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Today and Saturday 1/19 - Protest Detention of Arab Community Leader at MCC

On December 14, police arrested Rabih Haddad in Ann Arbor for alleged ‘visa violations.’ This week, over the protests of local residents and two sitting congressmen, the popular community leader was spirited out of detention in Michigan to Chicago's Metropolitan Correctional Center, in what supporters say is a witch-hunt targeting Muslims and Arabs.


Stop the witch-hunt! Support Rabih Haddad!

Emergency picket: Two days of protest!

NOON on Friday, Jan. 18 AND Saturday, Jan. 19

Metropolitan Correctional Center, 71 W. Van Buren St.

On December 14, police arrested Rabih Haddad at his Ann Arbor home in front of his young children for alleged ‘visa violations.’ Officials also confiscated family possessions -- including their computer, which contained Haddad’s only copy of his doctoral dissertation -- and ripped open the children’s Ramadan presents to search for ‘clues’.

Community residents and two members of Congress, Lynn Rivers (D-Ann Arbor) and John Conyers (D-Detroit), have vigorously opposed the Lebanese native’s detainment. This month the Ann Arbor City Council and the Michigan Student Assembly passed resolutions supporting Haddad’s right to a fair trial.

Haddad, an assistant Imam at the Ann Arbor Mosque with a masters degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Nebraska, entered the U.S. legally and was in the process of applying for permanent residency -- making his detention for visa violations highly unusual.

And in an almost unprecedented move, the INS has closed hearings on Haddad’s status on the grounds of national security and refused to set bond in his case -- per orders from high-ranking Justice Department officials in Washington, says Noel Saleh, a well-known activist Detroit attorney helping to defend Haddad.

This week, U.S. marshals spirited Haddad out of Michigan in secrecy -- away from his family, supporters and attorneys – to Chicago’s Metropolitan Correctional Center.

While the U.S. attorney’s office has refused to comment on Haddad’s status, press reports say he’s been subpoenaed to testify before a federal grand jury in Chicago. This move is believed related to prosecutors’ efforts to add criminal charges to financial sanctions against two Muslim charities with Chicago offices, Benevolence International and Global Relief Foundation, which Haddad cofounded in 1992.

What is Haddad’s crime? Federal officials refuse to say. But Haddad’s attorneys and supporters believe he is being targeted for his work with Global Relief, which supports humanitarian efforts in the Muslim world, including Chechnya and Palestine. On the day Haddad was arrested, federal authorities raided and froze the assets of Global Relief and Benevolence International for allegedly funneling money to al Qaeda. That charge is flatly denied by Haddad’s attorneys, his supporters, and the charities, which raised almost $9 million last year for programs that range from emergency relief supplies to orphan sponsorship.

Federal authorities have yet to produce a shred of evidence backing up their claims.

Haddad’s supporters say there is a simple reason for his ‘special treatment’: a federal witch-hunt targeting Muslims and their groups as scapegoats in the wake of September 11. One lawyer says the government is engaged in a fishing expedition to link Haddad and the charities to terrorism, a charge he says they will never substantiate – because it’s simply untrue.

Meanwhile, Haddad languishes in detention at the MCC, far from his loved ones, his case enmeshed in government secrecy and shielded by the country’s highest authorities from even basic public scrutiny.

Protest the Bush administration’s witch-hunt against Muslims and Arabs!
Oppose the detention of Ann Arbor Arab community leader Rabih Haddad!

Sponsored by the Chicago Coalition Against War & Racism. Labor donated. For more info, contact the Coalition at 773-278-6706, email us at nowarnoracism (at), or visit our website

Use this PDF flyer to help spread the word about Friday's and Saturday's pickets to support Rabih Haddad.




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