“The prosecution took advantage of post-9/11 hysteria to convict him,” says Basim Elkarra, executive director of the Sacramento Valley office of the Hamas-linked Council on American-Islamic Relations. But that kind of argument can cut both ways. If Hamid Hayat was convicted because of “post-9/11 hysteria,” might it also be possible that his conviction is being overturned now because of hysteria about “Islamophobia”? U.S. Attorney McGregor Scott says: “It has consistently been our position that Mr. Hayat received effective representation at trial and that his conviction by a jury, subsequently affirmed by the Ninth Circuit, is completely valid.”
Note also this from AP: “The FBI paid an informant $230,000 over three years to infiltrate a Lodi mosque and record conversations with imams and worshippers after he improbably claimed to have seen several high-ranking al-Qaida officials there in the late 1990s.”
Why, exactly, is that improbable? Because Islam is a religion of peace, and the people in the Lodi mosque would have indignantly cast out the al-Qaeda officials? Or is it because al-Qaeda officials never would have dared move about freely in the U.S.? Neither one is necessarily so.