A Friend of Unfair Park sends word that Imam Safdar Razi Ali was released last week by Immigration and Customs Enforcement, more than two months after federal authorities snatched him from his Plano home without explanation. There is but one caveat: Ali must leave the country no later Sunday. And not once have authorities explained why Ali was detained at the Rolling Plains Detention Center in Haskell or why he's being deported.
The imam, though, bears no grudge against his captors: In a letter posted to the "Free Safdar Razi" Web site maintained by supporters since his arrest, he wrote almost as though he'd been away at university for a few months -- spending time with detainees from "South America, Asia, Africa, and Europe especially or surprisingly from UK and Canada." He notes: "The bottom line is I learned a lot intellectually, spiritually and socially in these two month of detention, let us say that Allah the exalted wanted me to have a crash course, therefore my being detained was one of the great blessings of Allah the exalted in my life I hope that I don’t forget it, as same as if someone goes in a different country to learn some courses away from his family and beloved ones." --Robert Wilonsky
Keep the Dallas Observer Free... Since we started the Dallas Observer, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Dallas, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Dallas with no paywalls.