(December 21, 2022 / JNS) Every so often, “activist” Sami Al-Arian emerges to opine on some domestic issue, reminding us of two things: He’s an inveterate liar who continues to whitewash his years of service to Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ), and a disappointing number of American academics are willing to ignore that record and treat him as a credible voice.
Al-Arian joined academics and attorneys last Wednesday for a webinar on “Global War on Terrorism and Its Impact on Muslim Charitable Institutions.” It was sponsored by the Muslim Legal Fund of America (MLFA) in collaboration with Indiana University’s McKinney School of Law and its Muslim Philanthropy Initiative.
MLFA’s willingness to elevate Al-Arian is at least consistent. It helped fund his defense against terrorism-related charges and criminal contempt. But why did two Indiana University branches see merit in lending their school’s prestige to a man recorded exhorting an audience “Jihad is our path … Victory to Islam … Death to Israel”?
Al-Arian meant it literally, telling a 2020 academic meeting that the Muslim world “cannot realize its full potential without defeating and dismantling the Zionist project.”
No one on the MLFA/IU panel mentioned Al-Arian’s documented role on the PIJ shura council, or governing board, let alone the many times he publicly lied by denying any connection to the terrorist group.