Wating for the HLF Verdict: Will Justice Prevail over Prejudice?

Dear Editor,

Last Thursday (Oct. 18, 2007) around 2:30 p.m. some of us got the news that the jury had reached a verdict in the trial of the Holy Land Foundation, so we ran to the court at 1100 Commerce St. in Dallas; however, the verdict was not read since Judge Fish will not be back until Monday.

Lots of us are praying for the five defendants and their families, for their freedom to live in Peace. I have been interviewed by news media twice in last three days and I hope they help the public in understanding that these five members are innocent, and this charity should get its assets back to keep hope and life among orphans and widows who do not have any support to survive.

I sent the following message to one of the reporters who interviewed me on Friday. I would highly appreciate it if you could post it today on your website. I want people to think and be just, instead of making assumptions on reproductive thinking that is based on wrong information from the biased groups who are only against Muslims and Islam to save their own personal interests.

Media have always played a tremendous role in promoting peace and understanding about issues that sometimes are very difficult to understand. Honestly, I think that these issues really challenge our depth of understanding of human rights, justice, and fairness. Since we humans have a tendency to be biased for protecting our own interests, and due to the fear of unknown, we often end up hiding subconsciously our insecurities with prejudice and racism.

The case of the Holy Land Foundation is like one of these issues where fear of the word Terrorism has blocked common sense, since our nation is going through a panic attack after 9/11 and most of us Americans have been experiencing the post-traumatic-stress syndrome through war casualties.

It has become very difficult to save our public from experiencing a brief psychotic reaction when they hear the word Muslim, since this word has been associated with terrorists after 9/11, and we feel so threatened from Islam/Muslims that we have lost the ability of thinking clearly. How many times do we get to hear the religion of person involved in Oklahoma bombing, Columbine shooting, Virginia tech shooting, or other major terrorist events in the history of US?

People who commit these crimes are psychopaths, and we never hear what faith they practiced or what religion they had. I wonder why do we always get to find out the religion of psychopaths who happened to be so called Muslims?

Does it sound like classical conditioning? It sure does. When we hear “terrorism” we think of Muslims right away, since all other psychopaths are not labeled as terrorists. I hope that now you would agree with me that we humans can be biased in saving our interests and using prejudice to overcome our insecurities and shortcomings.

Just because Holy Land Foundation is a Muslim charitable organization that was run by God-fearing Muslim men, it does not deserve to be ceased. Does it make any sense to destroy a Muslim Charitable foundation and prosecute the five main members who put so much effort to support orphans and widows and worked so hard to save lives in the region where death is certain than having a meal to survive?

Will justice prevail over prejudice?

I hope and I pray that it will by the grace of God. Amen

Thank You and Best Regards,
Dr. Asma Salam
Arlington, TX

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