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Imam Jamil al-Amin's Case Presented on A & E TV Network: timed with 9.11
Propaganda Piece Admits "Reasonable Doubt," Omits Issue of Motivation

[For foreign readers: In a case where "reasonable doubt" exists, under American law, the accused should be acquitted. In the case of Imam Jamil, the law was forgotten.]

On September 10, nine to ten PM, the Arts & Entertainment (A & E) TV network presented an hour-long report under "American Justice" titled "Shots in the Dark." It was supposed to a balanced report on the case of Imam Jamil al-Amin but turned out to be a propaganda piece.

The report was well-done. It presented both the prosecution and the defense positions but it played certain tricks on the audience which covered up its omission of key defense arguments.
It kept harping on Imam Jamil's past when as a young man he was a leader of SNCC. He was repeatedly shown speaking as a radical in the Black Panther movement and THREE of his words were picked up from old speeches and repeated through the program: "Violence is necessary."

Thus the purpose was to paint the Imam as a preacher of hate and violence.

To dilute Black support for the Imam, A & E harped on the fact that the two police officers shot in the incident were Black.

The program omitted issues which clarify the conspiracy against Imam Jamil al-Amin:

1. The program admitted that the area where the shooting place was "NOT CORDONED OFF" after the incident. Thus the evidence on the spot was not secure. After the admission, the program omitted the obvious consequences of the area not being cordoned off, that the evidence could easily be tainted.

2. The program admitted that Officer English originally said that he had shot his assailant. The report did show English's admission that he was a pretty good shot. When Imam Jamil was arrested, he was UNINJURED. That undermines a major aspect of the prosecution's story but this consequence too was omitted from the report.

3. THERE WAS NO MUSLIM ON THE JURY. We'll come back to this point in the note on Atlanta below. The Jury system works only if it's a jury of the defendant's peers. None of them were his peers.

4. The report admitted that a WHITE police officer had been to the field near White Hall, Alabama where Imam Jamil was arrested BEFORE the arrest. Clearly there is an indication here that the two guns found there could have been planted by the White officer (Campbell) whose face was not shown. The discussion of this point was NOT DONE.

5. THE ISSUE OF MOTIVATION WAS COMPLETELY OMITTED. The reporter posed the question: WHY WOULD IMAM JAMIL SHOOT TWO POLICE OFFICERS? The report admitted that at most Imam Jamil would have been arrested for possession of weapons. Why would he shoot two police officers? He was not desperate or an escapee.

6. The report OMITTED the fact that it was the second HOLIEST DAY OF ISLAM, Eid al-Adha, and the Imam had spent most of the day administering to the needs of his community. There was ABSOLUTELY NO REASON FOR HIM TO BE SO RILED UP THAT HE WOULD SHOOT TWO OFFICERS on the street in front of his store.

7. The report repeatedly showed officer English, one of the two shot in the incident, crying on the witness stand to evoke the jury's sympathy. Men, certainly fighting men, do not cry like children. This was drama. BY CONTRAST, Imam Jamil's WIFE was not asked by the reporter how she felt. [The coverage of Imam Nadim Ali and Muslims sitting in the court room was fair but it did not make up for the emotional impact of the crying officer.] Why was Sis. KARIMA not interviewed? An "intelligent" omission?

There were crude efforts to point out that Imam Jamil looks like Osama Bin Laden. The basic question was not asked, why was this program aired on SEPTEMBER 10, on the eve of the 9.11 anniversary. Would it be a conspiracy theory to say that the producers wanted to deflate the support which has built up for Imam Jamil?


New Trend notes that there is an aspect of class struggle in the case of Imam Jamil. The police officers are part of the Black Middle Class which is hooked into the American power structure. The supporters of Imam Jamil represent the Atlanta lower middle class and the poor and oppressed.

The Black Middle Class is quite well to do. These are the people who are not even disturbed by the murder of Dr. King and the murder of his mother in broad daylight in her church. They happily run off to White House entertainment while the poor in their communities are facing genocide and cultural decimation.

The people in power are using the rich Black people against the poor. The use of Black police officers is part of this suppression learned from the South African situation in the days of Apartheid.

The rich Black Middle Class also is Christian in a "swaying and singing" "opium of the people" kind of religion. In the final analysis such religion turns into support for the oppressors.

2003-09-13 Sat 11:05ct