Text of report by London-based newspaper Al-Sharq al-Awsat website on 1 September
[Report by Muhammad al-Shafi'i in
Mudassar Arani, the fundamentalists' lawyer, has stated she is facing a fierce campaign by the British media because of her defence of Islamists. In a statement that "Al-Sharq al-Awsat" received yesterday, she described the provocation campaign to which she is subjected at present from the extreme right wing as well as the death threats, like those to the British lawyers who had defended the Irish Republican Army members in British courts. She appealed to the Muslim community to stand with her.
She touched on the campaign against her by the British tabloid press because she defended Abu-Hamzah al-Masri, the Egyptian fundamentalist who is serving a nine-year sentence in Belmarh priso! n on the charge of incitement, and said the tabloid press focused on her gains from her legal profession and claimed she earned 200,000 sterling pounds from "legal aid" for defending Abu-Hamzah in 2003, but not a single pence of this amount went to her pocket. She pointed out that the press took photos of her Mercedes car and her house in Brentford, which is worth 300,000 pounds, and said she was earning massive amounts of money from the legal aid costs to defendants, which the government pays.
Arani, who is facing the possibility of being questioned by the British police after being accused of bribing a defendant in the terrorism case of the failed
She said when "Al-Sharq al-Awsat" telephoned her that she received messages on the "answer machine" from extremist elements accusing her of being the "terrorists' lover", that death was on its wa! y to her because of her defence of fundamentalists, and that she is th e "Talebani face" in
Arani listed the 10 legal establishments in
Arani's office is today considered an important centre for most Islamists for defending their cases after she undertook to defend dozens of fundamentalists. She said all the eyes are on the Muslim lawyers when they stand to defend the fundamentalists on the pretext that "they are sympathetic to terrorism." She added that other lawyers do not get these looks or suspicions and noted that there is a campaign of suspicion against her so as to withdraw her legal license. She then went on to say that she knows she is Muslim and a lawyer who wears the veil and the tabloid press and the extreme right wing do not forgive her for this. She called on the Muslim community to stand with her because she stood with and defended those without voice and she consi! dered herself one of the victims of the "war on terror."
She sai d she does not know when Scotland Yard police would question her and disclosed that her Islamist client Zayn al-Abidin, who died in jail following surgery in 2002, was the first to warn her of the expected campaign of hatred against her because of her defence of fundamentalists. Zayn al-Abidin, the official in charge of "Sakinah" security services establishment and an Islamic activist of Nigerian origin, was accused of providing training or instructions for making weapons, explosives, or nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons and urging others to have military training abroad.
The statement she sent included a copy of the allegations by the Public Prosecution Office that she bribed Asiedu Ibrahim, one of the defendants in the failed
Lawyer Arani was born in the Ugandan capital