Friday, December 26, 2008
Un-Stoning Dr. Evil
That's not a Jordanian Santa holding a kid.
This is Mohammad Asha, the Jordanian physician who immigrated to the UK to become a neurosurgeon. He was arrested in July 2007 and charged with a lot of things, mainly of being a terrorist. I wrote about that arrest when it happened, and gave a few reasons why it would've been unlikely for him to be guilty.
A year and half later, he was acquitted. He's out of jail. Who knew about it? Nobody. When he was arrested, the whole world knew about the Arab doctor who wants to kill people, and the American media scared the bejesus out of people of those Arab doctors who want to kill people. Watch out for those dark-skinned Middle-Eastern doctors with the accent who want to shoot toxic drugs in your veins.
Now that he's out, nobody is talking about it. I'm used to the American media, they are the garbage of all garbages. A Sawsan Tuffaha news bulletin is better than any news bulletin I've heard on any US news station, but what's disappointing was the Arab and Jordanian media who totally ignored this piece of news.
People judge Asha. He looks scary. He can't fit in well with his community. His patients will be scared of him. He's an Islamist. He hangs out with the wrong crowd. He goes to a "suspicious" mosque. I cannot disagree with that, but that is very different from labelling him as a terrorist who is willing to kill innocent civilians in airports, a very serious crime. He may always have an untrimmed beard, he may always decide to never smile in a picture, but the fact is that he spent 18 months in jail away from his wife and son, his reputation was destroyed, and the future of this straight-A medical student as a neurosurgeon was over before it even started, and all that for a crime he did not commit.