By Dr. Asma Salam
God is great! The Judge has declared a mistrial in the Holy Land Foundation case. It does not sound like victory; however, when you look at the details, then we realize that it is a true victory, since not one guilty verdict was found against 197 charges against the defendants of Holy Land Foundation (the Largest Muslim Charitable organization in America).
Monday Oct 22 was a morning of test and patience for Muslims and their non Muslim friends at the Federal curt building at 1100 commerce St in Dallas. We all arrived their before 10:00am. Regardless of arriving early none of us got to sit in the court room, since we were told that it is reserved for the family, also we were not allowed on the 16th floor to observe it on video as we were told that it is reserved for media.
I did not understand the discouragement of friend’s support at the crucial moment of these defendants life. It is the same court room where we all sat with the family for many days during the trial. Anyways, we all went to the first floor and were removed from there as well. Finally, we ended up at the cafeteria area with no TV monitors to watch or hear what is going on in the court room. I am sure most of us were wondering “Are we in America?”
It was a time to persevere with patience and prayers. Some of us were using cell phones to watch the news coming out of the court room through media. When we all heard that Holy Land Foundation was fully acquitted we all made Sajuood (heads down to floor to praise God). Initially, three defendants were almost entirely acquitted, but a juror poll and further deliberations resulted in an entirely hung jury on all counts.
All praise to God, this trial is the biggest trial against a Muslim charity in the history of the US, and today I feel that there is hope people are still capable of thinking and utilizing their god gifted talents of analyzing the facts and not playing with the lives of innocent people who are just being wrongfully charged for helping orphans and widows.
I am very happy that Jurors were not biased by the wrong information and bad image that has been portrayed deliberately by some private parties to destroy the hard work of Muslim Americans who take America as their beloved country and take pride to follow the freedom of religion to help each other grow stronger.
Inshallah (godwilling) there will be no trial again. Amen. I have regained hope and this event has reaffirmed my faith that the public will understand that it is a wastage of our tax money and these defendants lives, since for last 13 years and for so much wastage of money and resources the prosecutors have no solid evidence except their prejudice and hatred against Muslims.
It is time for all Americans to show our strength in diversity to accept each other as humans and not let the administration violate our rights to live and practice religion in freedom in our homeland America.
Anyways, it was a moment to thank God for his grace and mercy to see four defendants sitting among family and friends after Isha prayer Monday night at the Richardson Mosque. We pray that Br. Ghassan, the fifth defendant, will join them soon and fill the seat that was left empty by his friends with his name on it in Monday’s get together.
Monday night at the Mosque, at the family fellowship with our Holy Land Foundation leaders felt like an Eid celebration. It is an extended Eid celebration for all Muslims to believe in the power of justice and prayer and to humble ourselves in front of God and not to give up our unity and good work in the fear of injustice and mistrust in our administration.
This victory is not a small victory, it is a tremendous achievement in the environment of paranoia against Muslims in America and world. Inshallah (godwilling) justice will prevail. Amen. Inshallah we will all live once again in America with respect and love for each other regardless of our color and creed. Amen.
If you would like to learn about defendants our community leaders and their great work to feed orphans and widows and their contributons in promoting health and quality of life in the death vally of 21st century please click on these links.