Muslim Solidarity Day Film: “Waiting for Mercy: The Case Against Yassin Aref and Mohammed Hossain.” With a special appearance by the filmmaker, Ellie Bernstein

—Thursday, February 26, at 7 pm at ArtRage Gallery (505 Hawley Ave., Syracuse)

— $5-10 donation (sliding scale)

Sponsored by the CNY Bill of Rights Defense Campaign

About the Documentary

The film is about a fabricated FBI sting operation that took place in Albany, New York in 2004 that was designed to entrap two Muslim men (who had no prior criminal history) and portray them as potential terrorists.

In 2006, Aref (the imam of a mosque), and Hossain (the owner of a pizza shop), were each convicted of supporting terrorism and sentenced to 15 years in prison. Using the actual material recorded over many months by the FBI informer (a Pakistani criminal), the film shows the documents and the lawyer’s responses to the charges and asks the audience to judge for themselves.

About Muslim Solidarity Day

Six years ago, on February 26, 2003, the Muslim and Arab community in the Syracuse area was awakened to the reality that they were suspect in the eyes of the US government.

Between 6-10 am federal and local law enforcement agents aggressively interrogated 150 Muslim and Arab families as part of the investigation of the Help the Needy charity. to which many of the families had made donations in good faith. The agents were intimidating, intrusive and insensitive, acting as if every Muslim family was under suspicion. The agents asked inappropriate question about religious beliefs and practices, and attendance at religious worship services. The experience was frightening for members of the Muslim and Arab community.

We continue to mark this day to make a statement that selective, insensitive and discriminatory treatment is not acceptable in our community.

About The CNY Bill of Rights Defense Campaign

The CNY BORDC is a coalition of organizations that strives to:

— educate and mobilize the public and to promote legislation to counter the erosion of our civil liberties and

— create mechanisms for greater accountability and oversight of government actions pursued in the name of national security.

For more information

Carol Baum, Syracuse Peace Council, 472-5478,

Barrie Gewanter, CNY Civil Liberties Union, 471-2821,