Panel discussion with Laila Al-Arian, writer and producer for Al Jazeera English

April 21, 2010  5.00 pm 204 Maxwell Hall, Maxwell School, Syracuse University sponsored by the Middle Eastern Studies Program

Since 9/11, thousands of Arab-Americans and Muslim-Americans have been labeled terrorists and unfairly detained, deported or profiled, even though few are ever successfully prosecuted in the courts for terrorism. This panel event will address the following cases:

Dr. Sami Al-Arian, Associate Professor of the College of Engineering at the University of South Florida (USF) in Tampa and a Palestinian activist, was arrested in 2003 on charges that he was a leader of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad. However in December 2005, following a six month trial, a Florida jury failed to return a single guilty verdict on any of the seventeen charges brought against him. Today he is still under house arrest. Dr. Al-Arian’s eldest daughter, Laila Al- Arian, will speak about his case. Laila is a writer and producer for Al Jazeera English in Washington DC. She received an M.S. degree from Columbia’s Graduate School of Journalism in 2006. Her work has appeared in The Nation, Alternet, The Independent, and The Guardian. Laila is the author, with Chris Hedges, of Collateral Damage: America’s War Against Iraqi Civilians published by Nation Books.

Dr. Rafil Dhafir, a local Iraqi-American oncologist, is currently serving a prison sentence for his charitable work in Iraq. Katherine Hughes, a court watcher for the American Civil Liberties Union, and Magda Bayoumi, a respected Muslim-American activist, will join the panel to speak about his case.

Yassin Aref, a Muslim Imam from Albany, and Mohammed Mosharref Hossain, a local businessman, are both serving prison sentences after being targeted by an FBI sting operation. Stephen Downs, a retired New York State attorney, will speak about their case.