Sami Al-Arian, Laila Al-Arian, Abduallah Al-Arian, Lama Al-Arian
USA VS AL-ARIAN is a close portrait of an Arab-American family facing terrorism charges leveled by the U.S. Government.
In February 2003, the FBI arrested university professor and political activist Sami Al-Arian in Tampa, Florida. Charged with supporting terrorism, he was placed in solitary confinement for 2 1/2 years before he received a trial.
The film follows Sami, his wife Nahla and their five children through the 6 month long trial and the difficult period after the verdict. It is a personal story of a family, who like many Muslims in the USA today, are fighting against increasing stigmatization and discrimination in a post 911-climate.
The film deals with themes of freedom of speech, and the right to a fair trial. It also shows how the media influence public opinion and how the USA`s fear of and fight against terrorism can threaten civil liberties.