To concerned citizens:

At the bottom of this email there is a copy of a letter that I had published in the Syracuse Post-Standard on August 19th. It was in response to an article of Wednesday, August 17th. The headline of the Wednesday article read:

“U.S.: Manlius doctor linked to terrorists”

This is the first time that the local prosecutors have spoken about any link between Dr. Dhafir and terrorism although government at federal and state level has consistently made the accusation and insinuation. And this tactic had effect; because of these accussations I myself declined to make a donation to a Muslim charity in solidarity with Muslims on the first anniversary of Dr. Dhafir’s arrest. However, I did promise myself that I would go and find out more when the case came to court, and that is what I did.

At the request of the prosecution, Judge Mordue denied Dr. Dhafir the right to defend the charge of “links to terrorism” at trial. The Post-Standard article states:

“Prosecutors asked Mordue before Dhafir’s trial not to allow lawyers from either side to mention possible terrorism links, Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael Olmsted said. They didn’t want an appeals court to look at that evidence and overturn Dhafir’s conviction because they thought it was put in just to inflame a jury, he said.

“Prosecutors are raising the terrorism evidence now because it’s pertinent to a section of the federal sentencing guidelines that allows a judge to give a stiffer sentence if the defendant posed a national security risk, Olmsted said.”

I believe a great injustice has been perpetrated against a man of the utmost compassion and integrity. Dr. Dhafir’s charity was one of the very few charities getting aid through to starving Iraqi people during the sanctions. He has paid dearly for his action.

I ask people, if they feel so moved, to write to Dr. Dhafir and let him know that he is not forgotten. And let him know that his courageous work of getting food to starving Iraqi’s is appreciated. We need more people like Dr. Dhafir who are willing to put their humanity and relation to God first in their lives.

Here is the address:

Dr. Rafil Dhafir
Jamesville Correctional Facility
PO Box 143
Jamesville, New York 13078

Please write your return address on the envelope so that Dr. Dhafir will
know who the letter is from. The prison removes all stamps and address
labels from letters upon receipt.

The Post-Standard letter, “Media Fail to ask Tough Questions” is available in the folder, “Katherine’s Writing”.