing is civic duty as a US citizen, and now he is sitting in a locked cell for exercising his First Amendment right to question his government.
Fahad’s case is an extreme example of what is happening all over America. The government’s use of law enforcement to curtail criticism is widespread, but it’s not a new practice. This was done during the civil rights movement, women’s rights movement and continues today against peace activists and environmentalists try to argue their points for a better future – not just for America, but for the world.
Such practices as placing government spies in mosques and coercing confessed criminals into manufacturing evidence against innocent people has all freedom-loving Americans concerned… and it should. These actions are a threat to the civil rights of all people, not just Muslims, and this is why it is so important why all Americans support the Muslim Legal Fund of America and other like-minded organizations that are fighting to protect your rights.
We have are entering 2010 with many challenges. The trial of Dr. Aafia Siddiqui will begin later this month, the Holy Land Foundation attorneys are gearing up for the upcoming appeal, the Chishty family is preparing to sue the State of Texas and FBI intimidation and harassment against our community continues.
Help us face these challenges with a donation to MLFA today.
Thank you for your support.
Khalil Meek, President
Muslim Legal Fund of Americahttp://www.MuslimLegalFund.org
You can help by making a donation today. Every donation makes a difference. Every dollar is a step towards freedom and justice for Muslims in America. So, please remember the valuable work MLFA is doing for you and support our efforts with a gift today.
---- The Muslim Legal Fund of America (MLFA) is a registered 501(c)(3) tax-exempt, non-profit charitable organization, Federal Tax ID: 01-0548371. Donations to MLFA are tax-deductable. MLFA is not a law firm and does not provide legal advice or services. Information provided on its website, email newsletters or other communications are provided solely for informational purposes and should not be misconstrued as legal advice or legal opinions. If you feel you need the services of an attorney, MLFA may be able to help you. Call MLFA at 1-866-MLFA-USA (1-866-653-2872). http://www.MuslimLegalFund.org.