Latinos, Christians, and Jews Gather with Muslims to Celebrate Al-Arian Victory

December 10, 2005

Source: The Tampa Tribune

On December 10, 2005 The Tampa Tribune reported, "For Hatim Fariz, the oud - incense - smelled sweeter and the lamb tasted better in the wake of his acquittals on terrorism-related charges. Fariz went table to table, hugging and shaking hands at a community celebration Friday at the Islamic Community of Tampa... Fariz, a former office manager at a medical clinic in Spring Hill, was acquitted of 25 charges, and no verdict was reached on eight others. He didn't want to talk about that. He wanted to rejoice. More than 150 people, Muslims and non-Muslims, attended Friday's celebration to bring together supporters of Fariz, Sami Al-Arian, Ghassan Ballut and Sameeh Hammoudeh - the four co-defendants in federal court. None was convicted. On Friday night, Latinos, whites, Christians, Jews - mostly activists - said only Al-Arian's presence could have made the event better. The former University of South Florida professor remains imprisoned as prosecutors decide whether to pursue the charges that weren't decided."