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Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Devious Iraqis Whine About Convictions

So, these Iraqis are over here working for our money and sending it all back to Iraq. Of course we are going to raid their houses, confiscate their money, threaten their families and convict them under the Patriot Act -- They are ArabsIslamofascists!

But these particular ArabsIslamonazicommies are tricky. Somehow, they have persuaded hundreds of their neighbors that they are innoncent of terrorism -- as if anyone with a name like Noroly, Rashid, Abdullah or Qambari could be innocent.

The Kurds say their American idyll darkened after the 2001 terrorist attacks. The FBI began visiting and asking questions, as it did of many Muslims across the nation. The defendants said they told investigators about their transfers and were told not to worry. No one told them that the law involving money transmission had changed, they said.

Before 2001, the section of the U.S. criminal code under which the men were charged applied to those who operated money-transmitting businesses and knew they were doing so illegally. Under the Patriot Act, operators no longer have to know they are transmitting money illegally.

Federal authorities have since targeted unlicensed money-transfer businesses, sometimes called hawalas. From late 2001 through mid-September 2005, investigations resulted in the arrests of 155 people nationwide, 142 indictments and the seizure of $25.8 million. Some immigrant groups say that their relatives' financial lifelines have been cut off in the process.

In August 2004, agents raided several Kurdish homes in Harrisonburg. In October 2005, agents arrested the four men.

Through spokesmen, the U.S. attorney for the Western District of Virginia and the FBI, which led the investigations, declined to comment. Dean Boyd, a spokesman for the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency, said it does not matter whether unlicensed transmitters help criminals - they are soft targets all the same...

Kakahama Askary, a Kurd who is imam at the Islamic Center of Shenandoah Valley and a professor at James Madison University, and his wife, Christi Kramer, were so rattled by the cases that they invited a few acquaintances to meet the defendants over tea. Word spread, and dozens came.

A committee formed, called Standing With Our Neighbors.

Some wrote letters to the federal prosecutor. Students at Eastern Mennonite University made a documentary about the town's Kurdish residents, which played in April to two packed showings at a downtown theater. Members of one Mennonite church have made plans to hold hands in a circle around the outside of the courthouse in Harrisonburg during the June 26 sentencing.

Ruth Stoltzfuz Jost, a lawyer who is a Mennonite, wrote an op-ed article for the town paper.

"This is one of the ways God judges us ethically - how do we treat our neighbors?" said Jost. "When we see the government trying to cut people off at the knee like this, it goes down really hard."

Eileen McGruder, a Japanese American physician, said her faith - and the legacy of her ancestors' detention in World War II internment camps while no one came to their aid - drove her to organize activities for Kurdish children at her Methodist church in Harrisonburg. To show them, she said, that "Americans do care."

Even as their fellow Kurds reel from the raids and arrests, and even as they face uncertain futures, the defendants say that message has resonated.

"We were thinking before, I have a brother here and a couple of cousins in another state," said Abdullah. "But now we see we are a big family here."

UPDATE at 06/22/06 2:19 pm
I corrected the article because the Muslims in question are Kurdish and not Arabic. As if it makes a difference.
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Comments on "Devious Iraqis Whine About Convictions"

 

Blogger Carl said ... (Wednesday, June 21, 2006 12:32:00 PM) : 

Vere ist der confershcated money goink to? Ist it goink to mein pocket? Nein!

Probably some lieberal dat ist shtealing dis money und funding Air Amurikkka radio, jah?

 

Blogger Richie McWhite said ... (Wednesday, June 21, 2006 1:44:00 PM) : 

Wait a minute. Kurds are Muslims? I thought they were Christians. I thought that's why we liked them and felt so bad when we let Saddam Hussein kill so many of them.

Well, screw that.

 

Blogger Sporty said ... (Thursday, June 22, 2006 9:32:00 AM) : 

Or for hot tubs, Carl.

Oh, wait. Those were Iraq reconstruction funds. Never mind.

 

Blogger Carl said ... (Friday, June 23, 2006 11:49:00 AM) : 

Mmmmmmmm, hot tubs...Mein vuz married to one, jah. She vusnt mush to look at, but ven ve fuc-- Mein mean, made luff, she vould jiggle der bed for hours, rocking mein to shleep

 

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