2016 Edward Said Memorial Lecture – “The Terrorism Label: an Examination of American Criminal Prosecutions”


Wadie Said
Professor of Law, University of South Carolina


*A light lunch is served at 12:30 p.m. Talk begins promptly at 1:00 p.m.

The Jerusalem Fund is pleased to present Professor Wadie Said who will deliver the 2016 Edward Said Memorial Lecture. Just as the late Dr. Edward Said struggled tirelessly in his scholarship and humanities projects to challenge and dispel dominant misperceptions of the East, Arab society, and the modern Palestinian predicament, his son Wadie Said engages a similarly noble pursuit: confronting the issue of terrorism and the ways in which it is produced and dealt with in the American legal system.

The post 9/11 terrorism prosecution reveals a great deal about what the U.S. government views as a threat, and which groups and ideologies represent that threat. By analyzing the laws, tactics, and practices that go into prosecuting individuals for crimes related to terrorism, we come to understand how broadly certain populations are tarred with the brush of terrorism. In an era in which the phenomenon of Islamophobia has loomed large in public debates about the national security challenges that confront the United States, terrorism laws and prosecutions mirror those debates, but they also raise essential questions as to the sacrificing of constitutional rights and protections that is done in the name of security.

Wadie E. Said is Professor of Law at the University of South Carolina School of Law, where he teaches criminal law, criminal procedure, and human rights law. His scholarship has appeared in the Ohio State Law Journal, Brigham Young University Law Review, the Indiana Law Journal, the Washington Law Review, and the Columbia Human Rights Law Review. Before joining the South Carolina faculty, Said represented terrorist suspects as an assistant federal public defender in Tampa, Florida, serving as counsel in United States v. al-Arian, one of the largest terrorism prosecutions in American history. A graduate of Princeton University and Columbia Law School, he clerked for Chief Judge Charles P. Sifton of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York. He is also the author of the recently published book, Crimes of Terror: The Legal and Political Implications of Federal Terrorism Prosecutions (Oxford University Press, 2015), which provides a comprehensive legal analysis of the criminal terrorist prosecution in the United States.


Bookings are no longer available for this event.