Linked with Stephen Lendman – USA.
Published on Countercurrents.org, by Stephen Lendman, 24 October, 2008.
Seyed Mousavi is a US citizen of Iranian decent. A “family man, and a tireless servant” of the Southern California Muslim community where he lives and helped found the Islamic Shura Council of Southern California (ISCSC). It states its mission as follows: “to promote communications, understanding, cooperation, and coordination among the Muslim communities in Southern California at all levels (and) to help in the practice and propagation of Islam in the United States of America” …
… Mousavi’s Trial:
It was classic police state justice. A common DOJ practice against “war on terror” targets. Figures like Sami Al-Arian, Rafil Dhafir, Sheik Mohammed Ali Hassan Al-Moayad, Mohammed Mohsen Yahya Zayed, and Lynne Stewart. Known for their prominence, leadership positions, charitable efforts, affiliations with Islamic organizations, or in the case of Lynne Stewart for being a notable civil rights lawyer. Devoting 30 years of her life championing the rights of the poor and underprivileged. Defending society’s unwanted and controversial figures never afforded due process without an advocate like her.
On April 24, after three days of testimony, a jury convicted Mousavi on all counts. In spite of bogus evidence and the defense given no right to call witnesses or introduce refuting documents. A Kangaroo Court process that denies judicial fairness in most federal courts.
On each of six counts, here’s what jurors never heard. Because defense counsel was late filing motions for experts to testify. The trial judge disallowed them and was within his right to do it. But it cost Mousavi dearly.
He lost money in the two years he was accused of paying no taxes. The alleged $500,000 from the Hajj Company (and Umrah Services) was from a non-profit Hejrat Foundation enterprise. It arranged Hajj pilgrimage trips to Mecca for religious purposes. It had nothing to do with “business” or an effort to yield “profits.” There were none. It was solely to help fellow Muslims perform their religious duties and connect with their spiritual roots. In the two years in question (2003 and 2004), the enterprise lost money. Prosecutors claimed it wasn’t reported, Yet Hejrat’s accountant wasn’t allowed to testify and explain. Nor could expenses be presented to prove the non-profit Hajj Company had losses and owed nothing.
Regarding a supposed violation of the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (IEEPA) and breaking (and “intending” to break) the embargo under the Iranian Transactions Regulations, here’s what, in fact, happened. In 2002, a Kuwaiti company wanted Mousavi for a consulting job and invited him over to discuss it. It wished to sell Iran cell phones and buy sand and gravel in return. It prepared an “Incentive Plan.” Not a contract. Listed the proposal in it, but ended up not pursuing it. Why? Because bureaucratic hurtles were too costly so the idea was scrapped.
Mousavi returned home and had no dealings with Iran or any of its companies. At trial, a government Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) witness confirmed or at least implied that no contract existed, and no embargo violation occurred. Nonetheless, he was charged with one because the witness recalled another law. Believed it applied, and if so the embargo was broken.
Regarding illegally procuring citizenship, Mousavi was falsely charged with lying under oath about not being an “active and ranking member of the Iranian military.” It was bogus like the other charges. As explained above, he was exempted from military service because of health and disability factors. His defense had Iranian government letters as proof but was prohibited from entering them as evidence. Because counsel hadn’t presented them to the court.
The prosecution mistranslated documents to make its case. Another common anti-Muslim tactic. Misstate the language. Change its meaning. Present false evidence. Some that’s irrelevant. Prevent defense from refuting it, and claim justice prevailed. In this case, the Farsi words for “police department” on Mousavi’s (and all civilian licenses) were mistranslated to mean “military.” In addition, the terms “janbaz” and “cart-e janbazan” were misused with the latter one called a “Devotee” or “suicide mission squad” card. It’s actually a handicap one with an established international symbol stating degree of disability. Other documents were also mistranslated to “prove” bogus prosecution charges that unfortunately stuck.
A Final Comment:
In a climate of fear, Muslims risk harassment, prosecution and incarceration. Especially prominent ones like Mousavi. His defense will appeal and seek exoneration at the appellate court level. For now, he’s incarcerated and subjected to dehumanizing treatment. For being Muslim in America at the wrong time. Only his inner strength sustains him. And the love and admiration of his family, friends and supporters. In today’s disturbing climate, we’re all Seyed Mousavis. (full text).
Two more articles on Countercurrents.org: