From Haikal Abu-Ghoush
Acting President
The Islamic Society of Central New York

Published in the Post-Standard, Friday, August 19, 2005

To the Editor:

I am writing to you following your article: “U.S.: Manlius Doctor Linked to Terrorists,” Aug. 17.

The title of the article is deeply offensive. Dr. Dhafir has not been tried nor found guilty of any connection to terrorism. The prosecuting team spared no effort to investigate and try Dr. Dhafir on numerous charges. Terrorism was not one of them.

In this country, a man remains innocent unless proven guilty. Since terrorism was not on the indictment list, your article should not have been callous and suggested such a dubious link, especially a few weeks prior to sentencing.

Despite what we in the community believe to be an unfair verdict, Dr. Dhafir has never supported terrorism nor terrorist groups, knowingly or otherwise.

Unlike the government of the United States, Dr. Dhafir has never sold arms to despotic regimes of the Middle East. Dr. Dhafir has never contributed to youngsters from the Middle East being trained in guerilla camps in Afghanistan. His whole “crime” was to contribute to helping and alleviating the suffering of children in Iraq being subjected to a brutal regime and unjust, cruel sanctions imposed by this country.

Similar to the weapons of mass deception campaign that this government used to justify the war in Iraq, the prosecutors are shamefully trying to establish a link between Dr. Dhafir and various terrorist groups, which were once funded, supported or established by the government of this country.

To suggest a terrorist link at this very late stage, to play on the public’s fears and emotions, is a cheap and contemptible move on the part of the prosecution. Your newspaper should have been much more critical of the prosecutors’ allegations before printing the story.

Dr. Dhafir was found guilty. Nevertheless, the community remains fully supportive of one of its founders and most gracious members. Moreover, the community is fully committed to seeing this injustice reversed.

From: Post-Standard

Post-Standard article:U.S.: Manlius doctor linked to terrorists