Jerry Merriman reviews the case of the Holy Land Five – five Palestinian-American men convicted in November 2008 of giving humanitarian aid to Palestinians that indirectly benefited Hamas – and writes, “Not one of the five humanitarians should have spent a single day in prison. Their good names must be cleared, and they must be released from prison. It cannot happen too soon.”
Orwah Hammad, 14, was killed last October by Israeli forces in a West Bank village. Shukri Abu Baker offers a poem inspired by his death
On Thursday, Holy Land Five supporters rallied outside Barack Obama’s presidential campaign headquarters in Chicago.…
My friend Noor Elashi, the daughter of imprisoned Holy Land Foundation for Human Relief and Development…
In July 2004, federal agents raided the homes of five Palestinian-American families, arresting the fathers, who had been leaders of a Texas-based charity called the Holy Land Foundation (HLF). Until 9/11, the HLF was the largest Muslim charity in the United States, but their trials resulted in very lengthy sentences for the men—for “supporting terrorism” by donating to charities in Palestine that the U.S. government itself had long worked with. The men remain in prison. Miko Peled’s new book “Injustice: The Story of the Holy Land Foundation Five” tells the story of the landmark case and the families it impacted. In this excerpt he tells the story of Shukri Abu-Baker.
Shukri Abu Baker writes a poem about the agony of being separated from his family while in prison as part of the Holy Land Foundation 5.
On 11/24/2008 a Texas Jury found Shukri Abu Baker and his comrades in the HLF case guilty of providing material support to a foreign terrorist organization. Shukri Abu Baker shares his “sarcastically serious” thoughts on our sixth anniversary of the decision.
Holy Land Foundation President Shukri Abu Baker writes from a maximum security prison in Beaumont, Texas: “I was only 4 yrs old when Martin Luther King delivered his “I Have a Dream” speech at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, 1963. In that speech King dreamt of a day when people of all races would be able to sing with a ‘new meaning’, “My country, ’tis of thee, sweet land of liberty, of thee I sing. Land where my father died, land of the pilgrim’s pride, from every mountainside, let freedom ring.” I sang, and I’m still singing. Even from the tight emptiness of my cell I’m singing, but I’m yet to savor the new meaning King spoke of. I’m yet to feel the breeze of liberty against the stark landscape of incarceration. Perhaps my singing carries too strong of an Arabic accent, or a hint of Islamism, or a touch of Palestinianism. Perhaps the song, was not meant for me.”