Jailed Somali woman faces anti-Muslim bigotry

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October 30, 2011

Minneapolis, MN – According to numerous reports in the press here, Amina Farah Ali, the jailed humanitarian worker convicted of ‘material support for a foreign terrorist organization’ on Oct. 20, is facing religious discrimination in the Sherburne County Jail.

Sherburne County Sheriff Joel Brott refuses to allow Ali to wear a scarf, or hijab, to cover her head, a common religious practice for many Muslim women.

Ali, who is awaiting sentencing, is accused helping al-Shabab, an Islamist organization that fights to free Somalia from foreign domination. In addition to a conspiracy charge, she was convicted of 12 material support charges. Each charge carries up to a 15 year sentence.

A friend of Ali’s, Hawo Mohamed Hassan, was convicted of 2 counts of lying to an FBI agent and is also awaiting sentencing.

On the day of their conviction, Mick Kelly, of the Committee to Stop FBI Repression stated, “These women have done nothing wrong. They care about the people of Somalia and worked to make the country a better place. The U.S. government has no business dictating what political party, religion or social movements that the Somali people chose to support. The laws on ‘material support for terrorism’ should be scrapped.”

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