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Sami Al-Arian's court statement

Published May 1, 2006

Here is a transcript of Sami Al-Arian's comments to Judge James S. Moody Jr. in U.S. District Court Monday morning:

I thank my outstanding lawyer, Ms. Moreno, for eloquently expressing my sentiments to the court this morning.

I also would like to thank her and my former attorney, Mr. Bill Moffitt, for their exceptional representation and their tireless efforts on my behalf for the past three years.

I'd like as well to thank Mr. Lee Fugate, Mr. Jack Fernandez and Mr. Simon Gaugush for their excellent efforts on my behalf for the past few months. This process, your Honor, affirmed my belief in the true meaning of a democratic society, in which the independence of the judiciary, the integrity of the jury system, and the system of checks and balances are upheld, despite intense political and public pressures.

Hence, I'd like to express my deep appreciation to the jury for their remarkable courage and efforts in the service of justice in this case.

It's also my belief that an impartial and conscientious jury, as well as principled judicial rulings that uphold the values of the Constitution, are the real vehicles that win the hearts and minds of people across the globe, especially in the Arab and Muslim world.

Your Honor: This May 21 will mark my 31st anniversary in the United States. The American chapter of my life has surely been the longest. But it's about to end, as I will soon leave and start a new chapter.

As I leave, I harbor no bitterness or resentment. Looking back at my three decades in America, I'm indeed grateful for the opportunities afforded to the son of stateless Palestinian refugees in a foreign country, while denied such opportunity in his country of origin and the countries where he was born or raised.

I'm grateful that my five wonderful children were born and raised in a society that provided them with freedom and equal opportunities in order to reach their potential. Had they been born anywhere else, they'd still be classified and treated as stateless Palestinian refugees.

During my many years in America, I have tried to uphold the great values of my faith and culture and the honored ideals and principles of this society.

I'm very proud of my contributions to this society. And I'm very grateful to have been able to contribute positively in many endeavors.

I'd also like to thank my loving family, my beloved wife and children, whom I'm looking forward to join with soon.

Their continuous love and unwavering support during this ordeal have been ceaseless and inspiring. During this entire time, my family never lost faith in the ideals of truth and justice that our society holds in esteem.

Finally, and most importantly, I want to thank the Almighty for bestowing on me deep faith and calming peace that have sustained me during these past few years. Thank you, your Honor.

[Last modified May 1, 2006, 12:08:02]

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