by Laila Yaghi (Note from author: I wrote it before the sentencing took place but did not publish it until today)
As sentencing is nearing for my son and two of his co-defendants, as a mother of one of the co-defendants, Ziyad Yaghi, I can’t begin to fathom the enormous injustice that our country has done to us just because of our religious belief.
I begin to reiterate that my son only went overseas to get married and visit family members hence most of the Yaghi family live in Jordan. Moreover, Muslim people get married at a young age to avoid fornicating which is one of the major sins in Islam
Many of my son’s peers are either married or are looking for a wife. This is the tradition in Islam to marry at a young age to avoid fornicating and having illegitimate children.
So why then has my son been accused of conspiracy and material support? Why would a young man who was seeking to please his Lord and fulfill his obligations towards his deen (religion) be prosecuted?
I began to research about all the cases that are similar to my son’s case and found that most if not all these young men had a few things in common. One of the characteristics that these young men shared was that they spoke against the war in Iraq and Afghanistan except that my son really did not speak against the war. He was too young and immature but his co-defendant did
So now we know why many of these men are accused of conspiracy and material support. Their crime that the FBI concocted had no basis; material support, to whom? How is my son convicted of material support when he did not spend any money on anything illegal or any terrorist organization? How is he convicted of conspiracy when there hasn’t been a crime that has taken place or even a plan to commit a crime?
Even when his co-defendant, Daniel Boyd, “the ring leader” as the prosecutors called him plead guilty so he can save his home from being repossessed by the government and have his sons get out of jail in no time, admitted when cross examined that there wasn’t any agreement between him and my son to conspire to kill or maim people abroad or anywhere else for that matter. Moreover, he stated that he and the co-defendants never had a plan to do any kind of harm to anyone!
So how then did my son get convicted?
Well for one thing, the trial was set two and a half hour away from where all his friends and community members live. In addition, the jury consisted of mostly elderly people whom most of them as stated to the questions asked to them by the judge, did not leave New Bern (the city where the trial took place). Moreover, many of them had family members in the military. On top of that, the prosecutors manipulated them into thinking that these young men are jihadist. How did the prosecutors manipulate them? Well for one thing, they provided endless hours of boring unclear tape recordings of Boyd, “the ring leader”. Pay attention; unclear tape recordings that the prosecutors then handed the jury some transcripts with words filled in by the prosecutors. Then, even though my son was not in any of these tape recordings, the prosecutors kept bringing up his name and showing his picture while the tape recordings were being played, while the jury were reading a fabricated filled in transcript by the prosecutors
So an uninformed not well educated, not traveled and elderly people who some of them mind you, can barely walk and keep awake, were anxious of getting this ordeal over and in favor of whom, of course, the well convincing prosecutors
Not only that, the prosecutors kept showing pictures of jihadist beheading and killing people. And they brought this so called expert, Evan Kohlman, to testify against the co-defendants. His testimony had no basis since he does not even know the co-defendants. His fabricated fantasy to portray Muslim people as violent, worked well with an uneducated, uninformed Jury. Whereas if you look at the statistics here in United States where the most populated Muslim cities are, the less crime and violence there is
In fact, Dearborn Michigan is one of the safest cities to live in the US! So how then was Evan Kohlman so convincing? Because the mind of the jury is pre-set based on how Muslims are portrayed post 9/11. Not only that, the media and how it constantly portrays Muslims plays a huge affect on how people are stereotyped
So now an innocent young man lies in jail for a simple trip he took overseas. Families have been ripped apart, destroyed and shattered. A country that feeds off of putting innocent people in jail! United States is the only country that loves putting its citizens in jail. How is God going to bless this country if it is oppressing its own people?
And 99 percent of these cases get convicted even though there is not any evidence of anything and remember not any crime has taken place
It is as if the prosecutors either scare the Judges to comply with what they want or they will lose their jobs or more likely work together in conspiring to kill and maim the truth. There is something going on behind the scenes that no one knows but God