Ohio imam deported to Palestinian Authority after terror conviction

[JURIST] Imam Fawaz Damra, former leader of Ohio's largest mosque, the Islamic Center of Cleveland [official website], has been deported to the West Bank via Jordan, US immigration officials announced Friday. Born in the Palestinian Authority, Damra was indicted [PDF text] in 2003 on charges of concealing ties to alleged terrorist groups when he applied for US citizenship; he was sentenced [JURIST report] in 2004 by an Ohio district court to two months in federal prison and four months of house arrest. Prosecutors also asked for a revocation of Damra's citizenship, but the judge did not rule on the issue at the time. He was arrested in Ohio in late 2005 as a threat to national security and agreed to deportation in January 2006 rather than face new charges of terrorist ties; the process was delayed [Plain Dealer report] as officials sought a nation to accept Damra.

A statement from Damra's wife, published on his personal website, indicated that Damra would not appeal the decision:

After spending many days and nights in prayer, Fawaz, putting his trust in God, made a decision not to further pursue his fight to stay in the United States. While consulting with our attorney, we realized that we could not fight for justice in a court that upholds unjust laws including new laws under the Patriot Act.
AP has more. The Cleveland Plain Dealer has local coverage.


 

About Paper Chase

Paper Chase is JURIST's real-time legal news service, powered by a team of 30 law student reporters and editors led by law professor Bernard Hibbitts at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. As an educational service, Paper Chase is dedicated to presenting important legal news and materials rapidly, objectively and intelligibly in an accessible format.

© Copyright JURIST Legal News and Research Services, Inc., 2013.