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Parkhurst: Defending Tarek Mehanna – Millis, MA – Wicked Local Millis

Parkhurst: Defending Tarek Mehanna

The MetroWest Daily News

Posted Dec 01, 2011 @ 08:36 AM


Thank you for the thoughtful column about Tarek Mehanna in this Sunday’s paper (“The crimes of Tarek Mehanna,” by Rick Holmes, Nov. 27). Although Mehanna is opposed to the U.S. presence in Iraq, so are many other people, and as Holmes points out, he has actually done nothing.

I’ve attended his trial three times, and heard both the prosecution and defense in action. It seems to me that Tarek Mehanna was a voice of moderation in a circle of young men who were not all as moderate as he was. For example, your editorial quoted him blessing his friend who went to fight in Somalia. The friend, a witness for the prosecution, was asked how Tarek reacted to the news that he was going to fight in Somalia. He responded that Tarek told him to think of his wife and children, who accompanied him to Somalia; the wife later died of malaria. Tarek did not accompany him, and if anything discouraged him from going, according to the prosecution’s witness. The fact that his friend did go does not make Tarek guilty by association.

Translating Mein Kampf or Das Kapital does not lead to a presumption that the translator is advocating fascism or Marxism, but rather presenting these ideas for analysis and discussion. Translating works on jihad, however, seems to be illegal rather than an exercise in free speech. I’ve read that there have been many cases brought against Muslims in the U.S. since the Homeland Security laws were enacted. I think that later generations may look at this as we look at the internment of Japanese-Americans during World War Two. Fear, and the attempt to thwart perceived threats, can lead us to disregard the guarantees of human rights at the heart of the Constitution. Holmes’ column reminded us that our justice system is based on principles of presumed innocence that don’t change. Tarek Mehanna has faith in our system of justice, and didn’t flee the country. As his web site says, he has nothing to hide. Let’s hope his faith is justified.



16 hours ago
christine- the difference might be that the jihad translations call for the use of violence against the US government vs theoretical economic a ans social gruements– tarek was buying illegal weapons and explosives
Pisha Ward
9 hours ago
I too would like to express my appreciation for this article, one of the very few (the only?) that takes a good hard look at what’s happening in this trial. Right from the start there has been a disturbing trend of guilty till proven innocent, never mind that no one seems interested in asking why Muslims can’t say a word against the US government but people who are actually stockpiling weapons and have a violent perfectly explicit manifesto, such as the Hutari, get right back on the street–while Tarek has been in solitary confinement for a staggering two-plus years. The previous comment for me just underscores once again the very sad, very disturbing poison of misinformation that continues to cloud this case. Tarek Mehanna is not accused of buying illegal weapons–at best the accusation seems to be that he knew people who chatted about trying to buy some guns and then gave up on the idea. And there has been no mention of explosives at all. I hope the jury can see through the Kafkaesque grotesqueness that is this prosecution. As his brother said, we may not agree with some of Tarek’s views, but seriously–life in prison? Is this what we as a nation have come to? Then put me there too, because trust me, I have spewed my share of vitriol against Bush and his cronies, who caused such devastation ongoing to this day

Read more: Parkhurst: Defending Tarek Mehanna – Millis, MA – Wicked Local Millis http://www.metrowestdailynews.com/opinions/letters_to_the_editor/x2042556397/Parkhurst-Defending-Tarek-Mehanna#ixzz1fMfIXH7s

via Parkhurst: Defending Tarek Mehanna – Millis, MA – Wicked Local Millis.

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