9/11 mass murderers demand no hearings during Ramadan

And of course, the Islamic religion that led them to become mass murderers in the first place must be respected. “9/11 accused don’t want hearings during Ramadan,” by Carol Rosenberg for the Miami Herald, July 10 (thanks to David):

Lawyers for accused Sept. 11 attacks mastermind Khalid Sheik Mohammed and his four co-defendants are seeking to postpone their Aug. 8-13 hearing at Guantánamo, noting it falls toward the end of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

The trial judge, Army Col. James Pohl, set the date for the hearing in May and specifically ruled out an extension on grounds that it coincided with Islam’s fasting month. He noted in his order then that no defense lawyer at that point had raised objection to a hearing that coincided with Ramadan.

But the attorneys do just that in a June 21 filing currently under seal on the Pentagon’s war court website entitled “Joint Defense Motion for the Military Commission to Respect the Religious Observances of Enemy Prisoners under Common Article 3.”

Pohl is hearing motions in another Guantánamo case next week. But that hearing ends by July 19, before Ramadan starts. The 9/11 case pre-trial motions would be heard toward the end of Ramadan.

“The last 10 days of Ramadan commemorate the night God —Allah— revealed the Holy Quran to the Prophet Mohammed,” said James Connell, the Pentagon-paid defense counsel for Mohammed’s nephew, Ammar al Baluchi. “These 10 days are the most holy period of the Muslim calendar and are typically observed by fasting, prayer, and seclusion.”…

Read more here.

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Attorney in hijab defends call for other women at 9/11 hearing to wear ‘appropriate’ clothing

The defense attorney who wore a traditional Islamic outfit during the rowdy arraignment of the accused Sept. 11 terrorists is defending her courtroom appeal that other women in the room wear more “appropriate” clothing to the proceedings — out of respect for her client’s Muslim beliefs.

Cheryl Bormann, counsel for defendant Walid bin Attash, attended the arraignment Saturday dressed in a hijab, apparently because her client insisted on it. She further requested that the court order other women to follow that example so that the defendants do not have to avert their eyes “for fear of committing a sin under their faith.”

At a press conference Sunday at Guantanamo Bay, Bormann said she dresses in a hijab at “all times” when she meets with her client “out of respect” for his beliefs. Asked why she requested other women do the same, Bormann said, “When you’re on trial for your life, you need to be focused.”

Bormann claimed the issue came up several years ago, when a paralegal wore “very short skirts” and it became a distraction for the defendants. She said that on Saturday, “somebody” was also dressed “in a way that was not in keeping with my client’s religious beliefs.”

“If because of someone’s religious beliefs, they can’t focus when somebody in the courtroom is dressed in a particular way, I feel it is incumbent upon myself as a counsel to point that out and ask for some consideration from the prosecution,” she said. “Suffice to say it was distracting to members of the accused.”

The clothing request was just one of several unusual moments during Saturday’s lengthy and chaotic hearing.

The defendants’ behavior outraged 9/11 family members watching on closed-circuit video feeds around the United States at East Coast military bases. One viewer shouted, “C’mon, are you kidding me?” at the Fort Hamilton base in Brooklyn.

A handful of people who lost family members in the attacks and were selected by a lottery to attend the proceedings watched in the courtroom.

The court hearing for Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and his four co-defendants should have taken a couple of hours at most. Instead it lasted almost 13 hours, including meal and prayer breaks, as the men appeared to make a concerted effort to stall Saturday’s hearing.

They knelt in prayer, ignored the judge, wouldn’t listen to Arabic translations over their head sets and one even insisted on having the more than 20 pages detailing the charges against them read aloud, rather than deferred for later in their case as the judge wanted, which added more than two hours to the proceedings.

Read more here.