June 15, 2002
1:30 PM   Subscribe

i think probably that the difference between these two has to do with the relative agencies involved: the castrator was released by the local police, who don't care so much about immigration and are more concerned with the (potentially criminal but probably not) act; the federal agency which dealt with the mosque-attender is going to be much more sensitive to federal issues, like overstayed visas.

(random side note: the spell checker objected to my hyphenation of 'mosque-attender' and one of its suggested replacements was 'emasculated').
posted by hob at 2:07 PM on June 15, 2002

Blowing up innocent people vs consentual home surgery...Uhh...lessee...
posted by HTuttle at 2:43 PM on June 15, 2002

After whole September 11 debacle, though, wouldn't you think that immigration rules would require that people with expired visas be detained for the INS? I thought that cooperation of law enforcement was the order of the day.
posted by shagoth at 2:44 PM on June 15, 2002

The fear of castration is much more prevalent than actual castration."

Oh hell yes. I crossed my legs just reading this. Ech. Wouldn't this be practicing medicine without a license. Or practicing medicine on somebody who may not be mentally fit to elect surgery? Or any number of things that might make some nutjob want to fry, well, his nutjob.
posted by benjh at 3:12 PM on June 15, 2002

Criminal or not, home castration is not unheard of

Home Castration? Sounds like a Time-Life Book.

"First in a Series of Five. Followed by Home Hot Poker up Your Ass, Home Coprophagia and Home Hit Yourself in the Head with Hammer. All From our new series Incredibly Stupid Shit No Sane Being Would Consent To"

All kidding aside, I seem to remember an American posing as a doctor who got busted a few years back for doing home castrations on people. His name escapes me so I can't provide a link. But I remember they found a lot of .....evidence in his house. The mind boggles and like you, benjh, my legs are tightly crossed right now.
posted by jonmc at 3:36 PM on June 15, 2002

From the second linked article:

"We have suspicions; that's it," a federal source told the Herald. "We are working hard right now to run this all out. We have reason to believe this man has extremist views."

Last I checked, extremist views were still legal in the United States. It's extremist action that's illegal. If authorities had suspicions, why couldn't they simply bring each of these men in for questioning or follow through on their connections to find people who have actually committed terrorist acts.
posted by UnReality at 4:28 PM on June 15, 2002

After whole September 11 debacle, though, wouldn't you think that immigration rules would require that people with expired visas be detained for the INS? I thought that cooperation of law enforcement was the order of the day.

There's good reason this isn't the case. In cities or communities with high immigrant populations (especially with high rates of undocumented residents), local law enforcement struggle to gain their trust. As immigrants realize that it's not the job of local and state police to check for documentation, they are more willing to cooperate with police (e.g, call 911 if there's an emergency, call police if there's a crime), which in turn creates a safer environment for all citizens.

Local enforcement is usually so strapped for cash as it is; they shouldn't be using their precious dollars to check for visas and green cards instead of keeping our communities safe.
posted by jennak at 4:53 PM on June 15, 2002

the two men were enjoying a postoperative piece of pie when the Birmingham man started laughing.

Then he started bleeding.

HOW GREAT IS THAT? I may neeeever stop laughing!
posted by RJ Reynolds at 6:52 PM on June 15, 2002

Several Web sites are devoted to the subject, which some men pursue for erotic reasons. The Birmingham man gave investigators the name of one such Web site.

CASTRATED for EROTIC reasons? Doesn't one cancel the other out? Like, permanently?

Dr. Jonathan Metzl, a professor in psychiatry and women's studies at the University of Michigan...

What a frightening combination of specialties.
posted by evanizer at 7:40 PM on June 15, 2002

Of course, the INS will very likely now pursue deportation against the Taiwanese professional castrator, so there is actually no reason to portray these situations as markedly different (unless you have ulterior motives).

And Unreality, and pals, the mosque-attending man is now facing action because of his immigration status, not because of his political views, or any action he may have been contemplating. Regardless, he has overstayed his visa, and under the laws of the land passed by our esteemed elected representatives, the INS is fully authorized to boot him out of the country.

shagoth: The local police do not have the authority to hold him on federal charges (one of those constitutional things). He would have to be arrested by a federal agent first, although I believe he could be housed in a local jail. Indeed, local authorities are lobbying for this authority (guess where?). Apparently, Congress authorized it under the 1996 immigration reform bill, but the Attorney General (Reno, then Ashcroft) has not yet authorized the training and liaison program. legislation, S133.
posted by dhartung at 10:30 PM on June 15, 2002

It's unclear that Hassoun was arrested for overstaying his visa. According to the orginal article, he has "been the subject of intense federal scrutiny for months." His sister disputes the visa charge:
Hassoun's sister said Friday that his family has no idea why he was arrested, and that his wife has not been allowed to visit him.
''No one has told us anything,'' said the sister, who asked that her name be withheld. ``Isn't this America where you're innocent until proven guilty? Now it seems that you're guilty until proven innocent.''
She said her brother has lived in the United States for 13 years and has been a good member of society. She said she doesn't pray with her brother, and she doesn't know his friends and associates.
''If this is an INS problem then I want an apology because my brother has his papers for working and my mother is an American citizen and applied for his citizenship a long time ago,'' she said. ``I want somebody to tell me exactly what is going on.''
At any rate, Jose Padilla (aka Abdullah al Muhajir), who might very well have been planning but doesn't actually appear to have done anything, is being held indefinitely.
posted by UnReality at 9:20 AM on June 16, 2002

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