25 November 2003

Arab Man Convicted of Hate Crimes in N.Y.: "SYRACUSE, N.Y. (AP) -- A 30-year-old Arab man was convicted Monday of hate crimes for burglarizing and burning down a Jewish temple three years ago."
Defense attorney Paul Carey said he would appeal.

"We thought the jury didn't have enough evidence to find him guilty of hate crimes,'' Carey said. "The prosecution referred to him as a terrorist. I think there's a bit of prejudice in all of us after 9-11.''

Uthman, a naturalized U.S. citizen born in Venezuela to Palestinian parents, admitted committing the Oct. 13, 2000, burglary but said the arson was planned and carried out by his accomplice, Ahed Shehadeh.

Shehadeh, 30, who is serving a five-year sentence for burglary and aiding and abetting an arson, testified that Uthman dedicated the arson to God, crying out in Arabic, "I did this for you, God!''

Arab man, presumably a Muslim, is alleged to have claimed he committed the arson "for God" -- that's jihad.
Targeted a Jewish house of worship -- that's a hate crime. Yes he could have targeted an Anglican or Catholic church, a Hindu temple, a Baha'i house of of worship. In every case it would be a hate crime.