Solidarity for Sami Al-Arian

By Tim Burt

COLLEGE PARK, Md.--A screening of the film, USA vs. Al-Arian was held at the University of Maryland (UMD) on April 10. The documentary chronicles the legal trials of Dr. Sami Al-Arian, a University of South Florida professor and Palestinian activist who was arrested and charged with funding terrorism in 2003. Not one charge resulted in conviction, yet Al-Arian continues to be imprisoned to this day.

The film presents a devastating critique of both the political motives underlying Al-Arian's imprisonment and the weakness of the case against him. It also deeply humanizes the Al-Arian family, whose lives form the center of the film and who have suffered greatly at the hands of injustice.

Organizers of the event, which included the UMD chapter of the Campus Antiwar Network and the Muslim Student Association, were lucky to have Dr. Al-Arian's daughter Laila and wife Nahla Al-Arian as speakers in a panel after the film. They spoke about their struggle for justice, calling for a new civil rights movement for Muslim and Arab-Americans in the U.S.

To donate money to Dr. Al Arian's legal defense, or sign a petition to free him, visit www.freesamialarian.com.