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As an expert witness Jonathan Benthall was confronted with a radical impasse of public ethnography. Having studied Islamic charities in the West Bank, he was called to testify in a U.S. court case in which the defendant was accused of using humanitarian assistance for terrorist activities. Not only was his testimony obsessively scrutinized in the hope of discrediting it, but the court demanded confidentiality. Thus his ethnography was prevented from publicization. Two related cases are finally presented: one in which Benthall produced an expert affidavit in a U.S. lawsuit in favor of Tariq Ramadan, whose visa had been denied allegedly because of his small donations to a Swiss charity funding Palestinian aid committees; the other a trial in which a distinguished U.S. judge and part-time political blogger seems to have prejudged an important issue.

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