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Judicial integrity in the West and the Arab World - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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Fanatical Arab intellectuals who are adamant that every prosecuted Arab is innocent, no matter the evidence, would have been outraged if the courts in Germany had found the Moroccan Abdelghani Mzoudi guilty, earlier this week.

Yet, none of these intellectuals uttered a single sound when the Moroccan was acquitted of charges of belonging to the Hamburg cell that planned the September 11 attacks on US cities, despite the public prosecution”s best efforts.

The presiding judge deemed that there was insufficient proof against Mzoudi and ordered him to be freed. In total, Mzoudi has been cleared twice, notwithstanding the pressure from the authorities to find him guilty and the evidence against him. He is an extremist fundamentalist Muslim who lived in the same city as and had links to the suspect cell.

The verdict represents a triumph of German justice and proof of the fairness of the country”s judicial system. It is a rebuttal of the false claims that Muslim migrants are persecuted by the political and security authorities. If Mzoudi were to be tried in an Arab country, he would”ve been tried secretly, in a closed court, with the judge agreeing with the prosecution and

sentencing him to death.

In our efforts to strengthen relationships between Arabs worldwide and fight despair, we must celebrate judgments such as the one in Germany. Every time we denounce the abhorrent practices in the US detention centre in Guantanamo, we should recognize those who are committed to safeguarding human rights. This isn”t to flatter a certain political or judicial system, but rather, to recognize the truth and reinforce the relationship between Arab migrants and the Western societies they live in.

Intellectuals, across the Arab World, have long been preoccupied with defending Arabs against the reckless beliefs and actions of an antagonistic minority and generalizing them. This is at a time when Arabs need to learn to coexist peacefully with other communities and focus firmly on the future.

Arab migrants in France, Germany, and other settlements live under a fair judicial system that is a rarity in their countries of origin. As evidence, one only needs to look at the detainees in Guantanamo whose only defense against hostile government and even public opinion have been the courts. In the past week, in Germany, in spite of the public prosecutor trying twice to criminalize Mzoudi, the courts refused to do so, thereby confirming their independence.

I do not want to defend any criminal. However, I want to reaffirm my belief in the necessity for fairness and justice to be applied, no matter what the nationality, race, or religion of the accused.

Abdulrahman Al-Rashed

Abdulrahman Al-Rashed

Abdulrahman Al-Rashed is the former general manager of Al-Arabiya television. He is also the former editor-in-chief of Asharq Al-Awsat, and the leading Arabic weekly magazine Al-Majalla. He is also a senior columnist in the daily newspapers Al-Madina and Al-Bilad. He has a US post-graduate degree in mass communications, and has been a guest on many TV current affairs programs. He is currently based in Dubai.

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