Monday, August 13, 2007

Raed Jarrar, Just Who Is this Guy, and Why Should We Care?

Raed Jarrar is the man who wanted to fly on a JetBlue airliner, days after a massive terrorist effort to blow up multiple airliners had been stopped, wearing a black T-shirt decorated with bold Arabic writing in white.

Rather dressy, actually.

He finally flew, but with another T-Shirt, one purchased by a JetBlue employee.

Now, he's suing the Department of Homeland Security.

News reports were a trifle vague as to just who this Raed Jarrar is, so I did a little checking: mostly with Google. Mr. Raed Jarrar I hadn't heard of Global Exchange before learning about Mr. Jarrar. GE says that, in contrast to "US companies such as Nike abusing the women who make its shoes, the US government fueling an illegal, unjustified, murderous war in Iraq, or the World Trade Organization (WTO) undercutting consumer and environmental protections, Global Exchange offers itself as a partner for peace and social justice."

Why should we care? Considering the ACLU's involvement in his lawsuit, I don't think we've heard the last of his claim to victimhood. And, this is another instance of someone, intentionally or not, creating a situation which could reasonably discourage people from reporting a terrorist who was intent on carrying out a violent mission.

There's more about Mr. Jarrar and his amazing T-shirt at "T-Shirt Story 1: 'I Got Rights!'" and "T-Shirt Story 2: Civil Rights vs Common Sense."


Anonymous said...

raed jarrar works for the american friends service committee now. He left global exchange last year.

Brian H. Gill said...


Thanks for the update.

I checked, and the program for "Eyes Wide Open in Chicago," a May 24-28 event in 2007, identifies Raed Jarrar as "the Iraq Consultant for AFSC’s middle east peace program."

It's a small comfort to find that Mr. Jarrar's new affiliation was missed by others. He was identified as "Iraq Project Director for Global Exchange" this year in "War Protesters' Chorus: Bring U.S. Troops Home" (Washington Post, January 12, 2007) and "Oil Grab in Iraq" (Foreign Policy in Focus, February 22, 2007).

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Note! Although I believe that these websites and blogs are useful resources for understanding the War on Terror, I do not necessarily agree with their opinions. 1 1 Given a recent misunderstanding of the phrase "useful resources," a clarification: I do not limit my reading to resources which support my views, or even to those which appear to be accurate. Reading opinions contrary to what I believed has been very useful at times: sometimes verifying my previous assumptions, sometimes encouraging me to change them.

Even resources which, in my opinion, are simply inaccurate are sometimes useful: these can give valuable insights into why some people or groups believe what they do.

In short, It is my opinion that some of the resources in this blogroll are neither accurate, nor unbiased. I do, however, believe that they are useful in understanding the War on Terror, the many versions of Islam, terrorism, and related topics.