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    Hi all, I got this message in the email and thought I'd share it with you people at gupshup. I called CAIR to verify the case and it seems to be legitimate. Try to help if you can.



    by Edina Lekovi
    Copyright Minaret Nov. 2000
    To subscribe: email [email protected] <mailto:[email protected]> or call 213.384.4570

    While hate crimes legislation has become a buzz word in the presidential race due to violent actions committed against minorities, it's hitting closer to home for one family.

    Ahmed Chaudhry, an international student from Pakistan, is currently embroiled in a trial in which his life is literally on the line. Chaudhry, who traveled to San Bernardino, CA to earn an MBA from California State University at San Bernardino, is being accused of attempted murder, assault with a deadly weapon and intent to commit mayhem after defending
    himself from physical attacks launched by two roommates.

    Chaudhry shared an apartment with three other men, two of whom were also international students. While they were not friends, the roommates got along amicably.

    Held in prison on bail since Nov. 30, 1999, Chaudhry is now preparing to go on trial and desperately seeking the assistance of the Muslim community.

    Chaudhry's ex-roommates, two international students from Kenya, charge that he attacked them because they insulted Prophet Muhammad and that he was waging a personal jihad (armed struggle) against them because they were non-Muslim. They point to wounds they received that evening as evidence to their claims.

    However, Chaudhry tells a different story one, his lawyer says, the evidence clearly supports. David Call, an attorney of 32 years, accepted Chaudhry's case when he realized that Chaudhry was being unfairly targeted because of his race and religious beliefs.

    "I got curious because I began to study Islam," Call explains. "I was surprised why there's so much fuss over believing in the same God we all do.

    The evidence in this case seems to be that these people have an image of Islam and Muslims that is perpetrated by the public which are just flat wrong."

    The prosecutor, District Attorney Michael O'Connell, who is supporting the claims made by Chaudhry's roommates, will try to show that he was compelled by his religious beliefs to inflict harm on his non-Muslim roommates.

    But Call says the testimony of the two roommates, Peter Aganza and Evans Kahutu, is not only inconsistent but unconceivable considering the nature of the wounds.

    The dispute which led to the attack began when Chaudhry entered the kitchen and found Kahutu cooking pork. Kahutu offered some to Chaudhry, who explained that Muslims don't eat pork because they believe it is unclean and bad for one's health. According to Chaudhry, Aganza responded by saying, "What you eat is clean and what we eat is unclean?"

    Meanwhile, Kahutu began repeatedly jabbing his plating towards Chaudhry's chest saying "Eat, eat, eat."

    During the ensuing conversation, Aganza made a defamatory comment about Prophet Muhammad, a fact which the prosecutor will claim incited Chaudhry's response.

    However, Chaudhry says he answered by saying, "You shouldn't say that about someone's religion."

    After Aganza and Kahutu used their experiences during the embassy bombing in Kenya to explain their outrage against Muslims, the fourth roommate, David Wei, arrived home and changed the subject in order to diffuse the situation.

    Kahutu and Aganza left the kitchen and Chaudhry continued to prepare his meal. Continuing to prepare his chicken, Chaudhry turned on the stove in order to heat and cleanse the knife over the flame.

    Leaving the stove on to heat, he went to make a phone call. When Aganza received a call, Chaudhry returned to the kitchen and found that the plastic on his knife was burnt. He picked up the other knife, quickly heated it, cleaned it and set it aside to be used on his chicken.

    When Kahutu walked by demanding to know what he was doing, Chaudhry explained that he was cleaning the knife, at which point Aganza stormed in,upset that Chaudhry had taken so long on the phone since he was waiting for a call. After Chaudhry apologized, Kahutu returned to the kitchen and said you Muslims are so stubborn. Confused, Chaudhry tried to leave the kitchen as he had in similar situations.

    Aganza said you disrespected me and then hit Chaudhry on the back of the head and grabbed his hair and pushed him toward the stove, burning his face.

    Trying to protect his eyes, the stove's flames instead burned his hand. According to Chaudhry, Aganza seemed to be doing all the burning while Kahutu punched him in the ribs.

    The prosecutor's case will claim that Chaudhry "was seeking his own private punishment for someone who had spoken poorly about and blasphemed the Prophet Muhammad," Call said, explaining that this theory is based on statements made by the Aganza and Kahutu.

    While calling for Wei's help, Chaudhry waved the knife behind him in 4-5 directions without seeing what he was hitting. This is what the majority of the trial will focus on - the nature of the wounds received and inflicted by the three men.

    "The evidence will illustrate that Aganza attacked the defendant," says Call. "While he was being burnt on the stove, he defended himself with a knife that was laying by. The (prosecutor) claims that he was heating the knives in order to attack them, but he was doing this to cleanse them from the pork that someone had used them on."

    After they attacked him, Aganza and Kahutu left the apartment and called the police, charging Chaudhry had attacked them. When the police arrived, they asked few questions of Chaudhry and told him he should talk to his lawyer.

    Call is confident that he can prove Chaudhry's innocence given adequate expert testimony. However, Chaudhry's family is unable to pay the entire sum of the nearly $25,000 in fees related to launching a solid defense case.

    Jury selection will begin Nov. 20, with the trial expected to begin after Thanksgiving.

    Chaudhry needs the help of justice seekers. Chaudhry's brother Imran can be reached at (909) 268-6325.

    Donate $20 [or any other amount] to Ahmad's Legal Defense please make a check out "Chaudhry Legal Defense" and send it to:

    Islamic Center of Inland Empire
    9212 Base Line Road
    Rancho Cucamonga, CA 91701

    Please forward this message and send it to as many people as you know,and encourage them to donate $20. Zakat funds are acceptable for this purpose.

    Special Note from CAIR:
    CAIR has reviewed this case and attests to its authenticity. There is enough evidence to indicate that Br. Ahmad Chaudhry is unjustly accused on the basis of his religion. Br. Ahmad's defense team has assured CAIR that he has a good chance of winning the case, if the proper resources are made available. In order to ensure a fair trial to combat a possibly biased prosecution, CAIR urges members of the community to support Br. Ahmad and contribute to his defense.

    Please call Imran Chaudhry, Ahmad's brother at 909-944-1836. For verification of the validity of this case, please call CAIR at 714-776-1847

    Hdate: Tuesday 17 SHa`baan 1421 A.H.
    Number: msa-net/14Nov00/ <Message Length: 148 lines>

    Please forward and distribute to all your lists, keep the copyright and "To subscribe" information intact, thanks to Sister Edina and the staff of the Minaret we can distribute this important article. Under the article I added where to send the money and the special note from CAIR Southern California]

    Kgul while its too quick to jump to conclusions about the case - I think I need to read more on the case. But it does seem to be that he is a victim of your typical anti-Muslim bias in the American legal and judicial system.


      I agree with malik (as usual) but regauardless, I have already ditrubuted this page to everyone I know on email, my local paki restuarants, paki stores and my college which is mostly desi guys.


        Hi Guys,

        After reading the case, i really felt very bad. It's a fact that americans are using evry trick in book to somehow punish and defame muslims.

        The very first day i attended ontario college, my law teacher explained how barbaric and stupid islamic culture is--"they cut your hands in saudi arabia if you stole some goods or they will stone u to death if you were found drinking!".
        It looks like every one is waging a war against muslims.
        I must say, its time we unite once again, and show who really the boss is.