THE WISDOM FUND: News & Views
August 5, 1995

O.J. And Sheikh Rahman, Double Standards of Justice

by Enver Masud

Our system of justice is supposed to lean in the direction of freeing the potentially guilty, rather than incarcerating the potentially innocent. In the matter of Mr. O. J. Simpson, and Sheikh Abdel Rahman, the defendant against whom there was the least evidence will be incarcerated.

We do not know whether Mr. Simpson committed the murders of which he stands accused. Based upon media reports we do know, however, that except for Mr. Mark Fuhrman, the evidence and witnesses against Mr. Simpson were more credible than the evidence and witnesses against Sheikh Rahman.

The New York Times reported that the evidence that Sheikh Rahman even knew of the plan to bomb the World Trade Center, and other buildings in New York, is scant. The government's primary witness against Sheikh Rahman is an FBI informant, Mr. Emad Salem, who confessed to lying under oath in a previous trial. Six months before the World Trade Center bombing, the FBI terminated Mr. Salem after he failed several lie detector tests. Then following the bombing Mr. Salem was rehired for a fee of over $1 million.

The double standards of our system of "justice," and the moral bankruptcy of the "experts" lie exposed. Most media and expert analyses is focussed upon the Simpson case, and almost none on the Sheikh Rahman case. If our system is supposed to lean toward freeing the potentially guilty, rather than incarcerating the potentially innocent, the focus of analyses should be on the Sheikh Rahman case where the government used an ancient law regarding seditious conspiracy to silence an unpopular critic.

For Muslims, who were unjustly accused in the aftermath of the Oklahoma City bombing, the Sheikh Rahman case is further evidence of the cold war with Islam which began with the demise of the Soviet Union. Until Muslims are better organized, the future holds more of the same for Muslims in America.



["Today's criminal justice system is addicted to informants. Some have made headlines lately, such as Michael Fitzpatrick, the longtime informant at the heart of the alleged plot by Malcolm X's daughter to assassinate Louis Farrakhan, and Emad Salem, the main witness in the terrorist conspiracy trial in New York, who prosecutors say was paid more than $1 million for his help....

A nine-month investigation by the National Law Journal has found that abuses by informants and law enforcement threaten the rights and the safety of innocent people, as well as the integrity of the courts."-- Michael Curriden, "The Informant Trap," National Law Journal, March 20, 1995]

[Michael Tigar, an attorney representing activist lawyer Lynne F. Stewart, began his closing remarks by ridiculing the government's case against his client - which includes charges that she smuggled secret messages from terrorists to an imprisoned Egyptian cleric, and then communicated his calls for violence to colleagues around the world.--Josh Getlin, "Government Case Called 'Reckless'," Los Angeles Times, January 6, 2005]

Elaine Cassel, "Stretching the Definitive of "Terrorism" to New Limits," CounterPunch, February 14, 2005

[Lynne Stewart, 67, was convicted in February 2005 of helping her imprisoned client, Sheikh Omar Abdel-Rahman, to contact the Islamic Group, which is listed by the U.S. government as a terrorist organization.--"Lawyer gets 28 months jail for aiding terrorism," Reuters, October 16, 2006] back button