Starting Point: Wikipedia Ongoing Summary
Below are a sample of how the story has been covered. Taken as a whole, it reveals the polarisation going on inside the American psyche
Case of Sami al-Arian (local)
by Democracy Now (July 2004)
In late September 2001, al-Arian was invited to be a guest on The O'Reilly Factor. Al-Arian thought he was going to be discussing Arab-American reactions to the attacks. Instead, host Bill O'Reilly went on a tirade against him, basically accusing al-Arian of supporting terrorism and terrorist groups. O'Reilly dug up comments al-Arian had made 15 years earlier and suggested that he should be followed everywhere he went. All of this on live international television and just weeks after the 9-eleven attacks.
Organized Jihad From His Home (local)
by TBO News (Michael Fechter)(Aug 2003)
Sami Al-Arian organized a notorious Palestinian terrorist group from his home in Tampa, a government agent says in a newly released court document.
witch-hunt of Sami Al-Arian (local)
by Socialist Worker (Feb 2004)
He’s being targeted for supporting the right of Palestinians to resist Israel’s brutal occupation.
for Firing Sami Al-Arian (local)
by Frontpage (Jan 2004)
The Florida Holocaust Museum has bestowed its highest honor for courage upon the president of the University of South Florida (USF) who fired Sami Al-Arian, an alleged ringleader in the financing of international terrorism.
Al-Arian and the Dungeon: A Fable for Our Time? (local)
by Common Dreams (Nov 2003)
The groups that had been debating and supporting Professor Al-Arian fell silent in the face of an indictment. In this environment, it seems, accusation alone is enough to establish guilt. Only private emails now inform us that he is in solitary confinement, allowed out of his cell for only one hour each day. That is the only way we hear about the strip searches which are enforced whenever he leaves or enters his cell. There is no other source for the news that his attorneys are not allowed to talk with him privately, that he is not allowed any phone calls, that none of his visits with his wife and children permit even a hug, that he was not allowed to appear in court this week to challenge the conditions under which he is being held.
International raises concern about prison conditions of Dr Sami Al-Arian
by Amnesty International (July 2003)
Certain aspects of his treatment may contravene specific standards relating to treatment of prisoners. The United Nations (UN) Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners (SMR) stipulate, for example, that instruments of restraint may be not be used except when strictly necessary to prevent escape during transfer, on medical grounds, or to prevent damage or injury, and states that chains and irons shall not be used as restraints. The routine shackling of Dr Al-Arian in the manner described would appear to breach this standard.
and Mirrors (local)
by Academic Free Speech (July 2002) - attacks Michael Fechter's article above
With tension escalating in the Middle East and U.S Attorney General John Ashcroft rounding up Muslim men by the thousands here at home, it seems that The Tampa Tribune couldn't resist taking another jab at Tampa's favorite Palestinian punching bag. Last Sunday the front-page, above-the-fold headline read: "Israel Ties Al-Arian to Jihad Board." The headline was like those phony $10,000 checks car dealers send out to suck in customers: sensational and grossly misleading.
Charged as Terror Group Leader (local)
by Washington Post (Feb 2003)
The criminal case against al-Arian was made possible by the USA Patriot Act, an anti-terrorist law about a month after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, officials said. That law removed long-standing legal barriers to bringing information gathered in classified national security investigations into criminal courts.
by Robyn E Blumner, Times Perspective: (Mar 2004)
In a display of petty cruelty, whenever Al-Arian has a meeting with his lawyers, the guards refuse to carry his legal documents. He is forced to walk bent over, with his hands shackled behind him, balancing the paperwork on his back. "Like an animal," says Linda Moreno, one of his lawyers. After the meeting he is strip searched - sometimes with other prisoners and guards watching.
Case of Prof. Al-Arian
by Prof Ronald B Standler: looks like the first attempt at objectivity. (last
revised Nov 2004)
The termination of employment letter sent to Prof. Al-Arian is remarkable:
* About half of that letter refers to the federal indictment. An indictment contains only allegations by prosecutors, not facts that have been proven in court. Prof. Al-Arian had been employed by USF continuously since 1986, and it is astounding that in those 16 years, USF apparently never observed any facts that it could cite in its termination letter
Portal Page maintained by his Academic Colleagues
On April 25, the Executive Council and Delegate Assembly of the Professional Staff Congress of the City University of New York, American Federation of Teachers Local 2334, passed a Resolution in Support of the United Faculty of Florida Chapter at the University of South Florida in Tampa, stating that ``... WHEREAS, this threat to academic freedom and the First Amendment has all the hallmarks of a politically motivated attack on the personal views of a member of the university community uttered extramurally ... THEREFORE, be it resolved, that we join in solidarity with them in their struggle
Hecht & Sami Al-Arian: What’s the Difference? (local)
by William Hughes (Media Monitors) (June 2005)
Governments, since the days of the “Star Chamber Proceedings” in England, have relished using the conspiracy charge against a defendant. They like it because the statute of limitations didn’t apply to it and also because the rules of evidence allow statements or admissions made by one of the codefendants to be be used against all of the parties. Governments are also guilty of being selective moralizers. Have you ever wondered why the Contra were called “freedom fighters” by the U.S. and Nelson Mandela’s African National Congress was tagged as a “terrorist movement?”
Truth about Sami Al-Arian's Firing (local)
also by his Academic Colleagues
Myth: You need to agree with everything Al-Arian says in order to defend him
Fact: Academic freedom means that faculty defend the rights of colleagues with whose views they often disagree or may even find abhorrent. The point of being at a university is welcoming a free and open discussion.
Ongoing Trial Coverage by St Petersburg Times (2005)