October 10, 2008: Jericho March
Historic March in New York City Brought Together Activist Groups Supporting Political Prisoners
Jamaat al-Muslimeen Urges Unity of Black, Hispanic, Native American & Islamic Movements Opposing Oppression
The protest rally and march was more successful than the organizers of the Jericho Movement themselves could have imagined. The protestors stood for the poor and the oppressed in America and overseas. The march, from New York's 47th street [1st Avenue], began with an hour long rally and a 90 minute march, winding all the way around to 23rd street [at 5th Avenue], concluding with another hour of speech-making .at Madison Square Park.
Activists in New York often complain that Muslim groups are usually missing from anti-government protests and in fact some of them [the 4 letter ones] support the oppressors. This time there was solidarity as a Jamaat al-Muslimeen contingent joined the rally and the march. A sister from the Jamaat, with a megaphone, gained much support from the marchers as she chanted the slogans which were most popular.
The marchers supported Leonard Peltier [Native American leader], the MOVE group [whose home in Philadelphia was bombed by the government], Mumia Jamal [who is on death row], as well numerous Black Panther and Black Liberation leaders who have been in prison for decades. Mexican and Filipino prisoners were also supported.
Jamaat al-Muslimeen brought in the Islamic element by selecting two of the most prominent Islamic political prisoners:
Jamaat al-Muslimeen's handy little boycott card was handed out to people watching the march all along the route. The card calls for boycott of businesses which support Zionism and Israel [including Coca Cola, McDonalds, Starbucks and others].
Hundreds of activists committed to freedom attended the rally and march. Among the most prominent was the world famous attorney Lynne Stewart who sacrificed her career to fight for the rights of Dr. Omar 'Abdel Rahman [the Blind Shaikh] who was the major obstacle in the path of Egyptian dictator Hosni Mubarak.
Jamaat al-Muslimeen's endorsement of the Jericho march is being published here to help readers understand why such activity is important. The American power structure oppresses the poor, the Black, the Latinos/Latinas, the Native Americans along with Islamic people and Muslim immigrants.
To New York City Jericho
As-salaam alaikom/greetings Brothers and Sisters,
Our group, Jamaat al-Muslimeen, extends solidarity to the Jericho Movement and endorses the October 10 Jericho March. We are an anti-racist, anti-imperialist, internationalist Muslim group (no relation to Jamaat al-Muslimeen Trinidad), composed of Arabs, Afrikans, Pakistanis, Indians, Bangladeshis, and others.
We believe that Muslims have a right to govern Muslim countries according to Islamic law if they see fit, and that the current U.S. wars and occupation violate the basic precepts of democracy and self-determination. Jamaat al-Muslimeen seeks to counter corporate media propaganda by educating the U.S. populace on the brutal reality of the "War on Terror."
In keeping with the Islamic call to fight for justice (amr bil mauroof) and against injustice (nahi unal munkari), we recognize and ally ourselves with the Black liberation struggle. We affirm that any genuine Islamic liberation movement must necessarily embrace the Black liberation struggle--as well as that of all oppressed people, and that the struggle for justice in the U.S. must, in recognition of the roots of struggle in this country, include Afrikans in ranks as well as leadership.
In particular, we note that the horrors today endured by Arabs and Muslims were first enacted upon the AmeriKKKan Black population, that every Fallujah was preceded by a Greenwood and every Abu Ghraib by an Attica/Pelican Bay, and that every Muslim/Arab in Gitmo had his "seat" warmed by a Haitian Gitmo detainee.
In keeping with the Islamic call to "free the captive," we call for the release of all Afrikan political prisoners, along with all Arab and Muslim political prisoners and remind our community, the Muslim community, to organize and mobilize for the freedom of ALL of these prisoners.
Many in Jamaat al-Muslimeen participated in and were inspired by Jericho 1998. We will be honored to be present on October 10, and have been organizing (via Facebook, email, etc) for this pivotal event.
The Arabic words in italics are from the Qur'an, 9.71, and the words "free the captives" are the command of Prophet Muhammad, pbuh, in Hadith book Sahih Bukhari