2 posts tagged tarek mehanna
On 12 April, Tarek Mehanna was found guilty of conspiracy and of giving material support for terrorism and was sentenced to 17 years in prison. The prosecution accused Mehanna of translating statements for al-Qaida and of disseminating pro-jihadist material on the internet. Mehanna maintains that he does not support the world view of al-Qaida, though he is unapologetic for supporting the rights of Muslims to defend themselves against their oppressors – in this case, US and British soldiers.
However, if Tarek Mehanna is guilty, so am I. I, too, support the right of Muslims to defend themselves against US troops, even if that means they have to kill them, and I try to give the Iraqi resistance a voice through my website. I have done everything that Tarek Mehanna has done, and there are only two possibilities as to why I am not sitting in a cell with him: first, the FBI is incompetent and hasn’t been able to smoke me out; second, the US judicial system would never dream of violating my freedom of speech because I am white and I am a veteran of the occupation of Iraq.
… I’m not afraid to profess my support for Tarek Mehanna, or to advocate for his ideas, because I know the law does not apply equally to all in America. My whiteness and my status as a veteran will protect me. But Tarek was brown and he never made the mistake of enlisting in the Marine Corps, as I did. So he will spend the next 17 years in a prison cell.
So a man in Massachusetts who commits no actual violent crime is on his way to federal prison simply because he is Muslim and translated some anti-U.S. Arabic texts, but a guy in Florida who admits to murdering an unarmed teen remains free of any criminal charges simply because the victim was Black and the killer is friends with the police?!
Prosecutors call Tarek Mehanna a dangerous radical, but he says he’s being punished for not turning into an FBI informant.
On Thursday in a Boston court, a 29-year-old Muslim student faces being sentenced to life behind bars in a case that civil liberties groups raises profound questions for freedom of speech in America.
Tarek Mehanna, a bearded Islamist with fundamentalist beliefs, was convicted last year for conspiring to provide support to terrorists by downloading jihadi videos from the internet and translating Islamist documents that he found online.