Monday, April 14, 2008

And now, a consequential post

As a short counter to the recent exercise in triviality, how about I encourage us all to do something of consequence? Namely, help free Sami Al-Arian, an actual political prisoner in America, currently held in Howard County, Maryland.

I first heard of Al-Arian because I briefly encountered his son Abdullah, who was a student at Duke when I taught there. Back in 2002, Abdullah Al-Arian was smeared in the Duke Chronicle as "the son of a widely suspected terrorist," and I was among those who wrote outraged letters in response.

Sami Al-Arian's story is complicated, but the recent history is this: he was arrested in 2003 along with three other men but the government's case against him was poor; according to Wikipedia, "Of fifty-one charges against the four men, not one resulted in a conviction." He pled guilty to a single charge but is still in prison in violation of the government's agreement. He's been on hunger strike since March 3, 2008, and has recently been moved to a "special holding cell." Here are a few things you can do that might help.

No comments: