UK MUSLIM ACADEMIC SMEARED BY US AUTHORITIES
21 February 2003
The US government is seeking the extradition from the UK of the well-respected historian Bashir Musa Nafi, a former scholar at the Washington-based International Institute of Islamic Thought (IIIT), an occasional lecturer at Birbeck College, University of London, former lecturer in Islamic History at the Markfield Institute of Higher Education and reader at Dr Zaki Badawi's West London-based Muslim College. He was named on 20 February by US Attorney General Ashcroft in an 'indictment' for 'leadership' of the 'Islamic Jihad' and "operating a racketeering enterprise that engaged in a number of violent activities including murder, extortion, money laundering…"
These charges are a charade - but they carry the life sentence in the US. In
the past UK judiciary has shown mettle by refusing to accommodate US extradition
requests unless backed by evidence that could stand in a court of law - the
case of the Algerian pilot Lutfi Raisi released in April 2002 after a five-month
internment is an example. The witch-hunt against Nafi and fellow academic Professor
Al-Arian has nothing to do with September 11, but is the outcome of vigilante
forces settling other scores. Both Al-Arian and Nafi have long been in the sights
of Steven Emerson, who named them in his testimony to the US Judiciary Subcommittee
on Immigration and Claims in January 2000. The Jerusalem Post (9/17/94) has
noted that Emerson has "close ties to Israeli intelligence."