"Fear America"
L&O, Episode 17.04
Production number: 17006
First aired: 13 October 2006
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Written By
Sonny Postiglione & Robert Nathan

Directed By
Constantine Makris


Richard Brooks reprises his role as ADA-turned-defense attorney Paul Robinette, whose client is accused of murdering a Middle Eastern man, a crime investigated by Green and Cassady in conjunction with the FBI's Joint Terrorism Task Force.


Main cast

Recurring cast

Guest cast



Imam Ibraham: Which am I first, an American or a Muslim?
Jack McCoy: You need to decide if there's a contradiction.

And we see it again and again. How many have to disappear, be tortured? Held without hearing charges against them? How long before we say stop? When will we forgive all Muslims for the actions of the radicals who flew airplanes into the World Trade Center? I'll tell you. When we find someone new to hate. To be a Muslim in this country today, is to be seen as dangerous. We're afraid of them. And what do we do to people we're afraid of? In World War II, 3,000 Americans of Italian background were arrested. 11,000 of German descent. 110,000 Japanese Americans sent to internment camps. Dark days. Are we going to let them happen again? If you convict Ben Faoud, that's what you're doing. You're convicting him because you're afraid of him. They painted my client as a terrorist and a murderer. What are they really saying? He's one of them. They put terrorism on trial here. And Muslims on trial. And if you let them get away with that, if that's how you judge Ben Faoud, you'll convict an innocent man.

–Paul Robinette's closing arguments

Who's on trial today? Not the government. Not America. Not Muslims. The defendant is on trial. As a country, we have a history of treating immigrants and minorities badly. 'Houses for sale. No Jews allowed'. 'Hiring today. No Irish need apply'. Separate drinking fountains for blacks. Get to the back of the bus. We should be ashamed. And we should be ashamed when American Muslims are treated differently because of their religion. No one denies that it happens. But that's not what's happening in this courtroom. The defendant killed Eric Khalaby to save himself from being arrested for another crime. But it's the murder of Eric Khalaby that he's on trial for. Don't convict Mr. Faoud as a terrorist. Convict him for what he is. A murderer. That's the only charge. And you must find him guilty.

–Jack McCoy's closing arguments

Imam Ibraham: Mr. McCoy, you asked to decide who I was first...Muslim or an American. It turns out I'm neither. Last night, this [brick with "Terrorist"] was thrown through my bathroom window. And this morning, someone did this. [burned mosque]
Jack McCoy: I'm sorry. What did Faoud shout at you in the courtroom?
Imam Ibraham: Burn.
Jack McCoy: And what did you say back?
Imam Ibraham: God bless the United States of America.

Background information and notes

Episode scene cards

1 2 3

Law Offices of
Hoffman, Gold & Birnbaum
261 Sixth Avenue
Wednesday, June 29

Araway Security
Long Island City, NY
Wednesday, June 29

Apartment of
Ben Faoud
Brooklyn, NY
Wednesday, June 29

4 5 6

Crescent Sun Mosque
Maspeth, NY
Wednesday, June 29

U.S. Attorney's Office
Southern District of NY
One St. Andrews Palaza
Thursday, June 30

Chambers of
Judge Martha Sirkin
Tuesday, September 27

1 2 3

Supreme Court
Trial Part 79
Monday, October 3

Supreme Court
Trial Part 79
Thursday, October 6

Supreme Court
Trial Part 79
Thursday, October 6

Previous episode:
"Home Sweet"
"Fear America"
Law & Order
Season 17
Next episode:
"Public Service Homicide"
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