Accusations were absurd

May 05

Parvez Ahmed: Accusations were absurd

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In 2003 and 2004, I was invited with United States Attorney Paul Perez to participate in forums in Florida to discuss the high profile and sensitive issues surrounding the renewal of several provisions of the Patriot Act.

This federal legislation was passed immediately after the horrors of Sept. 11, 2001, with the proviso that its continued implementation be revisited after two years.

In the first symposium, the third panelist was Parvez Ahmed. Despite the baseless, unwarranted and unsubstantiated suggestions that Ahmed either enjoys some form of relationship with, or tacitly endorses organizations which engage in terrorist activities, Ahmed’s voice at the presentation was one of reason, conciliation and impressive judgment.

He fully acknowledged the intended purposes of the Patriot Act, and Perez has often remarked to me that the current accusations against Ahmed, when measured against our experiences with him, constitute the highest form of absurdity.

I was disappointed at the Anti-Defamation League letter, which included the suggestion that to “understand” certain organizations (Hamas, Hezbollah) is to condone their terrorist activities.

I recently represented a man in Jacksonville whose telephone calls were intercepted by the FBI, made from Jacksonville to Beirut, Lebanon. The phone calls purportedly authorized the release of weapons held in Beirut to Hezbollah leadership, which constituted a serious crime under United States law.

I felt obligated to study and learn as much as I could about the origins, dynamics and methods of Hezbollah. As with Ahmed, I cannot fathom that my “understanding” of Hezbollah could be translated into an endorsement by me of Hezbollah terrorist acts.

As the German minister charged with ridding that nation of the Baader-Meinhof terrorists of the 1960s and 1970s urged his anti-terror commission, there would never be a solution to these terrorist activities until Germany understands what drives the behavior.

One of my partners at the Bedell law firm often uses a phrase, “To a hammer, everything is a nail.”

Human beings of all races, ethnicities and faiths are not hammers, and others are all not nails.



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