Don’t use my good heart against me.
Alexander Smith was abandoned by his parents. As a child and a young man, he became very close to a Syrian family, who informally adopted him. He was moved by their kindness. As he learned more about their religion and culture, he also accepted Islam.
This family was visiting Syria and got stuck there as the war was taking over. Alexander was led by his good heart to try to find a way to help this family that had already helped him so much. He looked into any possible solution, including whether he could travel to Syria to help them get out. This caught the attention of the U.S. government.
The FBI used informants and undercover agents to try to convince Alexander to join a terrorist organization, to fight for a terrorist organization, or to send money to a terrorist organization, telling him that this was the way to help his family. Alexander refused in every way and every single time for more than nine months of FBI efforts. All he wanted was to find a way to remove his family from a dangerous situation.
When they were unable to trap him in criminal charges, the FBI called Alexander for an interview. This is a common practice: if entrapment is not effective, they try to catch you in a lie during an FBI interview. The purpose of this kind of interview is to create a crime. They asked Alexander whether he had plans to travel to Syria and whether he was participating in a fake terrorism plan created by the FBI undercover agent. Based on his responses, they tried to accuse him of making false statements, which was not the case.
The MLFA-funded Constitutional Law Center for Muslims in America (CLCMA) joined with Alexander’s appointed counsel to defend Alexander’s intentions and statements in the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals. The Fourth Circuit judges were concerned about the government’s entrapment of Mr. Smith and asked the government many questions related to their conduct in the investigation. We are eager to see what the Court decides.
This case shows the incredible value of the Constitutional Law Center for Muslims in America (CLCMA), founded by the Muslim Legal Fund of America (MLFA) in an effort to be the best possible stewards of your generous donations and to be thought leaders on cases like this and in all kinds of cases that affect the lives of all Muslims. Your support is vital so that we can stand up for innocent people like Alexander Smith. The impact of this kind of case goes far beyond the individual level. It affects my freedom and your freedom. It affects my safety and your safety. Please stand with us against injustice, for Alexander’s good heart and for many others.