Film & Discussion: "USA vs. Al-Arian"
In February 2003, university professor and pro-Palestinian civil rights activist Sami Al-Arian was arrested in Tampa, Florida, charged with providing material support to a terror organization. For two-and-a-half years he was held in solitary confinement, denied basic privileges such as family visitations and given limited access to his attorneys. While the Bush administration considered this a landmark case in its campaign against international terrorism, Sami Al-Arian claims he was targeted in an attempt to silence his political views.
The film follows Sami Al-Arian’s wife Nahla and their five children throughout his 6 month-long trial. It is an intimate family portrait that documents the strain brought on by the trial, a battle waged both in court and in the media. In the film a tight-knit family unravels before our very eyes as trial preparations, strategy and spin consume their lives. This is a nightmare come to life, as a man is prosecuted for his beliefs rather than his actions.
Short Presentation and Discussion after the film led by Summer Hararah from the Muslim Legal Fund of America.