The conviction on February 10 of Lynne Stewart, a leading civil-rights lawyer, on five counts of conspiring to aid “terrorists” and lying to the government has shocked the American legal profession. Others, too, have expressed concern about civil liberties and see fascism on the march in the US under George W. Bush and his army of “neo-cons”.
America’s war on Islam suffered a setback on November 29, when Nasser Ahmed, an Egyptian asylum seeker, walked free after spending three-and-a-half years in a US prison. Nasser Ahmed’s ‘crime’ was that he was the court-appointed interpreter for Shaikh Omar Abdel Rahman, who was sentenced to life imprisonment in January 1996 after a kangaroo trial.
Shaikh Omar Abdul Rahman, the blind Egyptian alim and leader of the Gama’a Al-Islamiyya who is being held in solitary confinement in a US jail on spurious terrorism charges, is gravely ill. His already failing health has deteriorated rapidly in the last few months.
Where in the world would lawyers be hauled before a military court to face charges for defending alleged opponents of the regime? In Egypt of course, ruled by the pharaoh Husni Mubarak, Washington’s favourite clown in the Middle East.
Shaikh Omar Abdul Rahman, the 60-year-old blind teacher, sits in his stinking cell, in Springfield, Missouri, isolated but not broken. Suffering from diabetes and heart disease, he has been denied numerous fundamental rights.
Dr Ahmad Ghorab is to be commended for his fine book, Subverting Islam: The Role of Orientalist Centres. His courage and forthright honesty is an inspiration for concerned Muslims in search of the truth. He has succeeded in identifying an important front in the current Euro-American crusade against the Islamic movement: the formation of an anti-Muslim network of institutions and scholars marching under the banner of `Islamic Studies'.1