The jury selection for the trial of al Qaeda operative Abdullah al-Muhajir, formerly known as Jose Padilla, will be an interesting test case in how PC our courts have become post-9/11. The judge wants to weed out anyone with a bias toward Islam.
"Altaf Ali, executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations in Florida, called it a "travesty" that a defendant's religion would take center stage in the courtroom" and said, "When you put someone on trial, it's not their religion on trial."
But when you are talking about the level of Islamic fundamentalism that would drive someone to join and train with al Qaeda and to commit to murdering thousand in the name of their god...then how can that be separated? The crime (terrorism) is a central tenet in al Qaeda's "religion". Their god is the reason they are willing to commit the acts on trial. How can the two be mutually exclusive?
"...The hearing gave a rare glimpse into the candid views of Americans on religion and terror in the wake of the 9-11 attacks and the ongoing Iraq war.
"I do think for their god, they would give their lives," said one man. "That is not 100 percent of them I'm sure, but I have heard that said."
Another said he believed only an extremist element of the Islamic faith advocates violence.
"I respect the good Muslim as much as I do the good Christian or good Jew," he said.
By day's end, Cooke had screened 17 possible jurors, whose identities will remain under wraps via court order. Eight were dismissed because of biases or scheduling conflicts. The painstaking process is expected to last more than two weeks..." (source)
(Photo Credit: AP Photo/Alan Diaz --Only in the US can someone gain weight in prison...)