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Case Adds to Outrage for Muslims in Northern Virginia

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Rose Siding Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-27-05 05:22 PM
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Case Adds to Outrage for Muslims in Northern Virginia
ALLS CHURCH, Va., Feb. 25 - When the Saudi police burst into a classroom at the Islamic University of Medina during final exams two years ago and whisked away an American exchange student named Ahmed Omar Abu Ali, his imprisonment swiftly reverberated among Muslims in this Washington suburb.

Mr. Abu Ali was never charged, and he spent 20 months in a Saudi prison where his family says he was whipped, tortured and starved. This week, he was finally returned to Virginia - only to face an accusation by American prosecutors that he had plotted with members of Al Qaeda to assassinate President Bush.

The charge has outraged members of Northern Virginia's growing Muslim population and escalated a conflict with federal law enforcement authorities over terrorism investigations into religious leaders, mosques, businesses and private Islamic schools in the region.

"Our whole community is under siege," said Imam Johari Abdul-Malik, a spokesman for the Dar Al-Hijrah mosque in Falls Church, where Mr. Abu Ali and his family worshiped. "They don't see this as a case of criminality. They see it as a civil rights case. As a frontal attack on their community.".....
"The feeling I get here on a daily basis must be what it was like to be a member of Martin Luther King Jr.'s church following the case of Rosa Parks," said Imam Abdul-Malik. "People always ask, 'What is the latest from the courthouse?' "

http://nytimes.com/2005/02/27/national/nationalspecial3...
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