A federal judge today sentenced a Dearborn restaurant cook to 8 months in prison for e-mailing death threats to conservative TV commentator and blogger Debbie Schlussel.
“I find it abhorrent,” U.S. District Judge Marianne Battani told Mohamad Fouad Abdallah, 40, of two e-mails he sent to Schlussel one minute apart in August 2006. Schlussel, who lives in Oakland County, is an outspoken critic of what she calls government tolerance of Islamic extremists in the United States. She told Battani that the e-mails, in which Abdallah used sexist and Anti-Semitic remarks against her and threatened to rape and blow her up, had caused her to fear for her safety and become somewhat of a hermit.
The e-mails were prompted by views she expressed on her Web site, www.debbieschlussel.com, about prominent members of Metro Detroit’s Islamic community.
She urged Battani to sentence Abdallah to the maximum 12 months in prison on the misdemeanor charge — interfering with Schlussel’s federally-protected activities. He pleaded guilty in June.
One of the e-mails said Hizballah, a Lebanese group that the U.S. State Department has designated a terrorist group, “is awesome.” Abdallah, breathing from an oxygen tank, told Battani he was ashamed of what he had done and that he has suffered health problems ever since. Schlussel called the oxygen tank a prop and accused him of trying to gain sympathy from the judge. Battani ordered Abdallah to undergo mental health and diversity training after getting out of prison. She lectured him about teaching fear, murder and intolerance to his 9-year-old daughter.