Injustice To Muslim-Americans

The other day I did something I hadn’t done in over 20 years: marched in a demonstration. The previous time was a protest against the acquittal of officers who beat Rodney King. As a white person I felt I had to express solidarity with black Americans that day.

Photo by Carl Strock

Photo by Carl Strock

On this blog I’ve been highly critical of Muslims and Islam. Yet this time I marched in solidarity with Muslim-Americans. My reasons were similar. Again, a trial verdict was at issue: the 2006 conviction of two local Muslims on terrorism-related charges.

The demonstrators were mostly what an acquaintance (who is one himself) labeled “the habitual pacifists,” plus 99-percenters, no-nukers, and other assorted lefties. Not my usual crowd! But I felt fine in their company. Unlike too many today, I do not regard people with opposing politics as wicked. To the contrary, these are good people, sincere in seeking a better world – even if misguided on how (IMHO).

Well, we were all encouraged to carry prefabricated signs. Most named organizations I don’t support. So I wound up asked to hold up one end of a huge heavy banner. Probably served me right. At least I had no problem with its message.

The march proceeded to the local mosque, where we saw a short play giving the essential story: showing what a monumental travesty of justice this case was. images

The two men never plotted anything. But the FBI hired a slimy felonious informer to entrap Yassin Aref (then the mosque’s imam) into endorsing a fake loan deal, the money supposedly coming from sale of a fictitious missile. Fearing Aref would balk if he actually understood a missile was involved, they did all they could to obfuscate this. Yet the case against him hinged on his alleged intentional involvement in a  missile plot. But never mind. Meantime, to nail him for conspiracy, they needed a co-conspirator, so they roped in Aref’s friend Mohammad Hossain, who’d otherwise been minding his own (pizza) business.

images-1The judge instructed the jury that the government had valid, albeit secret, reasons for targeting Aref in the first place. The judge had been told (in secret, with defense lawyers barred) that Aref’s name had supposedly appeared in some Al Qaeda notebook.

On this ridiculous “evidence,” both men were convicted (even though the jury actually determined that Aref did not understand about the missile). What they were actually convicted of doing (if anything) was totally obscure. And it later emerged that that Al Qaeda notebook had been mistranslated! Aref was never involved with Al Qaeda.* But never mind. Courts have ruled on appeal that the men got a fair trial. cartoon-236x236

This turns my stomach. This is not the America I know and love, under rule of law. This was a trial worthy of Egypt, or China, or Venezuela. Or to quote a Russian émigré friend (about a different government outrage), “Is like Soviet Union. America is transforming into Soviet Union.”

Aref and Hossain should not be in prison. Instead it should be all the government creeps who conspired to deny them their civil rights, doing more to harm America than any imaginary missile plot ever could have. Unknown

Alas, this case is not unique. There have been hundreds like this, touted by the feds as “successes” in the “war on terror.” A war on American values is more like it. Of all the hundreds jailed, it’s doubtful any were really “terrorists.” The whole thing is reminiscent of putting citizens of Japanese ancestry in concentration camps during WWII.

That’s why I felt that, as an American, I had to be on this march.

A final word: This also shows why libertarians like me have such a skeptical view toward government. It’s somewhat ironic that most of the “progressives” on that march are at the opposite end of the political spectrum. However much government betrays their values (as in this case), yet still they idealize government, like a battered spouse still professing love for the batterer, a triumph of hope over experience. They don’t seem to grasp that government is made up of human beings, with all the defects to which humans are prone. Just like the corporations those lefties hate so much. Except that government has vastly more power.Unknown-1

No corporation can put you in prison.

*Aref is Kurdish. The Kurds have been great friends to America; there is no Kurdish anti-U.S. terrorism.

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6 Responses to “Injustice To Muslim-Americans”

  1. Kurt Carson Says:

    The US has a Bridge of Sighs.

  2. Anonymous Says:

    Not unlike Nazi Germany or Russia under Stalin, China under Mao, North Korea or Pol Pot, the peaceful majority isn’t a problem. The problem is the radical few and the examples cited prove how dangerous they can be. The peaceful majority of anyone is never a problem. The problem is sorting them out.

  3. Wolfgang Kurth Says:

    I met both of these men when I worked at a local plumbing supply house. No, we did not talk politics, but they certainly did not strike me as terrorists. I saw Muhammed Atta and 3 or 4 cronies twice in Rotterdam mall with an unidentified woman with child in Moslem dress. I took notice of them because somehow their actions seemed obtuse, furtive. Seeing them in the papers later, after 9/11 did not surprise me as much as seeing Aref and Hossain’s names as the accused. But of course, this is all circumstancial and I guess the government does not trust behavioral experts. Certainly in the light of evidence (however trumped up).
    WK

  4. Bumba Says:

    Amen. The Patriot Act (passed and re-invigorated by two Presidents and Congresses) is a disgrace. And the FBI’s frantic search for suspects and the bureaucratic pressure to come up with something or somebody is disgraceful too.

  5. mokscom Says:

    Reblogged this on foradifferentworld and commented:
    Things are changing in the world. They’re also changing in the United States of America. Injustice against muslims is on her top since 9/11. Here is an “inside” testimony from Frank. S. Robinson who decided to walk on demonstration 20 years later…

  6. plumber surbiton Says:

    I wish to write articles based on the information collected through some copyright books. I won’t copy – paste the material but edit or modify it in such a way that the meaning remains the same. I would also give credit to the books and their authors. Am I breaking any copyright laws?.

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