The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nation's largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, said on May 17 that it plans to file a complaint against a Minnesota judge who inappropriately questioned defendants on their religious beliefs and equated mainstream Islamic principles with terrorism.
Judge Michael J. Davis handed down a 20-year sentence for Amina Ali and a 10-year sentence for Hawo Hassan. Both are well respected humanitarian workers. Hundreds of supporters from the Somali community in Minnesota came to the sentencing hearing.
Before sentencing the two Muslim women to prison May 16, U.S. District Judge Michael Davis asked each woman if she supported "jihad, suicide bombings and Sharia law." Judge Davis also asked, "Does she understand there are some Muslim women who wear dresses or short skirts?" Davis said he was trying to decide whether the defendants would "support terrorist causes" when they are released from prison. The questions reportedly drew audible reactions in a courtroom packed with Muslim spectators.