Today Jahar’s defense team filed a motion to vacate the Special Administrative Measures (SAMs) that have been imposed on him, claiming that they are not justified and that they are violations of the First, Fifth, and Sixth Amendments as well as human rights.
Some of the measures include:
- Restricted communications with his attorneys (visits, phone calls, documents, mail, etc.)
- No mail from anyone but his attorneys, parents, and siblings
- No participation in group prayer services with other inmates
The full document is found here.
One particularly interesting part of the document was this:
While the government focuses on Mr. Tsarnaev’s “notoriety” and states that he has received “nearly one thousand pieces of unsolicited mail,” it fails to mention that Mr. Tsarnaev has not responded to any of this mail and ignores the significance of the fact that it was “unsolicited.” To punish Mr. Tsarnaev, in effect, for something he has done nothing to encourage, is perverse. The government also fails to mention that none of this unsolicited mail could be characterized as “jihadist” in nature. Rather, it consisted almost entirely of letters and cards from individuals who believe he is innocent and people urging him to repent and convert to Christianity.
As long as these SAMs stand (one year from August 27 or whenever they are vacated if they ever are), we won’t be able to reach out to Jahar through our letters. Clearly, however, some people have already shared the gospel with him, so all that is left is for him to believe it.
As a potential future defense attorney and a defender of human rights, this all makes me very frustrated and angry; however, I’ve been convinced by other Christians United for Jahar members that this might actually be a blessing in disguise.
For one example of how that may be true, one person said:
Maybe the fangirl letters [and letters from those who wrote simply because they think he’s innocent] were holding Jahar back from giving his attention to those of Christian nature. Maybe Jahar has been supplied all the information on the Gospel he needs to start opening his eyes, his ears, and his heart to the one true God. Maybe these new restrictions are an act of God to give Jahar room to breathe and time to think. We must keep in mind that nothing is impossible for God, and the idea that these new restrictions may be used for a greater good despite their seeming harsh and unfair is something to hold on to for hope, and it’s something to think about and pray for.
Another person mentioned that God could be taking everything and everyone away from Jahar so that he will cry out to Him in desperation.
God often takes awful situations and things that were meant for evil and uses them for good, so my hope is that this will be one of those instances. I think it very well might be.
I’m not sure how legitimate this is, but if true, Jahar will still get to receive some letters:
Obviously all of this news makes it clear that we need to pray harder for Jahar than ever. I’d also highly recommend fasting for him. Some of us are doing so next week.
Here are some ideas for what to pray about:
- Pray that God would use all of this for good, for His glory and for Jahar’s ultimate joy
- Pray that the letters from “people urging him to repent and convert to Christianity” planted seeds in Jahar’s heart and that he couldn’t keep what they wrote out of his mind
- Pray that Jahar would begin to (or continue to) question his Islamic beliefs and find nothing but emptiness as he seeks Allah
- Pray that all of us Christians would not give into despair because of all this but continue to trust God, have hope for Jahar, and never stop praying for him
- Pray that especially since Jahar has no interaction with Christians now that God would use supernatural means such as dreams and visions to reveal Himself to Jahar
- Pray that Jahar would have an overwhelming desire to open the Bible so that he can learn about God’s love and forgiveness even without any Christians being able to tell him about such things in letters
- Pray that if it is true that Jahar can read approximately 20 letters a week that somehow letters from Christians who care about his soul will make up part, if not a majority or all, of those 20 letters
- Pray that in the pain of his loneliness and isolation, Jahar would cry out to God in desperation
- Pray for Jahar’s mental well-being, that everything he is going through would not lead to depression and suicidal thoughts
- Pray that these unjust violations of constitutional and human rights be stopped
- Pray for Jahar’s lawyers, that they will fight hard for his rights and be able to represent him well despite the restrictions on their communication with him
Take heart: No prison walls can keep our God out!