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Breaking Case Updates, Tour w/ Linda Sarsour, plus: How "The List" impacts us all.
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AUGUST 2019
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Assalamu'alaykum
Friend,

We begin the month of August with the gift of ten days considered to be the best days of the year for a Muslim. May we embrace opportunities to make the best of this time and reap the blessings of the season.

We also enter the month with the incredible news of MLFA-beneficiary Hamid Hayat winning over a decade's long fight to restore his rights and vindicate his innocence - after serving 14 years for a crime he didn't commit.

Sadly, we also just witnessed a string of mass shootings over the weekend, reportedly inspired by the New Zealand Christchurch shootings a few months ago.

When one innocent person is targeted for who they are, where they come from, or what they believe, we all are. We must do what we can to stand up for justice and call out bigotry and hate in all its forms. It's not an easy process, or a quick one, but it is a necessary and noble pursuit. God-willing, justice, truth, and courage will prevail.

In faith and for justice,
 
 
In the News
 
 
MLFA-Beneficiary's Rights Restored as Terror Conviction Finally Overturned

In March of this year, we updated you about the case of a U.S. citizen of Pakistani origin who was the subject of one of the first major terrorism trials in the wake of 9/11.

Hamid Hayat, then a 25 year old cherry-picker and son of an ice-cream truck driver, was accused of training with Al-Qaeda and operating a sleeper cell in a small farming town in California. In 2007, he was convicted and sentenced to 24 years behind bars. Hailed as a victory against homegrown terrorism by government prosecutors, this controversial case was mired by FBI misconduct, withheld evidence, and ineffective counsel, not to mention a highly-politicized and polarized climate of Islamophobia post 9-11.

MLFA funded a motion to reverse Hamid Hayat's conviction, and earlier this year, a Judge ordered a hearing to review his case.

Last week, after serving 14 years of his 24 year sentence, Mr. Hayat's conviction was overturned.

It took 14 years, but the truth finally prevailed. Sometimes the road to justice is long and winding. As shocking as Mr. Hayat's case is, it reminds us to never give up and to keep fighting for justice, for as long as it takes.

This is a long-overdue victory for an MLFA-beneficiary, but it is a welcome ending to a years' long battle for justice.

More from the MLFA archives:

MLFA Funds Motion to Reverse Hamid Hayat's Conviction
Hamid Hayat Gets Another Day in Court
FBI Coerced False Confession From Hayat, Lawyers Say


 
Law Center Updates
 
 
Last Ramadan, MLFA featured the case of CLCMA client Lassana Magassa in our Stories of Injustice. A highly educated, community-minded U.S. citizen, Mr. Magassa lost his job at Delta Airlines because the government believed he associated at one time with people it suspected of terrorism - without identifying who. The government continued to fight restoring his privileges based on nothing more than "guilt by association" - until a break in the case last week.

On July 26, 2019, Mr. Magassa received a letter from the TSA, effectively stating that he does not pose a threat.
 
 
Issue Spotlight
 
 
Summertime is a season full of travel, and many in the Muslim community perform the obligatory pilgrimage to Makkah this time of year.

For some, travel can pose - or expose - obstacles to their rights and freedoms, simply on the basis of their faith.

This is mostly due to a secret government watchlist that disproportionately affects Muslims.

Currently, MLFA is funding 21 watchlist cases. (We update you about our latest victory in the story above.)

Lawyers at the MLFA-funded Constitutional Law Center for Muslims in America explain what government watchlists are, and how they can potentially impact you or someone you know. They also outline steps to take if you believe you are affected.

Check out the interview, below:

 
To learn more, please visit our Launchgood page, where we feature a video explaining the impact of The List, a client story, and a downloadable Travel Tips Toolkit for your reference.

For legal questions related to the watchlist, please reach out to the MLFA-funded lawyers at the Constitutional Law Center for Muslims in America by clicking here.
 
 
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