Send a Tweet
Most Popular Choices
Share on Facebook 75 Share on Twitter 28 Printer Friendly Page More Sharing
Exclusive to OpEd News:
OpEdNews Op Eds   

Vigilante Justice Against Innocent Muslim Americans: Ziyad Yaghi

By       (Page 1 of 3 pages)   7 comments
Vigilante Justice Against Innocent Muslim Americans

The controversy over pre-emptive prosecution, law enforcement's discriminatory policies of sending informants into Muslim mosques and neighborhoods to spy on and entrap unsuspecting citizens, like using hooked-bait on a fishing-line searching for a terrorist bass in a river of Muslims instead of an ocean filled with a coagulation of all Americans, has stirred the fear for some within this minority's community. Some critics have retorted with the cliche "well, if ya not doing nothing wrong, you ain't got nothing  be fraid about!"  However, it isn't guilt speaking in opposition to these tactics.  One derivative is the methodology of relying on sources who are promised financial incentives, reduced incarceration times, and exceptions for delinquent immigration statuses for these informants if they land a catch of the decade for their handlers. Worse, it is possible that law enforcement is unethically relying on sources or informants who have demonstrated a clear biased stance of antipathy not toward terrorists, but Islam and Muslims in general.  The following will highlight one specific and deserving case of the last suspicion.

This article not only addresses a microcosm of pre-emptive prosecution, but it is also a pugilistic polemic because it wastes no second thoughts on pulling punches at its opponent, in defense of an innocent man's tragic predicament, which was mocked by those with hatred and intolerance against Muslims. To kick a person while he is down is dishonorable, but to possibly be intimately involved in a person's false imprisonment is unconscionable and without forgiveness. 
A low blow was delivered to a wrongfully imprisoned Jordanian American of Palestinian heritage. The victim was Ziyad Yaghi, who was convicted of conspiracy to commit terrorism with 6 other men in North Carolina with aid from three informants rewarded with $200,000 and a green card. During the trial, Ziyad had the least amount of evidence against him, yet received the second-longest sentence of 30 years, while the "ringleader" of the group, Daniel Boyd, who over 90% of the evidence pointed to, was condemned to a meager 15 years. The flimsy evidence that was used against Ziyad Yaghi was composed of a flight intinerary, a past criminal misdemeanor, and internet screenshots of his Facebook account. Furthermore, Daniel Boyd and his son both testified in court that Ziyad Yaghi had no knowledge of any plot. Why was Ziyad sentenced to such a long sentence? The prosecuting attorney, Jason Kellhoffer, and presiding judge Louis Flanagan misunderstood his firm stance and unshaken voice during his sentencing as defiance instead of a heartfelt cry for his innocence and defense of his religion. Kellhoffer suggested such a long sentence because, as he stated in court:

And, according to him, at the time he doesn't care
if he's sentenced to life. Those were his words. He won't
give up his religion if you throw me (sic, him) in prison...The fact of the matter is the government would recommend, your Honor, that at a minimum Defendant Yaghi serve a full 30 years' confinement.

Jason Kellhoffer
Jason Kellhoffer
(Image by PCCI College)
  Details   DMCA

Jason Kellhoffer by PCCI College

However, this shocking and enigmatic debacle involved another element, a third party, whose possible involvement in and response to Ziyad Yaghi's case warrants a public retort. Before addressing this missing entity in this aforementioned and hapless equation, it is exigent to provide the background or context so as to point out why such a horrendous phenomenon of wrongful imprisonment has been ignored by the mainstream media and population.

Ziyad Yaghi by Laila Yaghi

The atmosphere of America after the 9-11 attacks has changed drastically. The preponderance of Yellow Journalism in American media and society now has transfixed a time portal where we live in similar times to the mass paranoia of the 1950s and 1970s, which witnessed McCarthyism and J. Edgar Hoover's COINTELRO burgeon, to  February 19,1942, where Executive Order 9066 was passed by President Roosevelt procuring Japanese American internment, to the slave-rebellion hysteria that permeated in southern society, to the Court of Oyer and Terminer during the witch hunts of Salem Massachusetts in 1692, and interpolating further into American history to the demonization of the indigenous of the American continents. The extant symptoms of American society at these moments are well documented and known worldwide. The citizens were terrorized by an unrealistic hazard or enemy and certain entities within the government exaggerated these fears into a gigantic, uncompromising, silent and discreet, and immediate evil. The  repeated reactions in these tribulations was overwhelming and disproportional aggression and discriminatory acts to silence and sunder any apprehension of dissent, resulting in a history some are ashamed of today. The instruments to muffle or enervate any domestic resistance in battling this evil were the same:  immurement, marginalization, deportation and exile, and occasional execution. In addition, there were normal citizens who became infected and engaged in vigilante justice, exacerbating the problem rather than resolving it. One would initially opine that America has played the risible role of a valetudinarian against evil ideologies ending with the suffix "ism" during instances in history, had it not been for the long record of innocent humans persistently harmed and families destroyed.

Such an atmosphere after the 9-11 attacks has materialized in America under the War on Terrorism. We now have Islamophobic blogs and websites such as Jihad Watch, the Investigative Report on Terrorism, the Nine Eleven Finding Facts, and others blogging diatribes against Islam and suspected terrorists. What is also interesting to highlight is that some of these sites also post pro-Israeli articles along with their castigations on Islamic culture. A perfect specimen of the above is a web blog/caricature titled The Jawa Report, named after the hooded Star Wars character Jawa with darkened black face and bright glowing yellow eyes. One may be reminded of the caricature Jump Jim Crow and its seemingly benign social acceptance as entertainment during its time when in fact its psychological effect was a dichotomous representation of and a catalyst for the proliferation for the stereotype of inferiority upon its African American targets. The Jawa Report barefacedly gloats that it compares this frowzy Star Wars creature to all Muslims and also describes itself as an invidious blog containing criticism and satire about Islamic beliefs and traditions. However, there is more that is exigent to discern, not palpable on the surface of this abecedarian and ostensible hate blog.

The Jawa Report and its affiliates engage in electronic surveillance of  Muslim-American Facebook and other social accounts. Furthermore, it disseminates information to government agencies such as the Department of Homeland Security, FBI, CIA, Mossad, and whomever else may be classified as Islamophobes. Many mainstream-media agencies have used this xenophobic web blog's specious claims and evidence to corroborate information and the Boston Globe describes them as a redoubtable and trusted site. Up to date, the Jawa Report has sparked or aided authorities in several investigations against Muslim Americans for suspected terrorism, corrected photos in newspapers that unfavorably depicted the state of Israel, and even helped to fire a Jordanian American DHS official because they pointed out he made a clerical error on his application. When we think of internet trolls spying on our Facebook accounts, the list ranges from the sound of sirens and breached doors from thought police by governments, philandering perverts, vexed ex-lovers, serial killers, and now we can include those seeking to release their animosity toward Islam whether because of ignorance or religious zealotry.

Glancing at the YouTube channel of the Jawa Report, we can surmise that they are antithetical to Palestinian rights, have an aversion for President Obama, display aberrant antipathy toward punishment for high school bullying, maintain a fetish for seeing Princess Leia in skimpy clothing while calling women's upper private area "puppies", is against the Syrian Liberation Fighters, support the revolution against President Morsi in Egypt, despise union organizers, demonize Iran, and really hate all Muslims.

The Jawa Report is a vigilante group with religious and racial-hatred determinants created post 9-11. It is a patina internet version of an antiquated Klansmen. What makes them relevant to Ziyad Yaghi's case? Ziyad's Facebook account is private, yet the Jawa Report published a blog/diatribe about Ziyad with screenshots 2 days after his arrest, images exclusively accessible to his Facebook friend's list. Worse, some of the Facebook screenshots used by this anti-Muslim hate blog was introduced by the prosecution during the court trial of Ziyad Yaghi. The Jawa Report has a history of aiding inquiries by major media outlets and US-government agencies in prosecuting suspected Muslim American terrorists. In addition, Fox News stated that court documents pertaining to Ziyad Yaghi's case indicated a portion of evidence was accumulated against Ziyad Yaghi and others using the Foreign Intelligence Electroinc Surveillance Act. In other words, it is probable or likely, whether premeditated or by volunteerism, that Ziyad Yaghi's Facebook profile was reconnoitered by the Jawa Report, which was the government's conduit for the cherry-picking of a modicum of vague information that was extrapolated upon during his trial. The Jawa Report is not only set upon inveighing Muslims but is also set upon perpetuating the violation of the very values inherit within American culture, the right to not be subdued to unreasonable surveillance and search, right to privacy, and freedom of expression. A few watchdog agencies on government surveillance have warned about cooperation occurring between the Foreign Intelligence Electronic Surveillance Act and hate groups such as the Jawa Report. What is even more interesting is that a counter-terrorism think tank with the laurel the Nine Eleven Finding Answers Foundation (NEFA) also used the Jawa Report's screenshots as proof against Ziyad Yaghi and Omar Hasan Aly in their own dossier. The senior investigator of NEFA is terrorism witch doctor and every religious zealot's favorite hackney, Evan Kohlmann. Interestingly, Kohlmann testified in Ziyad Yaghi's court trial as an expert witness.

Next Page  1  |  2  |  3

(Note: You can view every article as one long page if you sign up as an Advocate Member, or higher).

Must Read 2   Well Said 1   Touching 1  
Rate It | View Ratings

Siraj Davis Social Media Pages: Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in       Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in       Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in       Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

Masters degree in history. Author of several books. Promoter for Aldin Entertainment. Freelance journalist for Salem News. Teacher of English/TOEFL/IELTS. Speak several languages. Human Rights lobbyist and organizer and humanitarian work. Member (more...)
Go To Commenting
The views expressed herein are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.
Writers Guidelines

Contact AuthorContact Author Contact EditorContact Editor Author PageView Authors' Articles
Support OpEdNews

OpEdNews depends upon can't survive without your help.

If you value this article and the work of OpEdNews, please either Donate or Purchase a premium membership.

If you've enjoyed this, sign up for our daily or weekly newsletter to get lots of great progressive content.
Daily Weekly     OpEd News Newsletter
   (Opens new browser window)

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

Vigilante Justice Against Innocent Muslim Americans: Ziyad Yaghi

To View Comments or Join the Conversation:

Tell A Friend