David Kirkpatrick

August 10, 2008

Asbahi, Islam and the current US political climate

Filed under: Politics — Tags: , , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 8:14 pm

This is a great insider’s view of an odd, and disconcerting in many ways, subject. The linked 538.com post is on Mazen Asbahi resigning as national coordinator for Muslim American affairs from Obama’s campaign. The real meat is the political climate in the United States toward all Muslims fostered by the Bush 43 regime.

First a bit from the intro of the post:

A Perspective on Mazen Asbahi


Earlier this week, Mazen Asbahi, whom the Obama campaign had appointed on July 26 to be their national coordinator for Muslim American affairs, announced that he had resigned his position.

Rany Jazayerli, my friend and colleague at Baseball Prospectus, knows Mr. Asbahi, and wrote me a long e-mail detailing his perspective on the matter. I asked him whether he’d be willing to share his perspective with the readers of FiveThirtyEight, and he graciously agreed. The following are Rany’s words, unedited, and pulling no punches.

Here’s part of Rany’s essay. It’s worth the time to hit the link and read this entire piece. He has a strong point and makes it well. Asbahi resigned after the Wall Street Journal and other media outlets tied him to Jamal Said and made insinuations Said was tied to Islamist terrorism:

“The Justice Department named Mr. Said an unindicted co-conspirator in the racketeering trial last year of several alleged Hamas fund-raisers, which ended in a mistrial. He has also been identified as a leading member of the group in news reports going back to 1993.”

Pardon my Arabic, but what the f**k is an unindicted co-conspirator, and why is our government using this phrase? Whatever happened to innocent until proven guilty? And whatever happened to the notion that indictment is just the first step towards a guilty verdict? A prosecutor is supposed to be able to indict a ham sandwich, so what does it say that they’ve never been able to indict Said? (Maybe that’s his secret: Muslims don’t eat pork.)

In that racketeering trial – which, again, ended in a mistrial – the government listed close to 300 Muslim organizations as “unindicted co-conspirators”, which is tantamount to saying “we think some of them are terrorists, and since we don’t know who, we’ll just blame them all.” So much for innocent until proven guilty. This isn’t even guilty until proven innocent – it’s guilty with no recourse to prove you’re innocent. How can you defend yourself against an indictment which doesn’t exist? Said is guilty by association. Which makes Mazen, apparently, guilty by association with someone who’s guilty by association. It’s McCarthyism squared.

1 Comment »

  1. I guess you all need to read:


    and then tell us what you think of Mr. Said.

    Comment by Steven Miller — August 12, 2008 @ 5:05 am

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