Family destitute, wife of accused terrorist says on Internet posting

Jamal asks public for cash

Former Haligonian Cheryfa MacAulay Jamal has set up a website to raise money for her family left destitute by her husband’s arrest on terrorism charges.

The Halifax native and Muslim convert is married to Qayyum Abdul Jamal, one of 17 men and teens arrested last month on charges they planned to blow up several sites in Southern Ontario.

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“I needed an avenue to (give) those interested in the condition of his family, mainly myself and our children, an open method to donate directly to our sustenance, as we are now without our ‘maintainer,’ and are at the mercy of charity,” Ms. Jamal says in a posting on the new Internet site.

“It is my intention, (if Allah wills it to be), to register as a non-profit organization so that sincere people can donate charity to us for as long as my husband remains incarcerated or awaiting trial if he is to ever be granted bail. If he were to be given bail, it would be under the strictest of conditions and he would be unable to earn an income, (like anyone would even hire him now!).”

Ms. Jamal, 44, was named Sherry MacAulay when she attended Halifax’s Cornwallis Junior High School and Queen Elizabeth High School before dropping out in Grade 10. She has several children from her first marriage and four from her present one.

After her first marriage failed, she wed Mr. Jamal, 43, who is charged with participating in a terrorist group, receiving terrorist training and attempting to cause an explosion.

On her new website, Ms. Jamal asks “those who are kind enough to help us in our hour of need,” to deposit money into her Scotiabank account or to send her financial assistance via an e-mail transfer.

“If you find it in your heart to help us manage while Abdul Qayyum is not able to support us, myself and our four sons, aged 7, 5, 22 months and 9 months, please donate to us what you can spare. Every little bit will add up and suffice, with Allah’s permission.”

Her father Ernie MacAuley, 69, confirmed Wednesday that the website was set up by his daughter this week.

She can’t get (employment insurance) because she’s not been working and she doesn’t really want to apply for welfare so she’s seeing if she can get something out of it this way.”

While Ms. Jamal has posted a story from The Chronicle Herald on her website, she has not responded to interview requests.

In an interview with a British Columbia website that bills itself as “a cutting edge news portal that reports on the so-called war on terrorism from the Muslim viewpoint,” Ms. Jamal said CSIS officers have been coming to her door asking questions for two years.

“We knew they were asking our friends and their parents about us, even telling them that Abdul Qayyum was recruiting teens for Jihad,” she told JUSone News.

“But everyone knew this was untrue, that he was only teaching (Qur’anic commentary) in the mosque and guiding the youth with problems they were experiencing with their parents (like university issues or marriage arguments) or with their wives.”

In the same interview, Ms. Jamal said she hasn’t applied for welfare “because it is truly a humiliating experience to bend over while they search every nook and cranny before deciding to throw us a few crumbs subsequently binding us with their regulations. … Any money donated to us would also have to be reported, and all donations would then be deducted from our assistance cheques.”

Ms. Jamal’s website contains two messages, purportedly posted by her children Tuesday about the police raid on their home last month.

“I was scared when they busted in. I want my Daddy and my PlayStation and my remote control monster trucks and race car back,” says one posting.

“I don’t like what they did to us. I was terrified by the guns and the handcuffs. I thought that they were coming to kill us!”


(Listed if other than Religion News Blog, or if not shown above)
The Chronicle Herald, Canada
July 20, 2006
Chris Lambie
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Religion News Blog posted this on Friday July 21, 2006.
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