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VIRGINIA: Muslim professing love for Allah murders two, county attorney says we ‘may never know’ his motive

Ivan Maertens Aramayo is Ayanna Maertens Griffin’s father. In this Washington Post report, consistent with the establishment media’s never-ending mission to exonerate Islam from all crimes done in its name and in accord with its teachings, he offers two quotations from the Qur’an, apparently in order to establish that what Mohamed Aly did was completely inconsistent with his “professed love for Allah.”

The first one (“And do not kill one another…”) is Qur’an 4:29. The full verse is: “O you who believe, do not squander your wealth among yourselves in vanity, except in a trade by mutual consent, and do not kill yourselves [or one another]. Indeed, Allah is always merciful to you.” It is thus clearly addressed to “you who believe,” and does not override the Qur’an’s thrice-repeated imperative to kill unbelievers (2:191, 4:89, 9:5).

The other quote is Qur’an 5:32, which is one of the most oft-quoted verses of the Qur’an, the one that Western non-Muslim leaders refer to frequently in order to establish that Islam is a religion of peace. There is, however, less to it than Western leaders and Islamic apologists claim. It is not a general prohibition of killing: there are big exceptions to the prohibition on killing, for “manslaughter or corruption on the earth.” Also, this prohibition is not a general command, but is specifically directed at the children of Israel. After it was given, “many of them committed excesses on earth,” so all this passage is really saying is that Allah gave a command to the children of Israel and they transgressed against it. Some Islamic authorities interpret this passage in a supremacist manner, as applying only to Muslims. The eighth-century Muslim jurist Sa’id bin Jubayr is said to have explained: “He who allows himself to shed the blood of a Muslim, is like he who allows shedding the blood of all people. He who forbids shedding the blood of one Muslim, is like he who forbids shedding the blood of all people.” Then 5:33 continues from 5:32 and makes clear the dire punishments that are prescribed for the corruption and transgressions of the children of Israel, and a warning to the Jews to stop their bad behavior. Seen in its light, this celebrated passage, Qur’an 5:32, is explaining what must be done with Jews who reject the messenger and commit the vague sin of spreading corruption on earth. Contrary to popular belief in the West, the passage is not dictating lofty moral principles.

Meanwhile, is anyone even looking into the possibility that Mohamed Aly’s murders of Ayanna Maertens Griffin and Ntombo Joel Bianda may be tied to his “love for Allah”? Or has such an investigation been dismissed out of hand as “Islamophobic”?

“Nearly a year after a young couple were killed, a guilty plea provides few answers,” by Rachel Weiner, Washington Post, January 4, 2021 (thanks to Darcy):

…Ayanna Maertens Griffin, 18, and her boyfriend, Ntombo Joel Bianda, 21, were shot to death in southern Halifax County nearly a year ago. An 18-year-old student at Alexandria’s T.C. Williams High School was quickly arrested and confessed. Mohamed Aly pleaded guilty in December to first-degree murder counts and sentenced to four life terms, but his reasons for killing two acquaintances remain a mystery.

“One of the most painful aspects of this case is that the family may never know Aly’s motive to murder their loved ones. We are all left asking, why?” Halifax Commonwealth’s Attorney Tracy Quackenbush Martin said in a statement. “We may never have an answer to that question.”…

After the arrest, Maertens Aramayo had looked at Aly’s social media pages and saw that the teenager professed love for Allah. A Roman Catholic himself, he studied theology, and what he knew about Islam gave him an opening. He offered two quotes from the Koran:

“And do not kill one another, for God is indeed merciful unto you” and “Whoever kills an innocent life, it is as if he has killed all of humanity.”

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EDITORS NOTE: This Jihad Watch column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

Seriously? As Trump Announces Another Mideast Peace Deal, Biden Named Person of the Year

Time magazine has named Joe Biden and Kamala Harris “Person of the Year,” in a tacit acknowledgment that they are, for all their individual differences, essentially a single cog in the socialist internationalist machine that is poised to roll all over us. And there is no doubt that driving the American republic to the point of near-death with election chicanery on a breathtaking scale is indeed a significant achievement, but amid all the excitement, it was barely noticed that President Trump had delivered yet another rebuke to the massively failed foreign policy establishment that is poised to get back in the saddle and start failing some more, by engineering peace between Israel and another Arab state, Morocco.

Trump tweeted Thursday: “Another HISTORIC breakthrough today! Our two GREAT friends Israel and the Kingdom of Morocco have agreed to full diplomatic relations – a massive breakthrough for peace in the Middle East!” The Morocco deal, like the previous one between Israel and Sudan, seems to be a straightforward bargain. Trump also tweeted Friday: “Today, I signed a proclamation recognizing Moroccan sovereignty over the Western Sahara. Morocco’s serious, credible, and realistic autonomy proposal is the ONLY basis for a just and lasting solution for enduring peace and prosperity!” So Morocco gets recognition of its sovereignty over the Western Sahara, and the world gets another step toward peace between Israel and its Arab neighbors.

That makes four agreements between Israel and Arab nations, something John Kerry confidently stated was not even remotely possible. Isn’t it great that Kerry is about to go back to work for the Person of the Year (what pronouns does that beast with two backs use?) and start showing us how it’s done again?

No one thought it could be done, except, of course, Donald Trump. Back in September, when Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates signed their deals with Israel, Trump stated: “We’re here this afternoon to change the course of history. After decades of division and conflict we mark the dawn of a new Middle East.” This was accurate. These “Abraham Accords” have already changed the entire landscape of the Middle East as, for the first time in decades, pragmatic considerations are taking precedence over the fixed ideas that have guided the foreign policy stances of all the Muslim and Arab countries regarding Israel.

Although this aspect of the conflict has been little noted and is still routinely ignored by foreign policy analysts, the Muslim world’s opposition to Israel has not been based upon conflicting claims for land or anything else, but upon core principles of the Islamic religion. As The Palestinian Delusion: The Catastrophic History of the Middle East Peace Process shows, the Qur’an commands Muslims to “drive them out from where they drove you out” (2:191). Even though it is a historical fiction that Israel actually drove Muslim Arabs out, this claim is a staple of pro-Palestinian propaganda, and hence it is a divine imperative, no more negotiable than the Ten Commandments are for Jews and Christians, that Muslims must destroy Israel and “drive out” the Israelis.

That means that as long as pious, believing, knowledgeable Muslims are in charge in Muslim countries, which is by no means always the case, no negotiated settlement will ever establish Israel securely and end the jihad against it. That in turn is why analysts ignore Islam when considering the conflict: people don’t like bad news, or problems that cannot be solved. Nonetheless, this is the reality of the situation, and no good can ever come from ignoring reality.

Why, then, did Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates, Sudan, and now Morocco normalize relations with Israel? Because it was in their interests to do so. Sudan was taken off the terror list in exchange for normalization. The Islamic Republic of Iran has for years claimed Bahrain as Iran’s nineteenth province, and the UAE likewise feels the heat of being in close proximity to one of the world’s leading state sponsors of terror. In a certain sense, these deals with Israel are a byproduct of Barack Obama’s decision to send billions to the mullahs’ tottering regime: a newly secure and empowered mullahcracy threatens Bahrain and the UAE, and so it was in their best interests to look for assistance from a country that Iran also menaces.

Now, with the mullahs expecting The Person of the Year and their minions to prop them up again, there are numerous indications that many in the Islamic world have had quite enough of the Palestinians’ jihadist intransigence and resistance to all peace accords, and are willing to proceed on a pragmatic basis, quite aside from what Islamic doctrine and law say, in order to secure their own countries against the threat from Iran.

And so maybe Old Joe deserves the credit for Middle East peace that the establishment media is certain to give him no matter what: if he hadn’t publicly stated his intention to empower and enable the Islamic Republic, Sunni Arab states wouldn’t see the need to make accords with Israel to protect themselves from the mullahs. Make that man, uh, those people, Person of the Year!

Meanwhile, it’s too bad that there is no unbiased, trustworthy organization giving out prizes for efforts toward world peace. If there were, Trump would be a shoo-in. But that would require a sane world.

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EDITORS NOTE: This Jihad Watch column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

The Washington Post Wants You to Fast for Ramadan

My latest in PJ Media:

The far-Left anti-Trump propaganda organ masquerading as a news source and operating under the name the Washington Post on Thursday published an inspiring op-ed entitled “As American Muslims fast this Ramadan, maybe the rest of America should consider joining in.” The Post’s articles exhorting people to keep the Lenten fast or the Yom Kippur fast have not yet been published, but I’m sure that they will be when the appropriate times for them roll around again. Won’t they?

In the meantime, I’ll consider fasting for Ramadan, but I have a fairly good idea of what my conclusion will be. The article’s author, the imam Omar Suleiman, “founder and president of the Yaqeen Institute for Islamic Research and an Islamic studies professor at Southern Methodist University,” writes: “The end result of Ramadan for Muslims, according to the Koran, is for ‘you to complete the period and glorify God for that which He has guided you, and that you may be amongst the grateful.’”

That sounds terrific, but what exactly does the Qur’an mean by glorifying God? According to the Islamic holy book, one way that Muslims can glorify God is by fighting and killing infidels (cf. 2:191. 4:89, 9:5, 9:29, 47:4, etc.). In fact, according to the prophet of Islam, there is no better way to glorify the supreme being. A hadith has a Muslim asking Muhammad: “Instruct me as to such a deed as equals Jihad (in reward).” Muhammad replied, “I do not find such a deed.” (Bukhari 4.52.44) A jihad group explained: “The month of Ramadan is a month of holy war and death for Allah. It is a month for fighting the enemies of Allah and God’s messenger, the Jews and their American facilitators.”

Somehow that doesn’t sound as appealing as Omar Suleiman made it out to be. But the good imam can’t be faulted for walking through a door that the Washington Post opened. His article was published in response to a Post call: “The Opinions section is looking for stories of how the coronavirus has affected people of all walks of life. Write to us.” Suleiman saw an opportunity for dawah, Islamic proselytizing, and seized it.

Still, if someone had sent in those stories about how Americans should join in the Lenten fast, or the Yom Kippur fast, would the Post have published them? Almost certainly not. Suleiman’s article, however, is just one example of a general tendency: it is imperative in today’s society to be solicitous to Muslims and warmly positive toward even the aspects of Islam that are oppressive.

There is much more. Read the rest here.

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EDITORS NOTE: This Jihad Watch column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

Notre Dame Professor Gabriel Said Reynolds falsely claims that Qur’an teaches only Allah should take revenge

The fact that Gabriel Said Reynolds, who demonstrates here that he is either abjectly ignorant or willfully dishonest about Islam, is a professor of theology at Notre Dame shows how much our nation’s universities (and the Catholic Church) are dominated by fantasy and wishful thinking rather than being willing to deal with unpleasant realities. Reynolds is an academic laden with honors, employed at Notre Dame and published in the New York Daily News, not because he speaks the truth, with which he is either unacquainted or unwilling to disclose, but because he tells people what they want to hear: that Islam, if only it were properly understood, is actually a religion of peace. How it came to be that so many Muslims misunderstand the religion they follow so devoutly, he does not bother to explain.

Meanwhile, would the New York Daily News ever publish a comparably lengthy theological defense of Christianity? Not on your life.

Anyway, to make his case that in Islam, vengeance belongs to Allah alone, Reynolds quotes a number of Qur’an verses, but he doesn’t even mention or attempt to explain away others that disprove his case. There is actually a great support, passed over in silence by Reynolds here, in the Qur’an and Sunnah for the death penalty for blasphemy. It can arguably be found in this verse: “Indeed, the penalty for those who wage war against Allah and His Messenger and strive upon earth [to cause] corruption is none but that they be killed or crucified or that their hands and feet be cut off from opposite sides or that they be exiled from the land. That is for them a disgrace in this world; and for them in the Hereafter is a great punishment.” (5:33)

But if you don’t think that verse justifies killing those who insult Islam, there is this: “Those who annoy Allah and His Messenger – Allah has cursed them in this World and in the Hereafter, and has prepared for them a humiliating Punishment” (33:57)

Yes, he has cursed them both in this world and the hereafter. What does a curse in this world look like? Muslims are told to fight such people: “If they violate their oaths after pledging to keep their covenants, and attack your religion, you may fight the leaders of paganism – you are no longer bound by your covenant with them – that they may refrain” (9:12).

Not only that, but the Qur’an explicitly says that Allah will punish people by the hands of the believers: “Fight them; Allah will punish them by your hands and will disgrace them and give you victory over them and satisfy the breasts of a believing people, and remove the fury in the believers’ hearts.” (9:14-15)

There is more in the hadith. In one, Muhammad asked: “Who is willing to kill Ka’b bin Al-Ashraf who has hurt Allah and His Apostle?” One of the Muslims, Muhammad bin Maslama, answered, “O Allah’s Apostle! Would you like that I kill him?” When Muhammad said that he would, Muhammad bin Maslama said, “Then allow me to say a (false) thing (i.e. to deceive Kab).” Muhammad responded: “You may say it.” Muhammad bin Maslama duly lied to Ka’b, luring him into his trap, and murdered him. (Bukhari 5.59.369)

“A Jewess used to abuse the Prophet and disparage him. A man strangled her till she died. The Apostle of Allah declared that no recompense was payable for her blood.” (Sunan Abu-Dawud 38.4349)

Why doesn’t Gabriel Said Reynolds mention any of those passages?

“What radical Muslims get wrong about the Koran: Vengeance is reserved for God alone,” by Gabriel Said Reynolds, New York Daily News, March 1, 2020:

In the name of Allah, militant Muslims continue taking up arms against people they consider threats to their faith and way of life. But does it make theological sense for humans to pick up swords and guns to exact retribution in this life?

The Koran, the book those same Muslims purport to revere, says no….

The irony of blasphemy laws, and the tragedy of these attacks carried out in supposed defense of Islam, is that the Koran time and again insists that it is God’s right, and God’s right alone, to exact vengeance.

Allah does not need Muslims to step in and punish those who insult Him. In fact, Allah does not want Muslims to do so. The God of the Koran is clear: He is the only avenger of Islam.

The case of blasphemy laws in Islam is particularly peculiar in light of the example of Muhammad himself. The Koran describes how the unbelievers in his native city of Mecca disputed his claims of prophethood and insulted him.

Koran 68:51 describes how they accused him of insanity: “Indeed, the faithless almost devour you with their eyes when they hear this Reminder, and they say, ‘He is indeed crazy.’”

The Koran does not respond by demanding that the blasphemers be killed for their insolence. It simply affirms the claims of Muhammad.

Elsewhere in the Koran, the voice of God counsels Muhammad to be patient when faced with opposition. Koran 16:126 alludes to some persecution or affliction which Muhammad has suffered from the unbelievers.

The next verse, in response, suggests that Muhammad could strike back in moderation, but should simply endure the persecution patiently: “If you retaliate, retaliate with the like of what you have been made to suffer, but if you are patient, that is surely better for the steadfast.”

This does not mean that the idea of vengeance is foreign to the Koran. The question the Koran poses is not whether offenses against Islam and Muslims should be avenged, but who should do the avenging.

And the answer is consistent: “God.”

Remarkably, and if only Boko Haram and other Salafi-Jihadis would listen, the Koran even teaches this lesson specifically about Christians. In Sura 5, God asks some questions of Jesus about those who followed him, but Jesus does not demand that the wrongdoers be punished.

He leaves their fate in God’s hands: “If Thou chastisest them, they are Thy servants; if Thou forgivest them, Thou art the All-mighty, the All-wise.”

The same lesson is taught about Muslims who are unfaithful to the laws of Islam. In chapter 5, verse 95, the Koran describes the laws of the pilgrimage to Mecca (known as the Hajj). But as for he who breaks the rules, the Koran gives no worldly punishment: “God will take vengeance on him, God is all-mighty, Vengeful.”

So what does divine vengeance look like in the Koran? Allah punishes those who offend Him in hell. The Koran not only describes paradise in vivid colors (as a place with food, drink, and women), it also describes hell in gruesome detail.

Angels of punishment will strike the damned from the front and the back. The damned will be condemned to drink boiling water and eat from a tree named Zaqqum whose fruit is like the heads of demons.

The Koran clearly considers this punishment enough for an unbeliever. Whereas the standard schools of Islam teach that someone who leaves the religion, an apostate, is to be killed, the only punishment for apostasy spoken of in the Koran is hell: “’Did you disbelieve after you had believed? Then taste the chastisement for that you disbelieved!’” (Quran 3:106).

The Koran also teaches that God need not wait for the afterlife to punish unbelievers. He is the lord of the universe and can intervene when He chooses.

A number of chapters in the Koran tell a series of tales, dubbed “punishment stories” by scholars, in which unbelieving peoples are punished for rejecting the prophet who is sent to them. Among these prophets are Biblical figures including Noah, Lot, and Moses, and others who seem to come from Arabian lore with names like Hud, Salih, and Shuʿayb.

In each story it is not the Prophet but God who intervenes….

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EDITORS NOTE: This Jihad Watch column is republished with permission. © All rights reserved.

University of Florida Prof Hails Caliphate as ‘Historic Institution’ That ISIS Is ‘Hijacking’

My latest in PJ Media:

University of Florida professor Ken Chitwood wrote Wednesday in the Associated Press’ commentary section, “The Conversation,” that “the Islamic State tries to boost its legitimacy by hijacking a historic institution.” He then provided a drive-by overview of the history of various Islamic caliphates, so whitewashed as to rival the Washington Post’s famous characterization of Islamic State (ISIS) caliph Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi in misleading duplicity. Even worse, Chitwood tells us that “as a scholar of global Islam, every time I teach my ‘Introduction to Islam’ class,” he teaches this nonsense to his hapless University of Florida students. No surprise there, given the fact that most universities today are little more than Antifa recruitment centers.

“Under Umar,” Chitwood writes blandly, “the caliphate expanded to include many regions of the world such as the lands of the former Byzantine and Sassanian empires in Asia Minor, Persia and Central Asia.”

Yeah, uh, Professor Chitwood, how exactly did that “expansion” occur? In reality, beyond the pseudo-academic whitewash and fantasy that Chitwood purveys, the caliphates always behaved much like the Islamic State, because they were all working from the same playbook. The true, bloody history of the caliphates can be found, detailed from Islamic sources, in the only complete history of 1,400 years of jihad violence, The History of Jihad From Muhammad to ISIS.

The word khalifa means “successor”; the caliph in Sunni Islamic theology is the successor of Muhammad as the military, political, and spiritual leader of the Muslims. The History of Jihad From Muhammad to ISIS demonstrates that the great caliphates of history, from the immediate post-Muhammad period of the “Rightly Guided Caliphs” to the Umayyads, Abbasids, and Ottomans, as well as other Islamic states, all waged relentless jihad warfare against non-Muslims, subjugating them under the rule of Islamic law and denying them basic rights.

These weren’t the actions of a “tiny minority of extremists,” abhorred by the vast majority of peaceful Muslims for “hijacking” their religion, as Ken Chitwood would have you believe. This was, for fourteen centuries, mainstream, normative Islam, carried forth by the primary authorities in the Islamic world at the time. The accounts of eyewitnesses and contemporary chroniclers through the ages show that in every age and in every place where there were Muslims, some of them believed that they had a responsibility given to them by Allah to wage war against and subjugate unbelievers under the rule of Islamic law.

And so it is today: Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi enunciated that responsibility more clearly and directly than most Muslim spokesmen do these days, but he is by no means the only one who believes that it exists.

There is much more. Read the rest here.

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EDITORS NOTE: This Jihad Watch column is republished with permission. All rights reserved.

Facebook spokesman compares Tommy Robinson to convicted war criminal Ratko Mladic

Many viewers were likely left speechless last week after watching Deadline – one of Denmark’s most popular news programs — during an interview with Peter Andreas Münster, Facebook’s Head of Communications for the Nordic Region. The issue was Facebook’s decision to censor virtually everything connected to the English journalist Tommy Robinson.

Facebook censors Danish Media Outlet and Free Speech Organization

Earlier this year, Facebook banned the Danish online media news outlet 24NYT. The organization is known for criticizing the establishment and focusing on the negative consequences of Muslim immigration to Denmark.

Last week, Facebook also banned the Danish free speech organization Trykkefrihedsselskabet. The move comes after a series of posts about Facebook censorship of Tommy Robinson. The organization’s Facebook page was taken down.

In the Deadline interview, the journalist host Lotte Folke Kaarsholm asked a number of critical questions to Facebook’s official representative. There were not many clear answers. At some point during the interview, even the journalist is clearly shocked.

Facebook: Tommy Robinson is in line with a convicted war criminal

That happened when the Facebook official said that; “In this way, we consider him [Tommy Robinson] a person in line with Ratko Mladic.”

Ratko Mladic, nicknamed the “butcher of Bosnia,” is a convicted war criminal. He has been found guilty of committing war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide by the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY).

According to an BBC article; “The worst and most enduring crimes pinned on the former army chief and his men were an unrelenting three-year siege of Sarajevo that claimed more than 10,000 lives, and the massacre at Srebrenica, where more than 7,000 Bosniak men and boys were slaughtered and dumped in mass graves.”

Facebook takes down post, which encourages watching the interview

After the interview, a storm of criticism quickly spread among Danes, who were shocked by Facebook’s comparison.

Subsequently, the state-owned Danmarks Radio, which broadcasts Deadline, posted a message on their Facebook page encouraging people to watch the interview. But this post was soon deleted by Facebook.

According to journalist Lotte Folke Kaarsholm, the post is again available, after Danmarks Radio complained to Facebook.

The newly elected Danish anti-immigration party Nye Borgerlige has now requested an official meeting with the Danish Prime Minister. Facebook’s censorship is on the agenda. Before being appointed Facebook’s chief of communication for the Nordic countries, Peter Andreas Münster worked in the press department of Det Radikale Venstre – a political party, which has one of Denmark’s most radical pro-immigration policies.

EDITORS NOTE: This Jihad Watch column is republished with permission. © All rights reserved.

Contempt Case against University of South Florida Jihadist Professor Sami Al-Arian Dropped, Clearing way for Deportation

After years of denial, Sami Al-Arian pleaded guilty to a charge of “conspiracy to make or receive contributions of funds to or for the benefit of Palestinian Islamic Jihad, a Specially Designated Terrorist” organization. He agreed to accept deportation. In his 2002 defense of Al-Arian, Eric Boehlert wrote: “The al-Arian story reveals what happens when journalists, abandoning their role as unbiased observers, lead an ignorant, alarmist crusade against suspicious foreigners who in a time of war don’t have the power of the press or public sympathy to fight back.” Reality is just the opposite. The al-Arian story reveals what happens when Leftist journalists and academics, abandoning any pretense to being unbiased observers, lead an ignorant, alarmist crusade against patriotic Americans who in a time of war try to defend our country from those whose politics make them the darlings of the Leftist media and academic establishment.

Even all these years later, Josh Gerstein of Politico indulges in some of the same relentlessly biased reporting: “After the September 11, 2001 attacks, Al-Arian was involved in a highly-publicized, confrontational interview with Fox News host Bill O’Reilly, who accused the professor of making anti-Israel statements and again raised questions about his think tank’s alleged ties to terror. Al-Arian received death threats after the on-air exchange and was suspended from the university.” This portrays al-Arian — even so many years after he pleaded guilty to being part of Palestinian Islamic Jihad — as the victim: the poor lamb received death threats (although Gerstein has never deigned to notice the huge numbers of death threats that counter-jihadists receive). And Gerstein says that O’Reilly accused al-Arian of making anti-Israel statements while declining to inform his hapless readers that al-Arian is on tape shrieking, “Death to America, death to Israel, jihad, jihad, jihad!”

“Feds drop Sami Al-Arian prosecution,” by Josh Gerstein, Politico, June 27, 2014:

The Justice Department has dropped a long-stalled second criminal prosecution of a former college professor who pleaded guilty to aiding a terrorist group following a high-profile trial in Florida that ended with a muddled verdict almost a decade ago.

Federal prosecutors in Alexandria, Va., filed a motion Friday seeking to dismiss a criminal contempt indictment brought in 2008 against former University of South Florida mechanical engineering professor Sami Al-Arian, who was born in Kuwait to Palestinian parents.

In the new filing, prosecutors said they decided to give up on the contempt case after delays precipitated by U.S. District Court Judge Leonie Brinkema sitting for years on a critical motion in the case without ruling one way or another.

In light of the passage of time without resolution, the United States has decided that the best available course of action is to move to dismiss the indictment so that action can be taken to remove the defendant from the United States,” prosecutor Gordon Kromberg wrote.

In a statement released through Al-Arian’s attorney, the 56-year-old former professor’s family hailed the dismissal of the charges.

“We are glad that the government has finally decided to drop the charges against Sami Al-Arian. It has been a long and difficult 11 years for our family in what has ultimately been shown to be a political case. We are relieved that this ordeal finally appears to be at an end,” the family members said. “We hope that today’s events bring to a conclusion the government’s pursuit of Dr. Al-Arian and that he can finally be able to resume his life with his family in freedom.”

During the 1990s, Al-Arian came under suspicion in Florida over possible ties between a think tank he headed and figures in Palestinian Islamic Jihad. In a response to a Tampa Tribune series examining the issue, he denied any connection. After Jewish groups pressed for his removal at USF, professors’ groups complained that his academic freedom was being infringed.

After the September 11, 2001 attacks, Al-Arian was involved in a highly-publicized, confrontational interview with Fox News host Bill O’Reilly, who accused the professor of making anti-Israel statements and again raised questions about his think tank’s alleged ties to terror. Al-Arian received death threats after the on-air exchange and was suspended from the university.

In 2003, Al-Arian was indicted in Tampa on a wide array of charges, including racketeering, material support for terrorism and obstruction of justice. Prosecutors accused him of being the American head of Palestinian Islamic Jihad and said they had been able to bring the case only because legal changes in the Patriot Act allowed them to share intelligence information with criminal investigators.

His trial (and that of three co-defendants) was repeatedly delayed. It took place over a six-month period in 2005 and ended in acquittals on eight counts and a hung jury on nine other counts.

After prosecutors threatened a re-trial, the former professor pleaded guilty to one felony count of aiding a designated terrorist group and was sentenced to 57 months in prison. He had already served most of that time in custody awaiting trial and thereafter. The plea deal also called for him to be deported from the U.S.

However, before Al-Arian was deported, federal prosecutors in Alexandria, Va., served him with a subpoena calling him before a grand jury to testify about Muslim groups in Virginia and their alleged ties to terrorism. Al-Arian said the subpoena was at odds with his plea deal in the Florida case, but prosecutors and the courts did not agree. He spent most of 2007 in jail on a civil contempt citation.

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