Podcast Ep 28: Demanding justice for the Holy Land Five

On Episode 28 of The Electronic Intifada Podcast, we present excerpts of a recent discussion about the years-long struggle of five imprisoned Palestinian American men who led the Holy Land Foundation, a Texas-based charity.

The Holy Land Foundation was once the largest Islamic charity in the United States, but months after the 11 September 2001 attacks the federal government shuttered the organization and seized its assets.

All five men – Ghassan Elashi, Shukri Abu Baker, Mohammad el-Mezain, Mufid Abdulqader and Abdulrahman Odeh – were prosecuted more than a decade ago on dozens of charges including material support to a foreign terrorist organization, even though there was not a shred of evidence against them.

The discussion, which took place in early December, features some of the daughters of the Holy Land Five leaders along with Leena Al-Arian, director of the Coalition for Civil Freedoms.

Leena’s father, Sami, is a Palestinian American scholar who also faced trumped-up charges and was arrested, jailed and eventually deported to Turkey.

All of the panelists describe, in excruciating detail, what it was like to witness the arrests of their fathers, the conditions inside the prisons and their families’ ongoing fight for justice.

This event was hosted by author Miko Peled, whose most recent book Injustice: The Story of the Holy Land Foundation Five is a meticulous investigation of the case.

The full discussion can be viewed on YouTube and on Peled’s website.

The excerpt from this discussion has been used with Peled’s permission.

Theme music by Sharif Zakout

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Nora Barrows-Friedman

Nora Barrows-Friedman's picture

Nora Barrows-Friedman is a staff writer and associate editor at The Electronic Intifada, and is the author of In Our Power: US Students Organize for Justice in Palestine (Just World Books, 2014).